Career Fear

As a fourth-year student who’s rapidly approaching the of end of my time at uni, I find myself going through waves of emotions regarding graduating. I definitely feel that I have done more than my fair share of full-time education, and am relishing at the idea of not constantly having an exam or assignment looming in my future. However, doing a degree that isn’t vocational means that my post-uni life pathway currently has a mind-boggling number of branches to explore.

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New Year, New Adventures!

It’s the start of a new decade, and this is usually the time where many people look back on what they achieved, and set goals for the upcoming year. I’m currently on a year abroad studying in Canada, and after coming home for Christmas I’m now settling back in for the second semester. Living abroad helps to give you a new perspective, and as we start the new year, I have some advice my time abroad has taught me so far.

The world is big. Go explore.

Exploring the second-largest country in the world has been a massive eye-opener to how much is out there. I urge everyone to travel as much as you can, especially while you’re a student and have the time and lack of responsibilities tying you down to one place. There are so many different cultures and environments to experience across the world. 

1CALSIE(Photo – Brianna Sinkler)

Put yourself out of your comfort zone as much as possible. That’s how you grow.

Change is good and important for personal growth. The best experiences in life come from uncomfortable situations. So many people confine themselves to a routine they’re comfortable with, but I encourage you to be more mindful of how you’re spending your time. Take a step back to reflect and step out of your comfort zone. Try a new sport or activity, go to events where you don’t know anyone else, and take opportunities you wouldn’t usually.

2calsie(Photo – Brianna Sinkler)

No matter where you are, or what you’re doing, it’s the friends that make it.

Moving to a country where you don’t know anyone really makes you realise the importance of friendships. Even the most important exciting and exotic places aren’t fun if you’re lonely. So my advice to you is this – befriend people you wouldn’t normally talk to, hear their stories, and say yes to new experiences, you don’t know where it could take you.

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Enjoy the small things, they’re what make up the majority of your day to day life.

Recently I’ve spent weekends hiking up mountains, ice skating on frozen lakes, skiing, and exploring world-renowned national parks. But you don’t have to have amazing adventures like that to enjoy life! It’s the small things that bring you the most happiness, like wearing cosy socks and snuggling up with a hot drink and a snack, but maybe I’m just saying that because as I write this it’s -25°C outside! What I’m trying to say is that it’s as much about the mundane day-to-day life and how you choose to live it, as it is about having crazy experiences. Make each day a mini adventure!

Sorry to sound like the cliche “I went on a year abroad and discovered myself” stereotype, but I guess it’s a cliche for a reason. I think it’s important to reflect on how your year went and what you can do to get the most out of the next one! If you didn’t have a good year last year, make 2020 your year.

The Dreaded ‘M’ Word (£)

As most students know budgeting and managing money can often be in the words of Annie, “a hard knock life”. Trying to figure out your finances between food, bills, nights out and general spends can seem like an impossible task, however, I have made some pointers on things you can do to save and help your finances, for both lower income students and for everybody in general.

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From the other side of the Viva – what would I do differently if I did my PhD now?

I never thought a three hour-long exam would be my best Christmas present but December 2019 was the month I finally passed my PhD viva. It has been a long struggle, not helped by hospital admissions, family illness and battles with depression and anxiety. Whilst I’ve learnt a lot about plant biology, pipetting and p values, this journey has also taught me valuable life lessons such as perseverance, keeping perspective and practising self-care. Looking back, if I had to do my PhD again, there a certainly a few things I would do differently…

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Living vicariously

Sometimes, the stream of words pouring out of StarPlus Library Catalogue ripples into daily life, instead of neatly pooling into whichever essay I am pouring over. Through trying to wrap my mind around theories concerning the “postcolonial autobiography”, I discovered a disturbing idea. In some North African cultures, “I” is equivalent to “we”[1]. I bristled at the thought. I like being an individual! I like referring to myself; my ideas, my experiences. Being unique makes me feel significant. If my listener were to understand “we” whenever I mentioned myself, I would suddenly become indistinguishable from my surrounding family; friends, university. I had no desire to blandly blur into the background.

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To-go university breakfast options!

If you have just read that title and are thinking that this read is going to go over a menu with breakfast options, the answer is both yes and no. No, because this is still a blog (I promise) wherein just like all my other blogs, I share something with you all and yes! Because this blog is about sharing my favourite (and easy!) to-go breakfast options for University students.

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