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Monday

I like to make the most of my holidays so I decided to set today aside for some research. I'm starting a project looking at Young Adult and Children's literature post 1996. Out of a range of novels I chose to study 'Junk' by Melvin Burgess because of its shock in the 1990s. I've also collected a lot of critical essays to read through. Time to get started!

Research, research!

Tuesday

One of Basingstoke's spots to relax. I spent the afternoon in the wonderful sunshine and met up with some friends from uni who live fairly locally. It was a lazy afternoon but just what I needed.

And relax!

Wednesday

I'm still moving things into my new flat which is being redecorated at the moment. Hopefully, I'll be moving most of it up next week for when I am working on the Clearing hotline on results day!

Moving in to my new place!

Thursday

I love speaking to authors on Twitter when I review their novels. I received a lovely note from an author after reviewing her last novel. I'm getting stuck in with her newly released book ‘Where Love Lives' tonight.

A note from an author whose book I reviewed

Friday

I'm so excited that today has been a turning point in my writing. I've got a solid novel plan and I've been writing a few good chapter ideas.

My novel plan

Saturday

A quick McDonalds run in the rain to celebrate my car passing its MOT.

Well done to my car passing its MOT

Sunday

Kingston in the Sunshine! I caught the end of the Kingston food market today with my boyfriend and his Dad. Town was really busy with the sights and smells of the food market. I think it really shows the diversity in Kingston as there were so many different varieties to try.

The wonderful sights and smells of a sunny Kingston!

 

We all know uni can be very expensive and students aren't known for having a lot of money (despite spending a lot of it) but that doesn't mean we should be living on the bread line.

Tip 1. Try and stay at home if you can

It might be the experience of a lifetime living in halls but at home is where the savings are at; from having a fully stocked fridge, to a warm, well-lit house plus little to no rent every month, living at home definitely takes the strain off your wallet.

Tip 2. Stick to the Basics

From store own brands foods to unnamed branded clothes - there's nothing wrong the basics and its usually cheaper. You'd be surprised at how much a branded label can bump up the total price.

Tip 3. Discount!

If you really are a shopaholic then at least try not to pay full price for your gear; many shops offer discounts especially for students, there's also the NUS card and some stores even have vouchers available online that can be found when googled. Don't forget clothing stores often have summer and winter sales which means the same great stuff at up to half the price.

Tip 4. Double Up

If you're living with flatmates likely chances are you'll need the same thing, it makes no sense to buy two sets of groceries or cutlery or toiletries - instead put your money together. You'll find that you don't spend as much individually and you might even get bulk discounts for buying more with your combined funds.

Tip 5. Budget!

This tip is literally the most crucial advice you'll be given when it comes to financial management. A budget details your incomings and outgoings and gives you an idea of where you can cut back or where to better allocate your resources - A bit of advance planning never hurt anyone.

 

So, this week was results week which can be stressful for everyone! After working so hard for months trying to get all the preparation done for assignments, dissertations and those dreaded exams, I always think that results day is a nerve wracking day, and trying to find the courage to press the 'view grades' button can be tough! I got my degree grade back on Friday and was pleased to see that I got a 2:1 so will be graduating at the end of the year! I hope all you guys that got your results back got what you wanted too and all did well!

For the past few months since exams, I have been thinking about grades and how I did, and have been asked many times that dreaded graduate question of 'So what are you going to do now then?', and each time I was thrown off and didn't really know what to say as I didn't have any plans, however I have now also been offered a job within a great company and am beginning my career in rehabilitation! All in all, this past week has been a pretty good one!

That means that sadly, the blog you're reading will be my last one, and I have officially worked my last KUSA shift *sobs!*

On reflection, coming to Kingston has been the best experience of my life and although K-town has thrown some interesting situations at me, I haven't regretted being here one bit, and have thoroughly loved every minute of being here! Here are some of my top tips of things you have to do before you graduate and get old and wrinkly (like me!).

- Go somewhere in London you've never been to before; put away your maps and phones and just get lost somewhere. It might sound crazy, but I love doing this! I love to go to random places and not know quite where I am, find some back alley café and have a coffee and read, or go and explore somewhere new! In London, you can't get lost because you'll eventually run into a bus or tube stop - why not give it a go!

- Live with people that you never thought you would - I have lived with some real characters in my three years at Kingston, some which I love to bits and am great friends with now, and some that I didn't like in the slightest. I feel that living with a bunch of random people is amazing, as you can meet some amazing people that you wouldn't normally know, yet on the other hand living with people you don't like helps you to get to know yourself, and you learn how much you can tolerate and put up with!

- Go out with your friends - as a student, you're allowed to roll up at the pub at 2pm on a Wednesday with your friends, and hang out, have a pint and just generally catch up and chill! Make the most of it, and really spend time with people that you love!

- And lastly, keep in touch with people! I have met some truly amazing people through my three years in Kingston, and cheesy as it may sound, I can't imagine my life without some of them! So make sure that you keep in touch, give those old friends a quick call every now and again and let them know that you still think about them!

Farewell Kingston, you've been the best! :D

I hope everyone at Kingston has an experience as amazing and life changing as mine was!

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