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Hey everyone -

I realise I've been a bit AWOL recently. No excuse for that, awfully sorry.

My reason for being away is that at the moment the university is holding its yearly election for the new full time officer posts of the Student Union (KUSU.) And I'm running!

If people who're reading this think that the Student Union is just a bar... WRONG! It's actually three bars. Plus a whole lot of other stuff like Volunteering, Sports, Societies, Education, Campaigns, Protests, Prayers and Polar Bears.

Except not Polar Bears.

The Student Union is a charity, separate from the university (but supported by them) whose primary objective is to support and represent the student body. At Kingston, that's a lot of students!

There are four full-time paid positions within the union - President, VP Activites, VP Student Life and VP Learning & Teaching - and countless other part-time (unpaid) positions that you can run for. The cover all parts of Uni life and represent disability, sexuality, ethnicity etc.

I decided to run for VP Student Life because I've had such a great time here at Kingston and I wanted to give future students the chance to have the same brilliant experiences that I've had

Campaign week was brutal - I ended up taking part in a 'Question Time' interview session with the other candidates. That was, in a word, terrifying. In two words, completely terrifying.

You can watch me here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75KUKFLOQ84

I put up posters around campus (not too many - don't want to hurt the trees!)

I made a campaign video as well which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHAkpenO5Ks

My friend and fellow Ambassador, Beth, was my campaign manager and she designed my posters, did all the photography and helped me put them up across the uni so there was literally no escaping my face!

In the end I didn't win, I came third out of six though and got over two hundred votes. Since I don't have two hundred friends (outside of Facebook obvs.) that means that people who don't know me voted for me because they liked my policies... Boom! J (Smug face)

Overall I was disappointed that I didn't win, but I wouldn't change anything about it at all - the whole process of going out and campaigning, talking to people (occasionally whilst dressed as a dinosaur) and thinking up innovative ways to get my message across to the students was so much fun and a great confidence boost.

If any of you guys go to Uni and have the opportunity to run in the union either as a full or part time officer during your degree, do it!

Seriously, you'll have a blast and who knows... you might get a taste of politics and end up becoming the next David Cameron (but better, obviously.)

 

So this past month has been an interesting one! It was my 21st birthday, which meant that I got well and truly spoilt from my family and friends. I was given money to go on holiday this Summer, as well as loads of lovely gifts and best of all (in my opinion because I'm a bit of a geek) - tickets to Harry Potter world in London from my boyfriend! I have been a massive fan of Harry Potter since I was a little kid and enjoyed reading the books and watching all the films when they came out. Since the Warner Bros tour in London opened, I had wanted to go but never got round to it due to being a poor student (as I'm sure many of you can relate to!), so getting the tickets bought for me, and being able to go and share the day with another HP fan was amazing!

Hogwarts

The tour is in Watford, so it's pretty easy to get to from Kingston which is handy! Once you get to Watford, the tour pretty much starts as soon as you arrive at the station, with posters and signs up as you enter the station to directions to get onto the Harry Potter bus to take you to the studios. When you're on the bus, a video starts playing that gives you information on the studios and how they came to be the set of HP.

The tour itself is amazing, and starts off with a cinema experience, which plays a short film about Harry Potter, the characters and a background on Rowling and how she came to write the books. After the film is finished, the front doors of 'Hogwarts' open and you are presented with the great hall, which is filled with the original casts costumes from a variety of the films, as well as props which line the tables of the great hall. You then walk through into a huge warehouse type room which has loads of the sets, from the common rooms, to Dumbledore's office where you can check out all of your favourite sets, and look at many of the props used in the films, including masks and costumes used by a range of the characters.

There is also an outside section of the tour, where you can see the Weasley's flying car, as well as Harry's house on Privet drive! In this part of the tour you can also buy Butterbeer, which unfortunately is disappointing :( it's kind of a mix between cream soda and energy drink (it's really quite disgusting) although it has some kind of foam on top of it which tastes like toffee and is amazing!

I was quite shocked, that most of the people who were at HP world were adults as me and James were worried about looking too old for the tour and thought it would be predominantly younger children who were there, however we actually found that it was mainly people our age and older - the true fans of HP! Some fully grown adults were even dressed in the full Hogwarts attire!

At the end of the tour is a huge HP themed shop, where you can buy anything from cloaks, to wands, to mugs - although I suggest you take a lot of cash if you're thinking about visiting as guaranteed you will want to buy one of everything! I really would recommend that over your few years in London, if you're a fan then you should visit the tour as it is definitely worth the money and is an amazing experience!

Oh and one final comment - Good luck with your exams guys! :)

 

Hello! I'm a second year 'extra' mature Drama student and also a full time mum, welcome to a day in my life as a Kingston Uni student! I am so happy that I returned to education the experience is making such a positive impact on my life!

8.00am - Breakfast with my children

Kareena 8.00am

Every day is an adventure, from the minute I get up. Being a student with children really does have its challenges. I need to help prepare the day not just for myself but for my little people also.

Sitting down to a good breakfast helps us connect as a family. We share our worries and excitement's that may be ahead, breakfast also does a great job in filling our tums.

9.00am - Arrive on time for my drama class

Kareena 9.00am

I make every effort to be early and aim to get to class 15 minutes before it starts, as there is nothing worse than interrupting a class due to lateness. This also ensures that I don't miss any key information so I'm well prepared for the essays and exams that I will face in this conquest of achieving my degree.

Plus I love my classes -  a true geek at heart.

10.00am - Catching up on reading

Kareena 12.00pm

Having the right tools for every class is an essential requirement. As a Drama student a lot of reading is required of me, most times I'm reading several books at once.

As a Dyslexic student I find that preparation and organisation are key ingredients that benefit my student lifestyle.

12.00pm - Taking part in a taster session for new Drama students

Kareena 12.00pm

University life offers lots of opportunities for students to get involved; new potential students often visit and take part in taster sessions around various departments. Here I am getting involved within the session for potential Drama students.

Afterwards I'll be answering questions about what it's like at Kingston University...But not before a much needed DIY foot rub.

2.00pm - Mentoring a group of first year students

Kareena 2.00pm

Another one of those fantastic getting involved opportunities. I'm also a Student Academic Mentor to a group of first year Drama students. Main duties involve meeting once a week as a group to talk about experiences and difficulties the first years might be facing.

We also have a group Facebook page so the mentors can reach me outside our meeting times. This is something I also get paid to do which to me is just an added bonus.

4.00pm - Enjoying a treat at Wagamama

Kareena 4.00pm

Mmmm, so needed this. Love how Wagamama lets you have a taste of 3 different deserts all at once, lush.

After a hard day's work I don't often get to treat myself to moments like this, usually I'm rushing home to collect the children, cooking and helping with homework before putting the children to bed and then getting on with my own. But this evening I'm given a night off as mum to enjoy an evening of student life.

6.00pm - Studying in the library

Kareena 6.00pm

I really can't stress how amazing this place. The electronic system to get books and dvds out still amazes me.

Also in the library you can find a lovely quiet spot to plot and study. Here is where I find all I need for my practical and theory assignment's and even things for my own leisure also. If I had the time I'd read them all.

8.00pm - Watching my classmates perform comedy as the Bad Clowns

Kareena 8pm

Social time, it's not often I get to hang out with the students in the evening, it's just one of them things you struggle to find time for when you're a mum. Even though a lot of the students are a lot younger than me, I don't find it difficult making friends.

Tonight I enjoy an evening of comedy entertainment put on by some of my fellow class members who call themselves the ‘Bad Clowns' and they actually are awesome and funny!

10.00pm - Commuting home

Kareena 10pm

Home time, I live a bit of a way away...Tram, two trains and a bus ride to and from Uni at least 3 times a week. In total I commute for 3 hours, this may seem like a lot but the way I look at it, that's a minimum of 9 hours per week to catch up on reading for university, sometimes (very rarely) a movie on the ipad.

12.00am - Bed! Zzzzzzzzz

Kareena 12am

My bed, it calls to me, it loves me and I love it back, it's so warm and cosy and comfortable.

After a long day filled with my children, work, uni, classes, study, food, friends, entertainment and fun I rest my head filtering through the positives and all the things that made me smile and wonder what adventures the following day will bring Zzzzzzz!

See more Kingston Uni students day in the life pictures on our Pinterest board.

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