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The Fun Before the Storm

Posted 17 Apr 2014 by Jacob

 

Health WeekYo guys!

So the last few weeks have been pretty hectic. The ever-looming threat of coursework deadlines draws ever closer, and I tremble in fear at its approach...or I would, if I hadn't been so busy doing other things! I've been filling my time with all the fun stuff that needs to get done before crunch time- with my first deadline due this month, it's work, work, work from here on out! Here's a recap:

It was Health Week at Uni recently- there was free fruit in the Cafeteria, Mini-Golf in the hallways and a Skittle Scooping contest(which I failed at miserably- don't judge! Throwing skittles with chopsticks requires Karate-Kid accuracy and concentration!). There was also an alcohol stand: we were shown the actual size of alcoholic units according to different glasses and drinks, which was a little shocking, to tell the truth! It's definitely something to be wary of on a night out- one unit of alcohol is usually much less than one drink.

I also managed to finish one of saddest books I've ever read: The Fault in our Stars by John Green is a real emotional rollercoaster, and I may have shed a man-tear or two at the end. I'd highly recommend it, whether you're a reader or not. It manages to vividly portray life as a terminal teenager all while pondering the universe and making you laugh out loud. There's also a hamster called Sisyphus- this fact alone should be enticing enough!Man Tears

And finally, I went to my first ever gig: All Time Low performed in the Brixton O2 Academy, and it was absolutely mind (and eardrum) blowing! Having been a drummer in a local band, I've performed small time gigs, but this was the first concert I'd ever been to with more than a hundred or so people. It was an ocean of pop-punk moshing, screaming fans, and face-meltingly good rock music. By the end I was a mess of bruises and battered limbs, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

As brilliant as all of this has been, it's going to be my last major excitement for a while: like I said, from here on out it's me and Microsoft Word till my work is done. Wish me luck guys, see ya later!

Money, Money, Money...

Posted 15 Apr 2014 by Molly

 

Although it's third year and probably not the best time, I've recently got into mini-breaks (I like calling them mini- breaks, as it makes them sound a lot more extravagant than they really are). Third year has been - as expected - more stressful than my other two years, and to get through this I have started using my money on Megabus tickets to various places in the UK. This weekend I am going to Scotlaaaaand! Oh and also I recently bought an accordion. And a festival ticket. I think you can probably see where this is going- I haven't really got much money left.

Money is often something that puts people off going to University, and with the rise in tuition fees it is easy to see why. However, it is perfectly doable. Loans and maintenance grants ensure that if you come from a low income background, you won't be living on toast for a year. I am not the best with money. As soon as I get it I tend to just spend it on useless things and alcohol. I have really tried to budget this year- I even bought a book to write budget-y things in- but I haven't been overly successful. And I have also lost the book. No matter though, because though I am hopeless at this kind of thing, I have learnt from my mistakes that there are things you can do (aside from getting a job):

- Pay all your rent as soon as you get your loan in. Just pay as many months in advance as possible. Same for your books- just buy them all at once as soon as you know what you need.

- Sainsbury's basics Vodka has seen me through many nights. And boxes of wine.

- Put money aside for bills. Open a savings account, and then put however much you think the bills will be in there.

- Buy a book to budget in (and don't lose it.)

- Buy all the tinned tomatoes you can carry. Honestly they have saved my life this year.

- Get a Waitrose loyalty card. I don't shop there but you get a free tea or coffee EVERYDAY.

- Become best pals with Lidl.

- Go to the market in Kingston town centre to get your fruit and vegetables- it's really cheap, nicer than in supermarkets and kinder to the world.

- Megabus is better than trains.

- Charity shops have the most amazing stuff if you're willing to search around a bit.

- Try not to have the heating on all the time. Gas is so expensive. We managed it in my house this year, and even though I had to wear gloves while typing essays, it was worth it for how much money we saved.

Give these things a go and hopefully you will save money! If you are struggling there are people that can help. You can go and talk to your bank and maybe get an overdraft to use in times of emergency.  The Student Life Centre at Kingston Uni is also really good when it comes to helping you budget and sort out your money troubles. I will leave the link for them here:

 http://www.kingston.ac.uk/money-matters/student-funding-service/

Try not to let the thought of having no money dissuade you from giving uni a go. Although it isn't always easy, I reckon it's worth it. Oh and in defence of spending money on an accordion, it was second hand and therefore not too expensive. I think it was worth every penny though I am unsure if my flatmates agree.

Notetaking for the Newbies

Posted 14 Apr 2014 by Sarah

 

My sister has finished her first year at Kingston University, Yaaay!!! I am so proud of her! She is now in her second year and she has been asking me for note taking techniques which can help her succeed in her second year. Well no worries, I was in the same situation when I first joined Uni but now as I have finished my second year I have improved my note taking skills. I am sure there may be a few of you that might find this blog useful. So I decided to post something that might help a lot of you as well as my lovely sister. The following simple steps can help you improve your grades!!!

Before lecture:

As you all know that most lecturers use PowerPoint for their lectures. I don't rely on these slides as they don't give me all the information about that particular topic so I read the lecture slides before going to lecture and also listen to my tutor during the class. This way I know what the topic is about and if I didn't understand something about the topic then it allows me to prepare questions that I can ask during lecture.

During lectures:

I don't copy every word said by the lecturer however I do take note of any example used by the lecturer that improves my understanding for that particular topic. Use of abbreviations helps a lot while taking notes as you might not have enough time to write every word said by your lecturer. I always use different colours of pen. Some people might find this childish but it works for me. Also, some people use mind maps or spider diagram. However, I prefer to use bullet points. I do use mind maps when preparing for exams as it allows me to summarise a topic in few words and it gives me a clear picture.  

After lecture:

Why not check your notes with your friends. This has always allowed me to add any information to my notes that I have not included. It also gives me the opportunity to discuss and understand the topic much better.

I hope this is not too much but trust me it does work.

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