Things I’ve Learnt While at Uni

And none of them are to do with my degree.

As Freshers’ Weeks have ended and the realities of student life sets in, I wanted to share I few knowledge nuggets I have picked up over my time at Uni. I hope they will help give a bit of perspective to anyone who is struggling to adjust (it is such a huge change, don’t beat yourself up about needing some time to settle in) or didn’t enjoy Freshers’ Week (most people who look like they are are faking) or feel like life revolves around exams (it doesn’t have to if you don’t want it to).

  • What’s important (to me): close friends, family, a community, people who will listen to you, a sense of purpose.
  • What’s not: oodles of money, conforming to what people expect, academic achievement.
  • The wisest people have usually been through the worst.
  • Do not be afraid to take a break from social media use. Relieve yourself from the comparison to others.
  • Sleep is so important. A good night’s sleep and you can feel like you can tackle whatever the day throws at you.
  • If something feels wrong, make a change, don’t ignore that instinct.
  • You are stronger than you think.
  • The world is not black and white. Good things can come out of “bad” things. People are neither good nor bad.
  • I have the power to choose the path I want in life.
  • Good enough is good enough.
  • Your grades do not define you.
  • Do not be afraid to be exactly who you are. Your true tribe will gravitate towards that.
  • “If you aim for excellence you might be happy a lot of the time. If you aim for perfection you will never be happy.”
  • Continue positive self-care behaviours even when you feel better.
  • My Mum is my best friend.
  • Get involved. Try new things. Do not be afraid of “failure”.
  • Get out of that Uni bubble every once in a while.
  • Be gentle with yourself.

My journey has not been smooth but I came out the other side and can tell you: everything will be alright.

Deliciously Ella with Friends kitchen experiments

In anticipation of properly seeing her next book, The Plant-based Cookbook, I thought I would share some thoughts on her previous book, Deliciously Ella with Friends. A kind of recipe book review, if you will.

The first thing that struck me about the book was that it had a much darker colour scheme than her previous two light-and-white books. By darker I mean more blue tones and evening shots, hardly anything gothic. The photography is still just as inciting. Alongside shots of vibrant dishes are more intimate shots of Ella with friends and family (and pets!). This sociable aspect of food is of course the underlying concept behind the book. Recipe sets from summer picnics to dinner parties are suggested, which I think is helpful given her style of eating often consists of little helpings of a variety of dishes. Continue reading “Deliciously Ella with Friends kitchen experiments”

From Awareness to Action

Turning The Tide On Plastic by Lucy Siegle book review

Lucy Siegle clearly knows what she is talking about. You may recognise her from BBC1’s The One Show, where she is a voice of authority on all things eco-living. Her latest book, Turning The Tide On Plastic, pulls together the many different aspects of the plastic issue as well as outlining her guide to change. Continue reading “From Awareness to Action”

My Plastic Free Shower Challenge

The Challenge Begins

Our bathroom is crammed with single use plastic bottles – shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, body lotions… But it turns out there are alternatives out there!

So I’m excited to be finally testing out a bunch of these packaging-free solid products from UK cosmetics chain LUSH (or “naked” products as they say, how cheeky). Continue reading “My Plastic Free Shower Challenge”

How Bad are Bananas?

The Carbon Footprint of Everything By Mike Berners-Lee book review

What’s the best way for me to dry my hands? Is an electric or stove-top kettle better? What is the carbon footprint of a mortgage? If you’ve ever wondered these kinds of questions, then you’ll be pleased to know that finally you can have an answer. Mike Berners-Lee uses his experiences modelling the carbon footprint of the likes of Booths supermarkets to do the painfully complex analyses of everything from a toilet roll to the World Cup. You’ll be relieved to know that the while he provides succinct methodology explanations, the nitty-gritty calculations have been left out, giving you just the best estimate for the UK-specific carbon footprint. Although it’s great to know that a 250 g block of hard cheese has a footprint of 3 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent, what does that actually mean? Berners-Lee translates the numbers into more tangible quantities, giving you that sense of scale. For example, that cheese is equivalent to a 4-mile drive or 12 kg of carrots – a footprint higher than many meats. The point of the book is to put this all in perspective, to help you choose which environmental battles to pick. Continue reading “How Bad are Bananas?”

Classy

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a class addict. At 8 pm every evening an alarm rings, along with my family chanting “Kill! Kill!”, which is my que to quickly book on to next week’s popular gym class. I’m gutted if I miss out on a space and my life is essentially planned according to the gym timetable. So when my gym announced the “21 Classes in 21 Days Challenge” last month, I was thinking hey, no problem. But there was a catch. There was a set number of each class you were required to do. You mean, I actually have to step out of my comfort zone? After some deliberation, I decided to go for it. In all honesty, I am definitely guilty of not mixing up my gym routine enough and I know my fitness and strength levels have plateaued. Maybe this was the motivation to finally try something new… Continue reading “Classy”