Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ed Sheeran @ The O2 12.10.14

Ed Sheehan is uniquely talented. He stood on that O2 stage in front of 20,000 people and commanded the stage only armed with his voice, loop pedal and guitar; a fate which few others could achieve. The crowd hanged of every word and knew every note to every song. Ed's easy going nature and interaction with the crowd made it feel like a local small town gig as opposed to one of the biggest venues in the UK; with the continuous backing vocals from the crowd being the only clue to how many people were watching. 

There are few people you talk to who say they do not like Ed Sheeran- he is one of the few artists in the world that my University Flat all agree on listening too, which is a challenge considering everyone has different music tastes. I think it is the mixture of slow and up-tempo songs; which people can relate too as well as, his image of being 'normal'. He is one of the biggest artists in the world, but he has never lost his natural image. He is not 'cool' or unrelatable, you can imagine meeting him down the pub or being one of your friends; and he continues this attitude throughout all his gigs. Chatting to the crowd, laughing at his own jokes and encouraging a sing-a-long so epic that he wants you to go home 'without a voice.' 

A mixture of tracks from both albums '+' and 'X' meant a continuous change and variety in the setlist. I love hearing the build up of tracks as he adds more guitar and vocals, as well as tracks you normally wouldn't hear such as 'Gold Rush and the mash up of 'Don't' and 'No Diggity'.  I would have loved to have heard his cover of Snow Patrols 'Chasing Cars' but, I am sure the YouTube covers do it all the justice in the world. 

I would also like to congratulate Saint Raymond on actually gaining the attention of the crowd, the biggest challenge for any opening act. I had looked up a couple of tracks before the gig and he is defiantly an artist that I am going to keep my eyes open for in the future and add to my Spotify playlist. 

I travelled all the way back home to London to see Eddy and boy he did not disappoint; seeing everyone's pictures from him still touring the UK is making me insanely jealous. Let me know what your favourite Ed Sheeran song is and let me know if you've seen any other blog posts of him, I would love to read them! 

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx

Fall At Your Feet- Saint Raymond 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The good, the bad and the 'brilliant': Freshers Edition #2

So here's round 2 of the 'The good, the bad and the 'brilliant': Freshers Edition' and this post will focus on the flip side of freshers. I have had a fabulous time so far at university but, that defiantly doesn't mean there aren't some aspects you miss from home! 

Side note : this is obviously only my experience of freshers and is only my opinion on the first 2 weeks of university; my opinions, I can guarantee will change over the three years of completely my degree! 

The 'bad':
1. Fending for yourself! I never realised how much time or thought goes into cooking all your meals and doing your own laundry. At home there was a magical fairy (my mum) that took care of all these chores whereas, now I've had to learn how to cook and look after myself like an adult. 

2. Missing home! It's so much more than missing your family and friends with it getting down to ridculous things such as your bed and arriving home to your dinner being on the table. 

3. Getting lost; I have spent the last 2 weeks aimlessly walking with absolutely no idea of where my destination is. Although, this has made me meet loads of new people, due to the fact I have to always ask for directions, it does get a little tiresome at points 

4. Education. With the build up of freshers I think people, myself included, sometimes forget that we go to university to gain a degree. The learning style at university is drastically different to school and initially can be slightly overwhelming; though everyday it does get a little easier. Be warned that the library is in fact a place of nightmares and feels very much like a maze 

5. Juggling the work load. This is the case in every aspect of life, struggling to balance your social life and your studies! However I have found it a little more challenging these past few weeks; partly because after the lengthy summer holidays I am no longer used to studying but also because I am now basically living with my best friends meaning distractions 24/7 

As you can tell these are minor little problems that are even ironing out as we speak. But, I think it's important to note for myself and for you guys that it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed or emotional during the first few weeks! 

For the highlights of freshers, and let me tell you that it has been truly amazing, check out my other blog post here:

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx

Track of the week: Shake It Off- Taylor swift 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

The good, the bad and the 'brilliant': Freshers Edition

Sorry for my lack of Internet activity but, I've been a busy little bee over the last couple of weeks- moving away from home and embarking on the challenge of university! So I'm going to catch you up on my life but, also give you some suggestions and reality checks if you are considering going to university! 

One blog post is going to be all the positives and highlights of the first couple of weeks at uni- all the aspects you would probably associate with freshers! The other will show my struggles and the reality of moving away from home. 

Side note : this is obviously only my experience of freshers and is only my opinion on the first few weeks of university; my opinions, I can guarantee will change over the three years of completing my degree! 

Toga Party 
The Good: 
1. Partying! This is what everyone associates with freshers and it is honestly awesome. There are different events every night; varying from silent discos, bar crawls and the freshers ball. This is the best way to meet people and bond with your flat mates. It is a completely different experience to normally going out at home and it's amazing to explore the bars that another city has to offer.

2. Independence, you know longer have to answer to anyone (apart from ringing home every couple of days to assure your parents that you are in fact alive.) There is no one their to judge you for being a little to drunk, sleeping in or staying out too late

3. Meeting new people! I have to admit I was petrified about this aspect but I have been seriously blessed with amazing flat mates. From day dot we bonded instantly and have supported each other ever since. Just make sure you jump in with as much enthusiasm as you can muster because otherwise you will miss out on so many opportunities. 

4. Freshers fayre= free stuff! I have now got enough pens to last me 3 years and enough domino pizza vouchers to feed my whole halls complex; embrace the free stuff, especially when you realise you'll be living on your student budget. 

5. Confidence! Since arriving in my new city I have embraced the saying 'if you don't ask, you don't get'. This has made me meet so many new people; in bars, in my lectures or on campus and I have also been known to gain a couple of cheeky discounts too 

I can honestly say that starting this new chapter in my life has resulted in some of the funniest and best weeks of my life and that now things have calmed down a little, I will hopefully be back to my usual blogging updates! 

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx

Track of the week: Bleeding Out- Imagine Dragons 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Uni Panic

This blog is my little space in the world to document my adventures, feelings and emotions! All those things are probably at their height right now; so this is a quickly typed post that I wrote laying in bed last night! No pictures or edits; just simply how I felt at that exact second! 

Tomorrow I am moving to university; to a city for 3 years which ultimately I could not find on a map! I've visited it once; having not even looked in the actual city or in the accommodation I'm staying in. I will no no one and have none of my support network living right next to me when everything goes wrong or I need a little pick me up and to be honest I am now absolutely bricking it! 

I've tried to ignore the reality of moving 2 hours away from home getting fully involved in the excitement of homeware- who doesn't love some good Tupperware! But now, the reality of flying from the nest, is starting to settle in. 

I know this is exactly what I want to do with my life, so in that respect I am very excited! However, that does not prevent the fact that from tomorrow I will have to cook all my own meals, do my own washing and learn how to budget. When previously my biggest budgeting concern was if I could afford to buy another pair of shoes and  my go to meal was boiling pasta! 

It is the fear of the unknown- in a couple of days I could either be having the time of my life in those forthcoming three years or hate every second- which is slightly concerning when you have no back up plan at all! I realise that in absolute terms, moving to university is not a big deal and that in years to come it will be a small event that occurred in my life. But, in relative terms this is probably the biggest step I've taken in my insignificant life and to be honest that is pretty terrifying! How are you all feeling about your next big steps? And what's your way of coping, let me know 

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx

Track of the week: Wanted- Hunter Hayes 

This post is dedicated to one of my best friends and the only one who properly knows about my blog, Jennifer! She will probably be snooping at some point in the future so here's a little hey from me xxx

Monday, 15 September 2014

Summer Dreams #9

Summer 2014: Part-time employment  

I am blue in the face from saying this but, we need to make sure we seize every opportunity that life has to offer. But unfortunately a lot of the time, the thing that prevents us from having fun is a distinct lack of funds and the only way to do this is to get a job *shrieks with fear* 

Now I can sympathise with you guys who are yelling at your screen 'I'm trying to get a job but, nobody is hiring' because I hear you loud and clear! It took me months to find a part-time job even though I live in a town which houses nearly every supermarket chain you could name (Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi, Iceland, Co-op, Tescos- you name them, we have them!) But my advice would be to not be disheartened because eventually you will find an opening. 
Ok I left the office once and saw this beauty, it's not all hard work 
I'm extremely lucky because as far as a first time job goes I love were I work.  I work in the Welcome Centre of the local Zoo. Now, while that sounds extremely exciting, I never see an animal and instead devote my day to operating a till, answering phones and sending e-mails. So while it's not necessary the job itself that brings me joy throughout the day; it is undeniable that the people I work with are bloody fantastic. The office is full of constant banter and conversation with my colleagues basically just being a little bit mad.  This nice working environment kind of softens the blow that I am earning minimum wage. Meaning until my 18th Birthday I was earning £3.72 an hour and now that I am legally deemed an adult I feel practically a millionaire with the pay rise to £5.03. Now obviously a Zoo is going to be more popular in the school holidays and weekends; making it perfect seasonal employment for a student such as myself because it allows me to earn the most money when I'm spending the most money!! 

Becoming slightly more independent and earning my own money has since allowed me to go on more of the adventures that I want to, as demonstrated in my last Road Trip post. Undeniably it can be annoying being sat at till all day when the sun is blearing or being unable to make every outing with your friends because you have to work, but on the other hand it brings so much more opportunity. It forces you to make plans because you want to embrace the time you have off and make some memories with the well deserved money you have earned. 

As one of my teachers used to say, 'work hard and play harder'! Make sure you let having a job be an opportunity not a burden. I am 95% sure that I turned up to work this week still slightly drunk (not a top tip) but with my best acting and a can of coke I was ready to rock 'n' roll.  Turn up to work a little bit tired or hungover because as long as you can do the work who cares how you do it, put on your best show face and plough your way through the day. You have plenty of time to sleep but only a selected time to adventure so use it!

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx 

Track of the week: All of the Stars- Ed Sheeran (The Fault In Our Stars SoundTrack) 

Friday, 12 September 2014

5 Top Tips: How to Survive Sixth Form

I have just finished two hard years at Sixth Form and have miraculously found my way into a Russell Group University (me. smug? neverr) so I feel I may have some little bits of advice that will ease that transition from GCSE to A-level. 

1.Keep on top of your work
I completely understand if initially you think A-levels should be a walk in the park because you are now only studying 3 or 4 subjects compared to mammoth task of GCSE’s. WRONG! The work load is immensely larger as you begin in-depth studies of these couple of subjects, with teachers not holding back on extra homework or dreaded extra reading. Most tasks won’t be easy 20 minute work sheets; so don’t leave your work to the night before its due in. Be organised and start working on it as soon as you can because otherwise the work will keep piling up. 

2.Use your study periods wisely 
You can have plenty of time to have fun outside school if you work hard in study periods. If you spend these precious hours a week mucking about with your pals it will become increasingly hard to socialise outside of school. Perhaps set aside 1 hour of study period a week were you can have a chat with your friends but, the rest of the time try to hit the books. 

3.Revise throughout the year 
You cannot wing A-levels. You could be the most intelligent human on earth but you will struggle to hit the high grades without some graft. It’s challenging or near impossible to look at your folder for the first time the night before an exam and cram like at GCSE. I would suggest that every time your teacher gives you a little test in class or you finish a unit, start making revision cards, posters or notes; otherwise when it comes to the serious exam season you will be overwhelmed with your endless notes. 

4. Don’t Panic 
It is recognised that it is a massive step from GCSE to A-levels so don’t panic if you’re not hitting the grades straight away because you will eventually build up the knowledge in both the subject and in how to answer the question to be able to succeed. Try to do well at AS because it will reduce your stress at A2 by about 90% and will also mean you won’t have to do any dreaded resists. However, if you’re already an A2 student with poor AS grades again, don’t give up! I know so many people who had to re-sit certain modules- myself included- to get the grade needed for university or work; it is never too late to succeed. 

'We're all in this together' 
5. 'Work hard, play harder'- My Head of Sixth Forms favourite quote  
So far I have made Sixth Form sound like a complete horror but, to be honest despite the hard work it is one of best experiences of your life. It can be an opportunity to make new friends, rule the school and have a more mutual relationship with teachers. It will be a time marked down forever in your life, not just for your final grades, but all the firsts you will experience. It’ll probably be the first time you drink alcohol, learn to drive or experience general freedom. When you have the opportunity to have some fun embrace it with open hands because that is what Sixth Form is all about! 

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx

Track of the week: Rumour Mill- We Are The In Crowd 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer Dreams #8

20th- 31st August 2014: Family Fun 

I am blessed to have a super close extended family and this year marked our fifth family holiday together with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. I loved spending 10 days with my nearest and dearest because it meant not only did we catch up about our busy lives but, also got to explore the past and create new memories. I grew up with my cousins from day one; we are all super close in age so our parents would take it in turns baby sitting so they could all work- resulting in some truly horrifying  stories.  

This years trip was to stunning coast of Dalaman Turkey; as the pictures show from the boat trip I took it was honestly breath taking! The sea was so clear and the views stunning. The Hilton Dalaman is honestly the best hotel I have ever stayed in with impeccable service, food and rooms. 

It was a completely chilled holiday; lounging by the pool in the day, then eating and drinking in the evening- the perfect relaxing atmosphere.We had our share of adventure though with midnight swims and something I thought I never would do, cliff jumping!! 

No one is ever going to be as loyal and supportive as your family, so keep them close! As you get older and everyone starts flying the nest it gets harder to keep that connection but, even if its only a day that you can spare for some real family bonding do it because nothing is better than their love and laughter. 

Peace Out My Lovelies xxx 

Track of the week: That's What You Get- Paramore