University Hacks


When you start university, it is a whole different playing field from secondary school and college/6th form. University has much higher standards and want so much more out of you, and that should be expected, after all you pay £9K to do the degree you want to do. 
Want is a very important word - what is the point of spending all your time and effort doing something you don't love? You will never get fulfilment from it later on in life and you won't especially have a passion for it.

Any how my point being is that at university you're on your own when coming to essay writing and learning how to be independent. But that doesn't mean you can't ask for help even though you're not being spoon fed information. I have listed below a couple of links that would help with things such as essay writing and tips on how to live at university independently. Have a look below!

Use a grammar checker, Grammarly is one of the best tools I have come across to check sentence structure and spelling. It is x10 better than word spell check!: 

Use a plagiarism checker to make sure that you haven't copied other peoples work even if you didn't realise it, you never know what might pop up as copied or what you haven't referenced properly in your essay: 

Brunel ASK Service is for the students from my university but the resources they provide applies to all students and I believe are free for all to use:

If you're finding it hard to reference, try this Harvard Referencing Generator all you need to do is input the details of what you're referencing and the generator will give you a bibliography and citations:

My 8 Top Tips on how to start revising:

My 27 Things to know for/before and starting university:

Hope this helps

Things I wish I knew before I started University


Hello all,

When I found out I got into the university of my choice, I started my extensive research of other blogs and youtube videos as well as Pinteresting...a lot! But nothing quite made me ready for the reality of it until I completed my first two years of university and I am still learning to this day. I am in my third year of university, I'm on thin sandwich placement so I still have my dissertation year to come.

Definition of Thin Sandwich Placement:
Students undertake two separate placements over four years: the first in term 1 of their second year and the second in term 2 of their third year.

Here is my list of 27 things I wish I knew before I started university:

1. The on-campus shop is expensive so go to Lidl...preferably
2. Always try and borrow books or download books for free from the internet instead of buying them
3. Make the most 1st year because your first year doesn't really count (40% to get into the second year) it's a perfect chance to use every opportunity
4. Buy a university hoodie or t-shirt because they are great
5. Do internships for the connections and to see what you like and don't like as a job/career during your spare time or during the holidays
6. Budget - make use of your money, get a job, save £££ DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT spend all of your loan
7. You have a new found freedom so take advantage of it
8. Apply to all the student discount + vouchers - never pay retail!
9. University is an investment in to the future so do your best
10. Do some external things outside of uni - like blogging, going to the gym or volunteering for your community
11. Do what you love
12. Always keep making friends
13. Fresher's Flu is a real thing
14. Lock your doors in halls - you don't want anything stole or worse get pranked!
15. Get a door stopper for your room, keep it open as it seems like you're welcoming and will make friends much quicker that way, also easier too!
16. Sports socials are regular and messy
17. Use your time wisely
18. Join FB and whatsapp groups
19. Library gets busy during exam time so get there early
20. If you have an issue or want developed feedback on an assignment meet up with your tutor or lecturer
21. Reference your quotes in your essay as you go
22. Use plagerism, reference and grammer checker
23. Always keep asking questions
24. Every lecture, workshop and seminar counts
25. Fire alarms go off at the most stupid times so be prepared with a dressing gown and flip flops
26. Inspections are also random - so make sure you're ready to hide your banned items
27. Get a heater for your room because maintenance controls when to put the heating on and sometimes they never do it!

One thing I am quite proud of is I have never bought a book for university I have either borrowed books from the uni library or found online journals and articles.

Also not to brag or anything but I have escaped the fresher's flu three years in a row!

I hope this list was inspiring and helpful in some way or another.


Duke of Edinburgh Award: Training, Prep and Planning


Hello my lovelies,

Today is another inspired Duke of Edinburgh Award post, I have completed the Duke of Edinburgh silver award yet I don't actually have the award which is very sad I know, but I am in the process of obtaining it and hopefully I will get it!

Hopefully you all saw my youtube promo video of the DofE and inspired you to know more about it or even do it!

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

There are three levels of programme you can do which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award. For each award you need to complete activity sections which include volunteering, physical, a skill and a residential if you are completing a gold award. These activity sections timescales vary between the levels of programmes you do and which out of the three you do for a longer period of time than the other two.


Timescales vary between the level of programme that you do. There are also minimum age limits for each level.

Bronze - ages 14+
Silver - aged 15+
Gold - aged 16+

Activities for each DofE section would take a minimum of an hour a week to fit around your academic studies, hobbies and your social lives. All activities must be completed before the participant's 25th birthday.


Volunteering: 3 months
Physical: 3 months
Skills: 3 months
Expedition: 2 days/1 night

You also have to do 3 more months in one of the volunteering, physical or skills section.


Volunteering: 6 months
Physical or Skill: one for 6 months and the other for 3 months
Expedition: 3 days/2 night

You also have to do a further 6 months in one of the volunteering, physical or skills section if you did not do the Bronze.


Volunteering: 12 months
Physical or Skill: one for 12 months and the other for 6 months
Expedition: 4 days/3 night
Residential: undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5days/4 nights

You also have to do a further 6 months in one of the volunteering, physical or skills section if you did not do the Silver.


The DofE awards are not easy. It also pushes you out of your comfort zone in many ways. It gets you out of your house, builds your confidence and you learn many skills, one of them being able to read a map and use a compass together.

Your leader will go through the training with you to prepare yourself for what is to come. You may even go on practice walks like I did to test your newly found skills. I even got lost three times so never feel bad if you're doing it wrong, there is time to learn. 

We learnt how to ready 3 and 6 grid reference maps and had to undertake first aid training however I missed that as I was abroad at the time. 

You may also want to look at building youre fitness skill up as it is a lot of heavy lifting, you are essentially carrying your food, kitchen (burner, fuel etc.) and home (tent and sleeping bag) with you wherever you walk.

Prep and Planning

  1. Try to get into a group where everybody will get on (have at least one person you know you can talk to)
  2. Take the things that are on your check-list with you - don't take anything you don't need. Remember you and you alone are carrying all this stuff.
  3. 'Break in' your walking boots first by wearing them around the house for a while and wear thick socks to reduce friction rubbing, you don't want blisters on your feet like many do get.
  4. If you are unfit start exercising 6-12 weeks before you go
  5. Check the weather forecast before you go - but don't believe everything it says.
*All information is either from my own experience of undertaking the DofE Silver Award or the DofE website.

DISCLAIMER: This is all based on my experience alone, it is different for other people

The Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award


Hello my lovelies,

I know it is quite late for me to post this now, but this is still relevant since 1956! In 2013 I took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. If you want to know more watch my video below which is a non-ad/non-paid promotional video I created for the DofE as apart of my presentation section of my expedition.

The DofE Award was one of the best things I have done in my life, it taught my resilience, courage and especially how to read a map using a compass! It would have be great if I'd known what a FitBit was back then because walking 20 miles and not showing it off in peoples faces was a little worthless! (joke)

I think it is a great opportunity to learn some new skills, build your confidence and enjoy a new perspective on life. If you ever have the chance to participate in a Duke of Edinburgh award - go for it! You will not be disappointed.