10 Truths About University

With the start of University just around the corner, I imagine most soon-to-be Freshers are both excited and nervous by the prospect of escaping family life. Who wouldn’t be? I certainly was. And now that my course has finished and my eighteen years of being a student has come to an end, I thought it would be good to share a few truths about University. Please note these are extremely biased to my own experiences and observations. 

1: Money.
You’ll be so used to having next to no money that the sudden increase in your bank account every few months will make you feel like Bill Gates.
I’ve worked hard today. I’ll treat myself to a TV.
Going drinking again? I’ll buy a bottle of Jager for predrinks.” You’ll spend carelessly, and by the end of the semester you’ll feel poor again. Over the years you’ll become wiser and stingier, or start looking for part-time jobs.

2: Jobs.
University is definitely going to boost your job prospects. Even if it’s just because you’ve moved to a big city with a higher vacancy rate… it’s still technically University that got you there. From what I’ve seen, it’s rare a degree secures you a job. It almost always comes down to experience, but a degree is definitely something you can use to your advantage when bullshitting through interviews.
I am a dedicated individual and can work well to deadlines as is evident by the fact I didn’t fail Uni.

3: Caffeine.

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If you didn’t drink coffee or energy drinks before, prepare for caffeine to replace your blood. I’d never liked coffee before my second year, and now I can’t function in the morning without one. Caffeine will get you through the long, panic-stricken nights finishing tomorrow’s coursework. Caffeine is your best friend.

4: Friends.
When you make friends in High School, you think you’ll be friends for life. But that’s not always the case. I only really have one friend from back home that I still talk to. University is where you really make friends for life. They’ll be there to celebrate practically any occasion with you (You got laid! Let’s go drink! You passed last semester! Let’s go drink!) and there to comfort you whenever you need it (You’ve been dumped… let’s go drink. You failed last semester… let’s go drink). It’s strange and emotional when everyone goes their separate ways after the three years are up. 

5: Alcohol.

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As much as it’s a stereotype for students to go out and get hammered every night of the week, we didn’t do it that often. In fact, I drink a hell of a lot more now that I work in a bar than I did through University. We spent more time in our flat playing Ring of Fire with cheap bottles of Amaretto than we did partying and clubbing. It’s perfectly alright to say no to a night out, and don’t ever feel pressured to drink if you don’t want to.

6: Regret.
Everything you decided not to bother with in first year you’ll regret not doing. Take up rugby? I’ll do it next year. Fancy going to that party? Nah, can’t be arsed. Only when it’s too late and you have more work than you do time will you wish you’d gone for it. Remember, first year doesn’t count towards your final grade, so make the most of it.

7: First Year
First year is a strange concept. In a way it’s like the beginning of High School, only more important. Your results won’t count towards your final grade, but failing them will mean resitting until you either quit or succeed. First year is the sieve that strains the people who shouldn’t be there from those that should. Many of the students you meet in the first lectures you’ll never see them again. Others you’ll wonder how on earth they’re hanging on when all they do is sleep in the back of the lecture hall after a heavy night out. My own course dwindled from about fifteen people to six by third year.

8: Food.

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Another stereotype of students is that they only eat microwave meals and takeaways. This one is actually mostly true, but I know several students and ex students who can cook rather well; myself included. It’s very handy to know how to cook before going to University. I would have been extremely depressed if I’d been stressing over coursework for hours on end with only Pot Noodles to keep me going.

9: Bachelor of Arts.
If there’s one thing I learnt from my own personal experience it’s that there’s one law to always abide by when studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree: the tutor is always right. Even when they’re wrong. At the end of the day, they’re marking you. Whatever they want you to do, if you want to pass, you do it. On rare occasions you can persuade them to your way of thinking, but more often than not it’s just easier to do as they please.

10: It’s the best damn decision you’ve ever made.
For all it’s ups and downs, for all the early morning lectures where you wished you stayed living off your parents well into your thirties, going to University will be the best decision of your life. By the end of it you may regret doing some things and not doing others, but you’ll have gained a heap of friends, gotten further with your career and learnt how to adult all by yourself. And as clichéd as it sounds, you’ll come out wiser and far more experienced than before. University is a brilliant segway between childhood and adulthood. It’s also a great way of escaping your home town.

So if you didn’t make it to University this year, keep trying. There’s always next year, or the year after. It’s never too late.

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Apologies, Urgencies And Magical Tendencies

Come on guys, get submitting! 🙂

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As you may have noticed, the January edition of The Writer’s Quibble was not posted when we said it would be.

We apologise.

We had a lack of submissions and illustrators. Come on guys! Don’t forget that anyone can write or draw for our magazine, not just Derby Uni students! Without you we couldn’t keep doing what we do.

But we’re not giving up! We’re just delaying this edition by a month. That means you’ve still got two weeks to get your poetry and prose in for the theme:

Urban Fantasy

So take your vampires, your dragons, your mythical beasts, and put them in your best friend’s house, your local kebab shop, or slinking across the rooftops like Batman.

Submissions should be sent to uod.writersquibble@hotmail.com

Rules and regulations can be found here: https://writersquibble.wordpress.com/about/

Also, if you’re a second year Creative Writing student, expect us to magically appear in one of your lectures, like…

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Or rather, happy birthday to my blog. Yay! I didn’t know, but WordPress just informed me:

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Thank you to everyone who has viewed, liked, followed and commented on my blog over the past year. It may seem like the smallest of things, but it truly is the encouragement I need to keep posting! So with all my heart, a big thank you to you all.

I’m now nearing the middle of my third year at University, and I’m starting to get into panic mode. By this blog’s year and a half anniversary, I shall be free to write anything I want again. How scary is that! But that means I’ll have more time to work on ClaireBearThoughts, so watch this space (though don’t watch it yet, you’ll get bored. I said a few months, damnit).

Anyway, for now I’m going to leave you with my personal favourite #FPs from the past year. Enjoy!

Much love,
Claire ❤

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Jitters Magazine

This is my coursework for Product and Placement module of my Creative Writing degree. I put a lot of time and effort into putting it together, and I’d really love for people to see it =)

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Credit goes to Laurelle McKenzie, Debbie Kruger, Theresa Sampson, Andy Richards and myself.

To see the magazine, click here: Jitters Magazine

Feel free to comment if you have a favourite piece, or if there’s anything about the magazine you particularly liked.

Enjoy!

The ‘Half a Camel’ Conversation

K: I can’t wait to go to Egypt. I’ll sell you for two and a half camels.

Me: What? How are you going to get the half?

K: I’ll ask them to cut it horizontally.

Me: Wouldn’t it make more sense to cut it vertically? Then you can have a symmetrical half of a camel.

K: No! I don’t want the legs, so I’d have to cut it like this.

*In the dark room, K gets up onto all fours, and shows me with his own hand where he would cut a camel.*

Me: Yeah great… I can’t see what you’re doing.

*K then proceeds to take my hand and shove it in his mouth to show me he would cut the camel there.*
Me: But that wouldn’t cut the camel in half, that would just chop half his head off!

K: Okay fine, a little lower. Then I could have a camel rug!

Me: With a hump in the middle…

K: It’d make a nice seat…

So today I got my first ever article (or well… anything really) published in print! It’s only a small piece in an opinions section of my local paper, but I’m proud!

One small step for man, one giant leap for Claire Kind!Image

Winter Is Coming

Get ready to say goodbye to the beauty of Autumn and hello to the cold harshness of Winter. No more bonfires and fireworks to entertain us for another year, no more pumpkin pie or Halloween costumes. Now we have to embrace the night and the cold, and be forced into looking forward to Christmas.

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There is something beautiful about the leaves scattering over the pavement, peppering the grass with reds and golds. It ironically reminds me of Christmas tree colours; a sign of what’s to come.

But let’s face it, whether we’re five or fifty, we love to crunch leaves under our booted feet. We see a pile of fallen leaves and we can’t resist diverting our course a little so we can walk through it. It’s one of my favourite times of year; when the leaves are crisp and untouched, and the trees are still crimson and orange and yellow. There are few sights prettier.

And the smells! Cinnamon and hot food and the linger of fireworks on the air. My ideal Autumn night would be homemade Chilli con carne,  a public fireworks display (not too busy), playing with sparklers, and then going home to my onesie, a good film and a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream.

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The scent of cinnamon continues on with us at least, only to be joined with the other smells of Christmas; roast turkey and pigs in blankets and Bucks Fizz. You see, the end of the year may be dark and cold and depressing, but these occasions of warmth and comfort make them so worthwhile. Summer is by far my favourite month, but Autumn and Winter are strong contenders for the social aspect and the scenery.

In a way I’m sad to leave Autumn behind. I should definitely have taken more pictures and baked more. I made my first pumpkin pie at least! It may have tasted like egg custard, but it was edible! Halloween was fun too. I mean, who doesn’t like getting to wear a cape without being called weird or socially awkward?!