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Why Are We So Obsessed With Productivity?

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Hey everyone,

This week's post is all about productivity. And unlike most productivity blog posts, I'm not trying to tell you how to 'BE MORE PRODUCTIVE' or 'GET MORE DONE', I'm telling you that mindset is killing us. 





Take me for an example, yesterday I handed in my last ever university essay. Woohoo! Right? I'm finally free! But instead my mind suddenly went, RIGHT, what can we fill the to-do list with now? I instantly needed something to replace the university stress, with more stress of a different kind. 

This culture of being productive is an odd one, because although most people won't admit it, we fight to be the one who worked the hardest. You hear that your friend spent 3 hours revising for a test, and you felt secretly overjoyed that you spend 6 hours revising for it. You've WON the productivity competition.


And I'm not bagging on these people, because I AM one of these people. I bloody love ticking off a to-do list. I love being able to say, yep, it's 10am and I've already been to the gym, wrote an essay, wrote a blog post, meal-prepped for the week. Yes, I use ALL of my hours wisely. But, God, it's boring. And it's BAD FOR US. 

We can't ENJOY things anymore, like spending a bit too long being engrossed by a magazine, a newspaper or a book. Or, hell, you don't want to admit it but you secretly love scrolling down Facebook seeing the local gossip. And you definitely won't admit you spent a bit too long doing it before bed because you can't bare to admit that you were WASTING TIME.

Yeah, I hate wasting time. Because time is precious. I feel so grateful every day to be alive, because life is so short and can be taken at any moment. But damn, is it wasted time if you enjoyed it? Is it wasted time watching that hilarious Youtube video because you only allowed yourself a 15 minute lunch break from your 9 hour day in the library?


Being productive isn't bad. We can't spend all day watching Youtube videos, or we'll never get a job or pass our degrees or whatever. But when it's coming at the price of your overall happiness, I don't think it's worth it. 

I've been trying to get out of this mindset recently, and I've been working on a few ways to decrease my obsession with productivity (yes, this is an article about decreasing productivity):

1. Unfollow Obsessors

Okay, this one sounds harsh. But I followed a few people who posted a MASSIVE (and I mean, MASSIVE) to do list every morning. Every single morning. And they updated us throughout the day with how far they'd got on their to-do list. All the while, I was comparing myself to them, thinking gosh, I've hardly got anything done in comparison. I mean, the floors don't NEED mopping, I did them yesterday, but I can't just sit around watching Jane the Virgin. I NEED TO BE DOING STUFF.

2. Start With The Essentials

Like I said earlier, we have to get stuff done. We have to get our work done, eat, clean up after ourselves, etc etc. So just start with that. For me, this is putting things on my to-do list like 'write X blog post' and 'tweet out my blog post' rather than 'WORK ON BLOG' 'PROMOTE BLOG'. These things are way too abstract and you can work forever promoting your blog, and fiddling around with your theme, STOP THAT. There's no need.


3. Stop Joining in With The 'I'm So Busy' Chatter

So your mates come home, and they tell you that they've finished some notes they've done that day and they're super proud they've got them done. You say well done, and instead of stopping there, you proceed to tell them about everything you got done, which just happens to be MORE than them, because you're a super productive working queen. Stop that. You are becoming the problem.

I want to say, this post isn't to say - NEVER WORK AGAIN! QUIT YOUR DEGREE FOR NETFLIX! The message of this post is - stop feeling guilty for enjoying your life. You do not have to fill every moment of the day with work.

What do you think? Have we gone mad with productivity?

Lizzie

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Why I Chose The University of Birmingham

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Hi Everyone!

Long time no see, yes I've been useless lately. If you're looking for excuses you can find them all here

This post is actually inspired by a post I saw over on Molly Day Dreams where she talked about why she chose UOB.

I ask this question all the time to my friends, as I'm a bit of a UOB fangirl and I always want to know what attracted people here in the first place.


There are a couple of main reasons I chose UOB. 

The first thing that made me consider UOB is that I knew people who had been there previously and loved it. I know you shouldn't let people influence your decision too much, but when every ex-student is telling you it's amazing, I think there's something in that.

The second thing that really drew me to UOB is a bit of a superficial one. I'm sort of ashamed that I used to be so vain that I pretty much printed off a University League Table, and went down it highlighting the universities I thought I could get the grades for. I realise NOW that 'league tables' effectively mean nothing, and I had no idea what they were actually measuring. When you go to university, it's not your place on the league table that matters, it's how happy and settled you are. But yet ho, I thought number 11 (back in 2016) was a good enough place for me. 

So those were the bits that grabbed me about UOB, but why did I end up here over all of my other offers? In 2016 I had offers from Leicester, Loughborough, York, Birmingham and Sheffield, but WHY HERE? 

Here's the real clincher for me. The open days. I would tell any student now not to decide on a university before attending an open day. I actually visited UOB twice, once at an 'open' day where I got the jist of the whole university - I was actually visiting as a prospective History student - and again at an 'applicant' day, where I visited the English Language and Applied Linguistics department and met the staff. 

At the open day you get the real 'feel' of a university. And I knew immediately that something felt 'right' about Birmingham, compared to all of the other open days I'd attended. 

Don't get me wrong, I'd liked every university I visited. And I really wanted to like Sheffield, but at the end of the day Birmingham felt like home, and that's that. 

And funnily enough, now it's almost 3 years later. And it's all over. God, I can't talk about it, I'm going to shed a tear in a minute. But let's be real, if you're reading this thinking about going to UOB, don't take my word for it, everyone is suited to a different university, make sure you find what's right for you.

Lizzie

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Does Uni Live Up to the Hype?

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Hey gang,

Lil' disclaimer before you read this post: I wrote this well over a year and a half ago, I hardly even remember writing it. However I found it in my drafts recently and thought it was worth a share. I still agree with pretty much everything I've said here, but I thought it was worth noting. 

Going to uni is meant to be the pivotal moment in your life. When you leave behind your days as a childish sixth former who still only drinks WKDs to become your new form; the super cool university student.




So here’s what you think will happen: your parents drop you off (absolutely no tears because you’re far too mature now), you walk into your kitchen to find your 5 best-friend-soul-mates that you instantly click with and stay friends with for your entire lives. Since you’re super cool now and drink vodka or Jack Daniels instead of alcopops, you and your new bezzies drunkenly party the year away, wearing matching ‘Battle of the Halls’ T-shirts, while miraculously keeping up with all of your work and joining a tonne of societies. You go home at Christmas wondering why anyone wouldn’t want to go to university…

But the reality is, it’s 4 weeks in, you’ve only seen some of your flatmates once, and the kitchen is a cold reminder of all the fun you should be having. You stir your spaghetti bolognaise alone wondering if this really is going to be the best year of your life. Not to mention it doesn’t taste anything like your mum’s.


I don’t think university is the 3 year fun fest that the media make it out to be. How many times have you been told that your university days will be the best time of your life, that you’ll find love, you’ll choose a career, you’ll do ground-breaking study into your chosen field? It’s even harder these days, lying in bed wondering why Kate-on-snapchat looks like she’s having way more fun than you?
University is hard enough without the societal expectation for you to be ‘loving life’ sitting on your shoulders.

I think there’s some kind of misconception that you have 1 week to make it all count. By the Sunday of Freshers Week you’re meant to have it all down, the best mates, the drunken stories, the feeling of responsibility when you order your first Tesco shop. But it is completely okay to not have it down by then, in fact the people that fell in love with uni after a single week are the real anomalies. Most of the time, what we hear about uni being  incredible are the opinions of older people looking back at uni through rose-tinted glasses, forgetting the amount of lonely nights they spent in their bedrooms.


It is so hard not to build up expectations for university in your head before arriving, but one of the most important things you can do is not let it get to you. When you’re feeling lonely in your tiny halls bedroom you can forget how incredible university can be. It is never too late to make new friends at university, and never too late to join a society, or take up a sport. Where else but uni could you try your hand at being a Radio DJ, practice yoga, join the hockey team, write for the newspaper, and so much more? Uni doesn’t have to live up to how it looks on the telly, or how your older brother tells you it is, uni isn’t for everyone, but not living up to these expectations definitely shouldn’t stop you from carving your own path at uni.

Lizzie 

Some Thoughts, and Some Faves

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Hey gang,

Thanks for joining me here once again, in the jumbled up mess I call my website.

I'm having a weird few days at the moment, because I just moved out of my uni house for the last time to enter the big bad world. Which has been really odd. And I've been doing a lot of thinking.

Arguably too much thinking.

I've learnt a lot about friendship in the last three years. University is an exceptional learning curve in the social department. The expectation is that you jump straight in to the 'perfect' social life with the friends you've been waiting your whole life to meet, when in reality it's so much harder. 

I can't really talk though, three of my best friends in the world are people I literally met within four days of moving into uni, two of those I met within the first 24 hours. And I've been mega lucky. We don't always get on but I found people that I really clicked with, that I was honest with and opened up my real self to them. And I met people that I didn't click with, that I forced friendships with because I thought that if I worked hard enough they'd like me. 

I think in reality, we can all admit we want everyone to like us. But I figured out recently that that's never going to happen. There are some people in this world who will just never like me. And that's okay. 

ANYWAY. Let's stop with all this depressing stuff. Let's move on to some happy things.

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME HAPPY THINGS.


I did my first ever BIG DRIVE on a PROPER MOTORWAY this week. Yep. I'm a big girl now with a big girl car. Okay it's actually more like a little girl car, Cindy the Citroen is bloody cute though. 



I saw my family this weekend and we had a lovely time. Everything was lovely and happy.

Me and Pad had these lit pizzas at Doncaster Wool Market.


I stroked this FRIGGIN CUTE llama at Wentworth Garden Centre, which is one of my favourite days out in Doncaster. It's free to get in, and only £3 to meet the animals!



False Lashes sent me these AMAZING packs of lashes and they are literally gorgeous. They make me feel like a pretty princess. I'm trying to make more of an effort to look like a 'girl' so these are definitely what I was needing. I wore the 'Texture' lashes last week on a night out and I got SO many compliments. They also sent me this false eyelash applicator but I don't know if you know this, my one and only superpower is the fact that I can just apply false lashes hassle-free. Yep. It's not exactly being invisible but it's pretty good.

I got myself a nice lil job in my new area that I am SO excited to start. I don't want to talk tooooo much about it yet, I mean what if they fire me on my first day?!

So yeah, there's bad times, there's good.
At the mo, I'm looking for the good.

Lizzie x

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My Life is So Busy (and more excuses!)

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Hey everyone, long time no see. 
Quite a long time actually, given that it's been like almost a month since I posted anything on here. I've even been being rubbish on Twitter, and I love Twitter. 



So here's the deal, as so many of you know, I'm in third year! Which is really super scary and difficult. I'm SO blummin' close to the end right now, and there's so much going on. When I'm not doing uni work, I'm working at my actual job, or I'm having an interview for a new job, or I'm actually socialising with my friends, or I'm on a train to my boyfriend's. 

Basically, stuff is majorly crazy at the moment. And I feel super sad that I don't have the time let alone the motivation to be updating on here right now! 



But, all is not lost. Things are getting even more crazy, in that I'm MOVING next week. Yep, I'm moving. I'm packing my bags and I'm moving in with my boyfriend in Yorkshire. Ready to live all my Brontë dreams. 

I don't have much longer to go, so it's not goodbye for long, but for now this blog is on a sort-of pause. But I swear guys, 3 weeks max. DON'T LET ME GO FOR ANY LONGER THAN THAT. 

And fingers crossed, I'll be back even sooner. Hell, I might start procrastinating a bit more and writing a few more posts. 

Lizzie 

Should I Get a Part Time Job at University?

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Here’s a question I get a lot when I tell people I work around my studies, it’s: Should I get a part time job at university?

And the answer, as in everything, is never exactly clear-cut. 



To be honest, I wish I didn’t have a part time job. But sadly I’m not descended from royalty and the measly student loan we get doesn’t quite cover everything.

If you can get away with not having one, you’ll have way more time for uni work, and partying if that’s your thing.

HOWEVER.

I’ve got to say, I love having a job here. I work at the university so they completely understand that uni comes first and work comes second, which is a major plus. If I need some time off to catch up, it’s never a big deal. If you’re reading this and you’re looking for a job around your studies, I’d say flexibility is one of the most important things you can look for. Make sure that your employer remembers that you're here for your degree, and this is your side gig that pays for your Costa addiction.

Speaking from my experience, my part time job has taught me sooooo much about managing my time. And I know that sounds like something cringey you’d put on your CV, but it’s true. Without my job forcing me to utilise my spare hours for studying, I’d probably spend a lot more time just laying around in bed. And I’m really not that sort of person. I’m sort of annoyingly addicted to being productive and taking on every opportunity.

Not just that, but having a job helped me make friends with people I would have never met otherwise. Me and one of my closest friends were only saying the other day, that we have basically nothing in common and we never would have found each other without work, and now I can’t imagine life without her.

I’ve learnt to get on with such a wide range of people, and in doing so you learn so much about yourself.

I know this whole post sounds so wishy-washy and preachy, but I do genuinely love my job. If my bosses are reading this, hi guys, can I have employee of the month?

But don’t take my word for it. Having a job at uni was right for me, and I got the right job (luckily), but that’s not to say that every one will. But here’s what I will say: university goes so quickly. Take opportunities, learn about the world and learn about yourself.

Lizzie