university

May Goals.

Well as today is the 1st of May, I figured it was probably time I set myself some goals.

I didn’t make any in April because it was a month off from schedules in an attempt to rest a bit after a difficult term. But, as this month is exam month, I think it would be a good idea to give myself something to aim for (other than doing well in my exams of course!).

I’m feeling quite positive about everything, despite not having yet finished my essays. I just used to really enjoy having a schedule of work etc and in a way, the idea of revising is actually quite relaxing after the stress of having about 10,000 words to write. Having said that, I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune in a couple of weeks :-P

Anyway, I’m not going to go overboard, I just want these to be simple, achievable goals that will help me stay focused, don’t get in the way of revision and make me feel positive.

(You can check out my March goals here)

May Goals.

Drink 2 – 3 litres of water a day. I often find that when I’m sat at my desk working for several hours at a time I forget to drink much and then by the end of the day feel dehydrated and sluggish. I know that previously in exam periods, keeping a full bottle of water at my desk and drinking throughout the day has made me feel much better so I want to keep at it this month.

Do something physical everyday. I’ve struggled to be active throughout April, I think in all honesty my body just needed a rest, but this month I really want to get back into exercising a little more. Although if I push too hard it tends to have a negative impact, I know that regular, smallish workouts really help with my energy levels and they make me feel better about myself. This May I’m going to be joining Ali on her Muscular Legs May and trying to get to the gym more often!

Read before bed. When I was younger I would always go to bed and read for half an hour before lights-out-time. I think this is a habit I should get into again and it works perfectly for exam period as it’s a time to unwind and means I’ll have time to read for pleasure.

Look after my appearance. Somebody (really sorry I can’t remember who!) suggested that I pamper myself a bit more as a way to make myself feel a bit more positive and I think they were right! Lately I’ve bought a couple of new beauty products and I can’t wait to try them out. This is also quite helpful for me when it comes to being productive, it might sound a little silly but if I get up in the morning and get ready as though I have plans that day then I tend to work better – this realisation comes after one of Jemma’s posts.

So there you have my goals for the month. Obviously the main goal is to get through this exam period without having any serious issues but it’ll be nice to have a few other positive things to focus on. You all know how much I like lists ;-)

I had a hospital appointment this afternoon and it actually went pretty well for once which made a nice change, I’ll tell you about it properly tomorrow!

Have you made any goals this month?
Do you find it useful to give yourself an aim to focus on?

Any tips for being productive and not stressing too much through exams? 

Roast Time.

Hey there!

(I’m afraid this will be a really brief post because I’m off to bed in a sec, up early for one of my last lectures.)

Well I’m back at uni, unpacked, settled, with my schedule of the week in place. It feels a little odd, especially knowing I’m going home tomorrow afternoon, but I think it’s going to be okay (hopefully).

There’s something about being able to plan things and have everything under control that makes things seem okay. I think the key to this last term is going to be being completely organised. I’ve decided that that’s my new favourite word for the next month.

Before I left this afternoon my parents prepared a bit of a feast.

Roast chicken, roast potatoes, broccoli and an amazing gravy. Probably my last roast in a long time! I love home-cooked comfort food for rainy days like today, especially when I’m feeling a little emotional. Perfect.

You know what else is perfect?

Pie.

Apple and raspberry pie to be precise. With a dollop of natural yogurt. Is this what you were after Jessica? ;-)

I’m going to miss home, and miss my family (although I see both again tomorrow obviously). It’s not easy doing this last stretch, mainly because I like this place despite everything, and it’s a shame I have to be doing essays, revising and exams for the last few weeks that I have here.

Hopefully I’ll get through it in one piece without collapsing or anything else!

Anyway, I’m off to bed. Night blogworld :-)

Can I just ask, people from the UK, is there anywhere in this country where it isn’t raining?
What’s the best thing you did this weekend?
Any exams, deadlines, important meetings or interviews coming up soon?

 

For the Last Time.

Today was the last time I go through the whole ‘last-day-home-before-heading-back-to-uni’ thing.

It feels a little odd to be honest. Although I feel a bit sad to leave, I’m going to miss my family and the comfort of home, at the same time I have this overwhelming need to embrace living independently again as it’s the last opportunity I’ll have for a while.

A mixed bundle of emotions really.

After working almost constantly for the past week I decided that my last day could be more relaxing so all I’ve done work-wise is some reading and a touch of research. I’ve left my favourite essay till last and the reading I’m doing for it is fascinating so it’s not stressing me out too much.

Helps that today has been lovely (despite the lack of sun and the presence of heavy showers).

Freshly toasted English muffins with a dollop of butter, melting deliciously into the dough. One of my favourite rainy day eats. Perfect for being curled up on the sofa with the family.

Summer veg stir-fry with egg-fried rice. Seems a bit like wishful thinking in this weather but it’s really delicious. Hats off to Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall.

What better way to finish than Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Chew Chew and Haagen Dazs Pralines and Cream? (The answer is – there is none!)

I say today was my last day but I’m actually back Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening because I have an important hospital appointment in the afternoon on Tuesday. Irritating it may be but it’s too important to miss and unfortunately couldn’t be rescheduled.

What would be your ideal dessert right now?
How’s everyone’s weekend been?
Any plans for the week?

Big News.

Hey hey there :-)

So, as I promised you all yesterday, I’ve got some BIG news to tell you!

First, let me backtrack a little. As those of you who have been reading my blog for the past few months will know, this has been my first year at university. You will also probably know that it has been a difficult year at the best of times. Over the course of the year my condition has become far worse and I have really struggled to get through it all. Earlier this term, after lengthy discussions with my parents, my disability adviser, my English lit tutor and Tom, I made a difficult but important decision…

As of next year I will be transferring to a university closer to home.

This means that starting September I will be moving back home full-time and transferring to one of the local universities to continue my degree. I am still going to be studying English literature and I will still be going into my second year, just at a different institution. Although I made the decision a while ago, I wanted to wait till I’d been in to see the head of English at my new uni and received my official offer before revealing this to the world.

I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been an easy decision. The lecturers and tutors at my current uni are fantastic and I’ll miss some of their lectures greatly, I’m sad to be leaving a campus and a city that I have really grown to love, and of course I’m really going to miss the brilliant friends I have made! I also have to say that I’m a little disappointed to lose to my independence. If someone had told me, this time last year, that this is how things were going to turn out I would have probably laughed, it is definitely not what I planned. But I really feel that it is the right decision to make – I have to prioritize my degree, and of course my health.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have supported me through this year! Your kind words, your advice and your endless support has really really helped me get through this. You truly are an amazing bunch of people :-)

So I hope I now have your support with this change! It won’t be easy to begin with, but I am really optimistic that it will improve my life for the near future.

Busy busy.

Why hello there!

I’m warning you there, if this post ends up being just a big, long, incoherent ramble then I apologise, I’ve only had four and a half hours sleep and it’s been weeks since I had more than six or so consecutive hours  a night so I’m starting to slump into an exhaustion…

But I will make an effort to stay chirpy for the next four and a half days and then I will be home and can finally get some decent sleep. Scratch that actually, I should be able to get a good night’s sleep on Friday as Tom will be here then and I always sleep better when he’s here.

Today I woke up, went to a meeting, had another brief meeting, got some books out from the library, went to two lectures and came back here ready to collapse! But even if they are exhausting I like busy days, they feel so much better spent than lazy days. Didn’t leave much of an opportunity for work but I’ll read before I go to sleep, as you may have guessed, I’m really enjoying Mrs Dalloway, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who fancies a new read.

Today’s eats have been a little sporadic, breakfast was eaten quickly so no time for a photo but when I came back from my first meeting I grabbed a snack:

I quite like these although I do find them a bit chewy. I guess that is to be expected from a raw bar, I’ve never been a huge fan of bars and energy snacks anyway.

Lunch was a lovely, light and fresh meal:

My favourite stir-fry. It’s not the cheapest selection of veg but it is so fresh and nutritional. It feels so healthy to eat. Yes I know, the meal isn’t balanced. Yes I know, the meal isn’t big enough. But sometimes I just want a bowl of slightly crunchy, deliciously light vegetables. I don’t really think it’s a crime.

Anyway three of my flatmates were having friends over tonight for drinking and so junk food so I knew I would be indulging in quite a different selection of food later.

This afternoon when I got back from my lectures I had another light but tasty meal:

Toasted seedy bread with taramasalata and chopped carrots. I do like my veg,  my right now I’m definitely going through a taramasalata phase! It’s creamy fishy goodness :-P I can’t believe how many people hate the stuff. In my family my mum and I love it but my dad and sister hate the stuff, maybe it’s like marmite?

So yeah I’m now sat on my bed writing this and just outside my door, some of my flatmates along with a few friends are playing ridiculously loud music, playing beer pong and yelling… Normally I wouldn’t have any problems with people enjoying themselves in my flat but right now I’m exhausted and fast becoming increasingly grumpy!

So I’m going to say goodbye before I moan at you too much.

Only four and a half days till I’m home.

Only twelve and a half days till Christmas.

I am unbelievably excited!

How has your Monday been?
Obviously no one prefers just one but on the whole what is better, a non-stop day or a lazy day?

Sophie x

 

I’m Back!!!

Hello all :-)

So after taking a blogging break over the past few days I’m back and ready to get into the swing of blogging again!

I missed you all, I love reading your comments and learning about you all!

I had a beautiful weekend with Tom.

Being in his arms, spending time relaxing together, chatting, watching Christmas films, eating good food, going for walks, browsing the Christmas Market, curling up together in the night…

I would give almost anything to spend my life doing all of it everyday.

He always makes me feel better :-)

Today I woke up after a little lie in and I knew I was going to be better than last week after having such a lovely time.

I have decided that I’m going to make this a really productive week. It’s my busy week but this in a way helps me to keep the momentum going so I’m hopeful that I can get lots done! I’ve got lots of work and lots of admin stuff to sort out, we’ll see how it goes…

Breakfast this morning:

Weetabix mush with raw oats and frozen raspberries mixed in. A delicious start to the day.

I then spent the morning writing notes for the lectures I missed due to collapsing on Thursday (I’m fine don’t worry – just bruised knees and a grazed elbow!). I’m glad I’m back on track now, I hate getting behind on work. I also got going on some of my reading for the week and filled in a rather long form. Productive morning = positive feeling me!

I cooked up a large batch of tomato sauce at lunch, froze some, put some more in the fridge and then used some with my tortelloni.

I love fresh tomato sauce, especially with a pinch of chili. It added something warming and comforting to my lunch, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

This afternoon I had two lectures but I had to say I had difficulty concentrating, I think I may be getting another cold. I’ll be making sure to get lots of vitamin C into my system in order to fend it off! Anyway I’m off to read some of my texts for this week. I’m determined to make it a productive and positive week!

Hope you’ve all had a great start to the week, I shall be whizzing round trying to read as many of your posts today as possible :-)

How was your weekend, do anything particularly nice?
Any interesting (and simple) meal suggestions for me that include a butternut squash?
Who else is excited about the start of the Christmas countdown this Thursday?

Sophie x

Productive Days Make For Happy Days

Well I’m pleased to say that today felt a lot more positive.

It helps that I started the day with one of my favourite flavours:

Cinnamon! I love the spice, it’s just so comforting and perfect for the colder, wintery weather. It works so well with weetabix too, it just stirs in really well into my mushes.

I woke fairly early this morning to go meet with my tutor to talk about my essay and I’m feeling a lot more confident about writing it which feels good :-). She’s really lovely, she always asks how I am and takes consideration of my condition. She even lent me a book called Essentials of Early English which sounds great.

After my meeting I decided that I wanted to treat myself so I went to the Costa on campus. I decided to try one of their new specialty lattes and went for the roasted hazelnut one. It had a lovely taste of sweet hazelnut but I felt that it distracted from the taste of coffee, it wasn’t strong enough for me. Maybe ask for an extra shot of espresso next time? It felt good to have something a little luxurious and it allowed me the time to read with nobody and nothing to distract me. The blogworld is just too distracting :-P

Lunch was just lovely. I had a big bowl of stir fried greens. Delicious! It felt so healthy and fresh, definitely going to be eating it again this week.

In the afternoon I had a two-hour drama seminar. I never know how I feel about drama. I love reading plays, I adore going to the theatre but acting, well it makes me nervous. As a child I loved it, I did my first Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in primary school and I continued to act until about halfway through secondary school. But for some reason I stopped enjoying it. I started getting nervous just in rehearsals, let alone on stage, and I wasn’t finding it fun anymore. However having said that, our drama workshops here are quite good. Everyone is friendly and willing to give it a go and I don’t feel too uncomfortable.

The only negative thing today has been the pain. I really think I’ve done something to my thighs and knees :-(. I just really hope I haven’t torn anything. My right knee is particularly bad, at times today I’ve hardly been able to put any weight on it. And this has frankly irritated me! I had made plans to go to the gym, I really wanted to get back in there after a week away. I’ve been wearing a knee support all of today and I’m really hoping if I rest it for a couple of days I’ll be able to get to the gym on Friday. Time will tell…

Now rather than end on that note I’m going to share with you my absolute favourite snack of the moment:

Organic low-fat vanilla yogurt with frozen raspberries. I’ve eaten it twice today it’s that good. The frozen raspberries cause the yogurt to start to freeze around each one and it just tastes divine. I think I need to get a new pot of yogurt, it’s only been two days and it’s almost empty!

What’s your favourite snack at the moment?
Do you enjoy theatre, either watching it or taking part?
Any fantastic upper body workouts you can link me up to would be fantastic!

Sophie x