Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Mental

Hello again, in accordance with my promise to carry on trying to blog more regularly here is another entry from me!

Third year has been pretty mental so far.

Academically it’s going well and I am actually relatively enjoying it. There is more work, a lot more work, but I do feel more confident in doing it.  It’s so surreal to think that I have nine weeks left of teaching… mental. On the plus side, interestingly, one of the projects I’m currently looking at is how the CIA smuggled and sold crack cocaine in LA to raise money to support rebel fighters fighting against a Government they didn’t like*… mental.

Like I just said, I only have nine weeks of teaching left (as my lectures like to keep on reminding me) and within those nine weeks, there is so much to be done! I have four big projects to do, exams to revise for, a social life to try and keep, hockey to hopefully play, money needed to be earned, future jobs and careers to look for, family vacation to New York and my charity work with the RAG society… mental. Attached is a flyer I designed for the Jailbreak I’m organising (which I spoke about in my last blog) if anyone actually fancies looking further into it.


So my list of things to do can only be described as stressful and I think it may be mental to say that I’m actually looking forward to it all. While no doubt I will be stressed, grumpy and unbelievably over-worked I am somewhat eager to work through it all though and see where the future takes me.

I say this now; give it till the next entry and I’ll probably be pulling my hair out. Don’t worry, my hair is unbelievably thick which annoyingly means I need to get my hair cut and thinned out every two months but on the plus side, I’ll probably never go bald!


Until next time, enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Skiing with the SU!

So it’s been a while! I do apologise from my absence in blogging. I guess during summer with the pressures of work, social life and making the most of the weather and the freedom it provides I just fell out of habit with blogging.
But so much has happened! I started my third year, which I am actually quite enjoying it. Although as my lecturer said yesterday, I only have 10 weeks left! It’s quite surreal that University will be over in quite literally ten weeks. Oh, what am I to do with myself?!
But onto happier subjects! As part of my third year course, I chose to do a work placement instead of a dissertation. That was fun. I got to work in a local secondary school helping out in class and teaching kids’ history. Although I still have to do a reflective log and a 4,000 word project. I’ll still rather that than a dissertation.
I also went skiing! At the University within the Student’s Union, we have a Snowsports society which regularly organises skiing trips across Europe. I went with them to Val Thoren in France and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though it was my first time, I actually picked it up quite quickly. And I didn’t seriously injure myself! So that’s nice. 5,000 students, one resort, it was mental. I’ve attached some of the family friendly photos for you all to see!




This year I’ve also taken a step away from the Climbing and Mountaineering society, I was president of last year to become an Events Co-ordinator for the Raise and Give (RAG) society. We quite literally make money in various ways and give it to charity. Simple, eh? Some of the events I have already organised have been a very successful pub crawl (with another on Thursday) and I’m in the midst of organising a Jailbreak.

 What’s a Jailbreak? Well, people have 36 six hours to hitchhike as far as possible away from campus. They can’t spend any money and the people who get the furthest win! You can read all about it here: www.facebook.com/GREJailbreak

I promise I’ll try and blog soon. I promise it’s not you, it’s me.


Lol joking, it’s definitely you.





Thursday, 31 July 2014

Clearing

Hey guys! This blog is going to be all about the UCAS process known as Clearing. For those of you who don’t know Clearing is something that you are entered into when you do not hold any UCAS offers of a place at University. Once you are in Clearing you can contact universities individually to see if they will accept you onto their course.

Clearing is a very high pressured and daunting situation. You have hundreds of thousands of potential students all fighting over the last few remaining places at university. Yet, there’s no reason to fear or to worry or to stress out, as long as you properly prepare and think about your actions!

Research what university you want to go to properly and what course you want to undertake. Ultimately it’s your choice to make as it’s your degree and you who pays the tuition loan so make sure you pick the choice that’s right for you!

There are plenty of good independent websites online that will provide you with impartial and accurate information about what university you want to do and where a certain course can take you in terms of your career and educational progressions. Once you have selected the universities and courses that you wish to apply for, then get prepared! Get all your affairs in order, so when you contact the university you can give them your UCAS number and then hopefully they can take an application from you and you can get a place. You also have to make sure that when contacting universities that you are actually in Clearing, i.e. you’re not holding offers or referred to any other institutions. You know you are in Clearing as it will say on your |UCAS track status: ‘In Clearing’.

Ultimately, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. If you are worried about receiving your results on August 16th, it doesn’t hurt to spend a few hours already online, looking at alternative universities and courses. So that if the worse should happen on results day, you are already prepared!

I hope that this little nugget of advice helps all of you who are reading this. Finally remember, the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask…

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Hello again.

Sorry it has taken me so long to write this blog. If truth be told I have sat down several times to start writing this and always somehow get distracted and or somehow lose what I have already done.

It has been a mental month since we last spoke. I believe my last entry was when I was on the train to Edinburgh to begin what turned into a stressful yet very enjoyable three weeks of escorting my American delegation around the UK and Ireland. We started off touring around Scotland, in the Scottish Highlands, White Water River rafting and learning about Scottish culture. We then caught the ferry (my first time on a ferry) across the water to Northern Ireland. 

When we were there we learnt about the troubles that had plagued Belfast in the past and also got to visit the Northern Ireland parliament, Stormont, which was a very impressive building. From Belfast down to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland where we spent a few days staying with local families and learning about traditional Gaelic sports like Gaelic football and hurling.  

From Ireland onto another ferry across to Wales, where we spent a couple of nights staying at the base of Mount Snowden. 

From Wales across the border to Chester and then down to Warwick where we had an exclusive medieval themed night at Warwick castle which ended with the world’s largest trebuchet firing a massive ball of fire. Then we ended our three week tour in London doing the traditional things such as a tour, the London Eye and a theatre show.

While the above may all sound very glamorous, looking after thirty people and being responsible for carrying out the packed pre-arranged itinerary was very hard and tiring work. Although it was a very rewarding experience in which I got to meet some very impressive young adults from Arizona.


Coming home to a house than I had previously only spent one night in before going travelling was a strange experience which made coming home all the more difficult. However once I settled into work again, and began to start to have a routine, it became easier. Now I spend my days working 9 till 5 in the Enquiry Unit helping callers with whatever may be the problem.

I always like my entries to have a purpose and this one is no different. I was only able to go travelling round the UK and Ireland for three weeks and getting paid too because I said yes. When an external company came to the university to give an employee presentation, I went, listened, made notes, realised that this is something I want to go and so I did. Once I realised I wanted to do it I put all my effort into doing so, to achieve my goals. I believe that is something that can apply to numerous aspects in life. If you really want something, then take it. Do whatever you need to do to achieve your goals. That can also be applied to Clearing which I’ll speak about in my next post.

So long for now chums!

Carney.





Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Off to Edinburgh

Hello people, care to guess where I am? Well to be perfectly honest, I do not really know… I am on a train to Edinburgh. We went passed Newcastle about 25 minutes ago and we are due in Edinburgh in about 35 minutes. Apart from that I have no idea where I am…

So just a quick update. Yesterday I moved into my very first house. Obviously not the very first house that I have ever lived in, but the very first house that has ever been mine (well it’s not technically mine, but I do rent it nonetheless). Moving house is always stressful, regardless of what stages of your life you are in. As ever, I like to have a useful message in my ramblings. This entry is no different. The most useful advice I can offer in terms of moving house is, limit the amount of stuff you have! It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate without even realising it! Especially someone like me who has a ridiculous amount of stuff, and no apparent reason for most of it. And so, when you move into a house or even in or out of halls for that matter, the more stuff you have the more difficult, tiresome and tedious moving is. Especially in my situation where no one in my family actually drives, therefore I am forced to rely on the kindness of friends… My ridiculous amount of stuff surprisingly does not entice anyone into helping me… And so, try to limit the amount of stuff you bring with you to university. While it may be very nice to have all of your home and creature comforts surrounding you, you then have to move everything into a place only to move it all out again 9 months later!

As for me; why am I on a train to Scotland I hear you ask?  Well for the next three weeks I shall be escorting 30 American high schoolers and their teachers around the UK and Ireland for work. Just to iterate, this isn’t for the university but an outside company. My role is somewhat stressful, long and underpaid but I handle the program and the logistics. Making sure that the extensive pre-booked and pre-arranged educational and cultural program is followed extensively. The money may not be great, but it is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, see more of the country I live in and do some really cool activities, so that compensates it.

FYI – this is a job I found through my universities excellent job department, where a representative of the company I now work for (my boss) came to my university and gave a presentation.

I’ll check it at the start of next month. Good bye my friends.

P.S. A massive thank you to Denise who also works in my office who helped me move house and put up with my massive amount of useless stuff in her precious car.


^ Cringe or what eh?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Bloggy update! - Spain

So travelling around Spain was pretty cool… I spent a week near a place called Murcia on the Spanish coast lazing by the pool and the beach. Originally I thought that I would hate it, just lying there not actually doing anything but I actually really enjoyed it. That could be just because that I had a good book and the weather was amazing.

Then after a week by the pool, I headed off to Madrid for a few days all by myself...  This was the first time I had ever been travelling by myself. All the previous trips I’ve been on around Europe had always been with a friend. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty scared….

But all my fears turned out to be unfounded. When I eventually arrived in my hostel in Madrid (after several travel complications) I immediately made friends with people all over the world. It’s quite interesting that the social norms are completely different when you’re travelling, it’s perfectly acceptable just to go and talk to a random person, simply because you and they are in the same place and speak a mutual language.  I experience the local culture in numerous ways, savoured the nightlife (which was immense) and checked out a few churches, cathedrals and museums.

It’s funny though, whenever you go away from home, you spend so long adjusting to a new place or situation. You finally adjust and almost settle into a routine and then you go home! It feels like you were last at home an age ago rather than just a few days.

I’ve attached a few pictures just to show you all and make you jealous. But I got my comeuppance when coming back from Madrid, my flight was delayed by four and a half hours! Damn you Ryanair. This meant that I had missed all the trains back to London from Stansted airport and instead had to trek home using a variety of buses and coaches. I got home at 4.30AM despite arriving at the airport in Madrid at 4.00PM

I’ve now got a week of full time work ahead, while trying to move house and while trying to prepare for going travelling for three weeks for work (not uni work) with 40 American children in town!


I’ll try and submit a quick post before I leave next week. Enjoy the pictures.  Bye! 












Tuesday, 27 May 2014

And it’s all over.

Hello my friends, as the title of this entry may suggest, the academic year (for me at least) is now over! My exams are done, I’ve passed the year with a 2:1 (just) and I go to Spain next
Saturday (woo)!

It’s been pretty hectic the last week, with the term ending, several friends having birthdays and my summer ball just gone on the previous Friday. They had bumper cars at the summer ball, which was hilarious and also quite sickening.



Once I come back from Spain, I have a week in London, in which I have to work and move house before then going away for another three weeks. This time it’s for work! So at least I’ll be earning money as opposed to spending it – which is always nice I suppose.

Then sadly, I return to London and spend the next two months working full time for the university. Which for some reason I am actually looking forward to – the university and my office (the Enquiry Unit) move into a period known as Clearing. It’s hard work, intense, long, tiresome but ultimately it is quite fun and a good laugh.

As ever I always like my entries to have a useful message and this one is no exception. My piece of useful advice this time is to make use of the summer. Make use of the two/three months you have free and plan for the next year. That could be either working or gaining experience (and money), doing an internship or preparing for your course via reading and researching. Just any additional work that could be put in is good until September starts and summer sadly comes to a close. 


So that’s it really, I’ll try and check in while I can. Enjoy the sun! (when it is actually out).