#10 – Out of your comfort zone

University is very scary.

One moment you are at home, you have your family and friends, security and the next minute you are in a completely different place.

You have been plucked from a small village and now you have been thrown into a city thats 10 times as big as home.

You are immediately pushed out for your comfort zone. But I find that whenever you are pushed then that becomes your new comfort zone.

It is a great thing to make your comfort zone bigger. This means you grow as a person, and when you are 18 or even 34, starting a new chapter of your life, it is scary. It is scary to see how you will/might change, or if you will lose friends or gain them.

It is a very daunting chapter, but this is a chapter that everyone MUST read. We must get pushed out of our comfort zone, to become a better us.

When I first moved to Preston, into my new student flat, where I would live for the next 9 months, I was nervous. My mum and sister left, after having helped me unpack and I just sat on the chair, looking out of my window, around my room, just taking it in that this is my life now.

I will have to make friends, I will have to clean my room, do my laundry,  do a weekly shop so I can eat, manage my money, do my work. We are pushed into the deep end into literal adulthood.

That first night it was freshers. The flat decided to go out, after only knowing each other 5 hours. We went to one of the clubs, into a city where I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know the taxi numbers, how far it would be to walk. It was a guessing game and a trust game. You are put into a position where you have to trust people you have only known for a few hours.

Eventually you trust these people, you get along with these people, you realise how easy it is to ‘survive’ essentially. You get to grips with how long it takes to walk to the uni buildings, town, you get to know the shortcuts and it becomes easier to immerse yourself into these new surroundings as home.

It changes you, this makes you adaptable, independent and these skills, what this experience will help you do is live in the future. If you have a job that requires you to move to a new place or country, you can say you have done this before and this gives you the self-belief that you can do what you want, you can achieve massive things. I think this is the boost that some people need to gain that self confidence that they lack.

Being pushed out of your comfort zone is probably one of the best things that can happen to you. When we stay inside our little bubble, we trap ourselves, we miss out on opportunities that could help define us, that could help us to become a better us. It’s poisonous, negative thinking that keeps us there. When we edge out of our comfort zone, even a little, that pushes the edge and our bubble becomes a little bigger.

This allows more air, light and positive thoughts in this bubble and anything that helps us think positive about ourselves is worth doing.

We have become a society that would rather trap and poison people with their own negative thoughts rather than helping each other just burst this negative bubble, or help them make it bigger so they don’t suffocate.

If you are scared to go to university, or do something that is so out of your comfort zone, just relax, breathe and know you can do this.

Kimmy Fasani, professional snowboarder, said once in a Try Guy video that;

“Adventure starts at the end of your comfort zone.”

This quote has stuck with me as it is a brilliant quote to incorporate into your life.

Yours truly

Katy Nells xoxo

#9 – Learn to manage your time and money.

As you go into university, you are young and naive. When you leave, you become, mostly, a fully functioning adult.

This means you need to manage your time and money effectively, especially whilst in uni. Money is the one thing you need in uni to survive, you need to buy food, water, you need to pay for your shelter. So you need to come up with a  plan that allows you to pay for your accommodation, as well as leaving enough for you to live till the next loan enters your bank account.

I suggest, allowing yourself an allowance of £40-£50 every week, and not spending it on makeup, or shoes, if you have left over money then fair enough, but the one thing you need to remember is that you do not want to dip into your overdraft, if you have one. This is very dangerous, you are spending money you don’t have, you want to keep your bank account positive as long as possible, as this will mean that you are owing less money when you finish uni (I don’t understand, bank stuff, but its obvious that the money is the banks, you think you have £1000, but you don’t) you don’t want to go bankrupt in your first year of uni, especially when you haven’t even started to live your life yet.

You can get a part time job, but I would only get one if you are motivated and hard working, to do uni, and do shifts as well as uni work on the side. A lot of part time jobs, especially bar work, affects your degree, as you miss lectures. So if you budget your money and keep your spending habits in check then you should have enough. If not your uni may provide a small emergency loan, so you can last till your next loan day.

Time is another asset that students need to utilise. Time, helps you keep on top of assignments, lessons and social life. The key to time is to organise it. If you can effectively organise your time, then your life at uni will be extremely easy. A diary can help, a weekly desk planner, so you can keep on track of assignments, a watch is obvious but really helpful. You need to start your assignments early, so you are not stressing at the last minute. This is common student behaviour, and we all notice it and we want to change it but, you know, we don’t. But if you start by organising your time efficiently and incorporating it in to your every day routine, then doing them early comes natural and it makes life a lot more easier, and nights out a lot more rewarding.

This is just my advice from the experiences I have had. I have spent my loan, I have missed lectures, done assignments a day before the due date, so I know how stressful it is and I have learnt what to do to make my life less stressful. And I hope they make you less stressful throughout your uni experiences.

If you have any ways that you manage money or time then comment below!

Love

Katy Nells xoxo

#8 – Feeling Alone?

Don’t worry, everyone at university feels lonely or alone at some point in their degree. This is because you are in a new environment, you are not familiar with the city, the campus, and you haven’t got your normal support group to help you or be there.

I have felt lonely more than a few times at uni. I have felt isolated, I have felt like I have had no-one there for me, but everyone feels alone at some point. We are constantly bombarded with the ‘perfect friendship’, the ‘perfect social group’.

We have been taught that having friends, being social, is the best thing for us and that being lonely, is undesirable, so when we are lonely, we think that something is wrong with us, when there is nothing wrong. Sometimes we need to be by ourselves to reconnect with our mind, to recenter and balance out what we feel.

If you feel lonely at uni, it is best to talk with someone, maybe the counselling support that the uni has, if they do have one. If not speak to someone who you are close to either at uni, or home. If you let people know how you are feeling, then someone knows. It is best to let people know what you are feeling than to suffer in silence. It’s easy to not speak, it takes courage to tell someone how you are feeling.

My advice to help lessen the effects of loneliness are; find people who replicate the support system (friends) at home, then you will feel a little bit more safer, as there is some normality in this new situation, join sports teams or societies, then you will be with people who share similar interests with you, UCLan has a mentoring scheme, check if your university has one, then apply to join it. Speaking to someone you don’t know is a lot easier than speaking to someone you do.

Just remember, loads of people feel like this, so it is completely normal.

Love

Katy Nells xoxo

#7 – Make sure your heart is in it.

A lot of people rush into university. Whether this is the pressure of society forcing you, or your parents making you go,  or even if you want to go because all your friends are, you need to make sure that your heart is in the right place.

You could be really excited at first, but then as you get further into the year you may feel like you made the wrong decision, and I want to let you know that this feeling is okay. It is okay to feel that. University is not for everyone, lots of people drop out and lots of people apply when they are in their 30’s.

My mum got her university degree to become a nurse when she was 42 years old. There is no limit on education. If you feel like now isn’t the perfect time for you to get a degree, there will always be an opportunity further down the line. Just do what is right for you, no-one else can decide or know if something is okay for you.

If you want to drop out in your first year, second year or even third year, then you know what is best for you, just make sure whatever you do, that your heart is committed to the decision.

But what I will say if you want to leave uni in your third year, you may as well stay, as you have spent money to be there and it will have wasted your time, but ultimately it is up to you.

You are not alone in this, a lot of students go through this, it’s really common. I thought about dropping out at least 15 times last year, but I know the right decision for me is to continue with my degree, this decision though maybe the wrong one for you, or someone else.

My advice for people who are stuck in this situation, would be to write a pros/cons list about your degree, uni life, your health etc, so you can see everything clearly, then make a decision based on that. Just because you have had one bad assignment, doesn’t mean your year is going to be bad.

Just do you, focus on what makes you happy, what will get you through the degree, and if  your happiness will be elevated when you leave uni, then leave. Just make sure you know what you want.

Love

Katy Nells xoxo

#6 – Friendships – A life long bond

*Disclaimer in the sidebar*

Friendships are much like relationships but they are a lot more stronger.

Friends are the family you choose, these people are the ones you talk to daily, you do stuff with them, you have numerous amounts of stories with them and you have will probably have dirt on them like they have on you.

Some friends will be with you for life. Some friends may leave, you may decide that you don’t want to associate with certain people any more but there is one thing that you need to think about the people you want to be in your life.

I three best-friends, well now they feel like sisters because we have been through so much together. We share funny stories, sad stories but we will always be there for each other and these friendships mean a lot to me.

There comes a time when you need to think who want as friends. You have to cut people out of your life at some point. There was this one girl who was in our group at high school and she was a nice person but towards the end and throughout college she got on my tits. She annoyed me so much that I just detested her. We had issues throughout college she just completely stopped speaking to me for an unknown reason, which came to the surface as ‘I showed her a picture of herself on my phone which she took as a selfie’ and she didn’t like it. If you don’t want people to have embarrassing photos of you don’t take embarrassing selfies on their phone?

Anyway when we stopped talking I didn’t feel like I lost a major friend, it wasn’t a friendship that I was bothered about so when that time came I just left that friendship in the past.  I always felt that she was just your basic attention-seeker and I didn’t want all her negativity in my life so when I moved to uni I deleted her from all social medias, her number and I felt a lot more free. She added me back on all social media but I didn’t accept.

People may think this is petty or something but sometimes you need to cut people out and when I did I felt like I didn’t have to think about what I was going to do, just in case it offended her. Sometimes you just have to think about yourself and stop pussy-footing around everyone else.

This will make way for all the friends you make at uni. Uni has honestly been a great experience for me, no matter how many times I have wanted to quit. It has given me a group of girls that I call my closest friends. I want to continue their friendships after we leave uni. They all have different personalities and we all have different ways of speaking and different life experiences because we have lived in different towns.

It’s truly amazing how people bond and having friends at uni is certainly one of the best things out of the uni experience. If you are worried about making friends, I wouldn’t be, everyone is in the same boat.

My advice is go on Facebook and join the uni freshers page, I am not sure if every uni has one but mine did. People post in here, comment on some, add friends and then speak to people then meet up when at uni. Join the course pages and find people on your course, add them and speak to them on message in the holidays and get to know them, that way you can speak to someone on the first day.

This is what me and two other girls on the course did and that first ever week of uni we just stayed together.

Go on your accommodation Facebook page and find out who is in your flat, create a group chat and get to know each other so it’s less awkward when you meet. Everyone is a little awkward when meeting new people so just take it easy and the friendships are surely to blossom.

Remember be you.

Yours Truly

Katy Nella xoxo

#5 – Relationships: Titanic or HMS Victory?

*Disclaimer in the sidebar*

I have only had two proper boyfriends in my lifetime. Of course I had one in primary school but that doesn’t count. I am nearly twenty and I have been single 18 years of my life. I am currently in a relationship, but I will talk about that later.

There are many relationships that can be lost or gained when you go to uni. These could be friendships or relationships. I will be talking about friendships in the next post, but for now I will be focusing on love.

I am at an age now where there are two types of people in the ‘love realm’. There are the people who want to stay single and fuck as many people as they can, they want to experience threesomes, friends with benefits, they want to go to the club and neck (snog) anyone they want without having to worry about if they are harming someones feelings.

And they there are people who want to be in a relationship, they want to feel the closeness with someone, they want to open their heart and share many life experiences with one person. They want to potentially marry this person.

I was watching something and I can’t remember what it was but this saying has always stuck with me throughout my life when I have been thinking about love and my life.

The saying is “When you are with someone there are only two options; break up or marry each other.” Even when you  have married someone there are still two options, stay together or get divorced.

I told my mum this saying and she said that you can’t go through life and constantly think about whether yo are going to stay with someone or break up. Just enjoy the time with that person, even if you eventually break up with that person, you still have some memories with that person, whether they be good or bad.

There comes a time when the person you thought was going to be your forever person, just isn’t. You grow apart, they aren’t the person you thought, or maybe your life just doesn’t  intertwine together nicely. You may have different goals. They may treat you badly and then you need to decide whether or not if your relationship is like the Titanic. Is it going to sink and never be retrievable or is it like the HMS Victory: Sailing along the waters nicely.

My first relationship taught me what I wanted in a partner, it taught me if my gut is saying get out, just leave the relationship behind, don’t try to salvage whats left of nothing. This also goes with what happens after a relationships ends. Don’t go back, you guys broke up for a reason. You can’t put back together the broken, sunken pieces of a boat. You can’t fix it, it will always will be a sunken mess.

I was single for three years after this relationship, (it ended when I was 16 and in my first year off college) and I felt so much more happier, free, and just felt like a new direction in my life had unlocked. I didn’t waste my time trying to find another relationship I just focused on myself.

I wasn’t perfect in that relationship, it brought up a lot of issues and I needed to work through them and I did. I just took time being happy with myself, and my own company, because you can’t be happy with someone else if you aren’t. You need to laugh by yourself to appreciate whatever happiness someone adds to your own.

You shouldn’t depend on someone to make you happy, they should only add to your happiness.

Uni was probably when I realised that I don’t need someone else. But having someone is just an added pleasure in life.

I have had one night stands. I don’t regret them at all. I regret how some of them happened but I don’t regret doing any of them. They allowed me to have fun, to experience a part of single life that I hopefully will never experience again. Overall I have slept with 7 people and I am not ashamed to say that this is my sex number. You shouldn’t be ashamed of fucking people, it is literally one of the most natural things in the world. So when you get to uni, don’t be ashamed, own it. It’s not the ‘walk of shame’ it’s a ‘stride of pride’.

Being single is really fun, but in my opinion nothing is as great as having someone with whom you are deeply in love with. Someone who loves you completely regardless of your history. They accept all your flaws, support your ideas, they are truly honest with you, and you can discuss your different opinions like mature adults.

I am with my boyfriend James at the minute and he is honestly the best person I could have imagined the rest of my life with. He isn’t my type. My best friend said she was surprised that I started to date a guy like James. But I could not be happier. He supports me. He knows everything about me and he doesn’t judge me. We do argue but when we do we finish and cuddle after because we can’t stay mad at each other for long.

My first relationship was the Titanic, but I feel and I wish my relationship now is the HMS Victory.

You need to decide if you are in a relationship whether it is best to jump overboard or to steer the ship along with your partner. If you are deciding on which uni to go to because of your partner, whether you want to stay close or they aren’t going, or if you have a partner that is going and you are not, let them decide on what to do.

If you want to go to uni in the north and you live in London or vice versa, you need to think of yourself as this is a huge decision. If your partner truly loves you they will let you live your dreams and they will ride out the storm with you.

You can always take a break and then decide whether or not your relationship is what you really want. That is what one of my course mates has done. She and her boy split, but they still talk as they believe that they will be together in the future, but they are still seeing if thats what they want by testing out single life.

If it’s meant to be, it will be.

This is a long ass post but it’s a major decision and it needs to be thought of.

Yours Truly

Katy Nella xoxo

#4 – Literally no-one gives a fuck

As it is coming to the season where people are preparing for uni, I am going to try to write more posts to do with the uni series.

*Disclaimer in the side bar *

People at uni generally don’t give a fuck.

By this I mean, you should stop fussing about whether you look fat, ugly, if your hair is bright green, if you are a virgin, if you have slept with dozens and dozens of people, no-one cares. No-one cares about your past, unless you make it a big thing.

We as a society care about what other people think of us more than what we think of ourselves. The only opinion that matters, is your own.

We all think people are judging us but in reality many aren’t. Some people do, thats a given.

We are all on the ride of life. We have different journeys to take but some of us have probably gone through the same shit and that is okay.

I went through a complete hair disaster this year in February. I tried to die my hair a lilac colour but it instead turned a horrible, grimy sea colour. It was absolutely mingin’. I had blue hair-dye, so I decided to die it blue…

It was a really nice colour, I ended up loving it, but I was so scared that people would judge me, people did make comments and they did stare but most of the comments I received were positive. Many people said that they wished they had the confidence to do that drastic if a hair colour change. I see so many people with different coloured hair at uni and I think it’s amazing that people have the confidence to rock a vibrant colour.

People wear pyjamas, slippers and random shit to uni but no-one bats an eyelid. In fact I wish that I would wear my pyjamas to uni as I could nap as soon as I get into my flat. It’s innovative really.

I have worn my slippers to the local Nisa because I couldn’t be bothered putting my shoes on. It was at 9pm, so give me a little credit.

Bottom line of the story is that you can go to uni and wear what you want, have your hair how you want, listen to music you like and no-one will care, unless it’s the music thing and you’re having a flat party at 2 am when people have uni the next day, then they will hate you.

Yours Truly

KatyNellsxoxo

#3 – Flatmates

Meeting new people is daunting. Especially when you are going to be living with them for just under a year. You have to get to know them or you will just be stuck in your room with no-one to speak to or to do anything with and no-one wants to be on their own. It is horrible. There may be people that you are put with that you get on amazingly well with and there are some people you have to live with that you really don’t want to. Last year I was on my foundation year and the people I lived with were really nice. We got on well, we cooked together, we went out together, we went shopping together, we even stayed in and watched movies together. But it wasn’t always a picnic. There were a few people that would use your stuff without asking, which is just plain rude, especially if they don’t even wash the stuff they used, which happened a lot in my flat. There was this one person, lets call them John Doe, who would use everyone else’s food without asking, his excuse was that,”The food I ate were the essentials and I thought we would all share the essential food”. Which was bullshit and he knew that as we all had out own butter, bread, milk and ham.

He had his own butter and he used one of my other flatmates till it was gone. This flatmate never really used his butter and when he needed to it was mostly gone because John Doe used it all. I really didn’t like this guy, in freshers he creeped me out. One night the lads decided to go out, but one of them didn’t have any ID so they stayed in and drank, I had been out the night before so I wasn’t really feeling particularly up to it. Anyway, I put on my pyjamas, and as I was sleeping I didn’t wear a bra so I put a cardigan on. I went and sat with the lads and some went downstairs for a cig whilst me John Doe and another lad stayed upstairs. He would then ask me to take my cardigan off, saying that it wasn’t cold blah blah blah, he was really drunk but that is no excuse to act like a total asshole, then us three went downstairs to join the others. The person that I would be really close with in the future asked me why I had a cardigan on, to which I said jokingly “I am outside, I am pretty cold”, he said fair enough and laughed. Then John Doe decided to put his arm around me and rub my arm, I was so freaked out and just disgusted, one of the lads noticed this and said shall we go upstairs, which I ran up the stairs. When he put his arm around me I just moved away straight away.

The lads told me a few weeks after that he liked me. I didn’t like him back, he wasn’t my type at all, he was the ‘nice guy’. And they would tell me that he is a nice guy, because he had nothing going for him, not personality, not body and not looks. They tried so hard to get me to date him, which was not going to happen. They kept asking me why I wouldn’t give him a chance as he was the ‘nice guy’ after all, and I simply replied “Just because he is the ‘nice guy’ does not mean that I am obliged to ‘take one for the team’ and give him a date, I will go out with someone to whom I am attracted to, and I am not attracted to him. If I went on a date with him it would be the shittest, most awkward date ever and it would be even more bitchy if I did that then told him ‘It was actually a pity date, the lads begged me to go on with you’ nothing is ever going to happen.” The lads just said fair enough and then they dropped the whole thing, with making jokes to it later on in the year of course.

At the ending of freshers party, we all went and they kept pushing him into me and he still tried to get with me if you will, no matter hard I tried to get away he just wouldn’t get the hint. I could have said ‘look I don’t like you, leave me alone’ but I just couldn’t be that mean, so I snogged a few lads to try and tell him to away. Not the best thing to do I know but sometimes you have got to do what you have got to do.

The reason why I told you that story is because you may have a flatmate like that or you may not, but if you are a girl and something like this happens just tell them straight at the beginning that nothing will happen. I t will be awkward but it will be the best thing to do as giving someone hope to just rip it off them is one of the most evil things you can do to someone. And if you are a guy and a girl is sending hints that she doesn’t want to flirt, talk to or do anything with you, just leave it. There will be plenty more fish in the sea.

I know this is a super long post but there are a lot of tips and stories to do with moving in. So I am now in my first year at uni doing a Journalism degree and I am in halls, so I had to meet different people again. They all seem nice, it’s early days yet as we have only lived with each other a few weeks, but the people seem nice. Some actually went out tonight and I felt a little bit left out because I wasn’t asked to go out and in these situations you need to meet people you need to have good times, but then again I was spending time with my boyfriend as he is going home this weekend to watch the football.

If you ever feel like you can’t make friends or you are super shy or have anxiety when meeting new people, don’t worry you are not on your own. Ask on the freshers pages if anyone wants to meet new people then set up a group chat, ask your flatmates if you can go out with them one night (that is what I am going to do on Thursday, so I will let you know if that works), just ask people if they want a brew, if they want to go to the common room and what not. This is your time to branch out and meet new personalities.

So all in all what I am trying to say is that don’t be put off by the bad experiences that come with halls, there will be so many good ones that out weigh the bad and you will meet so many new people and make so many new memories. I personally think living in halls is the best option, you can commute, but for your future, I would recommend living in halls.

Best Wishes

Hope your new flatmates aren’t from hell.

Katy Nella xo

#2 -Freshers Baby

What exactly is freshers?

Well officially freshers is time at the beginning of September where there are deals in the clubs that students go to, to get all the newbies acquainted with the nightlife and to get them to go crazy when spending money. Last year at my uni there was this ‘promotions’ group that did events at specific clubs where you would probably go after freshers finished. These events were like paint parties, a schoolies night and zoo parties etc. Anyway most of the events were shit, so my advice would be if there is a wristband you can buy for the events, DONT GET IT. Unless you are going to go to all of them it’s pointless and a huge waste of money. There are normally spare tickets that people sell so wait until you know which ones you want to go to and which ones your flatmates and classmates are going to.

I would go to a few events ’cause you learn about the place you will be living at for nine months and you know whether or not you want to go to them places again, so there are good and bad experiences, it’s just up to you go out to experience and learn them. If you don’t risk anything then you are stuck in the same boring place with nothing to do.

But unofficially it’s a time to get absolutely fucked and to wreck your liver. Every day and night it is just about alcohol. In the day you get your outfit planned, you discuss your plans for the night, you get your drinks ready for pre drinks, then you get ready, you skip tea cause you don’t want to throw up that night, then you go to the flat where you are going to drink before you drink as it is the cheapest option, then you get to the club spend as much as you want because you are a naïve fresher then you can’t walk, talk or function in any way, but you want that take away, so you take off your heels walk to the take away and order the greasiest, fattening grub that you can afford, then you go to the taxi spend money on an extortionate fare, stumble into your building, make a lot of noise entering your flat, which I might add starts the flat war as everyone who stayed in now hates you for screaming ‘Man Don’t Care’ at four in the morning, you then go into room and either stuff your face in chips and red salt or you pass out on your bed, then you wake up hungover as fuck running to the bathroom to break your tap to get as much water in your system as humanly possible before getting ready to do your day of lectures or just missing the whole day to get up at five, receiving a message from your mate asking you ‘You out tonight?’, you want to say no but before you can send a message you are out getting your drinks to start the night all over again.

Enjoy freshers new and old students!

Katy Nella xo

#1 – Moving In

It’s nerve-wracking and daunting moving in to someplace new and having to meet the people you will live with for the year. You will live with people that you may have never been friends with at school – in my case that was all my flatmates. If you are sharing a bathroom you will have to get use to other peoples bathroom schedules, you better hope you don’t live with a Sheldon. But it is such a great experience, it really does push you out of your comfort zone and it makes you do stuff that you would have never normally of done.

It is scary leaving the place you feel most comfortable. Your room, your bed, your family will not be there, you are now living independently and I was really, really nervous of this and meeting my new flatmates.

I embarrassed myself in front of everyone within the first hour of me moving in. My mum and I were putting away my food. Because there was a lot of food we took it in to the kitchen in a suitcase.

So I was just finished putting all of my freezer food away and I fell into my suitcase, and I just lay on the floor for about ten minuets :’) This was in front of two of my new flatmates so my cheeks were really red from embarrassment.  So I wouldn’t worry about making an absolute fool of yourself, it will be a great memory and talking point later down the road.

Living by yourself is great. You’re independent. You feel free. You make your own meals, you are in charge of what you eat and every aspect of your life. When you wash your clothes, when/if you get up for your lectures. What you watch/listen too, there is no one there telling you to turn it down, change the channel, there is no one  bugging you, except of you get noise complaints then that’s a different story.

But the main point of this post was tell you, yes it is scary moving from the one place you feel safe, to a vast abyss of not knowing where anything is, who people are and what to do when you are on your own but it will teach you many lessons and you will have an experience of a lifetime.

KatyNells xoxo