#20 – How I got into university

Okay, first of all, I want to say that there’s not just one way to get into uni or the job you want there are many ways to end up at your intended destination, this was just mine.

When I was studying A-Levels, I was revising but in the second year, I just didn’t go into college, when I did go in, I would spend hours in the library, just studying, but this wasn’t enough.

My friends from high school were incredibly smart, and I always felt like the loose link, yes I was in most of the top sets, but in our group, I would be the one who got a grade less than them, I always knew they would get into great uni’s becasue they were very intelligent, and I felt a pressure to be just as smart as them, so I felt I actually did belong in the group and I wasn’t the stupid friend.

In hindsight I shouldn’t have cared as much as I did, I just didn’t want to be seen as stupid and I didn’t want anyone to be like they got into all Russell group unis and Katy didn’t. So I felt an added pressure, that I put on myself, and when I feel like I was underperforming, I crumbled and cracked and I got into my own head. I feel this why now I don’t put as much effort into things, so I am not disappointed when things don’t work out.

So back to my story, I wasn’t attending college as much as I should have done, but I was revising. In my second year, I stupidly decided to listen to my college teachers and redo 4 of my first-year exams, as well as doing 6 second-year exams. I did this because they said I could get better grades when in most of them I got B’s.

This added unnecessary pressure that I didn’t need. My law teacher also wanted me to resit my first-year law exams and he wouldn’t listen to me when I said no. If I caved I would have had to resit ALL of my first-year exams, which is probably some advice I can pass, don’t go past your limit, don’t do something because someone else wants you to and just because they are teachers doesn’t mean they are always right and that you should listen to them.

It might seem like I am blaming my teachers, they were 20% of the reason why I failed, but it was completely my fault. If I worked hard I could have done it easy. I probably sat more exams, doing more subjects and was under a lot more pressure when I was doing my GCSE’s, so I could have done it if I tried.

That being said, that morning, when the results were on UCAS, I was excited. I and my friends were texting in our group chat, eager at 8 in the morning to see if we got into the university of our dreams.

When applying to uni I probably didn’t take it as seriously as I should have done. I only visited Exter uni, and I only looked at the upper class, high end, Russel Group unis. I didn’t look at uni’s that would accept low grades, because I thought that I would get high grades. I should have had a plan B, it was stupid of me to think that I didn’t need a backup plan, which is why now I always try and have a backup plan. I only looked at these uni’s because my friends were looking at these uni’s, I didn’t think of myself and what was best for me.

Probably taught me I need to be more selfish, which I have learnt and been, a great lesson to learn.

That morning I was eager to know if I would be going to the place that Harry Potter was created. As I saw that I was rejected, gave me the biggest hole in my heart, I started to ball my eyes out and my mum ran down the stairs. I felt like I was a failure, that I wasn’t going to end up anywhere (I never want to feel like that again).

Sidenote; I feel a lot that parents, school and society put pressure on us kids to do what they want us to. To me, going to uni was the only option, we weren’t taught about apprenticeships or about foundation years, it broke me when I didn’t get into Exeter. The emotions I felt, are what children should never feel like we aren’t good enough.

So that morning after crying, I spoke to my mum and dad, and we were working on ways I could go to uni. I thought about going to open university but eventually decided to apply to foundation courses to uni’s I never thought about, through the process of clearing.

The clearing¬†is a system that matches university applicants who haven’t had an offer with institutions that still have unfilled places. A foundation course is a course that makes up for the credits that you don’t have to get you into the first year of a degree course. I had 1 C and 2 D’s, so I needed extra credit to get onto the proper degree course.

When applying to the foundation courses, I switched what I wanted to do. I applied to every uni and wrote my personal statement on Archeology and Anthropology, then switched at the last minute to do a foundation course in Journalism because I thought it would be cool to interview celebrities one day.

Even though it was a conventional way to get to where I wanted to be, I am so glad it happened and I wouldn’t change a thing that happened.

There are many different options to get to where you want to be, so what I would say is research what you want. If the job you want is something you don’t need a degree for, what do you need for it? What do you need to do to get into that field? Do what you want to do.

A foundation course is great to decide if uni is actually for you, or if the course you think you might want to do is actually what you want to do. A guy in our course switched to do game design, becaus the foundation course taught him that he didn’t want to do journalism.

It is a very daunting and stressful time, don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself and remember every once in a while to take a break.

Katy Nella xoxo

#18 – Food for thought

First of all, let me tell you when I started uni in 2015 I was about 10 stone, I had size D titties, I have wide hips and I did alot of squats in college. I am telling you this because whilst I was at uni I went through a big change, ie I gained a lot of weight and I gained it in my ass, tits, legs, ankles and arms.

I have always been a picky eater and I have a phobia of throwing up, so I stay comfortable eating the same food all the time, I rarely broaden my pallet of taste. Moving away from home helped me but also hindered me. I didn’t have the home-made meals that my mum made, but I gained independence.

I learnt how to make new recipes, how different food takes time to cook and it was great to cook food for myself and burn things to learn what I need to do in the future and what tastes I like. You learn how to clean pots – this is very stupid but I dind’t.

When you’re a student you have a little bit of money, you’re living by yourself in a place that has a lot of takeaways and discounts codes. When I lived in Preston Dominoes opened until 3 am and had a 50% discount and I relied on this a lot, it also didnt help the fact that my boyfriend’s mate was the manager at one the Dominoe branches and gave us free pizza.

All of the takeaways I ate have stayed on my body, I am now around 14 stone and a bigger girl than I was. When you’re at uni you have to be wary of what you eat and put into your body as food can influence your mood and energy.

I have only just recently started to eat onions. My flatmate in the second year made bolognese with onions and peppers and I just thought that I want to try that so I made it the next day. It was difficult for me as I didn’t want to throw up , but now I have incorporated them into my cooking and I now haw onions on my hotdog!

So why am I writing this post? To help you when you’re at uni as it can be difficult to make food for yourself with the environment you’re in with outside pressures such as time, stress, money and other flatmates. It is easy to stick a microwave meal in and have that (I had that almost every day) but that wasnt great for me or my body.

Here are some of my tips for ‘food’ when you’re at uni:

  1. Have something new every week to broaden your tastebuds.
  2. Allow yourself some junk food. Uni is very sressful so don’t limit yourself snacks or a takeaway, maybe have one day a week you indulge yourself like on Friday’s have a chippy tea.
  3. Shop at Aldi, Lidl, Poundstretchers. At Aldi the products are really good, there’s lots to choose from and its really cheap so it doesn’t put a dent in your pocket. You can buy a whole weeks worth of shopping for ¬£30.
  4. Create your own recipe book. Write recipes down in a notebook, or find them from magazines or friends and family members.
  5. If you want to eat/do something different, do meat-free Monday. This will broaden your pallet and will introduce a different dynamic to your cooking and you won’t rely on meat to put an ommpft into your meals.
  6. When you cook with a lot of oil, let the pan sit on the side for an hour, then go back and wipe the excess oil with kitchen roll, then place it in the bin. This way the oil won’t clog the drains and the dishwasher.
  7. Clean as you cook. For example, if you are making mash and you place the potatoes in the pan and they are boiling, clean the chopping board and knife and wipe the side. Doing this will make it easier and you won’t feel defeated when you finish and there’s so many things to wash.
  8. If you want to lose weight eating healthier will help towards that, even if thats not your goal, just incorporating healthy eating habits into your life will help you in the long run. This is the time that habits stay with you, not just eating habits but also sleeping habits and working habits etc.

I hope this helps you understand more about food and uni. And I hope this has helped you a little bit. If you want, I might make some recipe posts about the stuff I ate whilst at uni, cause that might help you as well.

Keep broadening your pallet!

KatyNella xoxo