Friday, 28 October 2016

Being a total girl boss at your degree #UNICHATS

As I've settled back into my second year at university, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some of my organisational tips and tricks that helped me through last year and that I'll be using throughout second year too! I'm by no means an expert in managing stress and there were numerous instances last year when I panic cried to my tutors, BUT for me it's all about finding a balance with work VS life and ultimately aiming for girl boss* status when it comes to degree studying. (note: tips can be used for guy bosses as well as gals)


Probably a part of university that I struggled with as much as took pride in, was managing my work load and making the most effective use of my time. I struggled in this area in a different way to most in that I became a bit of a workaholic at university and had zero understanding of a work/life balance. Tut tut. One thing that really helped me and that I tried to stick to more and more as my time studying fashion went on was treating my day like a 9-6 job. I would work for those hours and then have the evening off to Skype my boyfriend, relax and re charge (aka snack on chocolate covered raisins and watch The Walking Dead) before the next day. I would often stick to this pattern on weekends too which is not a method I would recommend; GIVE YOURSELF SOME TIME OFF PEEPS! I found it really rewarding to know I had ticked of the majority of my to-do list every day and could fully relax in the evening in the knowledge that I was on top of things. Something that will make university life SO much easier is not having the mid term panic of "oh my god I have so much to do and so little time". Granted, you might have that anyway if you're a perfectionist like me, BUT reducing your stress levels as much as possible is a good way to go when it comes to being a babe at degree organisation. *Insert fist pump emoji*


To do lists!!! I honestly couldn't have been without them during first year in terms of looking at my workload and planning when I wanted to have certain projects done by and setting myself mini internal deadlines to keep on top of things. Either writing lists or getting yourself a planner/journal as I have this year is a fail safe way of keeping on top of your work, whether it be coursework like me that needs to be chipped away at constantly or simply for planning your reading and revision. I set out all my briefs at the start of term and planned what I was able to do week by week based on what we would be covering in lectures and what I could do based on knowledge I already had. Looking at a calendar and seeing the time you have can be really daunting and make it seem far easier to bury your head in the sand, BUT it's important to try and stay focused and realistic and plan ahead; that way your stress levels will be minimised hugely! I tend to sit down on a Monday morning or after my first lecture of the week and assess what I've already done, what still needs to be completed and what realistically can be slotted into my free time outside of lectures that week. Doing it this way means you have a set timetable for the week, giving you structure whilst also being flexible depending on your other plans or how close you are to deadlines. Getting organised from as early on as possible is my best piece of advice and something I will be carrying into my second year of university! 


It's easy to underestimate how important the environment you're working in has upon your mood and productivity levels and it's a factor I really value when it comes to getting things done! Last year in halls I was super lucky to have a desk in front of a huge window and with lots of space to spread out my briefs and folders whilst keeping things (relatively) tidy. Whether it be the addition of plants, motivational prints and postcards or photos with your best pals, I think the impact decor has can really add up to have substantial impact on your mood. Sitting and working at your desk rather than in bed is something that really helped me too! Feeling as if you're in the ~work zone~ is really important, even when it is super tempting to work from bed in your dressing gown; I won't deny I resorted to this occasionally but on the whole it's good to get up and dressed! Also working from the university library is something I did a lot last year. It meant I could separate my work and life and come home at the end of the day to relax in my room rather than associating it too much with work and deadlines. Coffee shops and cafes are another great one for working in a more relaxed environment and can stop you feeling lonely if you're struggling at uni like I did or are good in general for group work!

I hope these tips can help anyone just starting university/returning students but really they can be applied to any area of work! Let me know the ways you organise yourself or advice you have for keeping on top of your workload below!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Last of the Amsterdam Diaries

Today I'm sharing the final post from Amsterdam *cries*. I know my trip was almost two months ago but since being back at university things have been SO.HECTIC. Everything is super full on with starting second year, getting my head around the endless number of briefs I have to complete in the next couple of months whilst applying for placements for next year. I feel like I need another holiday just thinking about it. It was so relaxing going through the last of my photos from Amsterdam because this was my favourite post we shot during the whole week! We had finally got to grips with my new lens by the last day and it was a lot of fun shooting in such a gorgeous location! We had got a free ferry over to NDSM after I'd seen Pllek on Instagram; a funky industrial beach with deckchairs, beanbags, a huge restaurant which was furnished in the most amazing way and served delicious food and drinks! As SO much of Amsterdam involves water through the amazing canals that are down almost every street you turn, it was so nice to be able to sit and enjoy the open water on our last day in the sunshine. This was the perfect outfit for being cool and airy, whilst still keeping me from feeling too chilly when the sun went in and the wind from the water picked up. If you're ever in Amsterdam, visiting Pllek is a MUST! I actually put together a little Amsterdam mini guide so if you're heading to the city at some point, you can view that HERE. 

I've absolutely loved putting together so many outfit posts over the summer, it's really cemented for me that fashion is something I want to focus on here on Charlotte's Web, despite uploading being a little sporadic now I'm back at uni. If you have any posts in mind you would like to see, be sure to let me know! I have a university planning and organisation post coming next, but feel free to send your requests over and I'll try and organise myself so I can fit in university work and blogging (as well as uni blogging). DEEP BREATHS. Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed and have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Battling Freshers Flu with Kleenex #AD

This post has been written in partnership with Kleenex. I was sent some items to aid with the photography of this post but all views are 100% my own!

With September being almost out, and the start of the university term beginning, I'm typing this post tucked up in my new student house pondering all things education related and thought it would be the perfect time to share those musings with you! I'm currently about to start my second year of university studies and so the fear for increased work load and organising my placement for next year is SO REAL. I feel super excited to be back at uni and get into studying all things fashion again and really enjoying being so creative with tonnes of freedom on my course! As with any new term at university, the dreaded Freshers Flu is just around the corner and so I thought I would share some tips on how I survived my first few weeks at university this time last year, and hopefully pass on some wisdom. If you're not one for partying, do not be deceived. I didn't even attend Freshers last year yet STILL got so, very, ill. You've been warned. Keep reading if you want to survive.

If you're suffering from Freshers Flu, the dreaded sniffly nose, sore throat and feeling generally as though university has already killed you off already are probably the most common symptoms. As someone with possibly THE worst immune system ever, I have complete knowledge of what to do when wrapping yourself up in your duvet 24/7 isn't an option (*cries*).

Tissues, tissues and more tissues! When you've got a cold, there's nothing worse than irritating your skin further with scratchy tissues or loo roll; in my experience it's best not to channel Rudolph quite so early on. I'm working with Kleenex on this post and whether it be for on the go or in your freshly moved in to student halls, keeping some tissues nearby is a decision you won't be regretting! As well as the nights out that Freshers brings, the start of university means early mornings and feeling a little less than perky in your first few lectures. Grab some Kleenex to shove in your bag during the morning rush out of the door and you'll thank me later when you can refrain from sniffling all the way through the dreaded ice breakers that are bound to be coming your way *nervous shivers*. If you want go to the extra mile in making pals with your room mates, pick up some tissues with your weekly shop and leave a box in the kitchen for everyone to make the most of. They'll be sure to thank you later PLUS you get ultimate room mate brownie points. YUS! 

Getting out of your bedroom and exploring your new university city is another way to feel a little more perky and banish those germs whilst also getting to grips with your new home! Grab some of your flat mates or if you're confident enough, just have Apple Maps handy and explore the city you're going to be living in for the next few years and get your endorphins flowing and make use of the fresh air. Staying in bed probably seems like the easiest and most comfortable option but often once you're out and about you'll start to feel the benefits of being active and the fresh air. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, a jog or run is always a great way to banish a hangover and will be sure to make battling Freshers Flu ten times easier!

Possibly a tip a lot of new university students would be likely to scoff at is the idea of eating healthy and nutritious meals to keep your body functioning well, but getting the right vitamins whilst you're feeling rubbish can't be a bad thing right? Grabbing a few fresh ingredients on your weekly shop rather than the standard pot noodle and ready meal combo is sure to have your body feeling better in no time; NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE VEGETABLE. Even meals as simple as pasta bakes, risottos and stir fry's are often packed with vegetables to heal your body but in general will help you feel a little more human than a packet of super noodles. You are what you eat after all!

A tip that is probably not commonly associated with helping rid Freshers Flu but was something that made me feel a lot better last year was the importance of unpacking all your things and making your uni halls as cosy as possible. It's so easy to underestimate the importance of the environment you're in when it comes to your mood and general wellbeing so I can't stress enough how much I would recommend really making your halls your home. Blankets, cushions and TONNES of photos on your pin board are probably the first place to start when it comes to making your bedroom as cosy as possible but other additions like fairy lights and plants all work together to make your room feel like your own! I did a blog post featuring some photos of how I decorated my university room last year which you can view HERE and maybe get some inspo! Pinterest is also great for getting storage ideas and unique ways of personalising your room! 

Staying hydrated! If you're planning to consume a lot of alcohol during Freshers, make sure you keep drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and banish any sign of a hangover! Water will also help flush any toxins out of your body so is super important and will have you feeling motivated and ready to tackle your degree in no time! Fruit teas are another great option when it comes to getting some goodness back in your body as they're packed with antioxidants and overall are a great alternative to fizzy drinks. 

If you're reading this post from your bed, surrounded by a sea of tissues, I hope this has sent some helpful tips your way and you can battle through Freshers Flu to feel a little more alive and ready to start university! Good luck! This post has been written in partnership with Kleenex although all views on surviving illness (from someone who is ill SO VERY OFTEN) are mine.
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