Sunday, 29 March 2015

Things I Have Learnt Through University

So I'm in my final year and have roughly 2 months left before I graduate and uni is all over. I have discovered a lot of things through uni and realised a lot of things about myself and other people and thought I would give you some of them here and my advice on a few things. It's a great life experience for you to have and will probably be one of the most exciting few years you will have, meeting new people and growing your independence. I met my girlfriend, Laura, at uni and have never been so happy. Don't doubt the amazing people you can meet, and at the same time don't get held back by the negative people you will meet. Go out and make university what you want it to be!



9am Lectures - They are actually worthwhile
For some reason when you get to university, attending a 9am lecture seems to become a real effort. We've all been there in the morning when we have woken up and decided that we don't actually need to attend the 1 hour lecture and then go straight back to sleep. Surely there won't be anything important this early in the morning? As much as you might try and justify this to yourself, all lectures can have a real benefit to you and can give you a lot more than just reading through the slides that a lot of people end up doing. I'll be the first to admit there is the odd lecture that is a complete waste of time, but the majority are useful and are designed to help you with your studies, not just a time to get you out of bed.

Work/Life Balance - You do have time for both
Going through uni, you will come to point thinking you can't possibly have time to get your assignment finished before the end of the week, especially seen as you have two parties to attend before then. No one said you can't go out and still manage to put enough time into your work. If you know you want to go and do something else, plan in time ahead of this to complete your work. I'm the first to admit I've said I don't have time to get everything done, but I seem to forget the hours spent in bed in the morning, time sat watching endless shows on Netflix, or the days and nights spent doing other things. Yes you can still do all these things, but if you go out in the day for example, you are actually allowed to do uni work in the evenings. So what I'm trying to say is just plan your time wisely and you will actually have a lot more time than you think.

It's not all about going out
Its freshers week and you have been out night after night and your week seems to blur into one long drinking and sleeping session. Time goes on and the attraction of going out and getting drunk most nights starts to wear off but your flatmates are telling you that you 'have' to come out. There are different types of people when it comes to going out, some love going out all the time, and others aren't interested by it. Yes it's nice to relax, take time off your work and have a laugh, but this doesn't mean you have to go out all the time. As I got through uni I found I was quite happy just chilling out at my flat on the sofa watching episode one after another on Netflix. I wasn't able to go out and be up the next day carrying on with my uni work, some people can I know but this doesn't mean they should presume everyone should be the same as them. My advice, if you don't want to go out and you aren't going to enjoy it, don't waste your time any money just because your 'mates' tell you that you 'have to'.

Part-time Job - It's worth it
Most students have experienced the horrifying feeling of checking their bank account and staring desperately into the empty pit that is what you have left for the many weeks remaining. I had a part time job before I went to uni and was able to transfer up to a store where I lived in uni to work, and then transfer back in the holiday times. I know this isn't possible for everyone but there will be a lot of jobs out there when your first move to university. These will go quickly and there are a lot more students wanting jobs than there are positions available. Get in early and you should have a much better chance at getting one. You might think you won't have time to work, do your uni work and still go out etc. I found having a job gave me more structure and forced me to organise myself and work around doing shifts. One bit of advice about working, don't take an unrealistic amount of hours on. Yes you might think its a great idea working 25 hours a week, thinking you will get a huge paycheck at the end of the month. You will soon find if you do this, your uni work might start suffering. After all that's what you are there for, to study and get good grades. You have plenty of time in the holidays and after uni to earn more money so leave it until then. My main point for having a job is having the extra cash is always good, but be sensible with how many hours you actually work.

Work Experience
I am currently doing a part time placement while in my final year. I wish I had thought about this in my first year, because even though you might think its years away until you graduate and need to think about getting a full time job, work experience is a valuable asset on your CV. Basically, the more you can do the better, and try and get something close to what you want to go into after uni, this is something employers are very keen on.

Check, check and check again
You will have enough stress trying to get your assignments in and the last thing you want to do is re-read what you have been looking at for the past days. I found I was always working towards the deadline and thinking I have until then to finish it. What I didn't consider is allowing enough time to check over what I had written for my assignments. After I started doing this, I found I was picking up lots of little mistakes that I have looked over and not seen before. Lecturers have said checking over your work properly can push you up a whole grade. I have without doubt noticed a big improvement in my work after checking it a few times. My advice, finish your work a few days before the deadline and put it away the day you finish it and give yourself a break from it. The next day go and re-read it and be critical of your writing and you will notice how many little things you can improve.

So there's some of the things I have learnt while being at university. If you have any questions or anything to add comment below and I will get back to you.

Andy

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 15


This episode starts off with Carol taking a casserole she has made for Deanna and her family as a condolence for the death of Aiden, yet she burns the note Carol brought and dumped the casserole outside at the front of the house. Deanna is watching a video of Nicholas talking through what happened, and it turns out he is putting all the blame on Glenn for the explosion and why Aiden died.

Over the other side of camp Glenn is explaining to Rick what happened, but reinforces that they have to make it work with the rest of the community. Later on Rick has taken a trip down to the lake and appears to be contemplating his thoughts, while holding the gun he stole. Pete walks past and asks how he is, to which Rick replies "keeping walking". The tension between the two hasn't changed. 

The day after, Sasha is found to have been in the tower all night, and Rosita gives her concerns to Michonne and that Sasha hasn't come back yet. They go out through the woods to look for Sasha and think over the fact its the first time they have been out the walls since they moved here, it seems to have been affecting Michonne like she misses the action. 

When Rick goes to speak to Deanna about the problem with Pete his is angered when he discovers she already knows about the problem and was hoping it would go away. She has avoided doing anything due to Pete's medical training being very useful. 

Back to the search for Sasha, and Michonne and Rosita have found walkers that have been shot in the back of the head, which is almost a trademark for Sasha's kills, and they realise that she is hunting them. 

We saw Carl go over the wall after Enid and has since been following her. He soon realises she has seen him after she tells him how loud he has been following her, and this seems to bring them together, happily running through the woods together. 

Glenn goes to talk with Nicholas and has forbidden him from leaving Alexandria on his own as he will not survive otherwise. Nicholas takes this as a threat but Glenn tries to tell him its for his own good and he is saving him.  

Moving back to Carl, he and Enid have noticed a large group of walkers coming towards them, and unable to defend themselves against this many they squeeze into a hollow tree and wait for them to pass. The two seem to get a little cosy in this tight spot they are in. 

Appearing to think nothing of Glenn's advice, Nicholas has got out the camp and retrieved a stashed gun, the one Rick originally stashed but was then taken. Meanwhile Sasha has been found taking out a group of walkers. Michonne and Rosita join her but she doesn't seem to like this. 

Moving over to Daryl and Aaron who have seen a campfire further away, and heading towards this they find limbs scattered across the floor. Further up, a women completely stripped of clothes and intestines is tied up on a tree, again with a 'W' carved into her head. This seems to be a recurring site. Aaron realises this death has only just happened. They must have just missed the culprit. 

After going back for a second time trying to convince Jesse to let him help with the Pete issue, Rick ends up convincing her. On cue, Pete walks in and asks whats going on. After a few heated words Pete and Rick end up in the street in a violent brawl. The rest of the community come out to see the commotion with Deanna giving orders to stop. Rick shouts back at her asking what would happen if he wouldn't stop, and pulls out his revolver. 

Rick is trying to tell the community they need to change the way they do things and that he won't let them carry on and let more people get killed. Out of nowhere Michonne comes and punches Rick from behind.

The episode ends with Rick knocked out on the floor. Next week we have the finale, with what should be a dramatic end. 

What will happen to Rick, will the rest of the group stick with him and will anyone else die? Will we find out what the 'W' markings are all about?

See you next week for the extra long season finale!

Andy



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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 14


At the start of the episode Gabriel starts ripping pages from his bible after receiving a gift basket. This seems to set the tone for something to come. 

Noah is talking to Reg, the architect, and wants to learn about how to build and maintain the community, so he can keep it up and running for years to come. Reg hands Noah a journal and tells him to write everything down as there is much to learn. 

The community needs a supply run and Glenn, Tara, Noah, Eugene go with Aiden and Nicholas. They all pile into the van and head off with rather intense music blaring out. Rick comes across Jesse who seems upset that the owl sculpture has been destroyed. Rick says he will try and locate the person responsible.

The group arrive at the warehouse, and split up to check the perimeter. Tara and Eugene are canvasing one side and she he should start putting more effort into the group. On the other side Glenn and Noah come across a huge group of walkers out the front, realising they won't be able to use this exit. After they enter the warehouse, Aiden and some of the other find a group of walkers trapped behind a cage, while Eugene finds the panel parts they need.

Aiden start to shoot at a walker coming at him, fully clothed in riot gear. There is a grenade on the bullet vest the walker is wearing which Glenn see's and calls out to stop shooting. Not realising, Aiden keeps shooting and the grenade goes off. Being at such close range to the explosion, Aiden is forced back and a large section of metal is wedged through his back sticking out of his chest. The rest of the group take refuge in an office, having to carry Tara in who was knocked out by the blast.

Surprisingly Aiden is still alive and Glenn, Noah and Nicholas try to fight their way out of the office to rescue Aiden while Eugene watches over Tara. 

Back over at Alexandria and Abraham and some of the community are starting to add to the wall but get attacked by a herd of walkers. The leader of the construction team gives the order to leave Tobin, who was the lookout who has fallen from the top of the digger. Abraham can't just sit and watch and manages to save her with the group amazed by his single handed handling of the walker attack.

Pete, Jesse's husband, comes round to Ricks house to show his gratitude for helping Jesse, offering him a beer, which Pete has already had quite of few of himself. 

Back to the panic in the warehouse, and Eugene manages to get out with Tara, seeming to have gained some confidence. Unfortunately for Aiden, Glenn and the other two fail to get him off the metal impaling him. Noah has to drag Glenn away just before Aiden is ripped apart and devoured by walkers. 

Unaware of the drama at the warehouse, Abraham has taken over the construction team and commands the group to carry on building the wall. Tobin, the current team leader goes to Deanna saying he wants to step down in place of Abraham. Over in Carol's house, she is baking cookies with Sam, who has said he wants one of the guns, but will not tell her who for after she questions him, but he runs off before he can answer. This raises suspicion about the happy family. 

Glenn, Noah and Nicholas almost make it out of the warehouse but become stuck in different sections of the front revolving door. This is soon overrun by walkers leaving them trapped. Eugene comes to their rescue attracting the walkers attention with the crazy music blasting out of the van. It seems they are save but Nicholas is too selfish and tries to escape, forcing the door open on Noah and Glenn's side. Noah gets dragged out by walkers and Glenn has to sit and watch them literally tear Noah apart in the most horrific character death we may have seen yet!

Nicholas tries to force Eugene to drive him back to Alexandria but Glenn soon catches him up and unleashing a fury of punches.

Over in the community, and Carol goes to check on Jesse, but Pete shuts the door in her face causing Carols suspicions to be confirmed. 

Gabriel goes to see Deanna and tells her she should have not let Rick and the others into the community, which Maggie overhears. 

The episode ends with Carol telling Rick about Pete being abusive, and that Rick has no option but to kill him. 

What an episode this week. Two deaths and more big developments back in Alexandria, Who will die next, will Rick kill Pete, or will Deanna throw the group out of the community?

We shall find out more next week!

Andy


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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 13


Welcome back to this weeks round up of the latest episode. This week starts off with Sasha looking at some photos of the Alexandria community and their families. The next morning she takes these photo frames and goes outside of the camp after checking out her weapon, sets the frames up and uses them for target practice. It seems she is struggling to adopt the new lifestyle.

While this is going on, Rick, Carol and Daryl are outside the walls by the small hut that Rick had stashed a weapon at a while ago. They are talking through a plan to retrieve some weapons from the safe room where they are all kept. A walker comes out of the trees which Carol deals with. The group then notice a 'W' carved into the walkers forehead, why would this be here?

Deanna is talking with Rick, Maggie and Michonne about her desire to build up the community into a thriving sustainable region. She wants Maggie to work with her to help organise things when they expand. While they are outside Sasha comes to join them and offers, almost insistently, that she wants to be on the watch tower, to which Deanna informs her they don't actually have people in the tower. This shocks Rick who tells Deanna they need to have someone up there 24/7.

Daryl is outside the walls with Aaron and they comes across a stray horse that he has been trying to catch to bring into the community. Daryl takes the rope and attempts to catch the horse, yet it gets scared off by approaching walkers.

Back inside the camp and Carol is getting some food to make cookies, and two of the men come in to retrieve their weapons. She uses this opportunity to follow them in engaging in conversation, and manages to distract them enough to open the window latch.

Later than night, Deanna is hosting a welcome party at her home for Ricks group, which brings the communities people together. This gives the chance for some of the group to settle in and get to know some of the others.

Back outside the walls, and Daryl and Aaron are still after the horse, but their attempt is soon worthless after it becomes overrun by walkers. They both seems sad to see this gruesome end for the horse and soon put it out of its misery.

Back at the party and Carol manages to slip out to head towards the weapons room, while Daryl has decided against going to the party, but gets invited in for dinner by Aaron. After slight hesitation he accepts. It seems Daryl might be giving people a chance to get to know him.

Switching again back to the party, and Sasha has just arrived. She doesn't seem too happy to be there and almost turns round and heads home, yet Deanna's son who answers the door convinces her to come inside. She is resistant to the idea but comes in and goes through to the party.

After finishing his meal, Aaron takes Daryl through to his garage and reveals a motorbike and spare parts. He reveals he has told Deanna not to give Daryl a job because he has one lined up for him. He tells Daryl he will need the bike to go out and be a recruiter for Alexandria. He seems to understand

Daryl needs to be outside of the walls sometimes and can relate to him, which seems to be slowly forming a bond between the two of them. Daryl is slowly letting down some of his barriers.

Carol is stuffing some handguns into a bag when a boy catches her, actually hoping she was going to make more cookies. Carol blackmails and scares him not to tell anyone about what he has seen, which seems to work by the horrified look on the boys face.

Later, Rick and Carol both take a pistol, but Daryl decides he will leave it for now. Maybe his way of trying to fit in and build trust.

Sasha's really not coping at the party as she becomes more and more overwhelmed. She finally snaps when one of the woman offers to cook her a meal and worries she will cook something she doesn't like. Sasha explodes responding with "that's what you worry about!". The next day Deanna lets Sasha go into the watch tower, probably realising she needs time to cool off.

The final part of the episode follows Rick on patrol who is admiring Jessie once again, which seems to be coming a common occurrence. Bearing in mind her husband, who has already 'exchanged words' with Rick, seems to be a little unpredictable, this admiration may not be the best thing!

That's it for this weeks round up, we seem to have seen a bit of everyone's story develop this week. Sasha is still having problems adjusting, while Daryl seems to be slowly warming to the community. Rick is warming quite a lot to a certain blonde.

Will they all manage to settle in? Although resulting to taking weapons seems to further their doubts. See you next Wednesday!

Andy
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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Walking Dead Wednesday - Episode 12


So last week's episode finished with the group pulling up to this 'save haven' and are just about to go through to find out what's on the other side. In this weeks episode the group enters through the gates to find some of the leaders of the camp waiting for them on the other side. Rick goes to speak to Deanna who is in charge of the community and she asks to film their talk. She tries to find out more about Rick and his group. Rick warns that the community should keep its gates shut but she says they need people from the outside to help sustain their community. 

The group are asked to pass over their guns for safekeeping while within the community and are given houses to stay in. These having running water, fresh bedding, the lot, and Rick takes full advantage, showering, having his hair cut and finally shaving that beard off!

Daryl goes to talk to Deanna but he is very defensive and she struggles to get through to him. The group are then split between houses to give them more space, but Rick decides it will be safer to all stay in one house for the first night. That evening Deanna comes to check on them and says she is lining up jobs for some of the group.
The next day Rick is walking with Carl and Judith down the street from their house, and loses site of them. In a mad panic he sprints off down the road, ending up being stopped by Jesse who takes him to where they have gone.

Carl goes to see some of the other teenagers and seems to find it hard to fit in at first but comes round in the end. This may be due to never really being able to experience being a teenager himself. Rick and Michonne both cannot sleep and Rick goes out for a walk, coming across Jesse's husband on his porch who exchanges a few words.

The next day Carol is trying to convince Daryl to go take a shower and clean up but he still refuses. Maybe he doesn't want to let his guard down just yet. Carl sees a girl climbing over the fence and decides to go out and follow here but ends up finding his dad who is looking for the gun he stashed before they entered the camp, but it is gone. This arouses suspicion as to who took it. They attract the attention of some walkers but soon deal with them.

Noah, Lauren and Glenn are outside the camp with two of the community people, and Lauren nearly ends up getting killed by a walker after the two men try and chain up a walker. Back in the camp and Glenn squares up to one of the men, which leads to Glenn punching and knocking him to the ground. Rick and Daryl step in but soon calm is brought.

Deanna assigns Rick and Michonne as constables of the community, which Rick later comes down in the house with his uniform on, 'trying it on for size'.

He then goes out to speak to Carol and Daryl, and decides they will stay here, but speaking about the community he says, "if they can't take it, we'll just take this place". The episode ends.
Does Rick have an ulterior motive with this community, and can they trust the people there. The group still seems a bit reserved with some settling in better than others, Daryl still very unsure.

That's it for this week, what we next weeks episode bring?

Andy 
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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Camera Tripod Giveaway

So I've been blogging since October when my girlfriend Laura (a blogger herself) convinced me to give it ago. Since then I have seen giveaways all over the internet. For me, photography is something I enjoy and has improved a great deal since I invested in this tripod. My family has always been interested in cameras and photography and it seems to have passed down to me, so as a good will gesture I have decided to give someone the opportunity to develop their photography skills further like I did. 

You can enter my giveaway for the chance to win this Hama Star 42 Tripod. I bought one of these a while ago for myself to use with my camera and its come in very useful, especially for taking some blog photos. You can check what I thought of this tripod here for my full review. This is a full sized tripod that can hold anything from compacts to DSLR, up to a 2kg weight limit. If you also have a selfie stick (like this) or similar with a tripod attachment, you can fix your phone onto it as well. 

Seen as I have found this tripod so useful, I've gone and bought another one to give away to one of my followers. Check out how to enter below, fill in the Rafflecopter requirements and good luck!



To enter, the mandatory requirements are to follow me on Bloglovin' and Twitter, plus some extra options if you would like to enter further. UK only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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