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Anna W

Anna W's blog

Anna is a first year student at Sheffield University. She'll be sharing her experience of settling into uni life as a fresher.

13 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad


I have now been back at home for a whole month! I can't believe how time has flown since January when I was unbelievably worried/excited to be going abroad for a semester. Since I have been home I've been working two jobs, one as a cleaner and one as a overall not quite as glamorous (or exciting) as living in Spain with my friends and going to the pool every day.

Since I've been back at home people have asked me a lot of questions about going abroad and whether they should do it themselves...and it made me think about all the reasons I wanted to study abroad in the first place, all the doubts I had along the way, the stress, but also the fact that this experience has opened my eyes to how amazing it can be to experience another country....So here goes, my big list of reasons why you should study abroad.

1. Discovering new places

Whether it's enjoying the neighbourhood just next door or exploring a new country, travelling whilst on Erasmus is one of the highlights. One of the best things I did was was go to Portugal for a spontaneous trip away, despite the lack of sleep! In most cities there are organisations who will help you to settle in, and they also organise trips most weekends. Some people I know travel every single weekend, some prefer to make the most of the city where they're living...but discovering new places is eye-opening in any form.

My fave spot in Madrid, Templo De Debod
Amazing views in Porto

2. Making friends from all over the world

From Germany to Wisconsin and Switzerland to Spain, I met people from all over the world during Erasmus. I have loved learning new things from each of them- I have made a friend who lives in the mountains, one who lives by the beach, one who lives in New York City. I find it amazing that such different lives are all connected through Erasmus.

My lovely Spanish friend Elvira
My amazing housemates!

Trekking up Lisbon's hills with Rachel my English roomie and travel buddy, and Bailey from the US

3. Learning a new language

Although I spoke a bit of Spanish before I came to Spain, I can honestly say that there is no better practice than living in the country where the language is spoken. It just isn't the same as speaking it in class (usually with a teacher who isn't native to the country either)...but living in the country and speaking the language every day (even if it's just asking for directions or asking someone how their day was), is the best practice you can get. Also, making friends who speak the language you want to learn is a massive one. Learning grammar is useful, of course, but learning to speak like a native Spaniard is much more helpful in my opinion. For example I didn't know before I came to Spain that Spanish people say 'a ver' (let's see) ALL the time, just as English people say 'like' mid-sentence.

My German friend Jasmin taught me some fab German sayings!

4. Learning to be independent

If moving to a different country with nowhere to live when you get there doesn't make you independent, I don't know what will. Of course, there is the option to find somewhere to live before you arrive, but this can be difficult and it is hard to know who to trust- especially when you're communicating with people who speak a different language! I would personally recommend booking somewhere before you arrive to avoid the total panic/stress when you get to your destination. You just need to be absolutely doubly sure that it is legit (which is difficult of course). Some people I know visited the country before they started studying, with a parent or friend, to book a room, (obviously this isn't possible for everyone) but whichever option you decide to go for, it will teach you a good few life lessons along the way.

Happy days after we found our perfect flat

5. Organising your life

Erasmus forced me to become organised. From packing to paperwork and phone contracts, there are so many little things which you don't think about. There is so much to do before you arrive that you have to be totally on top of it all in order to avoid unnecessary stress. Ask anyone who knows me and they will assure you that I am not exactly an organised person...but Erasmus has certainly changed that.

6. It's liberating

At first, I found it quite daunting that I didn't know anyone in Madrid except from the 3 girls I went with. But after a few weeks it becomes exciting, and even liberating. Walking around the streets of Moncloa, where I lived, and knowing that I wouldn't see anyone from home was quite refreshing.

Another one of my favourite places, Retiro Park

The famous archway welcoming people in to Moncloa (going here for the sunset after a day at Uni was amazing)

7. Learning about yourself/a new culture

I feel like I have learnt a lot about myself on Erasmus, as weird as that sounds. When I asked my friend and housemate Rachel what she had learnt, she said "I have learnt that I can only take so much tomato pesto"...not quite what I was expecting, but very true nonetheless. Other things I have learnt: I can't cope with heat over 35 degrees, I shouldn't drink wine from Aldi, waking up early and thinking "it's fine, I can have a siesta later" is a great comfort, Aldi's waffles in Spain are the best thing to ever exist, Spanish people don't like it when you stroke their dogs, Madrid is full of green birds, paying by card is an urban myth and McDonald's is way better in Spain (go for the McPollo burger, you won't regret it.)

One of the many parakeets which call Madrid home (it took a lot of patience to get this picture)

8. Learning to be tolerant

You'll meet a lot of different people on Erasmus, so obviously, you aren't going to be best friends with all of them- or even get on with all of them. But just as it is when you move in to halls in First year, you have to learn to be even more tolerant and accepting of other people's cultures/what they want to achieve from Erasmus. At the end of the day, learning to cope with all kinds of people is something you have to get used to in any job, so in a way I'm glad that I have experienced it early on...

9. Opens new doors

Not only does Erasmus open up your mind to new things, but it also opens up new doors for more *serious* things. According to Erasmus, 64% of employers value international experience in an employee. Some studies also suggest that students who have studied abroad earn more than those who haven't (if this doesn't persuade you I don't know what will...)

10. New perspective

After studying abroad for 5 months, I now know what the rest of the world think about the English summed up in one sentence: they like our accents but think we are stupid for voting to leave the EU. If I had an Aldi waffle for every time I had to explain that only HALF of Britain voted to leave, I would be one happy person. It's actually really embarrassing studying in another country when your country will soon leave the organisation which made the whole journey possible. When I visited Granada, I was sat with a group of people from the US, Portugal, Italy and the UK talking about world politics, and the Italian turned to Rachel and I and said "I think it's time for you to leave since you aren't anything to do with us anymore". He said it jokingly (ish), but I really hope that people don't have that impression of us as the country who want to be isolated from the rest of the world.

Lovin life in beautiful Granada

11. Taste of a new culture

From patatas bravas to croquetas and berenjenas (fried aubergine in honey) I looooved eating Spanish food. My favourite restaurant, Rosi La Loca, saw me there so many times that they started to recognise me...Although I missed roast dinners, baked beans and garlic bread a LOT, I certainly miss Spain's cuisine. 

Amazing cakes in Madrid's San Miguel market

It isn't Spanish food...but Portugal's cod pies were incredible

Hands down the BEST thing I ate in Spain

Can't say no to a good old burrito

12. Getting over fears/personal barriers

Homesickness was a massive barrier stopping me from coming to Spain. When I went on a school trip only half an hour away from home when I was about 13, I cried for the whole time as I just wanted to be back in lovely old Derby (my poor friend who had to deal with me for the whole time can vouch for that). At University in Sheffield I am only half an hour away from home, which means that I can go as much as I the idea of being a 5 hour round trip away from my family, friends and my boyfriend filled me with dread. But, I knew I wanted to travel, and I also knew that I would never have another opportunity like this one. And 6 months later, here I am...a lot stronger than before, and a million times more independent. Of course, there were sad days when I missed my dogs (and my family), but you've just got to keep in mind that this is only for such a short amount of time, and believe me, it'll go so fast so enjoy it while you can.

13. Once in a lifetime

Give me a chance before you call me a cliche queen...but studying abroad was honestly the best experience of my life, and if you're tempted I would really encourage you to take up the opportunity while you can. 5 months, or even 12 months abroad really isn't that long in the grand scheme of things, but you can learn such a great deal which will stay with you for life. Although I may have missed out on things back at home I still have a whole year left at Uni to do all of the things which I felt like I missed out on. So go for it! The world is your oyster so travel whilst you're young and most of all, enjoy it. *cliche queen out*

Canoeing at Buitrago with my friend Alex as the model!

Mine and Rachel's last day in Madrid together (a bit of an emotional one)

Travelling the North of Spain during our last week of Erasmus!
If you have any questions about studying abroad please don't hesitate to get in touch with me! 

Anna x

The last day in Madrid...


It is my LAST DAY in Madrid :( I don't know how to explain how incredible this experience has been...the scariest/most exciting decision of my life has turned in to something which I will never forget.

Exams finished a few weeks ago and since then Rachel and I have been doing all the things we have on our bucket list before we leave- a pretty monastery called San Lorenzo de el Escorial, hiring bikes (last week we cycled to the club when the metro had closed...), discovering Madrid Rio, and taking as many trips as humanly possible to the outdoor pool in Lago. Basically making the most of the 40 degree heat (which is hard when you feel like you are going to pass out every time you step outside).

We also went on a mini hol to Granada (which was EVEN HOTTER). I would 100% recommend a visit there, it was sooooo beautiful and had a very Moroccan feel to it. On the bus on the way there the aircon had broken, which was slight torture on a small vehicle with 30 other people, but we made it through and made some friends on the way through bonding over the immense heat. We also got to visit some caves in the mountains of Granada which was soooo much fun! There were real life cavemen who showed us around their cave and gave us some watermelon to enjoy the amazing views...


Also our friends Harika and Karina came to visit us for our final trip to the North of Spain...we went to San Sebastian for two nights and Harika and I went on to Bilbao for a few days. We also went to the south of France for the day on the train, a cute little place on the coast called St Jean de Luz. We had some amaaaazing French food. It was nice to feel a bit of sea breeze instead of the mugginess of Madrid! Although we had a slight disaster when we were about to go to sleep one night and the host of the airbnb came in to the turned out that he was staying there too- a bit of a shock at 2am!! So take it from us and always make sure you check everything before you book an apartment!
I'm sure I will be holding back the tears on that plane tonight as I leave this beautiful city...but of course, I am so excited to see my family/friends/boyf again (and have my first Greggs chicken bake in 5 months!!!)
Also I am absolutely certain that this is not the last of my Erasmus blog posts (of course not, what else will I have to talk about?!) keep an eye out for some more soon- including a big list of everything you need to pack for a semester abroad...that one is gonna take me a while.
Hasta luego en Derby,
Anna x

Studying abroad in a relationship- can it work?


I am writing this on a bus (just like the old days when i used to write them on the way to school....)

I am on the way back from Toledo, a small town south of Madrid. I went with two girls from Guatemala, one of whom I am doing a 'language tandem' with, so she helps me with spanish and I help her with English. Today was a Spanish practice day, so I have been speaking spanish non-stop since brain is frazzled and I am surprised I can write this in English...

This post is about being in a relationship whilst studying abroad. Ooooh. I remember I did one of these posts when I started Uni and for some reason it was one of my most viewed blogs! Looking back I can't believe I even did a whole blog post about essentially 'how to survive living an hour away from your boyfriend'. How easy that seems now the distance is more than 6 hours altogether...When I get back to Sheffield in September the hour distance will practically be like living next door.
Not tooooo far then...
When I first decided that I was going to study abroad around January last year, I think my boyfriend was a bit worried, shocked and in disbelief that I would ever move so far away from home. But as I started filling out forms and going to meetings (sometimes dragging him along...), it all started to seem very real. And exciting. And bloomin' scary.

I must say though I never had any doubts that we wouldn't make it through. I have friends in long distance relationships which are way further away- take England and Zimbabwe for example!!- and they are amazing at making it work. Also, my friend Rachel who I came to Madrid with has a boyfriend too (and one time they flew here together!) so being in the same boat as someone else really helps.

Obviously a lot depends on how often you will get to see each other. My boyfriend first visited after 2 weeks...which in hindsight, was too soon. Rachel and I only managed to find a house a few days before he arrived! I'm not gonna lie, I spent the first 2 days crying because he made me realise how homesick I was, and the last 2 days crying because I didn't want him to leave. And of course the dramatic goodbye in the airport with me stood there sobbing didn't help. Mainly down to be being an emotional wreck though.

If I can offer one piece of advice: don't drop them (or any of your visitors for that matter) off at the airport!!! It is traumatic!

I think it's important to settle in yourself before you have any visitors, and the same goes for starting University anywhere.

Mini hol in Valencia
Callum has since visited every month, apart from April when I went home. The time between seeing each other is 4/5 weeks, which is actually so lucky- so many other couples living in the same country don't even see each other that much.

Also, communication is a big one when you're living abroad. The timezones are only an hour apart but it does make a difference- we lead completely different lives. My boyfriend gets up at 6am for work, goes to sleep at 10pm...In Spain I get up at 8/9am (if i make it to uni...), sometimes have a siesta, and eventually sleep at 2am. Leading such different lives is hard to get used to; but like anything it just takes time. The usual things always help; a long skype chat every week, always keeping up to date with what the other person is up to, sending letters, watching TV shows together...

A lot of Erasmus students I've met in Spain are in relationships. Some of them have ended, but many have survived it- and it is totally feasible. So if you want to study abroad but you are in a relationship, please don't let it hold you back. Any half decent boyfriend/girlfriend will support you in following what you want to do. The worst thing I heard someone say as a reason for not going on Erasmus was "I'm in a relationship, so I can't". Of course, you may have doubts, but they shouldn't stop you from doing something which you are passionate about. Plus, it's fun! We have seen so many things together that we wouldn't have back at home- the Real Madrid team celebrating their Champions League win, a throwback to being 13 year olds at a Busted gig, spending Valentine's Day in the beautiful city of Valencia, eaten more paella and drank more sangria than you could ever imagine...

....Why not??
I hope you enjoyed this post!

You can vote for me as UCAS' Blogger of the Month here!

Anna x

Four months in Madrid!!


I am writing this post from a very busy Starbucks in Madrid's city centre, attempting (and failing) to do some 'life admin'. I've already chosen my third year modules which is SUPER scary...I can't even explain how fast the past 2 years have gone! In a year I'll be applying for jobs, about to go in to *the real world* aaaaah. Let's not talk about that.

Talking about time flying though, if I thought Uni in Sheffield was going too fast, in Madrid it feels like 10x faster! I can't believe that I have almost been here for FOUR MONTHS. Whaaaat?! I feel like I've been here my whole life and I also feel like we just got here yesterday all at the same time.

I think that time goes so fast because living in a different country still feels exciting and different...but it is easy to forget that Uni here counts towards my degree, so many nights are spent trying to get last minute work finished before a deadline (not that anybody sticks to deadlines here...)

Weekends are fun though, since my last post I have visited a teeny village just outside of Madrid with my boyfriend, introduced my brother to the world of sangria and tapas, been to a colour run which wasn't a run and turned out to be more of a kids party...started a language tandem with a girl from Guatemala, visited a new rooftop bar, went to a party at my housemate's University, went to the beaaaach in Valencia for a day, discovered the city of Segovia, been visited by my Dad, Step-Mum and baby brother, been on the longest urban zip-wire in wonder time goes so fast. 


I also went home for a week over Easter which was amaaazing. I'd been quite homesick the week before I went, but spending time with family and friends gave me the push I needed to come back to Madrid with a positive mindset. 

Side note: the weirdest thing I noticed when I was at home was that the air smelt SO fresh compared to Madrid. I think I've gotten used to stuffy city air, and I didn't realise how refreshing it would be to be surrounded by fields and trees again. Hahaha.
Since Easter, things have been stressful at Uni with lots of deadlines all at once. The work is a lot easier than at home, but we always get bombarded with it all at once! Sometimes it is so hard to communicate with teachers because of the language barrier (although my Spanish is 10x better than before, it is still a struggle sometimes!) Luckily my housemate Rachel and I had a bit of a break when our friend from home came to visit us in sunny Spain.
So scary to think that I only have one month left here. Our exams started last week, and today I learnt that exam season in 28 degree heat is NOT fun....I have 5 exams altogether, and they finish at the end of May. It's so crazy how chilled exams are here compared to in Sheffield. We sit exams in our usual classrooms, we can keep our bags near us, sit next to other's so weird how different it is. A lot less pressure which I'm not complaining about! In June I've got an internship at Spanish newspaper 'El Pais', which is super exciting. After that my friend is joining me in Madrid for a week, and then before I know it I'll be heading home....*sad face*

This week I also 'graduated' from Uni, which was a bit weird as I feel like we've hardly spent any of our time in classes...But it was such a nice 'send off' nevertheless, with free cerveza and tapas (always good) and lots of nice words from the Erasmus tutors here.

Anyways, I best get back to some revision....being in the basement gets pretty claustrophobic so my housemates and I have (after a few failed attempts) squoze our kitchen table onto our patio to do some work (with limited productivity when it's so hot outside...)

Ps you can vote for me as Blogger of the Month here.

Pps...around a year ago I made the huge decision to go on Erasmus in Spain...if anyone is having troubles making a decision about whether to go, feel free to ask me! I promise to give unbiased advice and not mention the amazing weather too much...

Anna x

One month (and a half) in Madrid!!


I am writing this from a class (which might tell you how Uni is going…) Whoops. We’ll get to that later.

One and a half months living in Spain tomorrow! Madness. Time literally FLIES here. We’ve crammed so much in to such a short period and I can’t believe how fast everything is going. On Sunday I got back from a crazy (and super fun) trip around Portugal, starting in Porto and ending in Lisbon. I had the best time ever: met people from all over the world, took my first trip in a tuk tuk, tasted Port, chilled on a rooftop bar….and somehow, survived three days on 13 hours sleep.

Sunny Lisbon!
Surprisingly smiley for 3 hours sleep...

thoughts on Port...

To those of you abroad or going abroad, I would 100% recommend going on a trip like this one- the 20 hours of travelling by bus may put you off, but don’t let it. We went with a group called City Life Madrid and they organised everything so well, from a trip photographer to a pub crawl (complete with a woman with a big red umbrella who shouted at us when it was time to move to the next bar.)

A few weeks ago I also took a train to Valencia with my boyfriend for a night, which is one of my favourite cities to date. I am already dying to go back! I’ve been to Toledo too- a beautiful little city just outside of Madrid, easily accessible (for most) by bus. I say for most as it took my travel buddy Rach and I three hours to get there instead of one! We are still getting to grips with the Metro…

Slightly stormy Valencia!
Oceanographic Museum in Valencia (aka the most futuristic place EVER)

Forgetting what I’m actually here for is VERY easy. That little thing called Uni. With 8/9am classes every day, and most of my classes being pretty useless in terms of a career in Journalism…missing lectures is extremely tempting. My fave module is photography, where we are developing our own film in dark rooms, manually taking photographs and learning about the history of photography. TV is also cool, where we’ve been taking industry cameras outside and filming news reports in groups.

Everything is just so chilled here compared to home, sometimes in a good way, for example handing in things late doesn’t seem to matter…but in other ways it is so frustrating, like when we had to queue up for 4 hours just to register for modules…It makes me appreciate Uni back at home and how well organised it is!

Speaking Spanish every day (and mostly getting in to awkward situations and ending up flustered and confused…) is definitely improving my language skills. When I have a successful conversation in Spanish it feels so rewarding! Also, one of my housemates is Spanish so I am enjoying practicing with her, as well as our cleaner who visits once a week.

I have also had visits from some friendly faces too- my boyfriend, my Step Mum's brother Jamie and his girlfriend Laura, my Mum and little sister and my friend Harika. It’s been so fun showing them all around this beautiful city. Seeing them has definitely made me feel more settled here and a lot less homesick. When it dawned on me just how soon I would be returning home it helped a lot....and realising that I'm only here for a few months, and soon I'll be back to life in Sheff for my last year.... all these things help to ease the pain of missing home, friends and family. FOMO back at Uni is a definite factor too, but video calling my housemates whilst they are having pre-drinks definitely helps....

Fun visit from my Mum and sis

Amigas...You can tell who is Spanish from the amount of layers!
I also had a slight disaster which I feel like every (clumsy) Erasmus student suffers from at some point...I broke my phone on a night out and had to pay €200 euros for the screen to be repaired. So my bank account suffered a big dent and working all summer is definitely on the cards...

Around a year ago I decided to study abroad after visiting Madrid for the first time….and I’m so thankful that I did! (especially when I’m lay in the park in 26 degree heat).

Thanks for reading!

Anna x

The first week in Spaaaaaaain


After months of planning, crying, stressing and anticipating, I am writing this from Madrid! We have been here for almost a week now and it has gone so fast already.

Family/friends back home have asked me how I would sum up the experience so far in a few words...but that is literally impossible. I swear I have never felt as many different emotions as I have in this week; from absolute elation to homesickness a thousand times over, the past few days have been a total rollercoaster of emotion and excitement.

Saying goodbye to my family and friends was horrible, as well as leaving my boyfriend at the airport. I could barely stomach a Mcdonald's porridge because I felt so sick on the way to the airport! But once my friend Eilish and I had waved Callum and her Dad off (who are now bezzie mates), we trundled off through security full of tears and excitement (until the security guard said 'Oh my god, you're 20? You look about 15!!!' Then it was just tears.)

Adding to the stress was the fact that dearest Rachel's luggage was 10.7kg over the weight limit (!!!) but it still gives us something to laugh about now. And off we went, Eilish, Victoria, Rachel and I on a journey to the unknown.....
Hostel ft Victoria

When we arrived in Madrid we got a taxi to our hostel, situated opposite what looked like a prison...

Our spanish skills were tested from the first minute as the man at reception had no idea what we were asking about. Eventually another man turned up to let us in to our room, which was amaaaaazing. We've got a beautiful balcony overlooking Chamberi, a big bedroom and sofa bed and a nice kitchen. 

On the first day we wandered around the main sights like the Temple de Debod and Gran Via, taking the atmosphere and surrealness in all at once. We saw two girls twerking outside the Royal Palace which was...different...and accidentally ended up in a Catholic Church mass with the biggest organ you've ever seen. We did a bit of house hunting to no avail, 4 bed flats are so hard to find, as we have figured out. On the second day we spent the day searching again, registered at Uni and took a trip to Taco Bell (really soaking up the culture...)


We also had a much needed night out, and ended up in 2 dodgy bars as everywhere you walk in Madrid at night someone will offer you free drinks with plenty of persuasion. And to our absolute surprise the free drinks were not a myth! I also experienced a Spanish speaking issue as I told some chicos that Rachel was 'pregnant' instead of 'drunk'....oopsie.

Lovin the Spanish life

Yesterday we tried relentlessly to find a house once more, with no luck and a lot of stressssss. I was told before coming to Spain that small things about the country will really get on your nerves, and I think I have found my two things (already oops). 1, SLEEPING IN THE DAY!!!!!!! Picture the scene, you've just trekked across Madrid to visit a certain office/person, you get there and they are closed for the afternoon for a siesta. So. Frustrating. And 2, The lack of signposting and directions is unreal, I'd say that so far we've spend at least 10 million hours searching for buildings which don't have signs/numbers.

But, there are also things I'm loving- Everyone here is so friendly and always willing to help you out if you're lost (which we normally are), there are SO MANY DOGS in Madrid which is an obvious plus, and I love their chilled out 10pm the shops and streets are bustling with people going about their business. The buildings are beautiful, I love practicing Spanish all the time (except when I'm trying to explain what phone sim I wanted...that wasn't fun), and the sun has been shining for us. Overall I feel so lucky to have this amazing opportunity.

Our Uni building!
Last night the 4 bed search ended as we realised how impossible it was, so now we have split up and signed our own 2's. We are all moving in on Saturday yay. I feel so relievedddddd after months of relentless searching and feeling like we were gonna end up on the streets!! was super excited to hear from home that my story in the Derby Telegraph about the kids at Findern School wearing slippers was in all the national newspapers the next day! Crazy to think that it all came from my little sis coming home with a letter!

Tonight we are going to a 'meet and speak' session run by CityLife Madrid, who organise activities and trips for international students. Exciting!

I hope you have enjoyed this post- and I also hope that by the end of my time here I might have persuaded at least someone to study abroad!

Anna x

Six Ways to Survive your (second) First Semester


Around this time last year I wrote a post on 'Six ways to survive your First Semester', so, here we go again...Round 2.

1) Make sure your house is perfect (or close enough)

This was such a big one for my housemates and I. When we viewed our house we thought that it was totally perfect and the dreaaaam place. But when you move in you'll realise that everything isn't so fab if you haven't checked it properly; broken tumble dryers, the cold and the most annoying thing for me; DAMP. When I go to Madrid next semester my housemates have asked me to leave behind a piece of my damp clothing to remember me by. This is not the reputation you want to me. So check your house before you move in! And if things aren't right, complain and stand your ground.
Calm before the stress

2) Get organised

Yeah yeah, second year counts, blah blah blah. But before all the craziness kicks in, first semester of second year is the time to get all those *Life Admin* jobs that you always need to do (but never actually do...) out of the way. Book that dentist appointment you've been needing to book for the past year, apply for work experience at that place where you've always dreamed of working, finally find time to ring your Nan get the gist.

3) Remember what year you're in

If you didn't get this from the number 2) SECOND YEAR COUNTS. I have only just remembered this and now I am not confident about exams hahahaha oh dear.

4) Get a cleaning rota going

So you probably got away with being a lil bit messy in First Year, but when you get to Second Year and you've got your 'own' house, things are a bit different. So get out all those cleaning products that Auntie Jean bought you to go to Uni with, because you'll need them. Ps- if you want to avoid awkward group chat convos ('who left all the pasta in the sink???'), start a cleaning rota and you'll all be besties in no time.

5) Get enough sleep

Okay coming from someone who spent the past few months working till 12, making it home for 1 and finally sleeping by 2 after a catch up with my nocturnal housemates, this sounds slightly hypocritical. But constant late nights (and early mornings) will literally kill you off eventually. So learn from my bad mistakes and get at least a few early nights a week. (drink plenty of water, do some've heard it all before.)


6) Don't miss out

I was so busy this semester that I feel like I massively missed out on a lot of stuff. I was desperately trying to save for Madrid so working 25 ish hours a week, on top of trying to navigate my way through my Media Law module, being Lifestyle Editor of the Uni newspaper, keeping up a social life and make regular trips home to see my newborn brother....all at the same time. It gets tricky. Prioritising is a skill which I have yet to master, but hopefully after experiencing the total hectic-ness of the past few months, I am a more organised and well rounded person. Maybe.

Happy days at the end of Semester!
I hope everyone has had a lovely, relaxing Christmas and a happy new year!
Anna x
P.s If you fancy it you can vote for me as Blogger of the Month here xxx

Festivities, Forge and fantastic decisions


So a very busy start to Second Year means that I have zero time :( 

So I got up extra early this morning (10am.....) and decided to write a lil blog post. I start work at 11 so this could be a bit rushed but we will give it a go.

So what's been going on....apart from the classic extreme lack of sleep which has made another appearance after First Year, I have been working a lot of hours (more than I am doing Uni work which is a questionable decision on my part but heyho.)

I am currently saving for Madrid next February, which is getting veeery close now! After weeks of scrolling through renting websites I have finally found someone to take my room in Sheffield whilst I'm abroad which is a great relief, so all I need to do now is find somewhere to live when I get there....Luckily I am looking with 3 other gals from my course so I'm not totally in the dark. 

Also I recently became Lifestyle Editor of the Uni newspaper Forge Press, which is super exciting! It's a lot of work but really rewarding too when you finally see everything in print around the Uni. 

Surprisingly, this year hasn't been as demanding as I thought so far- I have had one deadline which wasn't too stressful at all. We had to do a location voicer for radio, which is where you go out to an event and record yourself describing what it's like etc. I went to a guide dog fundraising event with my friend Rachel- picked purely on the basis that we would get to see some puppies- a FANTASTIC decision. They were v cute. I also did a vox pop about what the people of Sheffield thought about Donald to say he will never be a popular guy over here, thank god. I couldn't make it through the election night without dying of sleep deprivation, but I'm kinda glad because those of my friends who did watch it said it was terribly depressing. 

I went home a few weekends ago to see Catfish and the Bottlemen with my little bro and spend some time with my family which was super nice.  Also I would definitely recommend a Christmassy day out in Leeds, I visited my friend there this week and it was the perfect way to embrace all those festive feelings.

My boyfriend visited yesterday too and we achieved our biggest relationship success to date....sparkler pictures!!

I hope you have enjoyed this post! 

If you want to vote for me as Blogger of the Month, click here. Thank you!

Anna x

Second Year, Spain and stressssss


Second year has officially started! (and I am already sleep deprived, poor and stresssed hahaha).

Freshers Week was fab, on the first day I ended up returning home because my little baby brother Frank was born..He is such a little beauty and I can't stop talking about him!!
The first week of Uni was fun (mainly because I only have 10 hours of teaching so I spent a lot of time sleeping and catching up with my gal pals). I have three modules this year, Online News Production, Broadcast Journalism and Media Law. It's so good to finally be able to 'do' some journalism instead of being sat in lectures doing theory work! Last week my friend Rach and I went out to do vox-pops (where you ask different members of the public the same question). We asked 'What do you think about Jeremy Corbyn?', and had a range of answers from I BLOODY LOVE HIM to one guy ranting about how Britain is turning in to Venezuela for 15 minutes.
What shocked us the most is the sheer amount of young people who said 'Who?' or 'I'm not interested in politics sorry'. I literally cannot understand how a student -or anyone for that matter- can say that they are not interested in who runs the country we live in.
Professional as always
Things are becoming pretty real with my semester in Spain next February- at the moment I'm filling out loads of paperwork and last night I put my room for rent on the internet (so I don't have to pay two rents, one here and one abroad). Exciting!!!
In other news everyone has settled in to our house....apart from 50 million problems including no hot water and leaking walls, all is well! I'm really enjoying the house life- it is a lot different to First Year, in that everything is a lot tidier and my room is a lot bigger! Also I literally love having a washing machine just downstairs (is this what my life has become?? Getting excited over a washing machine?).
However things are the same in that I still eat pasta 6/7 nights of the week and get no sleep.
Lovin house life
I hope that everyone has settled in to Uni!
Anna x

A big list of absolutely everything you need to take to University


In light of writing blog posts in random places recently, this is my first ever post written....on a plane! I am currently on the way back from Greece with my family (boooo). We've had an amazing time and I am definitely not ready to return to dreary England!

As promised, here is my post on what you should take to Uni. When I was packing I found that I was just shoving random bits in to bags instead of properly thinking about what I wanted to take. As a lover of lists, I desperately wanted a big list of everything I needed to take. So, hopefully this will help some of you out who were in the same position as I was.....

Bedroom- We were given a bin, a desk chair and a mattress
1. Duvet, duvet cover, sheets, mattress protector (take a few of each)
2. Pillows, pillow case
2. A cute rug to spruce up your room a bit
3. Cushions
4. Decorations to make you feel more at home- Things that hang on door handles, photo frames, candles, fairy lights etc (If you're allowed them...)
5. Photos and blu-tac
6. Scissors and Sellotape (Something we were constantly searching for in my flat...)
7. Laptop, phone, chargers, camera
8. Door-stops (good for being sociable!)
9. Books, films, speakers
10. Purse, cards, ID, passport, important documents etc
11. Bags (including the essential clutch/bumbag for nights out!)
12. Posters to brighten up your bedroom
13. Clothes (and coat hangers)- suitable for winter and summer! 
14. Sunglasses (an essential to cover up those massive Freshers eye-bags)
15. A Tv
16. Clothes horse (or another variation of the word depending on where you are from!)
17. Stationery and books
18. Clothes basket
19. Ear plugs. Prepare for a few sleepless nights...
20. Medicine (paracetamol is a Fresher's must)

1. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, shavers etc
2. Toothbrush (something else I forgot...)
3. Toothpaste and holder
4. Soap
5. Toilet cleaner, bleach, toilet brush
6. Towels (and hand towels)
7. Toilet rolls

Kitchen- My halls provided a toaster and a kettle, but make sure you check what you get before you go!
1. Mugs
2. Pans (take quite a few of these too)
3. Chopping boards
4. Cutlery (A key item which I left at home), sharp knives
5. Plates, bowls, side plates etc
6. Bin bags, sandwich bags, foil, cling film, tea towels
7. Wooden spoons, pizza cutters, fish slice
8. Baking trays
9. Tuppaware
10. Tea bags (an ESSENTIAL)

I would also recommend doing a food shop before you go to save stressing when you get there. Buy things like bread, milk, tins of beans, butter, pasta and sauce, etc, meals that you can prepare easily when you're wrapped up in Fresher's excitement. Luckily there was a shop directly opposite my halls in Endcliffe, but you might not be so lucky...

Hopefully I have covered most things but I can guarantee that I have missed something! Don't worry too much about packing for Uni, at the end of the day you can't be as bad as me and forget plates and cutlery.

Here's my room when I had settled in....

Ps you can vote for me as Blogger of the Month here :)

Anna x