The Sober Student’s Guide to Experincing Freshers!

As a sober student, I don’t really enjoy the club events in freshers week(s) however I still want to go out and socialize so I have created a list of events that are perfect for those of us who don’t drink or enjoy clubbing. Let me know what you think below.

  1. Night at the Museum: This is the first year Derby Uni have done this event but I think it will be a great way for new students to get to know Derby and the local area. 17/9/18 7pm-10pm. https://www.derbyunion.co.uk/ents/event/1601/
  2. Comedy Night: This is a Derby Uni favorite and is always a great night to meet new people and socialize with your current friends. This year the comedian is Darren Harriott. 18/9/18 8pm-2am https://www.derbyunion.co.uk/ents/event/1597/
  3. RAG Quiz: This is the Unions version of a pub quiz, which is always great fun and a good way to get to know your housemates if you live in halls. Not only is this great fun but the money raised also goes towards the RAG (Raise and Give) charities that have been selected by the union (these charities change every year). 19/9/2018 7:30pm-11pm https://www.derbyunion.co.uk/ents/event/1602/
  4. Outdoor Cinema: Everyone loves a movie so why not experience the outdoor cinema. 20/9/19 6:30pm-11pm https://www.derbyunion.co.uk/ents/event/1603/
  5. Freshers Fair: Get to know the societies, grab some freebies and enjoy some pizza whilst getting to know the university. 24-25/9/18 from 10am.
  6. Derby Student Lock-in: A great way to grab some bargains, Intu Derby Student Lock In provides students with up to 50% off activities, food, and stores in the shopping center. There are also many competitions and freebies located around the center. 25/9/18 6pm-10pm.

Student Lock-in Discounts: https://intu.co.uk/derby/offers?type=student-discount

 

Turning 22!

21 was such a big year in my life. I got to visit Washington DC and New York, I moved into my home, I completed two internships and finished the 2nd year of my degree.

My amazing family and friends made my 22nd birthday so special and continued with our traditions. Our usual tradition for my birthday is visiting a zoo, and on my 21st birthday, we started a new tradition of feeding an unusual animal. This year my best friend and boyfriend made that happen by arranging for me to go and feed the penguins at Peak Wildlife Park, it was the best surprise and an amazing experience.

We also continued with the zoo tradition by visiting Blackpool zoo which I had been so excited to visit as it is one of the zoos I had not visited before. I got to see the Tapir which is my favorite animal and I don’t get to see very often as they are not in most zoos and the orangutans were pretty cute too.

We decided to stay overnight so I did some research and found an amazing hotel with beautiful views of the river Wyre which was just 20 minutes outside of Blackpool city center. Seen as though we had a spare day in Blackpool we decided to take a walk down the pier and go and visit Ripley’s Believe it or Not which was so much fun and would definitely recommend.

First Time Tenant! Top tips for moving out.

So I finally moved out of my parent’s house and into my own flat to try to live like an adult.

When people say that moving house is one of the most stressful experiences in life, they were true. not because of moving furniture and unpacking but because of all the little things you forget about.

I imagined moving out would be this amazing experience that would run really smoothly and it would be pretty perfect (especially with how organized I am) but it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong I love living in my own place and having my own space but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

  1. Be organized: It sounds obvious but it makes it so much easier if you put similar stuff in the same box and label it (that way you know where your creature comforts are).
  2. Set up your internet ASAP!: internet takes ages to set up when you move house (mine took over 2 weeks….). Always look around for the best deals and at customer reviews (also find out what internet you can get in your new place…. I can only get the super fast fiber which is the most expensive, so I have great internet but have to pay more than I wanted to for the correct speed).
  3. Shop around: look around for the best gas and electric providers. Blub is the best one I have found, it the cheapest with no exit fees and its renewable. When you sign up to Bulb through a friends link you also get £50 free credit for you and your friend.  To get £50 free credit use the following link: https://bulb.co.uk/refer/samanthal7992
  4. Get your friends involved: getting your friends involved makes moving a lot more fun and it means you have helpers as well (in my case I brought mine a McDonalds in return).
  5. Furniture: Have a look around when it comes to furniture. I managed to get some key pieces for my home from New Life and then got various other pieces from Facebook and charity shops which I then redecorated to fit in with my colour scheme. Here is the link for New Life so you can find your local store (http://newlifestores.co.uk), not only do you get some amazing bargains but you are also helping disabled children and their families.

Empire State of mind….

Saturday 9th June.

Our first morning in New York!

Seen as though we did not leave the hotel early that morning some of us decided to go and find some food and have a walk around Madison Square and Times Square. We eventually stumbled across a breakfast place when we were greeted by what can only be described as a stoner (this is not an assumption he was smoking a spliff and smelled like weed…), He approached us with the promise of amazing bagels. At first, we tried to explain that we weren’t interested but he wouldn’t take no for an answer so we decided to follow him, it did run through our minds that following him was probably not the best decision…. but amazing bagels were promised… He eventually led us to Liberty Bagels. He was right they were amazing!! They were the best bagels in New York! (if you go make sure you try the cream cheese… birthday cake is the best!).

Anyway I’m getting a bit sidetracked back to the Empire State Building. So we left the hotel and headed to the Empire State Building in time for our booking. When we got inside it was just like I remembered (this wasn’t my first time to the big apple), it was beautiful and marble… Anyway we made it to the 86th floor and went out on the viewing platform and the view was incredible (last time I visited it was the end of December and the weather was pretty bad so I couldn’t see a lot). So we took photos mainly using the 2-meter long selfie stick that I bought that morning (what a mistake, did get some amazing pics though) and headed back downstairs as we had free time.

We decided to go and explore Coney Island, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Unfortunately for the staff with us, me and my 3 friends had consumed a lot of sugar by this point (2 days worth…. it was about midday) so they had a long day ahead of them.

When we reached Coney Island I was so excited as I had always wanted to visit. The weather was amazing and we consumed more sugar… We went into the sea which was freezing (Atlantic sea) and then 2 went off to go on the rides and 2 of us went to explore the pier. We found 2 friendly police officers who let us take a selfie and then found milkshakes (or in my case a slushy as I’m lactose intolerant). We met back up at the tube station and headed to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, by this stage hyper doesn’t begin to describe us.

We reached the Botanical Gardens and had consumed 3 days worth of sugar (mainly in the form of sweets, powerade, gatorade and mountain dew). For the hour we were there the gardens were not peaceful, instead there was 4 hyperactive 20 year olds running round (you can witness some of this in the vlogs). We went through the gardens and to the turtles which we were super excited for then headed on to Brooklyn Bridge.

By the time we got to Brooklyn Bridge the sugar was starting the ware off, we were hot and tired we had walked about 9 miles at this point. We walked over Brooklyn Bridge which was beautiful if not a little different then I imagined (why is the pedestrian section wooden?). By the time we finished the Brooklyn Bridge it was 6pm so we were very tired and desperately needed a shower (not only was it hot but it was humid) we made it back to the hotel with 20 mins to go until we had to leave and me and my roommate both needed a shower, which we achieved in the time frame. Then we headed to Ellen’s Stardust!

Ellens Stardust had the longest queue I had ever seen, not only did it loop around the building but also down the block. The singing was incredible, the staff was super friendly and the food was fantastic (you need to go and visit). We then went for a wander around New York and headed back to the hotel for another long day.

Times Square!!!

Friday 8th June

Today was the day….

The day we flew to AMERICA!

I was supper excited and couldn’t wait to get on that plane, but first I had to get on there.

Once I managed to finish getting ready and had some food I headed down to the hotel lobby to meet up with the other eight students in the hotel. We then got on the coach and headed to Heathrow. Heathrow was the first time all 39 students were together, I was so excited and nervous at the same time. We eventually all checked in (you can imagine how long it takes to check 43 people in, it was over an hour), we then had our group photo and made our way through the airport.

We eventually made it to duty-free and then my bag broke… so I had to by a new bag before I had even landed in America. For obvious reasons I could not bin my broken bag therefore I decided to give it to a security guard which ended with me waiting half an hour for a security check.

We finally made it on to the plane and it was half empty. Amazing!

I managed to grab a row to my self and then settled in for the long flight. Most of the students were sociable on the flight which was nice otherwise it could have been a very gruelling flight. The Virgin Atlantic crew were so helpful and friendly and the onboard entertainment was better than I expected.

Once landed we had to make it through american customs (took about 2 and a half hours) and then it was onto the hotel.

The hotel kind of reminded me of The Shining on the inside (it was a bit creepy and outdated, but we were in america for free so it’s what I expected). We then got assigned our room mates and headed out into Times Square.

I have previously been to america when I was a child and frequently visit london so the busy streets were nothing new to me.

The bright lights of Times Square could be seen blocks away and the atmosphere was electric. I felt so lucky to have been given this opportunity. We had a few group photos and then split up to explore. We had to travel in groups of at least 3 in case of an emergency so my group decided to go and get pizza and head on to Macy’s. By the time we made it back to the hotel it was midnight (5am UK time) and we were exhausted so we decided to call it a night and prepare for the next day.