Hello Everyone

I hope that everyone’s enjoying this semester at University as I am sure we are all well underway with our coursework and things by now. I can’t believe how quick the year is going so far, already half way through February! I remember this time last year I was really down as it was the first time I had been on my own for a good few years, and as Valentines day was looming I was starting to feel a bit low, when I lived in halls of residence, I found it very easy to just lock myself away in my room and just be by myself, sometimes it felt easier than dealing with everything else, however, I knew it couldn’t last forever. As we all know it is this time of year that student househunting is upon us and as I learnt last year it can prove to be one of the most stressful things ever! The problem is I think, especially in first year it’s hard to know who is absolutely reliable enough to sign a contract with, from starting uni in September to signing contract around february March time there is not time to get your head round everything, especially when going in on group houses, I think my best piece of advice for this would be, hold a proper meeting with the chosen housemates well in advance of hunting, make a list and make it clear what each of you needs, can afford, and set up a reasonable time frame, make sure everyone is willing to pull there weight and everyone definitely has the money in place well in advance, I learnt from this last year and ended up being gazumped on a contract in June – a month before we were due to move in, I had to sort out renting my house out, lost my bond and get in on another contract in one month it was one of the most stressful and upsetting times, so thankfully this year I have been much wiser and made sure this does not happen again!
Househunting doesn’t have to be totally stressful, as long as you trust and know the people you are living with, protect yourselves, where money is concerned as a student you should always safeguard yourself, but do enjoy the experience, because moving in with your new best friends at Uni is one of the most exciting times, and I know it was for me, we had the whole summer once we had moved in to just enjoy our new house, hang out and enjoy the sunshine (when it wasn’t raining), I would say that it’s easier to socialise and get more of a family unit going in student houses aswell which I really benefited from, every week we have ‘family night’ where all of us get together, cook a meal together, sit and eat and talk and watch movies, and it is so much fun and keeps us so close, we have pj nights and sunday dinner once a month all of us together, I really recommend that people set up stuff like this to make it a real home for yourselves because trust me, my second year has literally vanished and it is scary how quick all this just goes so make the most of it!
There is plenty of time for prepping for essays now aswell, I get my assignement questions in a couple of weeks and will be setting up my schedule for getting them done in time for summer break, I really recommend that everyone does something similar, it saves so much time and stress and makes it just so much easier on yourselves, I just do a couple of hours at the library a week on each assignment as soon as I get the questions and in a matter of weeks they are well on the way to being finished, I know that every month I come out with all these ‘tips’ etc which may sound like nothing but as someone who dealt with depression whilst studying I know how hard it can be and it’s little things like this that make a difference and make you feel better.
I could sit and talk for hours about all the bad things that happened to me that I wrote about in ‘My Story’ but I would rather tell you guys how I helped myself and moved on and what I do now to make myself feel better and hopefully make you feel better.
This time last year me and my girlfriends were all single and feeling sorry for ourselves that we had no one to give us valentines cards so we decided to all give each other them, like secret santa, we all dressed in red on valentines day and cooked a romantic meal for all of us and then had a sleepover and watched chick flicks and horror movies, it was literally the best Valentines day ever, and we had such a laugh, so to all the single ladies out there I salute you and want you all to be each other’s valentines!
Dealing with depression in any form is always going to be hard, I still battle with mine every day, but it’s so much easier now, it really is, I just realise that I needed someone to give me a push, and make me get things in perspective, depression can cause us to lose our perspective sometimes and that’s never good, but just take one step a day to make yourself feel better, even if it’s a tiny step, you will feel the difference, the best thing you can do is talk to someone, there is always someone who will listen. I spent years trying to understand what happened to me, when my dad left, with my miscarriage, and everything in between, but over the last year or so I have realised, I don’t need to understand it, sometimes there isn’t a valid reason to justify these awful things that happen, but the healthiest thing I ever did, was just accepting that they happened, talking about it, and moving forward, I held on to so much anger and resentment for years, and it ate me up, made me bitter and deeply unhappy and hurt no one but myself, and I realised that I was wasting my life being angry over things that were out of my control, so I decided to take control of what was in my control – my life and I went to counselling and it was honestly the best thing I ever did.
So please, if you feel you need to talk to someone, the student counselling services are there to help and they are absolutely incredible! Make the most of it and start to feel better.
I hope you’re all doing great and enjoying every minute of University – it is flying by for me so lets all make the most of it!

Peace

Izzy :o) xxx