*This post contains links to gifted/PR samples but all opinions remain my own*

It still feels like yesterday I was shopping in Ikea, picking up that cheese grater every student seems to have, buying way too many utensils one student needed, packing up my bags and heading off for my first year of university. The terms really do fly by and it can be quite difficult to really feel like you're making the make of your time there - studying hard while still haven't a great time/ For those heading off to university, here are a few things I learnt through my first term at university to set me up for a great first yearn and beyond. 

Packing & Preparation

Let's assume you already have everything packed and ready to go - all your photos and fairy lights to make your new room feel like home. All your kitchen essentials and toiletries are packed and ready to go. If you're wanting to make sure you're truly ready for your first term of lectures here are a few things to add to your list: 


The last thing you want to be doing is running around a new city trying to find a WHSmiths or Ryamn's in your first week. Make sure you at least have the basics. A few notebooks, highlighters and pens. Binders will be a God-send as well for arranging your notes from day one onwards. You will thank your organised-self later when it comes to revision! I loved having lots of different notebooks for my different lectures and modules; little places to jot down quick memos and to-do lists were super helpful! If you're looking for some cute notebooks for your first term, The Design Palette has some great little notepads that you are sure to love! 


At my university, we couldn't see our reading lists until after our first lectures but I recommend as early as you can to write out a reading list for your to term and keep it somewhere easy to find. It's a great way to keep track of what you need to read, when for and for what lectures. It can also help make sure that you can take out the book from your uni's library in time, and not having to panic when you go to borrow 1 of 2 copies of a book that is shared between 100 students to find, shock horror, there isn't one in stock. 

Once your lectures begin, staying on top of your reading when you can is one of my top tips - it's far from fun but getting it out of the way and having your notes written early for revision will save you so much trouble later! 

Your first week


For those of you not in the UK, Freshers week is the first week at university - a chance to get introduced to university life. From signing up to 20+ societies you later will never attend a meeting for as well as getting acquainted with the nightlife on offer at your university. By the end of the week, you will probably already have a well-formed opinion as to what your favourite night out spots will be for the rest of the week and which you will avoid in the future (Pop World - I’m looking at you).

I have a whole post with my tips on How to Survive Freshers week which includes some essentials to pack for the week. But, my main advice is to just enjoy it - step out of your comfort zone and get to know those on your course and the people you’re living with - everyone is in the same boat.

Communal living

If you’re living in student accommodation, enjoy it! It might not be The Ritz but you’ll be sure to have some funny anecdotes to share from the year. It’s a known piece of advice but it works: keep your door open! Say hey to anyone on your floor or block - you’re all in the same boat and will be living with them for a year.

It definitely can take some adjusting to life at university and I don’t know anyone who didn’t have a moment where they thought uni wasn’t right for them. It will take a few weeks to feel settled and that’s exactly what your first term is for.


It’s definitely tempting to blow all your student finance as soon as it hits your bank account but don’t make the mistake I’ve seen many do - spend it all on food and nights out in the first week to then live off pasta and sauce, 3 meals a day for the rest of the term. 

Meal planning

Try your best to plan your meals for the week ; even a rough guide of what you need and keep it interesting! My flat and I enjoyed cooking a few meals together - maybe once a week one of us cooking for the others who wanted in. Try some new student recipes. You might shock yourself at the amount you can upgrade your cooking at uni. 

Weekly shops

Where we lived on campus was pretty far from any big supermarkets so each week we put in a joint food order to be delivered each week. It was a great way to save time and money on shopping for the week. I rarely spent more than £20 on food a week and delivery was just 50p each! 


I seriously thanked myself in the third year for my savvy first-year self. It wasn’t that I was saving consciously but I learnt fairly quickly where to spend and save my money - I definitely put in a few too many ASOS orders but student discount was definitely a great one for that. 

Student nights we cheaper than weekend club nights, the restaurants around the city always had student deals, and we were still using vouchers we picked up in Freshers week at the end of first year. I could have definitely saved even more but I was lucky that I could live comfortably through uni, saving where I can but not letting it stop me from doing things in my first year.


Like I say, moving away from home and adjusting to a new place and way of living can be difficult especially for the more introverted type. There’s the feeling that you need to be out there, make as many friends as you can in your first week and be super interesting. But, that really isn’t the case. University is the place you will find some of the most like-minded people where you can find people to enjoy your downtime with or will completely respect if you don’t want to go on a night out and instead want to spend it curled up in halls watching repeats of Friends on Netflix.

Netflix Nights

You don’t have to be out, in a club or bar, with your housemates to have fun and get to know them. One of our nights at Freshers we were all completely tired so instead piled into one of our rooms and watched a film. It then became a bit of a tradition - Theroux Thursday. Exactly what you think - another Louis Theroux Documentary every week!

Time for yourself

Don’t be afraid to spend some time on your own - sitting in your room having some time to yourself, going shopping on your own, going for a walk. Do what you feel is best for you and don’t feel you have to be sat in communal areas every minute of the day. I’ve previously shared some self-care ideas for students that you might want to check out! 

These are just a few ways to help you make the most out of your first term but ultimately just enjoy yourself! The amount of work might come as a bit of a shock but the first term is there to ease you into the rest of your 3+ years at university so enjoy it! 

 Hope you’re doing great, Sarah x

After reading Daisy Butter’s post Why I still blog 10 years on, I realised that it’s been 8 years since I opened blogspot and set up my first blog. At first, a place to share my own thoughts and feelings - my online journal - turned comfort zone to share my loves, advice, inspiration. It’s definitely had some transformations over the 8 years I’ve been blogging, some years posting a handful of posts, others filled with consistent updates. But, at the heart of it, I think the reasons I blog have stayed the same. I thought I’d share just a few of the reasons with you today, whether you’re in a blogging rut or looking to start a blog yourself, these are just a few reasons I still continue to share on my little cosy corner of the internet. 

The love of writing 

The strongest reason - whether it’s long-form pieces like I used to or more fun posts I share more recently, writing about the things I love - there’s nothing like it! I always loved to write and in a slightly narcissistic way, I always wanted to share “my story” - yes, the extremely mundane life of Sarah. It really is a diary to me and it’s amazing that people want to hear me babble on about books, hear about my time at university and what I learnt and how I’ve been adjusting to life in London. My posts might not always be the most well-formed, grammatically correct pieces of literature but it’s what I enjoy writing and sharing. It’s been the same since day one and still to this day. 

The experience 

I always wanted in some way for my job to include writing. A job filled with the tap, tap, tap of a keyboard or countless drafts in notebooks. Blogging has taught me more than anywhere else the skills I need for my current full-time job. It’s the extra thing I add to my CV that never feels like it deserves to be there because blogging was what I love to do in my spare time, not something I did to add something extra to my experience. But, it has opened doors to careers I didn’t think would be possible! 

The creative freedom 

A blog really is a passion project and you can make it what you want. There are endless possibilities to where I can take my content and that excites me, it keeps it fresh and interesting. I’ve constantly changed the posts I share - from beauty reviews way back in the day (what was I thinking?) to books to I guess where we are now - a little bit of everything! I don’t feel constrained to a niche or a certain way of thinking and writing when it comes to a post; I share what I want and what I think others will want to read and, if they don’t, I still had lots of fun producing the post! 

The community

I’ll be honest, it’s far from perfect. I’ve shared some honest opinions about the blogging community in the past. But, no one is perfect and having a supportive group of bloggers who can relate to what you do, appreciate the lengths you can go to to get a post out, it really is appreciated. Even 8 years on, the notification of a new comment on a post makes me smile. Even just a like or a share is really why I keep sharing the posts that I do! 

There really is something fun about having a blog and I urge anyone out there thinking of giving it a go too, just do it! You never know how much you'll love it. 

If you have a blog, how long have you been blogging for?
Hope you're doing great, 

*This post contains PR sample/gifted items but all opinions remain my own*

There are so many benefits to practising gratitude - reflecting on the day and focussing on the positives, of the things we should be thankful for. It’s one form of self-care that is proven to have many mental health benefits. Here is a guide for how to practice gratitude and a suggestion of ways to do just that. 

But first, what is gratitude? 

By definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Being grateful for the positive aspects of your day, week and life, that make you feel all warm and fuzzy when you think of these moments you are thankful for. 

Practising gratitude is taking the time to reflect of these moments, consciously showing thanks for the good day you had, the positive conversation that may have taken place, the everyday things that you may sometimes take for granted. Practising gratitude is a way of focussing on the positives and disregarding the negatives. 

The Mental health benefits of practising gratitude

Giving thanks has been scientifically proven to make you happier - gratitude has been linked to greater levels of happiness.  It’s been noted to improve your relationships with others - friends, family, your significant other as well as your ability to cope when faced with adversity. It is even been seen to have a lasting effect on your brain suggesting that even over time, the benefits of practising gratitude are present. 

Practising gratitude is just one way that can increase your happiness levels and allow you to have a more positive outlook on life and the many aspects of it. Taking some time to do this as often as possible one form of self-care that is worth taking the time out of your day to reflect and take conscious note of. 

You may also like Why Self-care is Productive” 

How to Practice Gratitude

Thank you notes

If you want to say thank you to someone, then do it! Whether it’s verbally, in a text but, what better way than a cute notelet for them to keep. Writing little thankyous is just one way you can practice gratitude not only a nice message to a friend for helping you out but a nice act for you to do by spending some time thinking about the positive things that have happened and thanking those who were there. There are so many amazing places to pick up thank you notes but these Thank you cards by the lovely Komal at The Design Palette are perfect - such simple, beautiful designs that are perfect for this! 

Gratitude Journaling

Take some time to reflect on the positives of your day - maybe pick out 3 things you’re grateful for each day can help you pick out the small things that you may not usually notice but on reflection see what a great impact it has on you in feeling happier every day. 

Take photos

This is one I personally love. Taking photos through your day - whether it’s a fun adventure with friends or maybe you’ve had a cosy day reading a good book. Take a quick pic to savour the moments you feel most grateful to help you remember the moment and be able to look back later and smile! 

Do you do any of these things to practice gratitude? Any you might start doing? 

Hope you’re doing great, 

Sarah x