Mixtape for Trainrides

This is a mix I made for a friend, but I’ve actually listened to it myself a ridiculous amount of times – especially on the train to uni when it was way too early to read or let alone speak to anyone. Enjoy and let me know which songs you like best!

  1. Daytime Dilemma / Ramones
  2. Highway Child / Jimi Hendrix
  3. Tupelo Honey / Van Morrison
  4. Ruby Lee / Joe Cocker
  5. Just Like Heaven / The Cure
  6. A Sunday Kind of Love / Etta James
  7. Mess Around / Cage the Elephant
  8. All Shook Up / Paul McCartney
  9. She Bangs the Drums / The Stone Roses
  10. Painter Song / Norah Jones
  11. Denial / The Vaccines
  12. No Buses / Arctic Monkeys
  13. Daydreamer / Adele
  14. The Chain / Fleetwood Mac
  15. Meet Me In The Hallway – Harry Styles
  16. Flowers in the Window / Travis
  17. There is a Light That Never Goes Out / The Smiths
  18. Down to the Market / The Kooks
  19. Octopus’s Garden / The Beatles
  20. Already Over Me / The Rolling Stones
  21. Cherry Wine / Hozier
  22. Ain’t No Sunshine / Bill Withers

Dear University Freshers…

I recently looked through my journal and found an entry from about 2 weeks before I started university – and oh dear, I must have been absolutely mortified when I wrote that. I had nearly forgotten about the sheer panic I felt during those few weeks, but there was probably nothing about uni that I wasn’t scared of. Just the thought of my fellow students, my future lecturers, the confusing giant buildings, the high standards and the exams I would have to pass made me want to hide in a cave for at least a couple of months.

So if you have similar feelings about going off to uni or college – I understand. But I also know that 100% of my worries turned out to be completely unnecessary. I’m now about to finish the first year of my degree and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been in a better place in life than I am now.

Of course, I’m still far from being an expert and what I’m going to tell you now is only based on personal experience, but here’s a few pieces of advice I would give to any university fresher!


Get all the information you can

Especially when you’re feeling a bit anxious about uni anyways, it can be very tempting to skip welcoming lectures and information evenings to hide in your room and watch Netflix instead. However, putting together your timetable, finding your way around the university and getting the hang of how your online student account works can be quite tricky, so you probably need all the info you can get. Don’t hesitate to ask other people as well – they’ll either be in the same situation as you or they’ll know how overwhelming things can be when you’re new and have no clue what’s going on, so they’ll be happy to help you with any problems you might have. And once you get the hang of how everything works, it suddenly won’t seem that complicated at all.


Fresher’s Week

Fresher’s week is a brilliant way to make your first friends and get to know your university, and for many students it’s a really fun and exciting experience – but don’t be too upset if it isn’t for you. I’m quite introverted and I struggle with speaking to a lot of new people at the same time, so fresher’s week was an absolute nightmare for me. I’m not sure if that’s always the case, but my Fresher’s week essentially revolved around getting pissed and nothing else – which shocked me so much that I seriously thought about dropping out before classes had even started.

But what I’m trying to say is, don’t let this first week intimidate you. Have a few beers if you want to, but don’t give into the pressure if you don’t, and always make sure to stay safe. Maybe you’re lucky and you’ll meet people you get along with right away, but if you don’t, don’t give up! Everyone is super insecure in those first few days so it’s perfectly normal if you’re struggling, and it will get easier.


Making friends

First of all, don’t worry if it takes a while until you find the right people. My courses were all really big in the beginning, which made me feel like making friends was nearly impossible. I spoke to about 20 new people every day during the first week of classes and most of those first conversations were even more awkward than I was afraid they would be. The other problem was that, if you did get along with someone, you probably wouldn’t see them for at least another week because the university was so big.

Quite soon though, I noticed a group of people who seemed really cool and secretly planned to make friends with them. Now, if you’re braver than me, you should probably try and actually speak to people you find interesting, but all I did was sit near them a couple of times until one of them, now one of my best friends, started talking to me – and it sort of just took off from there. Later on, I actually found out that they had sat next to me on purpose too, and had wanted to speak to me since the first week – so if you feel like you might get along with someone, maybe don’t be a chickenshit like me and start a conversation right away, that’ll save you a lot of time and worries.

If you don’t want to speak to people first though, I’d recommend wearing shirts with band logos, references to tv shows etc., that’s always a brilliant conversation starter! Also, remember that you already have a mutual interest with every single person in your course – you all study the same thing!


Do your reading

I know that some of the texts you have to read for uni seem like the most boring piece of literature you’ve ever come across, but it really is worth at least having a proper look at them nonetheless. Most lectures are based on texts and knowing your material in advance will make following what your prof is saying a lot easier. Very often, the knowledge you get from reading your texts is simply assumed and you can feel really lost (and ultimately, bored) during lectures if you don’t know what on earth your lecturer is going on about. Additionally, all the texts you have to read could come in very handy when you need some secondary literature for an essay or term paper!


Talk to lecturers

Some lecturers and professors can be pretty intimidating at first, but speaking to them and asking questions is always worthwhile. If something they said in a lecture interests you, go and ask them about it! They’re usually really chuffed when they see that their students are passionate about their subject area, and it’s always helpful if they know who you are as well.

If you struggle with an essay, don’t be ashamed to ask them for advice. One of my lecturers actually personally gave me and some others a tour through the library when we mentioned we were still confused by how big it is, helped me pick out a title for my paper and recommended me literature to use as a reference.



Writing my first exams was an extremely scary thought, and it didn’t help to have lecturers tell you how many people usually fail every other day. However, you’ve got to remember that if you go to class regularly, do your reading and do even just a little bit of revision, you will most probably be fine. If you have procrastination issues like me, I’d recommend forming study groups with people you know are responsible and revise together – that’s not only a lot more fun, but you’ll also get things done a lot quicker.


I hope this was at least a little bit helpful and I wish anyone who’s starting uni this year the best of luck and a lot of fun! University is such a wonderful time because you get to learn about something you’re passionate about every day while meeting lots of amazing people along the way, and  I really hope you’ll all enjoy it as much as I do x

7 Of My Favourite Poems!

Since yesterday was World Poetry Day, I had a look through my poetry notebook and rediscovered some of my favourite poems, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you!

1. i carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

2. Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

3. Variation on the Word Sleep by Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun and three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary


4. Eternity by William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy

Does the winged life destroy;

But he who kisses the joy as it flies

Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.


5. Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

6. Daffodils by William Wodsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

7. Hope by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Be proud of your softness (Poem)

Be proud of your softness

Don’t let the world make you hard


There’s flowers of kindness inside you

Don’t let them wilt and die

Plant them in the best soil you can find

Water them

And look at them bloom


When the cold and the storms come to destroy them

– and they will –

Build a greenhouse to keep them safe


You’ve got all the love in the world within your very own heart

So take a basket of seeds

Throw them in the wind

And watch the flowers grow

6 Ideas for creative and personal Christmas presents

There’s only one more week till Christmas and you still don’t know what to get for your friends and family? Don’t panic, here’s 6 ideas that might save your bacon!

Self-designed tote bags

Do you feel like getting creative but don’t have much money to spend? Just get some fabric markers and a plain tote bag and make your own self-designed bags for your friends! You can find lots of cute images online, come up with your own ones or simply write down a quote from your friend’s favourite book if you’re unsure about drawing.

Photo mug 

This is, again, a very personal gift that’d be great for a family member or close friend – and is surprisingly not even that expensive! (around £5) Choose a cute picture of you and your friend, a screenshot from their favourite movie or even a photo of their celebrity crush and print it on a mug. (You can order them online or sometimes at your local drugstore.)

With such an amazing gift, they’ll enjoy their Christmas tea even more than usual!


Music always makes a great gift, but if you don’t wanna get your friend a regular CD because you’re not sure which albums they already have, making your own little mixtape is the perfect solution. Put together a playlist of songs you want to recommend to them and add some that you’ve listened to together during the past year so they can relive all those wonderful memories every time they listen to the mix!

Customised planner

Since the year is coming to an end, lots of people need a new calendar or planner anyways, which makes it work perfectly as a Christmas present. Instead of buying a ready planner, you could go for a normal notebook that either already has a nice layout or that’s front page you could design yourself by putting together a collage or drawing something. Then, write down the months and days of the upcoming year and add little photos, stickers, quotes or jokes for each day or week to make it even more special and give your friend something to smile about whenever they open their planner!

Write them a story/ poem

If you’re good at writing, coming up with a story or poem for a friend is possibly the best gift you could give them. This is especially great if they’re in a fandom, because you could simply write a fan fiction including their favourite characters or celebrities. Is there, for instance, a book your friend absolutely loved but didn’t like the ending of? Make them happy by writing an alternative one!

A jar full of positivity

Again, this one is brilliant if you’re a bit short of money because literally all you need is a glass jar, a pen and some paper. Simply cut the paper into smaller pieces and write down little compliments, motivational sayings, cute reminders or anything else that you think would make your friend happy, fold them and put them all into the glass jar. This way, your friend can take out and read one of your notes whenever they’re having a bad day and will hopefully feel slightly better afterwards.

My all time favourite Christmas songs

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve actually been listening to this since October, but as December has now begun and my Christmas spirits are higher than ever, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my favourite Christmas songs with you. Enjoy and leave your own favourite Christmas jams in the comments below!

  1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  2. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
  3. Winter Wonderland – Jason Mraz
  4. It Won’t Seem Like Christmas – Elvis
  5. Sickly Sweet Holidays – Dallon Weekes
  6. River – Joni Mitchell
  7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Sam Smith
  8. Happy Xmas – John Lennon
  9. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid 30
  10. Sleigh Ride – Fun
  11. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Frank Sinatra
  12. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – NSYNC
  13. Christmas Lights – Coldplay
  14. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  15. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
  16. When I Get Home For Christmas – Snow Patrol
  17. Merry Christmas, Here’s to Many More – Relient K
  18. Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons
  19. Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rae
  20. Merry Christmas – Ramones
  21. Someday At Christmas – Jack Johnson
  22. Joy To The World – Aretha Franklin
  23. Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
  24. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
  25. Shake Up Christmas – Train
  26. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – Perry Como
  27. The Power Of Love – Gabrielle Aplin
  28. All I Want For Christmas – Mariah Carey
  29. Please Come Home For Christmas – Eagles
  30. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens


Why keeping a journal is always worthwhile

It makes up for your forgetfulness

Ever had  a brilliant idea, promised yourself to keep it in mind for later and then forgot about it forever? So many creative ideas get lost this way which is quite a shame, but if you’ve got a journal with you, you can simply make a quick note and get back to it whenever you have more time.

Keeping track of things

There’s all kinds of lists you can put in your journal to be more organised: to-do lists, a list of your goals, a list of the books you want to read, a list of things that make you happy for days when you need a bit of positivity, a list of the people you have to get Christmas presents for or even an episode guide of the show you’re watching so you can tick off the ones you’ve already seen. I know all this might sound a bit mundane or even superfluous, but actively keeping track of what you’re doing or just listing things you want to get back into can definitely make life a lot easier.


This is particularly relevant for artists who might wanna make sketches of ideas they have for a new drawing, painting or other type of artwork, but even if you’re just as ungifted at arts as I am, doodling is a great way to pass the time whenever you’re bored and can actually be pretty relaxing.

Writing down quotes and lyrics

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll probably be able to relate to the struggle of really loving a passage of a book, but not wanting to ruin your copy by highlighting it or taking notes on the sides of the page. Therefore, copying it to a notebook or journal is quite a good idea, especially because writing something down will also help you remember it – and knowing a few good book quotes by heart is never a bad thing, is it?

It’s just as useful for song lyrics; you won’t believe how many times I rediscovered songs I’d already forgotten about and fell in love with them all over again just because I found their lyrics in one of my notebooks.

Just write down anything that you feel like you want to remember, be it a quote, a stupid joke you’ve picked up, or an interesting fun fact like “Oscar Wilde’s father was Queen Victoria’s private eye doctor” (yes, that’s from my personal collection).


If you’re feeling creative and are up for a bit of crafting, you could also use your journal as a kind of scrapbook and make collages out of photos, snippets you cut out of papers or magazines, dried leaves and flowers, concert tickets or any other bits and pieces you don’t wanna throw away because they carry some kind of meaning for you.

Let it all out

Sometimes it can be quite helpful, or even therapeutic, to simply write down all of your emotions or worries, particularly if you don’t feel like talking to another person about them. Putting your feelings into words always means reflecting on them as well. This can be great for structuring your thoughts, and going on a proper rant can in many cases be quite liberating, so do give it a try!

Let your friends write in it

Another fun thing to do if you’ve got a journal is to take it with you when you hang out with friends and let them write down your private jokes, draw something, put down book, film or music recommendations for you or simply write you a little message. I’ve done this quite a lot of times and always enjoy looking through all the stuff people have put in there, it’s such a great way to relive your favourite memories with people you love!

It’s pretty much a time capsule

Lastly, since a journal is very personal and often tells you a lot about its owner at the time they wrote it, it will probably be really interesting to look back at a couple of years later. I always find it incredibly fascinating to see how much you can change over time, especially in your teenage years; and even though you might cringe at the stuff you put in your journal later on, it’ll also be pretty amazing to kind of look at your younger self from a different perspective and remember what you were like a few years ago.