Let's Talk: My experience at University and Graduation...

4 Dec 2019

Hello everyone,

As some of you may know, a couple of weeks ago I graduated from University, which is quite possibly one of my biggest achievements to date. It felt very weird graduating as I finished uni about seven months ago so it felt very odd to be in a room celebrating again. I thought the topic of Uni and Graduation would be another great Let's Talk opportunity as I know University can be a massive decision in someones life and often that decision can be quite a difficult one, so I thought I would share with you my Uni experience with you all, in hope that it may help those of you who may be considering uni. 

1. You don't always have to move away from home

For those who don't know, I studied Fashion Design at the University of Gloucestershire,  so I actually did not move away from home. Looking back I am still so happy with my choice of not moving away from home, for me it was the best decision I have ever made and I wouldn't change a thing. Of course there are so many great reasons to move away from home but for me it was just not the right time and I just love my home town to much (and my family and boyfriend of course). However, I do feel that maybe I could have learnt more skills if I were to have gone to a university more highly associated with fashion. I feel like my uni of choice was not a great place to study Fashion Design, purely because London would have been so much better for me. I feel like i made my choice based on the fact I wanted to go to uni but didn't want to leave home. So Uni of Glos was my only option. Looking back now I probably would have considered the choice of course a little more, but I still made the most of the course and made some amazing friends at uni. 

Some may think not moving out or away from home means you aren't going to make as many friends. I was very lucky in the sense that my course group was very small so there were only about 22 of us. So we all got along pretty well, so I was still able to make friends and not live in halls. If you are someone who is a little sceptical about moving away and you are adamant that you want to stay at home, then there is nothing wrong with that, I feel like it can often be a little pressuring from other people when it comes to uni and leaving home, but I for sure would not have changed my experience at all. Of course if you are ready to fly the nest then that is amazing, I often wish I had the balls to but of course it just was not the right time for me...

2. You will spend endless nights in the library 

I think if you didn't do this there must have been something going a little wrong. There were countless times myself and my friends would spend till 10pm, some friends even all nighters in the library. I don't know if this was because my course was a creative coursework based course or whether every course is like this. But being part of a creative course, it truly is a task and a half. If you are considering a creative course like Fashion, photography etc, there are going to be times where you feel like you have soooo many things you need to get done. I constantly had hundreds of things to do and nearing towards the end of third year I can not tell you how much work I managed to get done in the end. I often look back and think how the bloody nora did I manage it. I designed and hand made an entire collection along side about 4 other modules of writing, designing, photoshopping and dissertation writing. 

After A levels, I knew that uni was going to be difficult, however I knew that I wasn't going to be studying an academic subject, so it was always going to be a little different to school. However, I would say for me, Uni wasn't necessarily hard (of course academic courses would say different), but for me the workload for the creative course was INSANE.  To feel like you are constantly ticking off your to do list but it was never going down was an absolute mare. But in the end when everything was done and handed in it kind of felt quite weird to know that I had no deadlines or anything to do.  

3. Your first week is tough

I didn't even leave home and on my first day I went home and cried. I went from school and having all of my close friends around me, I knew what I was doing, where I was going, to being all alone in a room full of people at a new place I had never stepped foot in before. I remember being stood in the chapel completely on my own thinking bloody hell how am I supposed to do this. I went home at lunchtime and cried for about an hour and said to my mum that I didn't want to do it. Three days later I had made some friends and I was absolutely fine. For a couple of weeks after I was still considering whether it was right for me and in the end after settling in, I was absolutely fine. Of course it is different for everyone, but for me the first couple of weeks was tough getting used to new surroundings and making new friends. 

4. Are Dissertations as bad as they sound?

I feel like even the word Dissertation sends shivers down any first or second years spine. Time flies and before you know it you are writing your dissertation proposal. Now I won't lie, my dissertation could have been better, I feel like my research wasn't great, I could have made so much more us of the meetings with my tutor and I definitely could have stared sooner. About four days before my dissertation was due, I was sat in Starbucks almost in tears with writer block with nearly 2,000 words left to write. I feel like my question was never really that clear and I wasn't writing it with much enthusiasm, however, after all this I some how managed to get a 2:1. I will never understand how I managed a 2:1 in my dissertation, but I would highly reccomened planning well, choosing a topic you love and really involving yourself in it, because its a lot of words your going to be writing. 

5. Time really does fly

I remember everyone who had been through uni always telling me it would go so fast. I didn't realise that it actually did. Honestly I think they were the fastest three years of my life and I can't quite believe just how quickly that time has gone by. So make sure you enjoy it if you can because I promise your time at uni will go by in a flash. 

6. Was it worth it?

I think for me, looking back on everything I have achieved, it was definitely worth it. Maybe not worth the £40,000 but I think not only do I have a 2:1 in BA Hons Fashion design, I would have never would have thought I could design and make an entire clothing collection and brand from scratch. I always used to say I never thought it was worth it, but dont get me wrong there is probably a lot better things in life you can buy for £40,000, but the friends I made and the entire experience and the things I achieved, I think with out university I would have been a lot less confident in myself. Uni pushed me so much and finally getting to the end of the amounts of deadlines I made, I must say it is worth the end result. Of course Uni isn't the be all and end all of life and you can achieve amazing things without it, but I won't ever regret my experience and I am so grateful for the last 3 years of my life at Uni. 

As for graduation, I was quite lucky that my graduation was at 4pm. This gave me so much more time to get ready and celebrate before hand so the day went actually really slowly which is nice as I know some of my friends said theirs went by really quickly. So make the most of seeing your friends and taking photos because the day only happens once. 

All in all, for me, I would not change my experience at University at all. At first I wasn't sure if it was right for me, however I do feel like I am the sort of person who, if they start something they have to finish it. At school I always chopped and changed what I waned to do at uni and always changed my mind, however I always wanted to go. I feel like this decision was partially because at school they basically don't give you any other option. But I just wanted to stress that no matter what your parents or what schools say, you do not have to go to uni. One of my closest friends started an apprenticeship and she is one of the most successful ladies I know, whilst I have now come out of uni with a degree, but starting where she started 4 years ago. 

I thought I would leave a couple of photos down below of my final collection lookbook shoot and you can follow the link here to my Arts Thread page if you wanted to take a look at my moodboards and designs. I truly hope this little chat helped you in your decision if you are thinking of going to uni or if you enjoyed just reading about my uni experience. 

Thank you so so much for reading, I will see you next time,

Cristy N 

x x x 

The Ultimate Girly Christmas Gift Guide 2019...

1 Dec 2019

Hello everyone,

I'm So excited that it is now the first of December yay... What better way to start this Christmas month than to start with the Ultimate Girly Christmas Gift Guide. I absolutely love sharing with you gift ideas because I know so many people may struggle with knowing what to get for the ladies (or men) of the family. I would say this is a high end high street gift guide as many of the pieces are not designer luxury but also not too inexpensive either. I have included some of my favourite pieces in this gift guide and I am lucky enough to have been sent some of these wonderful items from Abbott Lyon, Laze Wear and Sheer Blush. However, of course my views are still not changed in any way. I really hope this christmassy gift guide helps you and gives you that little bit of inspiration for your Christmas gifts or even your own wishlist...

1. What better gift to give than a beautiful piece from Abbott Lyon. 

Abbott Lyon have the most amazing accessories on their site. I absolutely love their hand bags and the watches are just incredible. I would say the watches are some of the most beautiful watches I have seen out there. They have to offer so many pieces that you may not always feel the need to by yourself, so to have as a gift for Christmas would be perfect. The Moda Hand bags have to be one of my favourites as they are just so versatile. You can wear it across body, across the shoulder with the long chain or you can pop the chain into the bag and use the metal detail rings to carry the bag. I feel like its always fab to have different ways to use/ style the bag as it can look so different with different outfits. 

Another amazing feature Abbott Lyon is known for is their personalisation. You can have almost every bag personalised with a metal letter or embossed with your initials. They offer this on not just their bags, but phone cases and even their watches. I absolutely love my phone case, as not only is it personalised but is probably one of the best quality phone cases I have ever owned. I feel like what better time to have something personalised than to have it at Christmas, it can make a gift feel so much more special and personal. 

Abbott Lyon also offer amazing watches. As you can see they have watches with both circular faces and also square faces. I love this because I have never really seen a square face on a watch and its just something really different. They are also really well priced, not too inexpensive its going to be poor quality, but also not Rolex prices of course. 

I think if you were to give a gift from Abbott Lyon this Christmas, you would be making someone very very happy. If you are reading this on Sunday 1st December, they are still offering 40% off for black Friday, however, if the offer has ended, you can use the code NOTTINGHAM30 for 30% off at the checkout. You can shop Abbott Lyon HERE 

2. A Luxury Pair of Christmas Pj's

These satin blend Pyjamas from Laze wear are the perfect gift for that special someone who loves their me time and watching Netflix in bed. For me its always been a tradition to get a pair of pyjamas for Christmas, and these are just perfect. They are so incredibly soft an cosy and are so comfortable. I love that the piping contrasts the colour of the shirt and bottoms. These pj's also come in pink and you can also get the long versions if you would prefer to have trousers instead of shorts. 

You can also have these pj's personalised with your initials which I think is just fab.  I feel like this is something you wouldn't necessarily by for yourself, so this would be the perfect gift to give this Christmas to that someone you know who loves watching films and cosying up this Christmas. These cost £49, so a little more on the pricey side for a pair of pj's, however come packaged in the most beautiful box and are just so luxurious. 

3. A statement Dress from House of CB

I have always dreamed of having a wardrobe full of House of CB. However, we all know that it can be a little on the pricier side of gifts. If you know someone who loves fashion and is always on trend and really into their luxury fabrics, I would highly reccomened a statement dress or top from house of CB. It has some of the most beautiful pieces I have ever seen and I love their dresses. If you know someone is in need of a dress for NYE, this would be the perfect gift. The packaging is also incredible and I am in love with the fact you wouldn't even need to wrap the gift as it is already packaged amazingly. 

4. Roses from Sheer Blush

These roses are perfect for someone who loves flowers. These come in a small little box and can last for up to three years. If you know someone who loves roses and flowers this would be perfect to pop into a stocking, or even as a present. It's such a thoughtful gift and I am sure every girl would absolutely love to receive on this Christmas. 

Here are some more amazing gift ideas that would be perfect for her this Christmas...

Thankyou so much for reading and I hope this gave you a little Christmas gift inspiration...

Cristy N 

x x x 

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