Wednesday, 9 September 2015

20 Things You Need To Get Before You Move To University

So you're moving to university, leaving home for the first time, packing your entire life into sad looking boxes and wondering if you even know how to cook an egg properly because you're pretty sure you're lacking all the basic life skills needed to survive this major change. It's EXCITING.

I'm guessing that you've already got the basics covered. Have you chucked your duvet in the car boot? Shoved all your clothes into a suitcase? Bought up the entire alcohol aisle of ASDA to cover your Freshers nights?

Good start, but for your first couple of weeks as a REAL GROWN UP to go as smoothly as poss at university, make sure you've also got these 20 very important things which you might just have forgotten about.

1. A colander to ensure all your future pasta endeavours are successful ones.

2. Washi tape, because you're going to want to cover up various damp patches with nice prints and posters.

3. A washing maiden, which will prevent your clothes from smelling like a swamp.

4. Basic fancy dress, just in case your flatmate decides that Saturday night is going to be pirate themed and if you're not dressed up then you have to drink some milk and eggs or something.

5. TV licence because it's the LAW and no you CAN'T just pretend it's not a thing that you need to buy for yourself. It's 40p a day, and much cheaper than going to prison for a bit.

6. A good conversation starter, if you're anywhere near as socially awkward as I am and tend to worry about these things.

7. Kitchen tongs, which are not only useful for turning your bacon over, but also really handy to picking up unidentified revolting objects that don't belong to you.

8. The meningitis jab. If you're aged 17 to 18, this is the most important thing you can get before you move because it could literally save your life. Find out more HERE.

9. Condoms, because let's not be gross and start putting things in places without thinking about the gross potentials.

10. Tupperware, which then means that rather than eating the same meal every night for the next week, you can freeze stuff and go back to it another time. Rejoice.

11. Birthday candles, because if it's anyones beeday then you'll make them a bit happier.

12. Spare tote bags to make sure that you can carry all your shopping back on the bus, and also to shove all your laundry into when you head down to the laundrette.

13. Decent passport photos for the endless amounts of forms you'll need to fill in to get your student ID, bus pass, railcard blah blah blah.

14. A budget in mind, because as fun as it is to spend money that you don't have, you will hate yourself when you're 24. Trust.

15. Your most comforting book or DVD for the days when everything is crap and you just want to cry a bit.

16. Age ID, to make sure that you are never the one getting turned away from the cluuurb.

17. Your best hangover cure, to make sure that you recover as quickly as possible from the cluuurb.

18. Portable charger, so that you never get stuck in a new place without being able to call someone and let them know.

19. The address for your local GP and probably a chemist too, because if you get ill then going home on a five hour coach to see the doctor is NOT FUN.

20. A little bit of cash, just to make sure you can get from A to B without having to worry about getting stuck anywhere.

And now you can watch my face saying all of these things to you, to make sure you double triple quadruple don't forget to pack them all.

Got any more must-haves that uni newbies might have forgotten about? Share the love why dontcha - pop a comment below or tweet me @LucyJaneWood. Love you bye.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Internet friends are win-ternet friends

All the way through my teenage years, I was a very awkward person, extremely shy, and generally struggled to make friends. These days I’m still awkward and socially crap, but I’m now in my mid-20s and work from home, which we all know is basically the lifestyle where your social life goes to die anyway, so it’s not so much of a biggie. 

In real life I’ve basically had the same set of close best friends since I was tiny and have always relied on them to make my outer friends for me, but quietly sitting in the sidelines there’s also been another group of pals for the past ten years or so who fall into the unchartered territory of what should probably be called INTERNET FRIENDS. 

And last weekend, we met up.

From left to right Jenny, Alex myself and Kate stumbled very inelegantly into each other’s lives via a McFly message board (a MESSAGE BOARD, do they even exist anymore?) around 2004, with swooshing emo fringes, a lot of MySpace comments and really bad eyeliner. No offence guys. 

Along with a bunch of other obsessed teenage girls who’ve come and gone along the way, we basically ruled that niche realm of the internet for quite some time, and after progressing to MSN, then Facebook, and then Twitter to WhatsApp, we’ve been a constant feature in each other’s lives ever since.

I’d actually consider my internet friends to be some of the most consistent and reliable people in my life, yet I can count the number of times we’ve met up in real life on one hand. 

That probably seems a strange concept to anyone who’s never experienced ‘internet friends’ for themselves, and in the past I’ve had people laugh in my face at the idea of a largely online-based friendship group, but I’ve always thought it pretty odd that more people haven’t cottoned onto the idea as being something kind of great.

We found each other through what was (and errr, still kind of is but shhh) our main interest in life - a band that we all would have probably sacrificed working limbs for, and having bonded over a mutual love and discovered a shared sense of humour, we’ve literally grown up with each other, albeit from a distance, into very similar people. 

It’s a testament to online friendship that, having not seen these girls in the flesh for what must be around eight years, I had the absolute best, comfortable and fun weekend with them all, that basically revolved around eating good food and talking about the things we have in common that none of our other friends in real life ever care about. 

They just get it. They understand when it's important to Instagram something from a certain angle, they know who I'm talking about when I mention a YouTube video I watched yesterday, they fancy all the same people that I should have grown out of years ago. We connect in all these stupid ways, but also in a very nostalgic and comforting way too, and it's very special to me.

I’m currently in the process of rustling up and piecing together a vlog which I tried my very best to remember to film through everything we got up to. Seeing as I am about as useless as a soupy ice cream, I forgot most things and it’s almost certain to not do it justice, but we’ll give it a go. 

Over breakfast on the Sunday we made a vow to try and see each other again soon, so fingers crossed my online pals will become more frequent in-person pals. They'll always be my internet mates though - one day at my wedding they'll probably be sat at the table labelled 'INTERNET FRIENDS'. I'll make sure to leave the wifi password nearby. 

Here's one last photo showing us in our signature, well practiced MySpace poses, just for old times sake.

Have you got any long-term internet friendships under your belt? I wanna hear about them because they warm my cockles good and proper. Pop a comment below or tweet me @LucyJaneWood. Love you bye.

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