22 things that I learnt whilst being an undergrad at university!

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Oh Hiya! It’s me.

  1. Embrace first year, be hellish wild, do irresponsible things BUT (always stay safe).

 

  1. In halls you are normally paired with an absolute bunch of misfits, your characters will clash, one flatmate will ALWAYS come back and wreck something and whilst doing so will no doubt set the fire alarm off whilst attempting to ‘cook’ popcorn chicken.

 

  1. You will be loving the whole ‘freedom’ from your parents, responsibilities and your actions may sometimes be questionable. You’ll learn that Ryan and Ed were not your true loves but never the less you’ll still cry over the what ifs at 2am in the morning whilst sipping cheap and nasty alcohol straight from the bottle.

 

  1. Fast food is your friend! Perhaps it was a saving grace that I was vegetarian and therefore my choices were extremely limited i.e. cheesy chips or veggie pizza which meant that I did not become the size of a small whale. Kebabish was life.

 

  1. Second year, where do I even begin. I like to call it the ‘odd one out’. I don’t know about you but I felt a tad lost in second year, I felt like it was an odd period of time and the home sickness and Will sickness most definitely struck… BUT if you can push through second year woes there’s only 1 more year to go my loves!

 

  1. Please never leave your drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers… it will backfire and you will throw up repeatedly down yourself and struggle to remember your own name. Also, just for a heads up don’t be that idiot that spikes people’s drinks and preys on vulnerable ‘I’m totally an adult now’ girls… it’s just NOT cool.

 

  1. Third year will feel like a freight train has literally come and smacked you full on and you are currently fighting for your life with a mangled body. Yes, it’s as hard and full on as EVERYONE says. Yes, there is a LOT of work to do. Yes, you may want to eat a full 123g of Twix bites or a full tube of pringles and that is ok because girl/boy you sure as hell deserve it!

 

  1. The whole 9am lectures are not as bad as 5pm/6pm ones, believe me! After having to sit through a 2 hour lecture on European Union Law and 6pm I’d rather drag myself out of bed at an ungodly hour that cry and fight the urge to fall asleep (let’s face it we should already be in bed).

 

  1. Earplugs are friends, it’s no lie that walls in student houses are THIN. I’m most definitely not going into the gory deets but for your own sake… PLEASE invest in a good set of earplugs for both you and your significant other when visiting. It will avoid a lot of heated early morning chats regarding your flat mates at an elevated tone.

 

  1. Milk is sacred, don’t think just because you got semi skimmed milk when your flatmate drinks skimmed milk that precious cargo is safe!!! Milk always goes missing as does a 12 pack of burgers that you have been fantasizing over since last night when you rolled in at 4am and in a bid to save money you avoided walking into a notorious fas food establishment to only discover that those sodding burgers are no where to be seen and you are too far gone to return to the goodness that was London road.

 

  1. Drinks in the North are cheap! Note to self don’t go out with a £50 note on a night out in Sheffield… you will be absolutely trollied with as little as £10 … a triple is £2 (WINNING)

 

  1. There will always be one person that you live with during your time at uni that will screw up the dynamics. They will turn everyone against each other and they basically just try and **** up the close tight knit group. Be the bigger person and try to basically pretend this person does NOT exist! I know it’s easier said than done!

 

  1. Just a heads up… but… during your time at uni you will live in some god awful places, some will be infested in bugs, mould, broken appliances, rodents, and unsavoury characters. I wish I could tell you it’s all part of the fun but sharing my room with silverfish an an array of monster spiders was most definitely not on my agenda.

 

  1. Letting agents are never fair, read your contract carefully, whatever you do… DO NOT turn up still intoxicated, fighting the urge to vom to sign for your property. You will miss the fine details i.e. the £60 call out charge and the £20 charge for changing lightbulbs (what a bloody rip off)

 

  1. You think you’ll be friends with those people you met in the first week till the very end. You’ll think you’ll all meet up in each others home cities and they will most definitely be top of the list at your wedding… hate to break it to you BUT people change! To be brutally honest, you might not even talk to some of these people past first year!

 

  1. Tea is friend. Tea will always be friend in every circumstance. I.e. whether you have done something extremely silly or received bad news. Just grab a cup of tea and the world will be aaaa ok once again!.

 

  1. Always be yourself! Don’t try and be someone else… i.e. if you love bright colours and clashing prints bloody wear it! Don’t mould yourself into the generic girl that you see everywhere you sodding go. Be you! Believe me it pays off in the long run!

 

  1. Aldi will most definitely be your friend, you can grab a basket of stuff and it is still bound to come under the £20 mark… WINNING!

 

  1. Cocktails and G&T is just not a think to drink, y’know all those fancy cocktails you consume back home with the girls… don’t expect it at uni! People will judge you for your choices and so will your bank account.

 

  1. Find yourself a secret chef… i.e. someone that is bloody good at making pancakes and who won’t mind being called over mid morning to make you and the girls a massive bunch of pancakes and also offers a full English? You heard me right… these people actually exist!.

 

  1. You’ll come back to see some down right disturbing things (especially in halls) i.e. knife throwing, sexual encounters, illegal substances (you name it you see it all)…so don’t be surprised when the police are banging on your door at 2am looking for a certain someone who may or may not be dealing drugs (yes these people do exist and for all you know you might be sharing a flat with them!)

 

  1. You’ll look back at when it’s all over with fond memories of the messy nights out, the photos with the people you no longer talk to or have moved on or away, you’ll remember the cringey moments when you were most definitely not planning your life with some random but hot guy from a club. You’ll look back and think… I regret absolutely nothing.

 

{Law 101: Making the most out of every opportunity}

Evening! It’s been a long old day! The title of this post is making the most out of every opportunity!

One of my personal goals that I set myself for the remainder of this academic year and next was to attend as many law related events as possible. You have to make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way!

Earlier on in the semester BPP Law School had visited our university to hold part one of a two part Commercial Awareness course that they hold annually.  The second part was going to be at a later date and it would be held in Leeds.

Anyway roll forward a few months and it was time to sign up for part two in Leeds!

So you guessed it, that is where I have been today! On a horrible and miserable day I have been battling with heels that are a real safety hazard in the rain and been carrying around this folder saying ‘Committed to your legal career, including our pit stop to McDonalds on the way home!

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Commercial awareness in the world of law is a BIG deal!

A lot of firms are looking for commercially minded individuals that also think outside the legal box so to speak! There were a variety of people there ranging from Barristers to solicitors, teachers that work on either the LPC or GDL at the university to clients themselves. It was surprisingly helpful! Someone asked ‘what is the magic way of landing yourself that magic TC or pupillage… the reply was ‘if we knew that answer we’d be selling it like hotcakes wouldn’t we?’

It was really useful in terms of applications and what to do after the whole finishing uni situation which is approaching extremely quick may I add!

I think what I found particularly useful was that we shouldn’t just send blanket applications- that is not the way forward. We actually need to target applications at firms which we are interested in and that cover the niche area of work we may wish to specialise in! The event stressed the importance of being not just savvy with the law but with life itself! Recruiters are looking for real people, not just walking law text books, they challenged us to think about what makes us stand out from the crowd and how we can make ourselves appealing but have common sense approaches to the law and not to just merely rely on our legal knowledge.

I think we sometimes forget that lawyers and barristers and people that work within a profession are just normal people like us, and the barrister was actually sharing a tale about drinking beer on a bank holiday Monday in Leeds with his friends!

I think it is sometimes all to easy to be sucked into this incredibly competitive and tough market where everyone seems to be competing against anyone.

Recruiters are also looking for law graduates which are willing to adapt and who are willing to adapt to their clients needs because without the clients the bills are going to stack up pretty quickly! It’s good to have knowledge of current general affairs concerning commercialism but now recruiters are looking for evidence of commercial awareness throughout the TC application! There are an awful lot of graduates with the required grades but if you do not suit the firm you are applying for it’s technically a wasted application!

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As you may be able to tell I’m feeling quite motivated! After talking to a third year who like me did law and criminology before swapping to straight law I felt like maybe this whole thing of one day getting the lucrative TC could indeed be possible if I am willing to be incredibly motivated and to not give up!

It was also incredibly useful to gain an insight from a client perspective and to see what they look for when hiring a legal professional- you have to think from the clients perspective and you have to be willing to adapt to how they want things to progress. It’s a whole lot more than you might think! Commercial awareness is an attitude of mind said one of the guest speakers and it really did get me thinking.

An acronym was created which spelt out – indicators:

I: Importance (what is important to your client)

N: Needs (what are the needs of your client and are they expressed or implied)

D: Decisions (Your client is relying on your expertise, knowledge and training to form coherent and logical decisions which will affect them)

I: Implementation (Your client will need your guidance and reassurance)

C: Communication (You need to communicate with your client and be willing to adapt to the method in which they want to communicate)

A: Availability (You need to be available to your client as they will need access to you potentially outside of office hours)

T: Timelines (You will have deadlines and be restricted by time limits and need to manage your time efficiently)

O: Outcomes

R: Relationship (The style of relationship you have with client to client will vary so be willing to adapt!)

S: Special (What is special about you and what makes you stand out from the crowd!?)

There was an hour or so of group session where we were given case studies on the pro’s and con’s of two firms merging (one in the North and one in the south) and then there was a light supper with mini bowls of thai green curry, pinot grigio and then there was pudding (but we left before that)

I’m actually really glad I went, I found it incredibly beneficial and I now admittedly have another certificate to add to Linkedin and my CV! So what is not to love hey?

We finished the day by teeter tottering into McDonalds- folder in hand for a big mac and a free mc flurry!

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The typical life of a law student. Food & an abundance of documents and folders! We got a taxi from McDonalds back home and me and my friend Taylor just collapsed onto my bed and had a cheeky cuddle with ‘Bae’ (max)…

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The glamorous life of second year law students for you. Ten o’clock bedtimes are a killer for this twenty one year old these days!

My advice to anyone who may stumble across this- Always take every opportunity that comes your way, go to anything with you get a certificate for, broaden your horizons from merely your discipline area and be a well rounded individual with a little insight into as many things as physically possible!

It’s 12am I am exhausted over and out!

 

A year ago today!

Exactly a year ago today I was living in student halls and my parents had just flown into Manchester airport and were making their way to see me! We were reunited and of course it meant lots of yummy food and shopping! I’m incredibly close with my parents and Facebook likes to remind you about what you were doing exactly a year ago!

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I had super long hair in comparison to now… If I remember correctly I think I was wearing a black playsuit with my brown leather riding boots and my tweed purple coat from Whitestuff!

My parents had chosen a hotel which was literally just across the road from where I used to live! Super convenient and seeing as they’d flown it was easy for me to get to and vice versa! They met me at my student halls and then it was off to Meadowhall for yummy food and shopping!

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One of our favourite haunts…

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We obviously went for hot drinks (because let’s face it February is chilly!)

We ate at the hotel restaurant most nights (food is love after-all!)

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I really am incredibly lucky to have such wonderful parents!

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The view from their hotel overlooking the bustling city of Sheffield!

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Oh of course their trip resulted in the purchase of a new coat…

Talking about visits… My wonderful parents are visiting on the 1st March for a few days which is VERY exciting and I cannot wait to see them and receive lots of cuddles and TLC in abundance! Another beautiful memory that will never fade

Love C xx