My new found love for reading

I used to read quite a lot, but since discovering alcohol and socialising, I found those things to be much more interesting.

Recently, I was sorting through my old books (as I’ve just moved rooms), and discovered so many that I haven’t read yet, but remember purchasing them. I decided to pick up Looking for Alaska, by John Green. I sat in the garden, on a deck chair, with the sun beaming on my skin. After two hours of reading, and losing track of time, my skin was red raw from the sun, but I felt so relaxed and found myself feeling really good. The best thing for me about reading, is that feeling of getting lost in a book, and not being able to put it down.

Lately, i’ve not been myself, and i’ve felt really down because of something that happened, but i’ll talk about that in another blog post. Anyway, finding that escape, with a fictional story, was just what I needed.

I have 3 months until I go back to uni, so I want to try and do as much reading as possible, which I know sounds boring, but i’m a bit skint at the moment, so can’t exactly go travelling or anything.

I’m not really sure what I want to read next, i’m going to write a list. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know!


Why being in your 20’s today, is like being in your 30’s

In this day and age I feel like i’m constantly justifying myself for not being in a relationship. Quite frankly, I have never had a serious boyfriend, but being 20 years old you’d think that was an okay thing, it seems not though.

I can name 7/8 girls off the top of my head who are my age and have a child, and that’s just the ones I went to school with. This isn’t a bad thing, and some women are mentally ready to have children at this age, but I can barely look after myself. I have never thought about having children, and can’t see myself with one. I also feel like if I wasn’t at university my family would be pushing me to settle down, as everyone in my family are in long-term relationships, and have been from a young age.

I just think that there is so much pressure to be in a relationship in your 20s because people start to panic about being a certain age and not having settled down yet. My approach is that i’m gonna keep doing what i’m doing. I want to focus on myself and get a career before I think about stuff like that, and just have fun dating without it turning in to anything serious. I’m not against relationships, and if I find someone I want to be with, then i’ll be with them. I just think that there is no rush, i’m happy, that’s all that matters.

11 Things You’ll Know To be True If You Live In Student Halls

1 Late night talks are a thing

– Your deepest and darkest secrets come out at 3am! This is one of my favourite things about living in halls, at least once a fortnight you will most likely sit up with some of your flatmates and learn so much about each other.


2 spontaneous nights out are a weekly occasion

– “I’m not going out this week” is the biggest lie you’ll ever tell! Its 8pm and you and your flatmates are sat watching Soaps and one of you suggests a night out, and everyone else is suddenly in the mood to go out, and its never “just the one drink”.


3 You will most likely have a flat mascot!

Most people I know have traffic cones and trolleys in their flat, and on the rare occasion street signs! We have a more unique approach and have Beatrice the blow up doll, and Percy the inflatable penguin!


4 You adapt to loud noise

banging doors, and shouting coming from the flat? Doesn’t phase me anymore. You will most likely become used to the sound of drunk students singing in the street, and the sound of music coming from another flat. It’s a rare occasion to have a peaceful nights sleep


5 Don’t shit where you eat is the best advice you will receive. 

When you live in a flat of mixed gender and most of you are single, there will always be the slight chance of a drunken kiss, or more! personally I have avoided this situation. Imagine having to avoid the kitchen/living room just in case you bump in to the guy you had that drunken snog with! Not worth it.


6 A Chunder Chart is very serious business

The chunder chart will cause more arguments than who’s turn it is to take the bin out. “Does it count if I felt ill before I started drinking?” yes, if alcohol is involved it counts!


7 Staying in bed all day is acceptable 

One of the greatest things about living in halls is not having to worry about your parents judging you for staying in bed all day. Whether you have a lazy day once a month, or twice in a week, it will most likely consist of binge watching Netflix TV shows, and staying in the same clothes all day.


8 You will feel proud of yourself at times

The best feeling is when you realise you can actually keep yourself alive. Doing your own washing, cleaning the flat, and cooking proper meals for yourself will be very proud moments, then the independence disappears when your home for the holidays.


9 The cleaner doesn’t actually ‘clean’ your flat

Although you don’t pay any extra for a cleaner, when they come to clean your flat you actually expect them to do much more. A bit of vacuuming in the living room, and then taking the bin bag out of the bin, and leaving it in the middle of the kitchen is quite frustrating! I won’t be too harsh though, our cleaner once brought us some jelly babies!


10 The unwelcome guest

There will always be that person who you invited round on freshers week when you were drunk, and they now think its okay to turn up whenever and majorly outstay their welcome. “So, I’ve got a 9am lecture, gonna go bed soon” isn’t a big enough hint for them to leave!


11 It’s well and truly the best experience ever

At times you will feel like breaking down from lack of sleep, and pots being left in the sink for days, but most of the time you’ll be happy about living in halls. Your flat is your home for the meantime, and the people you live with end up being a second family that you can go to when you need advice, or if you’re just feeling like having a chat.


– Kirstie Norman


Uni Experience so Far

When it came to choosing which University to go to, I looked in to ones close by, and then realised that I wanted to move away, and start fresh in a different city. I am originally from Manchester, which is a fairly big city, and I wanted to move somewhere smaller. Sheffield Hallam peaked my interest straight away, the city, the course and the night life. Obviously the most important aspect when it comes to picking a university, is the course itself, but you have to like the location as well!

Before moving I really didn’t know what to expect, I was worried, excited, anxious and stressed all at the same time. Knowing that I will be in a new city on my own was a huge deal. My parents made my transition easy with helping me out both mentally and financially. They stayed very calm, even when I was being over-dramatic. My number one fear was the thought of not making any friends, which is weird because since being here I’ve realised its harder to not make friends! I instantly clicked with my flat mates and although I’m still yet to get to know my course mates, the ones I have met so far seem friendly !

What I was most looking forward to was probably freshers week. It ended up being a great week but not what I expected. I guarantee one mistake every fresher makes is buying tickets to everything, because trust me you won’t be up for going to every event haha. I think I went to about 2-3 out of the 6 I had planned. Obviously I was looking forward to a lot more than freshers week. I was also looking forward to starting my course and exploring the city.

I was very nervous about the moving process, as I’ve always lived with my parents and brothers. The first week was very nerve racking and I ended up going home for a few days because of how scared I was, but once I came back I instantly settled in, and had a night out with my flat mates (always a good way to break the ice). It was a waste of time and energy for me to get so stressed out about coming to university, because right now I feel completely at home.

University life has exceeded my expectations already, and it’s only the beginning. I’m so excited about what is to come.

Kirstie Norman (journalism student at SHU)

My College Experience

I have spent the past 3 years in college, one year in Oldham Sixth Form, and two years at Oldham College. My choice to leave sixth form and do a BTEC course at Oldham College instead was well and truly the best decision I have ever made.

Throughout my year at sixth form I did one piece of practical work in Media Studies, and didn’t seem to learn very much. As I want to go in to journalism I thought that attending sixth form would be my best option, and I think this is where a lot of students go wrong when making their decision as to which college to go to. I have learnt so much more practical and relevant skills at Oldham College than I ever did at Sixth Form. I have also been presented by so much interesting and amazing work experience. My personal experience with Sixth Form wasn’t a great one, I didn’t make many friends, and found that a lot of students and even teachers weren’t very friendly, and welcoming. I guess everyone has different experiences though, and I know of a few people who happened to enjoy their time at Sixth Form, but it really wasn’t for me.

I had the complete opposite experience with Oldham College, the teachers are so experienced, knowledgeable and friendly. I’ve also met the most intelligent and fascinating students, who were so welcoming and friendly. I found that I could completely be myself around my peers and teachers. Since studying at Oldham college my confidence has grown massively, especially when it comes to being on camera. I really am proud to say that I was a student at Oldham College, but again this was my personal experience. I’m not sure whether its just the media department with great facilities, but I have learnt so much that will give me a massive advantage for university. I have learnt how to set up cameras, how to work on sound and vision mixing in a studio, how to direct, and how to floor manage. I have also learnt a lot of theory work that will come in useful for university as well. I was able to gain a lot of great work experience at Oldham College. For example, earlier this year, our college hosted a by-election, and BBC One’s Annabel Tiffin came along to present it. We live-streamed the event so it was a lot of pressure for everything to go right, but it was a great experience, and will look really good on my CV.

I’m sad that my experience at Oldham College is over, but I am so excited to start a new adventure at university, with the knowledge and skills I have gained. Also because of the knowledge I have gained at college, I was recently short listed, and interviewed for a work experience opportunity on The One Show (still waiting to hear if I have got it). Thank you for a great two years, and thank you to my amazing teachers, for pushing me to do the best I can, for being so friendly and helpful, and for having the best sense of humour!

-Kirstie Norman




IMPOSSIBLE23rd March, 19:30pm

I always tell people that the reason I love going to gigs so much is because it makes me forget about college deadlines, and other stressful/stupid things that I have to deal with, for a few hours. This also applied with The Impossible Show. I am a massive fan of magic; of watching it, not practicing it ( I don’t have the patience for that), and the other night I had the pleasure of going watching it live! Something I have never had the chance of doing before.

I was really excited as I already knew who two of the acts on were, Ben Hart, and Chris Cox from BBC Three show Killer magic. So I was so happy to be going watching them live.

I’d already seen amazing reviews about the show as well, so I thought I knew what to expect, but I really didn’t.

The show began as a history lesson through the years of magic! The first act of the night was Josephine Lee, doing a witchcraft trick, which was very scary, I felt my heart beating rapidly for this part of the show, Josephine was strapped to a wooden table and a curtain was drawn in front of her, next thing a bed of spikes drops on to her, and when the curtain is drawn open she is revealed as fine. Obviously I knew she wasn’t going to be dead, but the suspension of disbelief kicks in, and the way the illusion was performed was terrifying and so entertaining. There isn’t many female magicians/illusionists out there, so she is a massive role model for young ladies! Her illusions were absolutely amazing.

Ben Hart was next to grace the stage with his presence, doing a trick by taking three rings from audience members, and making them link together! I found Ben very impressive, I already knew what he was capable of doing, but he still managed to amaze me. His Electricity trick was one of my favourite tricks of the night! It was truly shocking..Ha. I literally can’t stop thinking about that. He also performed a rope trick where he involved a very excited & cute 6 year old from the audience, and made him believe that he was performing the trick, very, very funny and cute! Ben is one to look out for!!

The art of distraction was a fun bit of the show, performed by Lee Thompson, where he brought up an audience member and stole things out of their pockets without them knowing, very funny! He had a really quirky and entertaining stage presence and each of his tricks were brilliant too. He did the classic sawing a women in half trick, which was so entertaining, and still baffles me! It’s an illusion that’s done so well!

The show also starred Jonathon Goodwin who was very populour with the audience (mostly ladies), he calls himself The Daredevil, and he sure does it justice! He performed the classic escaping from a straight jacket trick, which was first performed by Harry Houdini, but The Daredevil brought a mad twist to this trick, which involved petrol, a lighter, and a mad blood rush to the head! The most shocking act of the night, and my favourite!

Another favourite of the night, was the Sue Perkins look-a-like, Chris Cox; the mind reader, who can’t read minds! He had a very funny and entertaining stage presence and had the whole audience in stitches. He ‘read’ the minds of audience members, and had everyone baffled as to how he did so! He is definitely one to watch, and putting your head down to avoid eye contact will not get you out of being picked for his tricks, his choosing technique was with a random throwing of a stuffed snake in to the audience. His act is really well done!

Finally the last act of the night was the very brilliant street magician Richard Essien (Magical Bones) his act involved some break dancing to the stage as well! Very entertaining, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a break-dancing magician before. He is very unique and talented with a bright future ahead!

The best thing about the whole show is that it had me constantly saying ‘How did they do that?!’ which is the greatest thing about magic! I so wish I could afford to go again, it was so brilliant.

the show is on until Saturday 26th March, so if you get the chance then make sure you go: tickets