A short rambling post…

The last few days have been chaotic: i’ve spent them cramming information into my brain for both my neuroscience exam yesterday and my interview tomorrow. Its funny how you think you have so much time to balance and complete work before time flies and suddenly its the day. I have, over the last few years, gotten over my habit of cramming for an exam. However I always end up still going over information the night before. I find it amusing how it goes along those lines, I think its a habit created to hide my nervousness about taking exams.

Over the years I have come across, or has forced at me, numerous methods for revising for an exam. From colours, to que cards and condensing. I’ve never quite been able to find the right method and have started to combine the range of methods into some convoluted mashup of revision. Its ironically like cramming. Throwing as much information at my head in as many ways possible in the hope that my brain absorbs at least something.

Often enough it works for the short term, I remember enough to get through the exam but often dont retain the information for longer than a few weeks at best. So I am spending the evening rereading the information about my interview location, the style and any other possible answers for questions they could throw at me.

Its just a short rambling post this time around, there has been a lot of revision going on and therefore nothing to interesting for me to blog about. Hopefully that will improve in the next few days and I can let you into some interesting things i’ve gotten upto.

Abigail, x

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Short: When you reach that revision limit…

I’ve reached my revision limit; which is probably not a good thing three days before my neuroscience exam. There is something about revision that means you eventually get so fed up of it that you actually can’t take it.

Not saying that i don’t enjoy neuroscience, its been an interesting and intellectually challenging module; it has however shown me the power of revision as you go, because trying to revise at the end of the module… is draining me mentally.

I’ve spend the day alternating between menial household tasks and attempting revision. Its less about motivation and more about beating the boredom and procrastination that happens when you only study one topic.

and on that note i ought to go and do some revision…

Abigail x

 

H3N2 – Aussie Flu and You

Aussie Flu is a category A flu virus that effects the young and the elderly most severely, shown from last years stats.

However this year, flu deaths have been on the rise, and the Aussie Flu strain has been the most popular. 48 people died this winter from flu related deaths, with 24 in the last week of 2017 alone.

DID YOU KNOW?

Flu viruses are given names based on their type and surface proteins. Types are characterised as A, B and C; with A being the most serious down to C, being a more milder infection. Once Catergorised, they are subdivided according to the proteins on their surface, called H and N antigens.

People think the flu is a small time illness, cured simply with rest and paracetamol; that is the case for most people, but medically vulnerable patients along with the elderly have become particularly sensitive to Aussie Flu and its stain on the NHS is showing.

However i think its important to note that the numbers are not as large as the swine flu pandemic in 2008. News stories detailing the NHS crisis have been using aussie flu as an example of cases found in A&E and not as a sole cause.


What can you do?

Stop the spread! Wash your hands, and follow the old school rules of Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.

If you think you have the flu?

Symptoms come on quickly and can include; fever, aches, tiredness,sore throat, cough, headache and nausea. Its important to note that suspecting you have aussie flu is not a reason to attend A&E only attending if you develop sudden chest pain, have difficulty breathing or start coughing up blood.

The NHS also ask you attend your GP if:

  • your symptoms don’t improve after seven days
  • you’re worried about your child’s symptoms
  • you’re 65 or over
  • you’re pregnant
  • you have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, or heart or lung disease
  • you have a weakened immune system

 

*information taken from the NHS choices website and BBC, under no circumstances should it be used as a medical guide. This was simple created as an educational term to aid both my learning and that of others. *

Just a late night post about late night revision…

People revise in different ways, but for many students late nights are the time they really shine. For me I prefer late nights, its often quieter at home, but it can also has its drawbacks.

The pro’s for me are definitely the peace and quiet. Most of my house goes to sleep at 8:30ish so anytime after that I can be assured of no distractions. I also seem to work better in the evening; I can be a morning person when I want to be, but I do prefer afternoon lectures or evening revision if I have the choice. I am often more awake and able to focus more on what I need to do.

The con’s for me can also be the need to be quiet, so I don’t wake anyone up; I also dislike what happens when you let the boredom take over, because I often fall asleep. The quiet can be both positive and negative; it requires you to focus but means I cant go downstairs for a cup of tea because boiling the kettle is so loud.

I have however found a way of late night revision that works when I need it too. Its definitely not a frequent choice, but I find it gives me a boost if i’m facing multiple days revising in a row. You’ve probably guessed from the image that its a 24hr Starbucks. I am very fortunate to have a 24hr Starbucks available less than a ten minute drive away. Late at night, like it is when I write this, there is no one there, so its quiet and the wifi speed is excellent. It also has almost unlimited drinks options, I tend to stay away from the tea however, theres just something not quite right about tea at Starbucks for me.

Its definitely not a frequent thing, it would cost the earth to keep the habit up, but its great at bringing my motivation up when I need it and allows me to wake up and get away from the dangerous distractions at home.

Late night studying might not suit everyone, but its a reality for most people, either because of work, family or general preference. So having a motivational boost, or even celebration for late night coursework success is vital to keeping you motivated when you start hitting the exam countdown.

Coursework and Cake

To celebrate the completion of my winter coursework, i spent the day yesterday baking cake!

I went with a Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf, both at the request of my boyfriend and because its the first cake i ever baked alone and i love the recipe.  Its also perfect with a cup of tea and a book which is how i spent my evening.

I’ve long forgotten where i got the recipe from but it is a perfect recipe for me, with a long slow bake to allow me to get other stuff done; i submitted other uni work whilst doing laundry as my cake baked.

 


Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf

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Ingredients

  • 175g Butter
  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Lemons
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 50g Poppy Seeds
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c and completely grease your loaf tin.
  2. Beat butter until light and creamy before adding sugar and beating until almost white.
  3. Whisk in eggs and the zest of both lemons, one by one. With the last egg also add a spoonful of flour.
  4. Fold in the remaining flour, poppyseed and yogurt.
  5. Bake for 1hr 10mins before removing and leaving to cool for ten minutes in tin.
  6. Turn out of tin, poke small holes all over cake and add the juice of one lemon.
  7. OPTIONAL – I like a crunchy topping on my loaf cake so take the juice of the second lemon and add icing sugar to create a simple water icing, i then pour this all over my cake whilst on a baking rack to run off.

12 Days of Reflection: Day 12 – Weakness

As this post comes live i am in the middle of an interview that could change my life. I can’t go into specifics… yet… but what i can say is that it has given me the chance to reflect on something you often try not to think about, weakness.

Weakness for me is being vulnerable; its a major reason why i rarely drink. I have a major fear of being put into a situation that makes me vulnerable or emotionally reliant on someone else. It makes relationships and friendships hard for me, but so worthwhile when i find the ones i can try to be vulnerable with.

Another weakness for me is criticism, i tend to take it very personally. There was a situation recently where i received a complaint about my care of a patient at work. I had done nothing wrong, was in the presence of my boss, but the words of an angry guest who took her frustrations out on me went straight to me head. I worried about my skills for a good few cases after this, it took my boss sitting me down and assuring me i was doing a good job to pull  me out of the funk.

“What breaks you down is not the amount of pressure you feel at one time, but it’s the way you perceive and handle it.”  – Ashish Patel

The important thing is knowing how to get over those weaknesses in situations. I know that when i get criticism i need to voice my concerns to people who can help me, ask what i can do better and often get an unbiased opinion on the situation. It often helps you to learn and grow, and you often need a shock such as criticism to help you reach that state.

Knowing what makes you weak increases your strength of character; i hope knowing these weaknesses will help me to show these interviewers that they need me, just as much as i want them… wish me luck!

12 Days of Reflection: Day 11 – Happiness

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.  – Jim Rohn

Happiness is what we strive for, what we do everyday is how we aim to get there. As you grow older you realise happiness is not about success, money or belongings but about feeling you are doing the right thing and enjoying what you do.

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.  – Helen Keller

I’ve learnt a lot about being happy for quotes I’ve read over the years, from books and from social media, and as i am busy prepping for my important interview today i thought id keep this post short with a few of those quotes to hopefully inspire happiness in you all too.

Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.  – Kevyn Aucoin

12 Days of Reflection: Day 10 – The Future

Day 10 is here, its amazing what ten days of constant blogging and reflection has done for me. This series has given me the chance to look into the future, i finish Uni this year and what i am going to do next is so ambiguous that i truly am unsure what 2018 will bring. I have two interviews in the next three weeks and i am hoping these will bring some security or decisions to what the year will bring.

I am also 21 this year; its a big birthday in terms of personal growth. Being 21 means your officially an adult all over the world, no more excuses and no more child’s play. To be truthful i think i am quite adult anyway so i don’t think this is too much of a problem; but i am excited to spend my birthday surrounded by my family and loved ones. I have a few plans in the works and i am looking forward to a fun February.

The only downside for me looking into the future is the unknown. I love a good plan and i like knowing what is coming and when. The thing about the future is its so spontaneous, it often means that when you try to look ahead you realised how unplanned you are; for a planner like me its a scary thought.

Its going to be a promising year or five and I’m going to be sharing the journey with all my readers.

 

 

12 Day of Reflection: Day 9 – Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is a great time to think about making a resolution to change a behavior, improve upon a practice, or to start something new. Most people don’t keep their resolutions very far into the year, but there’s no reason to wait until Dec 31st to reboot. – Dana Perino

There is nothing better to discuss on January 1st than Resolutions; a new year means a new start and people use it as the main time to change their lives.

I am not one to believe in resolutions, they’re too easily broken. I much prefer setting myself goals and targets for the year. When setting resolutions you are required to reflect; what when wrong this year? what needs to change? what can you do to make it the best year ever?

My goals this year a small and doable, setting yourself goals you will be unable to achieve is the main reason why resolutions get broken by January 8th.

My 2018 Goals:

  • Complete my Dissertation
  • Write a book
  • Finish Uni Degree
  • Go on a holiday
  • Clear out the clutter
  • Save £2000
  • Stop eating all that junk food
  • Live life and be happy

Happy New Year!

Its now officially 2018!

As this post goes life i will be working a New Years Eve party, that will probably involve vomit, looking forward to what 2018 will bring.

2018 will be an amazing year, i am certain of it. Not only will i be 21 this year, but i life is finally coming together; i am driving, I’m going back to the job i enjoy and I’m finishing my degree this year!

I’ve really enjoyed the ride this year, and i hope you will all follow me through the next year as i grow.

Abigail x