Diary post: my first week of university

As it’s the first week of my university experience here in the UK, I thought I would make a little diary post about it. Hopefully, this will appeal not only to my old uni friends from abroad, who are wondering what it’s like but also for anyone who is just starting university this year.

Diary post: my first week of university

Monday 25th September

Today was my first day of uni. Surprisingly, my timetable seems quite empty with actually Mondays’ being one of the “longest” days of the week. Always bright and cheerful, I started the year with a statistics (or what they refer to as EMSA) workshop and a recap test.

Although I wasn’t happy with the surprise at the time, I’m kind of glad they did one as it made me realise just how much I’ve forgotten! It’s definitely time to get those stats notes out from last year! Compared to my last university, Maastricht, I found statistics much more understandable. Don’t get me wrong, they were fab over there and so intelligent, but here, they simplify everything, gave us a workbook with exercises and a step to step guide.

I really hope they don’t teach the whole degree like this as it may get slightly patronising, but for maths-related topics, which to say the least, were never my forte, this was definitely helpful!

In my introduction lecture, I met with another girl who had transferred from the University of Winchester, so it helped that we were in the same boat. During the summer, I manage to get in contact with a girl that’s already on the course so I hope to finally meet her at some point, despite not having the same schedules.

Tuesday 26th September

Not going to lie, although my lecture today was interesting, I think it’s very irritating being at uni for only an hour. An hour?! Plus, the lecturer ended 10 minutes early so it kind of feels a little pointless.

My motivation is definitely still high and it was about personality, a topic that greatly interests me, but I can imagine in 6 months time, coming in for just 50 minutes will seem a lot more of a chore.

Nevertheless, I finally put a name to my personal tutor too which was useful. I believe I have a meeting with him in a couple of days time so hopefully, he can answer my many questions about essays and the like.

Today he covered the humanistic approach to personality which talks a lot about free will, what our desires are (self-fulfilment, worth etc.) and different theories. Really very interesting! I found one theory in particular rather curious and this was the “hierarchy of needs” (Maslow, 1943), if you’d like more information or a post about it do let me know.

Oh also, I finally met that girl I’ve been chatting on facebook with! I met with her a little earlier before the lecture and she showed me around a little. From an outside glance, the library seems a little disappointing but the new building, called the fusion building, is absolutely gorgeous!

Diary post: my first week of university

Wednesday 27th September

Well, I’ll definitely remember Wednesday’s as “science day!” From 9am until 11am every week, I will be bombarded by two hours of neuroanatomy/biopsychology. This is essentially the scientific study of the biology of behaviour.

In this lecture, seeing as it was the first one of year 2, it covered mostly a recap of everything we should already know. From the basics of “there are 4 lobes,” to a slightly more in-depth look at the components of the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain.

It was a nice, slow start and easy to follow and understand (a relief)! I always find it difficult to take notes in a more biological lecture as there are always diagrams attached to the slides which obviously can’t be drawn out but always seem relevant and important! Still, I think it went well for a first shot.

Thursday 28th September

I spent the majority of last night doing some extra reading for today’s seminar. This will be my first ever seminar (as the concept wasn’t really used in Maastricht) and I have no idea what to expect!

It ended up being quite a short but sweet summary of Wednesday’s lecture. It did feel a little like being in primary school again, what with working in pairs etc. but I’m hoping that once the difficulty increases, I’ll appreciate that a lot more.

This afternoon, I have a long break and then have a personality seminar. It’s with the same lecturer as Tuesday and afterwards, I’ll have a meeting with my personal tutor. It’s a good time to get some focused studying done and socialise with my new friend!

The personality seminar didn’t add anything new, it mentioned a few assessment techniques with role play, but apart from that nothing of value was added. The meeting ended up being a generic one about how to behave and what not but it ended up being over an hour because of a “plagiarism checker” sheet we had to complete and a worksheet on how to practice shortening sentences. I personally hate things like that so so close to dinner, I wasn’t in the best of temperaments!

Diary post: my first week of university

Friday 29th September

Today’s another long day. To avoid walking an hour, I have to get a lift almost an hour early at the same time as the sibling’s school run. This meant a 7:15 am wake up call for a 9 am lecture. It’s difficult haha.

I had a 9-10 lecture on personality again (we have 2 hours a week per topic) and then later a lecture on statistics, from 2-3pm.

The statistics lecture was one I was dreading in all honesty. Back in Maastricht, they would go step by step but only showing us the formulas as they went. Trust me, once you reach an equation that has 5 or more steps before even reaching the point you want, it gets so confusing!

The guy who ran this lecture spoke with no microphone. He was confident, passionate and it actually put a smile on his face. Through his waffling, I could really take in what he was saying, as well as keeping on track with the slides of the presentation.

I left that lecture hall and my first week on a high!

Do you remember your first week of uni? What was it like? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.

The Frugal Frenchie x

Can you love others before loving yourself?

A tweet caught my attention the other day. At first, it seemed innocent, but upon further thought, I realised that this statement could actually be debated. As a result, here’s my response to this post and my answer to the question “Can you love others before loving yourself?”

Can you love others before loving yourself?

In my opinion, this statement, idea, principle… whatever you want to call it, could be taken one of two ways.

I think it’s possible to agree with this tweet if the “love yourself” part is expanded upon a little more. If “love yourself” means understanding what you deserve and understanding your worth, then I would agree with this 100%.

Can you love others before loving yourself?

I may be incorrect in saying so, as I’m just having the head of a psychology student on, but I think this is what many victims of domestic abuse struggle with. Whether you watch Dr. Phil or documentaries about the subject, you’ll often hear domestic victims becoming so manipulated that they thought it was normal, or that they deserved that treatment, or that their life was of no importance compared to their partners’. These victims had lost the love for themselves. They may have constantly been criticised about their appearance or beaten up for the slightest “mistake.” Do they really know how to love another when their idea of a healthy relationship and love is so skewed?

It takes an understanding of your self-worth to realise that that treatment isn’t what you deserve, you are better than that and how they are treating you. You deserve much much more. Is this maybe what the writer of the tweet had in mind initially?

After real consideration, however, I did see the negative implications of this tweet and that actually it may come across very offensive for many people.

“Love yourself” appeared very direct and with a literal meaning. I then thought that maybe it was talking about self-confidence, high self-esteem, loving your body and other things along those lines. Now I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t completely sure of what link this had with the capability of loving others? Surely loving yourself and loving others isn’t correlated or either mutually exclusive? It’s completely “person dependent.”

Can you love others before loving yourself?

Some people may have issues with their bodies or feel very uncomfortable in their own skin. That doesn’t mean that they can’t love their family? Or love their pets? Or love their partners? There’s no link! There are people with eating disorders that may be unable to be satisfied with their bodies, or unable to eat healthily, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel the warmth or comfort from being in others’ company or caring for other people?

Similarly, this can apply to any other mental illness. Those with PTSD or depression or bipolar disorder… doesn’t mean there’s nobody they can love? If we go by the statistic that 1 in 4 (or some people say 1 in 3) people will have a mental health illness at some point in their lives, then that’s a lot of single people out there! It’s actually quite an absurd thought! If anything, those who don’t love themselves may love others more simply because of the joy they bring them and how good they make them feel!

What is your interpretation of this tweet? What would your answer to this question be? Let me know in the comments below, it’s an interesting topic!

The Frugal Frenchie x


How I got my current job

I am so excited to announce that I have a new job! For most of you, this won’t be news to your ears, but I thought I’d talk a little bit about the journey and how I got to my current job!

How I got my current job

For those who haven’t known me long enough, I used to work in a company called Explore Learning, which was a tuition service offering English, Maths and other help to children from 4-14 years old. Although I never disliked it, I felt that it wasn’t possible to continue to teach once I left the UK to study abroad in the Netherlands. They did offer me a holiday contract, which I accepted, but there was actually never enough time to go back. This meant that in June 2017, we mutually decided that it would be a good idea to end my contract.

My plans by that time had started to change, however. I had applied for UCAS and I was in the process of writing my personal statement for a year 2 transfer back to the UK. A month and a bit later, I found out that I got accepted into year 2 of my hometown university, Bournemouth. I was very excited and took it as a sign of fate as other universities either hadn’t got back to me in time or didn’t accept me. Coming back to my hometown means that a lot more opportunities were open up to me; one of them being a new job.

My first point of call was Primark. I’m not sure why maybe I just had a good feeling about it from the start? Maybe I fancied starting something new without realising? I’m not sure, but I went straight to their vacancy website before attempting anything else. I have experience with Primark in the past actually, but not a good one. In 2015, I applied in October for a retail assistant position in the hopes they’d employ me as a Christmas temp (I thought I’d give them time to consider aha). Anyway, they came back to me in January saying that they didn’t need me- which was no surprise by then!

As a result, I had no real expectations when I applied this year, but boy they’ve upped their game! They replied to me in less than 24 hours and I had an interview three days later. From there, I had my induction the next day and by a week after my initial interview, I had already done two shifts! It was so impressive and it all moved so quickly, I think they were extremely professional and I’m thrilled to be there! (And yes, I still stand by this two months later)!

How did you get to your current job? Or are you thinking of changing jobs? Let me know as it’s always an interesting topic!

The Frugal Frenchie x

15 new hobby ideas

The importance of self-care is really being emphasised in today’s society. I absolutely love it and couldn’t encourage it more. We are so often occupied by tasks or social media, that we often don’t take enough time out to just relax and breathe a little. For this reason, I thought I’d put together 15 new hobby ideas for you to try and to give a break from everyday life!

  1. Embroidery

Take a look at this gorgeous piece by Lauren for example. How stunning is this?! You can also see what else she’s embroidered on her Etsy (as well as some other cute art pieces).

15 new hobby ideas

  1. Sew
  2. Knit
  3. Crochet
  4. Write some poetry

With the increased awareness of mental health issues and an increasing number of people speaking out about their experiences, I couldn’t forget to mention Charlene‘s new poetry book: Melancholy Mind. It’s filled with her original poems all about her experiences as well as sections about coping and recovery too.

15 new hobby ideas

(Photo credit goes to Adam)

Poetry can help express your emotions and help you cope with the struggles of life in general, so why not give poetry a go as your new hobby?

  1. Write a story
  2. Start a blog
  3. Gardening
  4. Start a side hustle
  5. Start a collage/scrapbook

An artist that I’m currently loving at the moment is Jemma over at dorkfaceblog. She has an incredible Etsy store filled with prints, paintings and collages as well as sharing her more private artwork on her Instagram. This has to be one of my favourite pieces!15 new hobby ideas

Scrapbooking or collaging is also a great way of reminiscing or preserving memories which can also be a good boost for mental health. Try and forget the negatives and focus on the good times.

  1. Start a diary
  2. DIY project
  3. Redecorate
  4. Start a new sport
  5. Paint

Another artist I am loving (and have actually bought two prints from for later Christmas presents), is Tarnya. She has a really unique style turning our beloved Disney characters (and others) into beautiful, watercolour prints. I personally bought the Marie print and the Monster’s Inc ones and can’t wait to frame them!

15 new hobby ideas

Painting can be so therapeutic, even if it’s just playing with colours and mixing shades. Turn off social media, light a candle, and get those paint brushes out!

What were your favourite hobby ideas? Do you do any of these already? Let me know! xx

The Frugal Frenchie x

5 Must-Read Money Books for Millennials

Today, the lovely lady behind Boost My Budget has given us her favourite money books for millennials. They are all designed to help inform us about money, investing and giving us useful money tips! Take a look and I hope you find them useful!

The Frugal Frenchie x

 Most of us aren’t taught about money in school. But why not?

Chances are you use money every single day. Money – or lack of it – can affect our comfort, stress levels and daily life like nothing else. I’d argue it’s the most important thing you can spend time learning about!

Luckily, there are loads of great books out there that can help you out. Whether you want to learn about budgeting or investing, living with less or earning more, there’s a book that can answer all your questions.

Here’s my pick of five great books to start you off on the right foot.

Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry

If you only read one book about money, make it this. Erin blogs about money over at Broke Millennial, and she’s recently released her first book by the same name.

This one book covers absolutely everything you wanted to know about money but didn’t know who to ask. From personal finance basics such as understanding credit scores and student loans to trickier issues such as awkward money conversations with your partner or asking your boss for a pay rise – it’s all here.

You can read this book cover to cover or keep it as a kind of reference guide to dip in and out of. Also, this book is funny and easy to read. It feels like having an honest chat with a particularly savvy friend.

Millionaire Teacher:The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam 

Andrew Hallam became a millionaire in his 30s while earning a very normal salary as a teacher. In this book, he explains how you can make your first million too! And no, you don’t have to score a record contract or invent a groundbreaking new tech product. Andrew’s method is based on living simply, saving and investing – a method accessible to anyone, at any age and on any salary.

I often hear people from our age group wondering what’s the point in saving when we don’t seem to earn enough. If that’s you, this book will prove you wrong. Not only will it change your money mindset and explain exactly why you should want to save and invest, it gives you a step-by- step road map to follow.

Hint: Andrew’s recommended form of investing is nothing to do with yelling down the phone at your stock broker like you see in films. It’s called “passive investing” and it takes just an hour of your time… per year.

Even if you’ve never considered investing before, you’ll be itching to open your first account before you even finish this book!

I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No guilt, no excuses – just a 6-week programme by Ramit Sethi

With a title like that, how can you resist! I Will Teach You to Be Rich is a six-week plan to get your financial act together. If you follow the easy steps in each chapter, you’ll go from knowing zero about money to having the best possible bank accounts and credit cards, a plan to pay off debt, a super simple budget, and automated savings and investment accounts.

The best thing is, the plan is designed for lazy people. This book will teach you how to set it and forget it so you can get on with living life, without juggling piles of bills and receipts each month. I Will Teach You to Be Rich is aimed mostly at young professionals with a bit of disposable income – but anyone who reads this book will learn something to improve their finances. It also comes with loads of extras, such as downloadable spreadsheets, scripts for tricky phone calls to the bank, and links to online tools.

There’s a UK edition and a US edition, so make sure you pick up the one that’s most relevant to you.

5 Must-Read Money Books for Millennials

Your Money or Your Life  by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

This is a personal finance classic that will completely change the way you think about money.

Your Money or Your Life came out around 20 years ago but it still feels really fresh and modern to me. It encourages a lifestyle based on simple, frugal living, anti-consumerism and mindfulness. It teaches you to see money in terms of your time and energy and helps you work out your real priorities in life.

This is the book that kicked off a whole movement based on retirement. Yes, there are people who retire early – seriously early, like in their 30s – and it’s possible for you, too! Your Money or Your Life is a must for anyone who feels like money worries rule their life, and wants to embrace a different way of living.

The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich  by Timothy Ferriss

Ok, this isn’t strictly a ‘money book’, but I had to include it because a) it’s brilliant, and b), it will totally change the way you relate to working life – which is basically all about money anyway.

The 4-Hour Work Week will change the way you think about careers, entrepreneurship, and what you’re doing with your life. This is an awesome book for millennials staring down the road of 40+ long years before retirement. It will fire you up and arm you with practical suggestions on how to live a different life.

There are loads of fantastic tips on time management and productivity which will serve you well whether you’re a student, employee or wannabe entrepreneur. It even gives you a step-by- step guide on how to start your own side business.

What do you think of my selection? Do you have any other favourite money books? I’d love to hear your suggestions, let me know in the comments below! Alternatively, you can tweet me at @BoostMyBudget

Earn money by achieving your weight goals

There are lots of ways to motivate yourself to lose weight: for your health, to get into that dream dress, for better self-confidence… A  motivation we don’t often experience for losing weight is a money incentive. In fact, we often spend more trying to lose weight! That’s why today, I’ve decided to tell you of a way you can earn money achieving your weight goals!

Earn money achieving your weight goals

Cue DietBet. The concept is simple; bet on your yourself to lose X amount of weight in Y amount of time or else you lose your money. It’s such a genius way to get everyone motivated!

Once you register, you can choose between two plans: being a “kickstarter” or a “transformer.” For being a kickstarter, you have to lose around 4% of your weight in 4 weeks and for a transformer, 10% of your weight in 6 months. Then all you have to do is place your bet (normally around the 20-30$ mark), submit your starting weight and then get started! You can track your progress throughout too to help keep up your mojo.

DietBet will never share your weight with anybody else as long as you’ve turned that feature on in your profile so make sure to check that! Furthermore, they take what they do very seriously and make sure that there is no cheating. They’ll do this by asking you to submit two photographs and to include a word that they will provide- an idea similar to captcha on websites.

NOTE: this app is a great way to keep you motivated but make sure you stick with it! If you don’t, your bet will be placed in the prize pot for others to win. If you’re absolutely mastering your weight loss journey, however, and manage your goal, you will get a share of the prize pot! Ie. you’ll not only make your money back but also make a profit!

Let me know if you sign up and how you get on!

The Frugal Frenchie x