Obligatory Revision Breaks:

Having handed in my final assignments for this academic year, I thought I’d take a break from studying before exam season is in full swing. Consisting of family shenanigans, an Arrow catch up, 8am school runs, one too many breakfasts at Carluccio’s and watching a home game (of course) I’m feeling more than well rested for the busy period that lay ahead.

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I Forget Where We Were:

Mind = Blown.

Ben Howard is my favourite artist of all time. I was lucky enough to be gifted a set of tickets, and after six long months of waiting, the day had finally come!

Ben Howard was my first experience at the Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA) – the venue is a lot larger than the O2 Academy so we arrived in good time before doors opened to make sure we were as close as possible – which certainly paid off when we ended up in the second row. Both the atmosphere and Ben Howard were phenomenal.

I feel as though his music is perfect for every mood and the diversity of the audience last night really showed how his music speaks to so many people. His lyrics are deep, the music is well thought out and he always rocks the perfect bed head.

I couldn’t wish for a more perfect evening <3

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February Travels:

I feel as though I spent majority of my time this month on trains. For reading week this month, I got to visit my best friend at her University in Nottingham, family in Coventry and London and friends in Selly Oak. I’ve always said one of the best things about Aston is it’s location: being so close to Birmingham’s train stations means we’re connected to hundreds of locations. As well as this, the Aston University App has a Live Train Time feature which came in handy on more than one occasion this month:

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A few travelling tips I’ve found useful over this month:

1) Get a railcard; you save bundles.

2) If you’re picky about your toiletries like I am, travel-size bottles are your best friends. You save a lot of room carrying these instead of original larger containers. The Body Shop is one of many places that sell them.

3) Don’t forget, salads are included in the Meal Deal (This isn’t something specific to travelling I just thought I’d remind you all).

 

Sometimes, no matter how much fun you’re having with new people at University, you want to be around familiar faces; I’m lucky to have so many close by:

Nena’s Birthday Celebrations

 

 

End of term 1:

When I started my first year, I was constantly told by those who had graduated just how quickly my 4 years would come to an end; at the time everything felt so far away and I had no idea where they were coming from, but thinking about how quickly this term went really put things into perspective. I can’t believe it’s already the end of first term and time to go home for Christmas!

I know it’s a little early to be setting new years resolutions but I’d like to think of these more as small things that could make a big difference – things I want to start doing once exams are over and blog about at the end of every month. (So yes, they’re basically new years resolutions, I just don’t want to call them that because I’ll inevitably give up by January 2nd if they are.)

1. Read. With my subjects based heavily on independent reading, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to read for leisure. Instead of spending snippets of free time on social networks, shopping or doing absolutely nothing, I’m going to dedicate more time to reading things unrelated to my course. To make this goal realistic, I’m going to set myself a target to complete a book a month.

2. Notice. After watching ‘The Imitation Game’ and learning how significant Alan Turing was in helping defeat Germany it made me realise I’ve never given much thought to learning about people who contribute positively to society or who do something worth people knowing about. Therefore, I’m going to choose a ‘Person of the Month’ to blog about too.

3. Favourites. For those who know me, it’s no secret I’m a beauty JUNKIE. I LOVE reading views and buying and testing new products, from make-up to skin care to accessories. I feel like this is something I do so often that I may as well blog about it. However, this category isn’t just restricted to beauty, it’s a general section to talk about my favourites of the month, whether it be food a shop or a brand, just something I discovered in the month and became a big fan of.

 

Before this post gets longer than I intended it to be (it already is!) I’m going to wrap this up with the pictures depicting highlights of this month:

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German Christmas Markets:

The best part about Christmas in Birmingham is most definitely the German Christmas Market. Starting from the Bullring and running all the way to the Birmingham library, the market is full of craft stalls, food and fun activities sure to get you into the Christmas spirit – the perfect way to have some family fun if you’re being picked up at the end of term. The market is probably your only chance to try an Ostrich burger and ride a Ferris wheel in the center of town with a breathtaking view of the city.

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Sam Smith at the O2:

One of my favourite things about studying at Aston has always been its location. Being central to the city, the doorsteps of Aston student accommodation are filled with things to do. As a first year, my best friend’s birthday present to me was tickets to see One Republic at Birmingham’s O2 academy and after that experience, I knew I’d love to come back to see more artists at the same venue. Situated just past New Street Station, the O2 is a short walk from campus, eliminating the need to make travel arrangements and be packed onto public transport at peak times. As well as the location, I liked the size of the academy because it fosters an intimate performance with the ability to feel close to the performer no matter where you’re standing/ seated. Also, due to the small size of the venue, you don’t have to spend hours queing because you’re close to the artist regardless. Sam Smith was amazing, I can’t wait to see Ben Howard!

 

Back in Birmingham:

If you’re living away from home, it’s quite common to move in a couple of days before the start of term to organise your living space and catch up with friends you may not have had the chance to see over summer. Naturally, I found moving in this time around exciting – as opposed to nerve wracking – seeing as I knew most of the people I was living with. As a flat, we’re quite a strange bunch. Instead of expanding upon that statement, I’ll let you see for yourself:

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Summer Highlights:

So this post doesn’t have an awful lot to do with University life but it’s been a while since I’ve written anything and I felt like I’d been neglecting my blog! Seeing as it’s September 1st and summer 2014 has officially come to an end I thought I’d share some highlights:

Wedding Season:

If you’re Asian, you’re certainly wedding’d out by September. Being a week long, Indian weddings are certainly stressful and tiring but they’re also a great way to spend time with family. Watching the people you grew up with graduating, getting engaged/ married and even having kids certainly brings to light how fast time is passing. I still think my cousins are 16-18 years old, seeing them reach such major milestones is the strangest thing.

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Heathrow Family Fun Day:

Heathrow’s family fun day is an event held by the company to thank executive members for their efforts throughout the year. This year, executive members of the company and their families had the privilege of partaking in various activities in a location described as nothing less than impressive – the runway. Between exploring a Virgin aircraft’s cockpit, climbing an engine nacelle, driving emergency forces’ vehicles and enjoying live music as we dined, we were able to look at the breathtaking view of aircrafts taking off and landing throughout the day. Complete with a photobooth and an unlimited supply of cupcakes, the day lived up to expectations.

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ALS Ice Bucket Challenges:

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Ice Bucket Challenges which are being used to raise awareness for ALS. Upon discovering the heartbreaking effects of this disease, I realised the importance of raising awareness and funds to help the ALSA in the work they do. Instead of doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, I thought I’d go a different way and share the information I found.

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English Heritage Annual History Festival:

The English Heritage is an organisation responsible for the public profiles of hundreds of historical sights all over England. As well as managing the day to day of these sites, The English Heritage organise various craft fairs, the biggest being the Summer History Festival. The day was a chance to see England’s history brought to life with live encampments and battle displays dating from Roman Times to the Second World War. Filled with historic markets, live music and real ale bars the event was fully enjoyable for the entire family.

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Birthdays:

Summer is always a great chance to catch up with friends from home, especially when celebrating special occasions. It’s no secret the youngest member of the household is OBSESSED with Disney Pixar’s Cars Motion Picture and so family and friends gathered as we celebrated at a Cars themed party, complete with a Lightning McQueen cake, of course. We also saw  a 21st Birthday this holiday with celebrations at Madison’s Rooftop bar with the breathtaking view of St Paul’s Cathedral. 

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Chelsea FC Season Opener: 

For as long as I can remember, my father and his best friend have been Season ticket holders at Stamford Bridge. Coming from a family of die-hard Chelsea supporters, attending both home and away games has always been a regular occurrence. I was fortunate enough to attend the opener against Leicester City and not only enjoy our first victory of the Season but welcome back an old hero; Didier Drogba.

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