First two weeks in Bangor university – exciting life update.

view to bangor university from car parking lot

Hello, dear readers! Since I started talking my blog seriously at the beginning of 2018, I decreased the amount of personal blogs posts about my life quite a lot. Main reason for that was my excessive need to whine and talk about myself way too much in my just a little over a year ago. However, today I felt the need to share a little more about the university I have chosen for my studies because this is the decision I feel really happy about and it also might be appealing to most of my audience. Who knows – maybe I will even see you here next year just because you read this post?

First thing that I noticed when I arrived to Bangor uni – there is a sense of community. There is always someone, who wants and is able to help you. It does not matter, if you can not find the right building, feel overwhelmed by your lectures or have mental health problems – you can reach out for help and actually receive it. In my previous school almost no one really cared about helping those students, who were struggling. Oh, you can not pass the test in Math class and can not make it to the office hours of Math teacher? No one cares, it is your problem. Sense of community and great support system is one of the things everyone should look for in their university and Bangor university definitely offers that.

bangor university main arts building

Lots of social activities for different types of students. It does not matter, if you enjoy partying several times a week, chill movie nights, pole fit, football or singing. Bangor university offers a wide range of societies, sports clubs and different events for every taste. Unlike in my previous school, I have noticed that I do not have to feel left out just because I am introverted, have different hobbies or do not feel like drinking several times a week. Since I came to Bangor university, I picked up few interesting activities that I would like to continue in the future, too. So far it is Dog walking society and Pole fit that have captured my heart completely but I am looking forward to see what else I might be interested in.

Stunning location is another huge pro you will not experience while studying in big cities like London, New York, Tokyo etc. Bangor is a small city (although some even prefer to call it a town) that had a population of over 18 000 people in 2011 and most of them (more than 10 000 ) were Bangor university students. Only few days after arrival most of us were introduced to Bitch hill which lead up from Pontio to Main arts building and Cardiac arrest hill which leads up to St Mary’s village. I, personally, do not find those hills terrifying as long as it’s still autumn not winter and I do not have to carry heavy grocery bags up the hill.

Bangor

Although I have been in Bangor only for two weeks now, I have found my favorite spot in this small city already. If you ever come to visit or plan to study here and want to get your daily cup of coffee, Yugen coffee-house is the best place to go. Unlike Starbucks or Costa that offer watery, tasteless coffee, Yugen coffee house has speciality coffee that every true coffee lover will appreciate. To those, who are not true coffee lovers yet, let me tell you a secret. If you want to make sure a certain coffee shop has great coffee, order black americano instead of cappuccino or latte. If coffee tastes rich, without the hint of burned coffee beans, you have found the right place.

With that said, I will end this post here. I know that I already am publishing this post one day too late and Thursdays are my busiest days, so starting from next week, I will publish a blog post every Friday. Studying Creative & professional writing while running a blog is basically like giving yourself one extra assignment. It feels good to practice as much as possible but at he same time – writing is exhausting. Believe me – it’s not about being walking around in your PJs all day, dumping all the mess you have on your mind on paper and then carelessly submitting it. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

The ultimate packing list for university freshers.

Brunette in white shirt, black shorts and black knee socks sitting on the counter and drinking tea from a white mug.

Hello, dear readers! Finally I have some time to sit down with a cup of tea and my laptop in my new dorm room and share useful bits of information with you. I usually publish one blog post every Wednesday but this Wednesday was the day I had to move into halls and figure out some of the most basic stuff. And until that I had bags to pack, boyfriend to break up with, parents to say goodbye to and last meetings with my friends in Latvia. Leaving Riga at first felt a little bittersweet because I really got used to the city with its variety of events and my workplace with its colleagues. However, soon after arriving at Bangor, I started to feel like I am in the right place. Even though I do not know where every store is located and I am not familiar with all university buildings, I do not feel homesick at all. Fresh start is just what I needed. New place, new school, new friends and new, improved version of myself. So because of the whole university theme, I decided to share my packing list for uni. If you are just packing right now or have already arrived but think that something might be missing, check it out.

Documents and paperwork:

  • passport or/and ID card
  • acceptance letter from uni
  • arrival pass for halls
  • flight ticket

Bathroom appliances:

  • shampoo
  • shower gel
  • liquid soap
  • deodorant
  • hair brush
  • 2 hand towels
  • 2 face towels
  • 2 bath towels
  • tissues
  • hair removal cream
  • epilator
  • wash bag

Kitchen:

  • potato masher
  • 2 big plates
  • 2 small plates
  • 2 cups
  • 2 glasses
  • 2 bowls
  • cutting board
  • pan
  • 2 kettles
  • universal knife
  • kitchen utensil kit
  • 2 sets of cutlery
  • tin opener
  • corkscrew / bottle opener
  • 2 kitchen towels
  • dish washing liquid
  • paper towels
  • few dish washing sponges
  • lidded food containers
  • oven gloves
  • reusable plastic water bottle
  • thermos

Healthcare:

  • painkillers
  • multivitamins
  • flu remedies
  • basic first aid kit

Bedroom:

  • mattress cover
  • set of bedding (pillow, blanket, pillow cover, sheets, blanket cover)
  • throw blanket
  • potted plants
  • laundry bag
  • clothes hangers
  • photos of friends & family
  • fairy lights

Study related things:

  • basic stationery
  • bullet journal (or planner)
  • pad of lined paper
  • few notebooks
  • dictionary (if needed)
  • post-it notes
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • paper clips
  • A4 folders
  • sleeves / folders
  • backpack

Electricals:

  • mobile phone & a charger
  • adaptor plug (if you’re going from UK to US or EU or other way around)
  • laptop & charger
  • USB memory drive
  • multi plug extension lead
  • headphones

Miscellaneous:

  • large suitcase
  • umbrella
  • earplugs
  • small sewing kit

I did not include clothing packing list because it is different for everyone, depending on what country are you going to. However, pretty much everything else is mentioned above. If I forgot to add something important, please mention it in the comment section. Also, before moving in, do some research on your university webpage to see what things are already provided in your dorms and what are not. Other than that, I am wishing you lovely start of the new school year and successful continuation of it. Moving to a new city and especially new country can be very stressful and overwhelming but remember to take it one step at a time and use your bullet journal or planner to make tasks more manageable. Now when I am in university, too, I plan to post more school related posts on my blog, so look forward to that.

P.S. I do apologize for delayed post this week but from next week my posting schedule will go back to usual. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

5 brilliant cleaning hacks for lazy students.

coffee cup, pen, phone and paper on a wooden desk

Hello, dear readers! Even though I have had several blog post ideas in my mind for days, I never sat down to turn them into a post until it was late Tuesday evening. I would love to say that I am a productive person, who knows her priorities very well and can do everything in time, it is just not true. However, my laziness actually inspired me to write this blog post because I know that I am not the only person, who sometimes forgets to make sure her living space is organized and neat. Without any further introduction, here are 5 brilliant cleaning hacks that will make cleaning seem easier and less scary, if you are a lazy student (or just a lazy person in general).

  1. Start with loading your washing machine with clothes because this task takes the longest. You might as well do other cleaning related tasks while your clothes are getting washed and then unload your washing machine and put them to dry.
  2. If the mess in your room is too overwhelming, grab a garbage bag and start by putting empty bottles, old receipts and other trash in it. That way you will be able to put everything in its’ place way faster because useless stuff will be out of the way already.
  3. If some of your tableware has dry food remains on it that do not come off easily, let is sit in the water for a while and do something else meanwhile. When you come back, you will be able to wash your dishes way faster than if you would try to scrub everything off without properly soaking it.
  4. Remove tea and coffee stains on your cups with vinegar. No more scrubbing!
  5. If you use blender to make yourself smoothies, rinse it immediately. That way you will not have to scrub it later and you can get away with not using dish soap.
  6. Clean burnt pan with the mixture of water, vinegar and baking soda. This is a life saver, if you tend to mess up stuff while cooking, just like me.
  7. Clean blood stains with hydrogen peroxide. This works best, if applied immediately and can save your clothing, if you can not wash it immediately.
  8. Divide the space you are trying to clean into several areas. Cleaning takes way more time, if you are all over the place, running from one corner to another, starting several things but never finishing any of them. Better approach would be to divide your space into sections. For example, your bedroom has sections like table, bed, wardrobe, bedside table and floor. You can start by making your bed, cleaning bedside table, then bigger table, wardrobe and finally the floor because now everything is in its place and you do not have to stop after every ten seconds to pick up something that is laying on the floor.

Those are all of the cleaning hacks I could come up with today. Hopefully you will find these useful. By the way – some news that I have not revealed to you before – I am starting my studies in Bangor university this year. How crazy is that? I never thought I would get accepted but here I am. Right now the end of August and the beginning of September will be spent packing and I can not wait to update you on how everything is going. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

25 life lessons I learned during my high school years.

students at graduation, throwing their hats in the air

Hello, dear readers! This blog post is going live only two days before my graduation. Yes, I’m finally graduating from high school and four years of struggles and breakthroughs are finally over. This period in my life was definitely way better than first nine years in my previous school but not easier at all. Sorry to break it to you but, as you grow up, life doesn’t get easier, however, you do get stronger. If at the age of seven you were sitting in the corner and crying about mean comment someone said to you, then at the age of nineteen you just brush it off and focus on what matters. Since I started my studies at high school, I have learned a lot of lessons about people, living on my own, self-development and school, so today when I’m super close to closing this chapter of my life, I decided to share some high school student’s wisdom with you. Let’s start, shall we?

  1. It is normal to be clueless about your career path in high school. You are not the only one, a lot of your peers don’t know what to do with their life yet, too.
  2. Overcoming anxiety and speaking up in class pays off. It’s better to experience a short moment of embarrassment during one of your lessons that fail the exam.
  3. Growing apart from your old friends is normal. I know that you probably braided friendship bracelets as a kid with this person, spent a lot of hours at their house and promised each other to get matching tattoos but, if this person doesn’t help you grow and/or doesn’t make you happy anymore, it’s time to let go.
  4. Depression is a diagnosis not a life sentence. In a lot of cases you can get better.
  5. Don’t waste your time on getting mad about things you can’t change. Shit happens and sometimes the only option is to move on. So you got played by some dude, who appeared to be Prince Charming at the first sight and now you are hurt. What are you going to do? Waste your energy on trying to teach him a lesson? If his mother couldn’t do that, you won’t be able to either.
  6. First impressions might be false. Maybe in two years you will despise people, who acted like your friends during first two weeks of high school and that’s alright.
  7. Don’t go to buy groceries when you are hungry or too full. In first case scenario you will buy more food than you can possibly eat and in second one you won’t buy enough and be mad about it later.
  8. When it comes to alcohol, know your limit. More alcohol doesn’t always equal more fun. There’s nothing fun about the situation when you are puking your guts out and the force of gravity seems to be irresistible. Believe me, I learned it the hard way.
  9. If you decide to get drunk, make sure there’s someone, who will take care of you when you have had one too many drinks. Nothing is worse than being sick from too much alcohol and seeing that no one around you cares about your wellbeing. Again, trust me, I have experienced that.
  10. Just because you have made a mistake, it doesn’t mean that you are a mistake. We all have done at least one thing that had really bad consequences and that we truly regret but what is done, is done. It’s human to make mistakes and blaming yourself for the rest of your life won’t make anything better.w
  11. Planning and getting more stuff done is cool. Really. Bullet journals are not only a great place to plan your day, month and year but also express your creativity. If it is personalized for your taste, you will be more tempted to use it.
  12. Don’t keep things in your life that make you unhappy. It doesn’t matter, if those are clothes, people you follow on Instagram, pictures of your ex or anything else. If doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it and focus on what makes you truly happy.
  13. Don’t forget about self-care and don’t feel guilty about having some “me” time. Yes, you deserve those 30 minutes of reading your favorite book even though you still have to study for finals. Don’t drive yourself nuts by prohibiting yourself relaxation. Sleep is not the only type of rest your need.
  14. Appreciate every moment you can spend with your high school friends. Moving away is an exciting and fresh start but leaving high school friends is heart-breaking.
  15. Don’t break up with someone over text. And don’t say “I love you” for the first time through text either. Those things are serious enough to be brought up in person.
  16. Don’t shy away from STD talk. It’s better to be safe than sorry and even if you have STD, be honest about it and also mention all the ways you can prevent it from giving it to your partner.
  17. Don’t be scared to be confused about your sexual orientation. Especially during late teen years and in your 20’s it’s okay to feel curious and feel the need to explore.
  18. When someone has betrayed you and treated you badly, you have two choices – to start treating everyone around you badly or forgive your enemy and spread love in this world. Pick the second option.
  19. It’s okay to communicate with your closest friends only few times a week. The amount of text messages sent doesn’t define the strength of the friendship.
  20. The best teachers are those, who not only can teach the subject very well but also add some life lessons along the way. I have had two teachers in high school, who were like that and I appreciate them with all my heart.
  21. A person’s age has nothing to do with his level of maturity. Some people in their thirties and forties can have the logic of a fifteen year old. *sighs*
  22. Learn to enjoy the time you spend alone. There’s nothing wrong with taking yourself out for a coffee, dinner, concert or an interesting local workshop. In fact, moments like those might help you clear your mind and maybe even get inspired.
  23. Set your eyes on the goal and face your fear. So what if launching that awesome blog you are working on takes hours of research? So what if getting into your dream school means that you need to raise your average grade? Procrastinating because of fear or quitting everything won’t help you to live your dream life. I know you’re scared to take the risk but just do it.
  24. Don’t believe your Math teacher, you won’t use that Pythagorean theorem ever again. Well, unless one day you decide to become a Math teacher yourself.
  25. No matter, how weird you are, you will always find someone, who likes your for who you are. Fitting in isn’t a thing anymore when there are so many different types of people in the world.

I will just end this post here and pat myself on the shoulder because this has definitely been the longest blog post I have ever written on Dolls Have Hearts. What life lessons did you learn in your high school years? Share in the comments below! Until next time!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

Heartfelt advice for confused students on choosing the right career path.

Smiling brunette, holding a disposable cup.

Hello, dear readers! If you are a student just like me, you know what time of the year it is right now. An exam time. And for those of us, who are graduating this year it might be even more stressful, if we have no plans for the future. I was in the same boat just few months ago. Most of my life I thought that I will pursue music studies and there’s no way that could ever change but it did. I know, situations like these might be scary but I’m here to tell you – it’s okay. You don’t have to have it all figured out at the age of fifteen, eighteen or even soon after that. Some people get their Bachelor’s degree only in their thirties or forties and it’s fine. If you don’t want to continue your studies in current path or have no path at all, here’s what you can do.

  1. Take a risk and apply for that study programme that caught your eye, even though you might have very little or no experience with it at all. When I started looking for new opportunities, I stumbled across writing. In January I applied through several similar study programmes in different UK schools though UCAS: Creative & professional writing, Screenwriting and Creative writing. I had no idea, which one of those is the right one for me, I just knew that writing is what interests me the most. Three months later I had received offers, made my choices and now everything is in process. If you want to apply for university in UK, too, it’s not too late. There will still be a chance to do it this summer when UCAS opens “Clearing”. Read more about it here: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/no-offers-learn-how-clearing-works
  2. Take a year off to gain some work experience. If you are too confused about your future right now and scared to make the wrong choice career-wise, there is also an opportunity to take a year or few off to work.
  3. Volunteer abroad. Do you want to see the world while doing something useful and gain valuable experience? If so, volunteering abroad might be the right choice for you. There are a lot of options to work with elderly people, wildlife, animals and much more. Some volunteer  programs costs nothing but some do. Find more about it here: https://www.projectsabroad.org and https://www.gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad
  4. Travel the world for free or cheap. If you have an adventurous spirit, you might want to travel the world. “But how?” You may ask. “That is too expensive!” The truth is – it doesn’t have to be. The internet is full of resources about how to travel the world for free or cheap. You really don’t have to break the bank to see your favorite places. Here are some resources about that: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/the-ultimate-guide-to-traveling-when-you-have-no-money/ , https://www.skyscanner.net/news/20-money-saving-travel-tips-and-secrets

That’s all that I have to share with you today. Yes, my blog posts are kind of short because of the lack of time to spend writing but I’m still happy that I’m doing so well with being devoted to Dolls Have Hearts even with a small amount of time. I will see you next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 life hacks that will make your student life better.

Three brunette schoolgirls in uniforms, in front of a blackboard

Hello, dear readers! If you’re still in high school or university, it is quite tough time. Balancing healthy lifestyle, good grades, social life and trying to stay sane meanwhile is quite a struggle, so I decided to share some life hacks that have made my life as a student easier.

  1. The “secret” sauce. Are you one of those people, who likes rich dressing on their salad and always buying high calories sauces in the store? I used to be that person until my mum shared the simplest salad dressing with me. Next time you have some salad leaves and tomatoes, add sauce that it made from oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard. I’m not going to note proportions here because some people like their sauce more sour, some more spicy, some sweeter. Just throw it in a cup, mix it up and voila! Now you have a delicious sauce. Besides – you probably already have all the ingredients needed in your house.
  2. Bullet journal – a key to being more productive. I know, you’re probably thinking that you are already productive enough or/and can remember everything that you need to get done during the day without even writing it down. I thought the same way just one year ago until I came across quite a few amazing youtubers, who have talked about productivity and bullet journaling, and that inspired me to improve my life by creating my own bullet journal. I used to hate planning it the past because planners seemed too small and boring to me but the best thing about bullet journal is – you can adjust it to your needs. You can add not only daily but also weekly, monthly and quarterly logs, habit tracker, quarterly goal section, lists of movies to watch, books to read and way more. Just go to Pinterest and look up some ideas.
  3. If you need to learn a new topic in a short amount of time, type: “*insert topic here* filetype: ppt” (for a Power Point presentation) . I’m surprised that I found about this just few days ago. Thankfully, exams are still ahead of me, so this might actually be a real life saver.
  4. Clean out your closet of the clothes that don’t fit anymore, don’t go together with anything, are worn out or simply don’t make you happy anymore. Trust me, this will decrease your chances of being late to a lecture by 85% . Yes, I am talking to you, girls, cause I used to be one of these people, who could decide what to wear in the morning because it seemed like nothing looks good on me. Invest some time and clean out your closet.
  5. If you have a laptop, stop paying for cable TV. Since I started living on my own, which was four years ago, I stopped using TV. Why pay extra, if you can save some money and choose what you want to watch and when do you want to do it?

That’s all for today’s post. One more thing that I would like to share – there is a little less than a month left until I all of my exams and I’m graduating and the second half of June. Currently it is last week before exams start, so I’m quite busy with rehearsals, lessons and homework. That is the reason why my last post are not as long as they used to be but also it kind of inspired me to write this post. Afterall, I am going to be a student at least for three more years but I love to sharing small, pleasant things along the way. Hopefully next week won’t be as busy for me, so I will try to get back to writing lengthy blog posts. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

The true reason why you might feel stuck in a rut at the job you love.

Asian girl with brown hair, smelling pink roses

Hello, dear readers! Few years I was obsessed with the idea that I really want to learn more about psychology. No, not to learn in a professional way but just to understand myself and other people more. One of the things I remember very well reading about was motivation. More specifically, what is needed to keep us going. There were two main components – inner motivation and outer motivation. Inner motivation is the kind that makes you do something because you simply love it and want to become better at it. Outer motivation is something that we get from the world or people around us. It might be a paycheck, it might appreciation etc. In order to function properly, we need both of these motivation levels around the same level. If we lack one or the other, noticeable changes start to happen. Why am I writing about all of this? Because I noticed these changes happening in my own life but I didn’t know, how to explain it properly. That was until just few days ago when I picked up a book by Dale Carnegie, called “How to win friends and influence people”. First part of the book is called “Fundamental techniques in handling people”. The second principle of this part is “Give honest and sincere appreciation”. That’s when it hit me.

A sudden realization came over me: it’s shocking, how often we either confuse appreciation with flattery or forget about appreciation at all. I bet all of you more or less are familiar with the situation in which, if you do something bad or make a mistake, you get criticized (often way more than you should be) but when you do something good, no one says a word. I have faced this situation quite often since early childhood. When I was little and did something good for my parents, I rarely received true appreciation. It was either nothing or a simple “thank you”. Of course, I didn’t expect fireworks and medals but… could they at least be proud of me, be happy about me? Once I asked my mum, why isn’t she happy that I, for example, helped around the house without anyone asking me to and did she even notice. And she simply told me: “It’s great that you did that but I really don’t know what you expected. It is self-evident when a person does a good thing.” Now let’s take a completely opposite situation. I did something bad. Maybe told my parents that I will be studying while they’re away but sneaked out of the house to visit my best friend instead and got caught later. Do you think they were as calm as when I did something good? Not at all. Such a small “sin” caused a huge argument and there were times when one of my parents or even both of them didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Those are just childhood events but… there definitely was something wrong with them.

Let’s take another example! Let’s fast forward about 7 years later when I had been studying in musical school for few years. When I was a little kid, I often got praised for doing something very well in my guitar lessons. However, when “the crazy teenager age” came, things started to change. I started to have my own opinion about how I should play and how I shouldn’t play, what I liked and what I didn’t. That was when the conflicts started and I got scolded when I didn’t succeed but when I finally did something well, it was barely noticed, if at all. Those were just two examples from my own life but they can be applied to a person in every age group. The point is – we all feel the need to appreciated. Don’t confused it with flatter though. Flattery is insincere but appreciation is sincere. We need appreciation to move forward and keep doing great things. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, there are two types of motivation – inner and outer. Let’s say you have inner motivation, you are learning, how to paint and you love it. However, no matter, how much you try to “get your work” out there, no one really seems to care. They don’t buy your paintings, they don’t compliment them, all they do is take a look and leave. How would you feel? Well, maybe you wouldn’t care for the first day or week but later… You start to feel like you are not good at what you’re doing, there is no progress… So what’s the point of continuing to do this thing at all? You are left with two options then – you can give up or you can keep struggling. What I am trying to say with all of this?

Appreciation is important for everyone. If you see that someone has done something good, don’t hesitate to let them know. Sometimes it is incredibly hard to notice the results of your work yourself and sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, no one will appreciate it anyways. So don’t hesitate to express honest appreciation. It could change someone’s day, maybe even week or month. American philosopher John Dewey has said the deepest urge in human nature is a desire to be important. Appreciation makes us feel that way. So, go ahead and someone’s day today!

Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.