Sunday, 7 August 2011

It's been a while - Healthy Eating

Ignoring the delay between getting this post done and my previous one, I shall now continue on with this week's topic of healthy eating. Or at least, eating so you don't deteriorate into a blubbering mess by the end of your first semester.

First up, hydration. Believe it or not, anything with alcoholic content isn't a suitable replacement for good ol' H2O (or water for all your chemically illiterate tards). Our body's about 70% made up of the stuff, and if it drops below that average a bit too much, you're gonna start feeling some pretty gnarly effects. Headaches, lethargy, and physical effects such as dry skin, unpleasant urination odours, etc. If you drink your water regularly, you'll be off to a headstart on a somewhat healthy lifestyle already. People say to drink two litres of water per day to replace what fluids you've lost, but I personally have always struggled to pull that off.

It's not impossible, but a) You'll be pissing like a warhorse and b) water tends to become a bit boring tasting after half a glass. So, mix it up a bit. Buy yourself a powdered container of Gatorade/Powerade/wtf ever you call it, and add that to a class or bottle of water every now and then. Because not only are you replacing important fluids, but you're buffing yourself up with electrolytes and salts that you've lost through your daily sweat.

Second of all. It's really not that much of a struggle to get up from whatever you're doing and take 15 minutes to prepare a decent meal for the day. Two minute noodles, whilst good for a quick fix, are terrible for consistent use as a meal (dinner, lets say). Noodles and any other sort of pasta are full of carbohydrates, and whilst carbs are definitely necessary, too much of them and your body will begin to very quickly store it as fat. So don't live off just pasta on a daily basis. Put some sort of vegetable in there. Shredded carrot, onion. Whatever. Just try to balance out a meal.

Protein and iron are found in stuff like eggs, bacon, STEAK (ohgod yes) and most other meats. As I said previously though, all in moderation. Try to mix it up a bit.

Eating take away every two or three nights is going to send you down lethargy lane very quickly. Not to mention your skin will produce unhealthy amounts of oil and begin to kill off your complexion. And in the end, it's much cheaper to plan your meals the week before, and do a shop for all things necessary for said meals. You'll feel a lot better about yourself as well.

That's the basics generally covered in a quick, readable manner. I'll be putting a link at the end of this that I've found insanely useful for not only further tips for healthy eating, but working out a regime that's actually improved my fitness as well.

Protips for the week:

1. Lethargy is your biggest lifestyle enemy for study. Sleep doesn't always fix it, and besides, if you sleep too much, you lose precious study/drinking time. It's basically your body complaining that you're lacking certain nutrients, so find out what's been lacking in your meals and fix that shit right up.

2. Whenever you're walking/up and about anywhere, try tensing your stomach muscles for long periods of time. This is a surefire way to tone your stomach down, and the visible effects are quickly noticeable if you're eating right. Sure, your stomach may be aching a bit, but that's a good sign. Sure, you may forget often, but develop a little method of reminding yourself. ie. put a postit note up above your computer, or on the back of your door. You'll develop the habit quickly, and you'll feel much better about yourself.

Now, for that link...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

So apparently like totally

Blogger won't let me post the body of my work on chrome. It's weird as fuck, and quite frankly, annoying.

Could be cookies, could be the browser itself. Whatever.

Blue, brown, swirlies, sparklies, and ponies = The new and improved Utterly Ending.

Also, I've learned a very important thing today. There is a never-ending war of wits and mental stamina between you and your mother. She has the advantage of raising you for however many years, but you have the growing strength of living in the now.

Have a Potter Porter.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Impending Revamps!

Shortly, Utterly Ending will be receiving a fresh new look, away from the drab and oh so boring red, with the freaky Ghastly lookin' thing at the top may or may not exist within the next week.

Never fear though guys! This just means I'm preparing to knuckle down and dish out the hardcore stuff!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Gotta love them delays - Deal with them?

No updates lately, huh? My bad guys. I've been tangled up with birthdays, work, family matters, funerals, and a few hangovers to top it off. All this generally adds to writers block and thus, delays in getting things done.

Which brings me to this week's topic: Writer's Block and finding a Plan B. We all hit that wall in our written essays (for those who have them - media tards like myself can avoid them), and you have absolutely no inspiration or idea as to where to begin/continue with a topic within that assignment. For example, "Write a 30minute script for a non-fiction film that can be filmed on campus" was one of my first assignments. I was absolutely stumped as to what the fuck to do with it.

So the procrastination began, assuming I'd think of something soon enough. In that time period of three weeks, I'd managed to clean my room spotless, find a job, attend said job, study every subject BUT what subject that assignment was from. Due date was just around the corner, and I still had no inspiration, hadn't written down a single word, and everyone else had done it.

I did a rush job on this assignment, and sadly, I failed. It was because I didn't actually drive myself to work on it, no matter how tricky it was to formulate something. The next assignment that required imagination, however, I bit the bullet and almost pulled my own teeth until I discovered I'd scraped by with a distinction (B for you Americans/whatevers).

How I did it

It's really not that hard. All it requires is brainstorming, really. This blog post, for example? The real reason I hadn't written anything for weeks is because I had no idea what to write about. I had promised an interview with a university student, but the questions to ask them never came to my head. So I delayed, until this evening when I'd had a few drinks.

I just sat down at my computer, opened up a new blog post, and began typing. About shit. And it all just flooded in seamlessly. The protip for this: Even if whatever you're writing is shit, just keep going with it. Once you've finished it, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment, and you'll be able to improve on it. Don't try to force it, because that'll just make the block worse. Don't stare at the screen, scouring your brain for ideas. Get a drink (alcoholic or non), sit down, and just begin writing about something.

As for Plan B

Always have a Plan B. They say it all the time in movies, and for good reason. If for some reason, your original plan to do an assignment was interrupted by loud drunken room mates shoving a beer in your face and the rest of the night is history, then you need to have a back up plan. Don't say "Oh, I'll do that online quiz on Friday night," for two reasons. A) Friday nights are generally party nights. Expect some loud neighbors/room mates/awesome shit on TV. and B) You can never be too sure you'll get an assignment done in the time you allotted. If you give yourself two timeslots for particularly tricky assignments, and get it done in the first? Then fuck yeah, go drink your face off during that now free time (or spend it doing more study, you spaz). If you don't get it done in the first slot, then you need to be strict on yourself enough to make sure you finish it in that second one.

And once it's done, you can breathe. It's that easy. And don't reward yourself with pussy shit like a block of chocolate. That never works, you generally eat it in the first hour of study. Reward yourself by going out on the town with friends, or (if you're a ballsy enough dude and have it available), reward yourself with sex. So restrain that sexually spastic girlfriend of yours and, at the end of your assignment, retreat to your sleeping quarters for the most fun you'll ever have.

So yeah. That's this week. All off the top of my head because I had no inspiration to start off with.

Pro-tips for this week:

1. Study schedules seem daunting until you realize you don't have one. Not having one puts you under a lot of stress, and there's only so much stress the human body can handle before it breaks down. Stress includes oral herpes (aka coldsores). Nobody wants herpes.

2. Eat properly. I'll try to cover this next time as the theme of my next post. I'm not going to be that evil bitch who says to not ever eat a cheeseburger again, because honestly, half of my mornings per week consist of a mid-afternoon trek down to McDonalds for breakfast because I really, REALLY don't feel like cooking. But vegetables and fruit are cheap, and you will find something you'll enjoy, it's not that hard. Eat enough of it, and the body will actually grow to like it. Then it will miss it when you stop eating it, and punish you in return.

3. When all else fails, drink booze. It's a great way to pass the time, and some of the world's best assignments are created when one is absolutely shitfaced. Not to mention drunken word structure allows the markers a bit of a chuckle.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

You've got into your course - Now what? Part 2.

Part 2 of god-knows how long. I think I may make this the last of this segment. Onward!

So, by now you should have your accommodation sorted out for the next six months at least. If you've been smart, you've scored yourself a job to keep yourself afloat. The next two important things are actually to do with your study.

Firstly. You kinda need to get a timetable organized. This will be beyond invaluable when you start your semester, because trust me. College/university can and will crush your spirits with a truckload of assessment.

All due at the same time.

Daunting? Any sensible person would agree. And so, we come to the timetable. If you haven't already, you need to book your classes for the next semester, give your boss the heads up on your studies, etc. Following your class enrolments, you should draw yourself up/find on the internet an actual spreadsheet timetable (an ideal one would be a weekly Sun-Mon sheet, with hourly segments).

The first thing you're going to want to put in there is your class hours. Once those are out of the way, incorporate your work hours so that you can clearly identify when you're NOT available to study/enjoy life. Following that, you should make yourself a study plan.

The Study Plan
 1. Allow yourself up to 10 hours per week for your entire study commitment (can't remember if it's per class or your entire degree). 10 hours is possibly the bare minimum if you want to scrape by with good grades. Assign these hours split up amongst the week evenly. Studies (and myself) have actually proven that something is best revised the day after, giving the information a much better chance at being drilled into your long-term memory.
2. If you're really anal about when you study what, revise lecture notes a day after said lecture, and work on assessment at a later time in the week.
3. You do have the flexibility of choosing to study during your free time, or during specific study sessions (ie. substituting a revision session with an assessment session).

Now, if you're like a number of folk I know, study is possibly the least appealing thing to you when it comes to college. "I can get through college without studying! I did it in highschool!"

Well then sunshine. Prepare to endure months of possible guilt, meltdowns during exams, and nonstop pestering by your teachers as to why you didn't hand in an assignment. Not to mention you will fail your degree if you do not keep a certain grade average (which varies from course to course, I'd say). Do a study plan. Seriously, I've learned my mistakes, and a study timetable has made some amazing changes to my grades and general well being.

The Textbooks
So by now, you should have your classes enrolled, your boss informed, and a study timetable written up. Next on the agenda this week is textbooks. Hoo boy, doesn't the word just give that awkward shudder down your spine?

Toughen up, pumpkin. Unlike in highschool, your textbooks are going to be your gods for the next few years. Why is this, you ask?

The answer to almost any question in the majority of courses is going to be in the textbook. 90% of the time, the answer lies just beneath the surface of a jumble of words. Your textbook will always have a glossary. Find a key word within your assessment/question, look it up in the glossary/reference at the back, and you will be sent in the correct direction.

During exams, you'll be given study notes. Sometimes, if you annoy them enough, lecturers/professors will give out little nodes of information about what the fuck to study for an exam. So, with your textbooks, I can highly recommend finding Stickynotes or something and tagging important sections of your textbooks.

This can be achieved during or outside study/class hours, and will take a maximum of 30 seconds out of your busy life. This little technique is incredibly valuable, and a time saver for when you're in a pinch with your assessment.

As I said, textbooks are your best friend for this stage of your life. Next post, we get to the gritty-nitty part of university - maintaining a social life (if you have one, of course).


1. Before buying brand new textbooks, have a browse around the internet for a second hand version of it. More often than not, there's going to be a website set up for college students to sell their no longer needed books. And these are generally in very good condition for a much cheaper price. You could turn $400 into $200.

2. Study is hard. I can definitely agree with you on that one. But it's something you basically signed up for when you applied for the course. Bite the bullet, spend a small amount of time each week on study and assessment. Knowing you've done even a little bit for that day can make you feel much more at ease, and give you a much better chance at keeping reasonable grades.

3. Getting into a schedule can be very difficult as well. However, stick to it a couple of weeks, and it'll be ingrained into your daily routine. Take a gander at this link to get an idea of how to successfully get yourself used to your new timetable.

Tricks to help make a new habit stick

Next post will be covering the basics of your first few weeks at college, and in about a week, I'll be doing the first of possibly a few interviews on current college students, and their experiences are to be shared with you.

Later days!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

You've got into your course - Now what? Part 1.

Weeks of applications, emails and letters to colleges around your area/nation (if you're into that sort of thing), and you finally get a letter congratulating you on your acceptance.

Woohoo! what?

Well! Now you need to get yourself there, get youself stable and settled once your course starts! And first things first, you need to work out accommodation. You've got a few options here, depending on the location of said course. If it's a good 3+ hours away from where you currently live, you may want to start investigating into student accommodation/shared rent options (siblings can be extremely handy in these moments!). A lot of universities/colleges have "On campus" living options that are generally very cheap. They usually come with all your basic living requirements such as hot water, a toilet, bed and personal living space. It could be a unit-like set up (y'know, 5 student rooms with the shared living room and kitchen), or you may wind up sharing a room with someone. Not to discourage you, but try to avoid that. You shit goes missing, suddenly your jeans are theirs, and plates and food are left everywhere for weeks on end. Oh. Also. Please, never be that sort of person.

But please. Don't let that discourage you. Really. It can be cheaper, particularly if you don't feel like driving for 4 hours across the country to get to a one hour lecture.

Sometimes, if you're lucky/a lovely enough person, an elderly couple or some less elderly couple (provided they aren't serial killers - look into that) might be quite happy to let you use their spare room with a boarding fee (generally cheaper than typical $300 a week rent). You get home cooked meals out of this, often super fast internet, and most likely there will be almost no intrusion to your space. The cons to this set up? Most folk who kindly let a stranger sleep in their house for study purposes aren't very fond of house parties/copious drinking/drugs.

Finally. If you have the option to - keep living with your parents. If you can, pitch them even a small amount of money every couple of weeks to help with your own upkeep. Nothing is cheaper than bumming off your family. So long as you 'appear' to be keeping a good GPA and 'studying', you can get away with most shit. They might even let you house sit for the weekend. This generally calls for a house party.

With everything but the 'living with parents' option, have a look at community noticeboards around the area your college is in. Often people will put up notices looking for a room mate to help subsidize their rent, or the elderly couple I mentioned earlier are looking for a youthful energy in the house. Look for the cheapest options, then narrow that selection down by calling the persons who are concerned, get to know them, find out if they're going to shove pineapples up your arse or not in the middle of the night. If they're not, and they genuinely want someone to pay rent and to live comfortably with, you've got yourself a deal.

So. Basic living space ideals covered. Next, your biggest concern is going to be keeping up with that rent. This one's pretty simple.

You get a job. Yup. "Oh my god, but I've never had to work a day in my life so far!". Guess what sunshine? They day is eventually going to come where you'll be working behind a counter selling chicken. But again. It's money. You have to start somewhere. And whether you get government payments or not, having a bit of spare spending money is going to make your boring university life a lot happier. Trust me.

Extra little tips:

1. Don't forgo a week's rent for alcohol/drugs/a hooker. That's a bad idea. Seriously. Some places might be lenient about a week or so. But if you skip one week and get away with it, it'll become a habit, and suddenly you're 5+ weeks behind rent, and it's a scary thing, particularly if you have nowhere else to go.

2. If they say no drugs in the tenancy agreement, don't do it. Just not within the property boundaries/indoors. Seriously, that shit can get into the walls, drop into the carpet. And if they find just one reason to bust you on it, they will. If you're gonna go smoke a joint, go for a walk through the park or something.

3. Look for free things, free vouchers. Anything that gives student discounts. If you're bored, taking a huge dump, go to reward-giving survey sites, and do the surveys. It'll give you that little bit of extra internet cash or something. If you're patient, that shit can build up to $100+ so it's often worth it.

Any other tips/protips you want to add, I can pop it in my next blog. I might make a series of helpful hints. Dunno.

:) Until then, Later days!

Welcome to Utterly Ending

Here you'll get some tales and information about life as a fresh university student, and the ridiculous mood swings and hobby partakings you might get up to during the course of your life in third-level education. I've been toying with the idea of a blog/website to cover these issues. And what better way to do that than to begin it early on, when I can go through the experience with you?

A little bit about myself. My name is Endresca, End for short. I'm currently within my first year of (possibly) the most cruisy university course in Australia, studying Applied Media. I am Australian, I am female, and I am struggling with the concept of studying full-time for another three whole years.

Growing up in a combination of country and city has given me an... interesting concept on life. I have no solid beliefs in any religion (though I have respect for those who don't try to shove it down my throat), I'm both a gamer and I play golf. Endresca is my screen name for most of my videogame saves/characters (You might find me wondering around World of Warcraft), also under the title Squixel.

So, lets get this blog rolling. Over the next few weeks I'll be covering the basics of university/college life. Just what you can expect to become a part of, what you can be assured you will turn into, and the options available to you if you find yourself caught in a pickle.