Blogging on Blogs

Tomorrow brings the end to my compulsory blog entries and I feel I should conclude to you, my readers, of how my blog has gone. Everyday I am able to see a chart of how many daily views the blog gets, otherwise known as ‘hits’. Overall as I write this entry I have received a total of 690 views over the 11 previous entries.

Like alot of you, i started blogging with a blank screen and no idea what to do! (blogspot)

I know this isn’t the greatest record of all time but as I said in my first entry, before undertaking this challenge, I was new to the bloggers ‘art’ therefore I count a total of 690 successes over the past weeks. Many of you may wonder which blog was my favourite.

I have several entries which I am exceptionally proud of, such as ‘blogging for blood’ because it had a real message and may have influenced some of my readers to give blood. Another entry about the murder of a Northern Ireland Police officer ‘as time goes by …..’ touched me as a lot of my peers said to me about how honest the entry sounded.

Blood Donation was key to one of my favorite entries, (image from Blogspot)

Other entries surprised me too, one in particular called ‘the student switch’ was a real surprise as I thought it wasn’t one of my better pieces. A comment on this entry from a fellow course mate filled me with pride as they said it was exactly how they felt. The blog was a success and I was proud to know that I captured the feelings of other people and not just my own opinions.

April 19th, the blogs most popular day had 62 views and surprisingly, no blog was posted on this day! The previous day’s entry ‘the student switch’ boosted the views on the blog and again took me by complete surprise.

I was glad to see I gained some skill in the use of wordpress, hyperlinks and video uploads as I went along and soon felt comfortable in writing my entries. For those just starting to blog, like I am there are great help pages available on wordpress and some fascinating videos on YouTube about social media…. This now includes my blog and not just a facebook site.

I have yet to decide if hunterswords will continue and post all the weird and wonderful things which inspire me. But for now at least, I would like to thank the readers of my blog for their continued support along the way. And I will end as I have started after gaining the skills required to Blog on an acceptable basis, and I’ve done it all ‘As part of a curriculum of which I must follow’.

 

Happy to be finished, and thanks to ALL my readers!

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Undergraduate for University?

 

Keeping with the Blog’s theme of what I feel needs talking about, this one is all about university. How do we get there and where does it all go for undergraduate students who pay thousands every year to study a few hours per week?

My Blog on wordpress is part of my university work driving me to a career in the media!

I am drawing to a close on my first year at university and can’t help but reflect on how quickly it has all gone by. Each month has been broken up with weekends, days off, public holidays and term breaks, resulting in the fastest year of my life so far. The work has been hard and often challenging and has truly tested my ability to work for myself but has taught me some very important lessons.

My university Logo

 

At school I was always unsure of how well I was doing and often just scraped by in the harder subjects that I was less interested in, now however I have a real interest in my course and can work hard to ensure I pass my modules and achieve my goals. Like any student however I can often get distracted by the new surroundings and nights out which means on days like today there is a final push to finish work and study for the exams.

Unlike school, I am now looking forward to a summer deemed long enough to enjoy. Four months of working and relaxing with friends back home. And even though I have to pay rent in a house I won’t even be living in all summer it is still nice to know I can stand on my own feet and do it with the help of my student loans.  For students who feel they are under the ability to graduate and don’t wish to go to university there are other learning centres and careers which can help. For me it was an uneasy choice but I took the plunge and so far it has all paid off.

stressful A-level exams leading to university (telegraph.co.uk)

We get to university by doing exams we have no interest in and only have to conform to in order to achieve “success” in our society, and then at university we pay massive fee’s, rent, bills and more to embrace a few hours of academic work per week followed by hard partying and a lot of laying around. Now considered part of our normal culture we all feel like we should go to university and gain our undergraduate degrees.

Where does it all go after the university lifestyle however? I recently watched some of my older friends finish university and fall to their knees as work is hard to come by and even jobcentres can offer little comfort. My own sister is soon to finish a master’s degree and is weary of what to do next as jobs are few and far between. Personally I can see the day where a degree from university which costs thousands of pounds, and years of work may not be enough. So is it now a time when an undergraduate degree doesn’t graduate as enough to gain a career? Leave comments and let me know what you think at https://hunterswords.wordpress.com/

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UK Toasts toward super summer!

 

Blogspot image captures a perfect summer picture

 

With recent winters bearing fresh memories of frozen lakes and impossible conditions the nation will surely be wondering what the coming summer will bring. As we near the summer months it is becoming ever more clear what to expect.

There is no doubt we are all in hope of high temperatures and perfect skies for months on end so Mother Nature can redeem herself for the unbearable winter chills of 2010. The weather offices are less optimistic however, reports of “above average” temperatures and “normal amounts of rainfall” place a real damp feeling on our heated dreams.

Recent weather in April lead the nation into a spending frenzy preparing for much anticipated summer of heat and sunshine. As the weeks of barbeques and beach trips rolled by the weather once again, in true British style, tumbled on its own success and saw the return of clouded skies and rainy days.  

Temperatures for June, soaring heats or Winter Woollens?

 

The netweather website reports the possibility of “a good deal of dry and warm weather” to be seen which may provide the relief from rainfall we have all been looking for since the harsh wisp of winter weather nipped at our heels and forced out the winter woollens. This leaves the questionable weather predictions still lingering in the air as reports of ‘above average’ heat and ‘consistent rainfall’ still whimper in the summers predictions.

I guess only time will tell, but if theUKfinally see’s the super summer it has been long awaiting what will we do with it? The views of family trips to the beach and summer barbeque parties will once again be alive and the scent of sea air and melted ice creams will once again refresh our memories of summers gone by.

This is only a short post because its about the weather… i’ve not turned into my grandad yet so im keeping it short and sweet.

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Working for free pays off

As a young person I found I wanted to be a journalist. And I couldn’t have known unless i had discovered  a youth based organisation called ‘Headliners’, formerly ‘Children’s Express’, and began to receive free training in journalism skills and personal development.

 

If it were not for the funders, staff and volunteers of this charity, myself, and hundreds of other young people would still be shy and timid individuals hanging around the streets and getting a bad name. Now however we have been drawn from our shells and bloomed into some of the most confident personalities in our areas. Through this organisation the young people are given free time, activities and key training to become journalists in their own unique way. Headliner’s is no joke and can really reach the stars.

Headliners has made news which has gone as far as the BBC and can do sensative issues as well as fun disscussions. This is a video headliners made about HIV/Aids

This Blog entry has taken a while to gather up as I asked a few of other volunteers to give me their experiences of how volunteers helped them and to tell me what they were doing today. A few of these can be found at the bottom of this entry and they really tell a story of how a little time given for free can help shape someone else’s life.

Millenium Volunteers Certified my volunteering

Thanks to volunteering I had all the help I needed to become an outgoing confident person, and with thanks to the same free, rewarding and impressive service I have certificates and experience to put in my CV for life. Click here to see how. Volunteers are everywhere and we probably don’t even realise it, for example charity workers, the volunteers to fundraise for all the great charities and organisations such as Children In Need, Red Nose Day or any other local organisation.

In Headliners, the charity I volunteered for, I was still able to do all the activities the members could do, but I got to do even more. I was part of more training and skills courses to develop myself including a week in Brathay,England, which trained me to be a peer trainer and gave me essential leadership skills, which without being a volunteer I could not have taken part in.

I met Peter Hain MP in London because of Volunteering

 

 I was still able to promote myself and the organisation with stories and broadcasts and had an article published in Japanese, had live radio training and once received an email from a reader saying she loved the work Headliners was doing.

I also met and spoke with Katie Derham. A top UK news reader

 

Now as the organisation moves on there are still articles of mine on the website and many other articles from the streets of England and Ireland all telling stories from young people’s point of view. The organisation was a lifeline to me and many like me and this blog is only a small insight to the work which volunteers do to help many UK organisations and charities stay alive.

Volunteering was rewarding, fun, educational, social, interactive and so much more. As we face more and more unemployment in the UK charity work is essential and maybe you’re input as a volunteer could help somebody else or yourself into exciting new careers or oppertunities.

Here are some other Volunteering moments 

Emma Measures:

  • When I was 18, I fund raised £2700 for a charity called the Joshua Foundation. Part of this paid for me to go toAustraliato take part in conservation work on a nature reserve park. The rest of the money went straight to giving children with terminal cancer a chance to do something amazing. I went with one other person from my high school and met about 20 other amazing friends, who I will love forever. After two weeks of conservation work we went to Sydney and did a ton of sight seeing. From climbing the Harbor bridge to eating at the top of the revolving tower. It was most definitely the best experience of my life and its so rewarding knowing you have raised so much money for a child suffering a great deal have their dreams come true.

Nina Osei-Armah

  • For me volunteering is about gaining experience that will most likely benefit you in later times depending on your career choice. Apart from selfish reasons to look good on your c.v its a way of being a part of something and you have that self satisfaction of helping to make something happen or improve someone’s life. Volunteers are also a cheap resource if you find people willing to work for free that is one less expense. They are also a really good way of getting communities together and making things happen.

Philip Mc Dermott – (University Of Ulster)

  • Many people now go to university with the ‘blinded’ opinion that a degree is enough to get a job. It took one person (a lecturer) to tell me I was good enough and explain to me that I have to do other things to show employers how I can apply what I learn. The harsh reality is that in order to do that, especially when you are starting out you have to do it for free. I’m still doing stuff for free, and paid for others. But you know what. My volunteering has got me in a position to do the things I love to do!!!
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The Student Switch

How is it that students get to live a double life? Switching from one place to another and both being entirely normal to us. At first, when anybody moves to a new place it seems strange and we ask if we can ever get used to the kind of life we see around us. But as time passes and we unpack the boxes, we settle in and it all seems normal again.

Students are constantly on the move, darting around from our one city to the next. Having done this myself I am always amazed at how quickly I see home, and my university lifestyle as being normal. It can take up to seven or more hours to get from one to the other, I take trains and planes to make my switch and have to move country to see my other ‘normal’.

But it is always an easy switch, when I’m in England I see the culture of rushing precision on the trains and busy business men and women darting past on the street, then when I come back to Ireland I see the same town I know and grew up in and the same old faces all walking past again.

Many of the UK’s population will experience the student world of pasta, beer and essay writing. But what is it really like to move away from home and discover your own new place? Some will move away and be an hour away from home in the next big town or city, but for many students it is not so simple. The move takes on a several hour separation from where you’ve always called home.

At first the challenges are easy, where’s the pub? Where’s the shop? And where can I buy some cheap beer? When life in a new environment comes so easy and entertaining it’s virtually impossible not to take full advantage. So in general, we do! After a few weeks however, the challenges change for students who have taken this leap of faith away from their hometowns.

When university starts the term a new panic overtakes, floods of information and new potential friends whizz past and start a new confusion. The difficulty in finding classes is unimaginable, campus maps become you’re closest friend as you have to find buildings named after streets and people you’ve never even heard of. And yet I can still say it all becomes normal?

Campus Map at Sheffield Hallam University

 

The adrenaline is high and the nervous laughter shared in the lecture theatres starts to build new bonds and friendships that you start to feel relaxed by. Almost every student will paint the same picture of the starting weeks of university, and from experience it’s true. The problems don’t stop here, there is even more to consider after the strange named buildings, the cheap beer and the nervously laughing friends you’ve just made.

What if you need a doctor? A Dentist? Or the cheapest way home? More issues to work out in the new abnormal life. You find all the answers and start to get used to a new place and even feel comfortable in the new surroundings. Before long it all makes sence and although you don’t know everywhere you have a much better idea of where you are and how to get around.

The new friends all talk about the same thing and your lost lifestyle becomes normal. The lost feelings are overruled by the comfort of independence and knowing it’s all working out. But when you return home and have the home cooked dinners and usual nights out there is a comfort once again in being home. It is an easy transition to make several times a year and in a year of university life the questions all get answered and the fear all fades away making the new strange and uneasy surroundings just like home.

http://www.uwicsu.co.uk A Favorite Image In the nervous first weeks

This is a usual experience for many students who move away from home and live this mysterious double life. What are you’re experiences of university and moving away from home and ‘normality?’. Comment on the Blog and let us all know.

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THE FEAR OF FAILURE… EXAMINATION EMERGENCY

Blah Blah Blah . . . All the echoes of the endless moans and groans of how students have a life of luxury. It was never an easy decision to come to university.

 It’s clearly the obvious option in today’s society, grow up, go to school and then to university or a chosen trade.

But what if you’re the person who struggled with a routine environment that worked simply on the basis of conformity and being ‘smart’. What if, you hate the thought of work you don’t understand and know you won’t succeed in?

What if, you’re the person who knows if you could choose one thing and work really hard at it you could succeed? But the option hasn’t presented itself and you’re stuck in the miserable circling drain of the schooling system which can fail so many but places all its pride on academic success stories.

Wordpress.com

Fed up with angry teachers?

 

If you are, then you’re just like me. . This is another one of my rambling blogs on personal experience.

This year Jamie Oliver has taken on a challenge against the school system to prove young people can do well in subjects they are interested in. He wishes to inspire the young people failed by mainstream schools to return to the classroom on the channel 4 documentary. I have watched the show and remember all the feelings of hatred I had for schools, the system and the teachers. I still hold a grudge to schools and feel a lot of the work done there is pointless. Now at university it is still the same.

For me there is a difference, I fell in love with broadcasting outside of school and have had a burning desire to continue working to a profession in the broadcasting industry. I hated school, I always wished I could have walked out and never returned, but like a lot of young people my age I didn’t want to disappoint my parents and was somehow worried of how my future employers would look at me. Not an easy quitter I stuck by it and got the grades I needed to scrape into the next round.

I’ve come to university for the same reasons that I only wish I could rebel against. Because society is telling me I have to. I know it’s the time of exams again and for the people who were in my shoes and felt that horrible pre-failure lull about the exams they were to sit, I want to share my story. It may not be inspiring but I hope that people understand how you feel. It’s never easy to sit the high intelligence exams that you now need to even sweep the streets. School is hard and for some it’s near impossible.

Today I’m at university, I have left home and moved country, and am studying to help narrow the path into the career I want. Slowly but surely as I near the end of my first year at university I can see how much I am narrowing in on the goal. All the times I wished I had quit, I still wish I had quit, I no longer have faith in our society’s perception of success and like a lot of people feel there is simply too much pressure on us to succeed.

There was a time when I wasn’t sure if I could succeed. I took a year out of university and worked, and in the year I had in a low end job I learned more than I ever will in a three year university spout. But the social success will never get me a degree and let me get onto a more successful life, it’s because of this I had to stress and get worried and sick even thinking about exams.

Radio 1 every year at this time talks about revision a lot and just like this blog allows for personal accounts of how to deal with it all. They ask people doing the exams how they feel and offer lots of advice on how to cope, this really is a life line and the things they say may seem like de-ja-vu but it’s often very true.

The work will always pay off, even if an exam if failed a lesson is learned and determination can go a long way. Many of the most successful people in this world were just like a lot of our parents and left school at 16 or even before. click here to see some of them.

'Dragon' Deborah Meadon is a self made millionaire after leaving school

To anyone who’s just like me, I say stick in and don’t give up. You may be presently surprised and if not at least you can stick it out and prove any of the teachers who doubted you’re first week would last you can say you’ve given it you’re all.

Billy connolly has no qualifications, but is still very succesfull

 I only a few weeks ago met a teacher who never had faith in me and even he was in shock to hear I went to university. He smiled and said well done clearly baffled by the fact I had gone somewhere; this gave me great pride in knowing I was proving I was better than my teachers had ever expected.

Good luck with all you’re exams, and any parents or elder readers just remember you’re time at school. Support our young people and relieve some pressure to let us breathe and see what WE have to do to make our own success!

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Another week gone, the progress, failure, and success.

Daily Mail image showing the location Ronan Kerr's death.

Since the entry ‘as time goes by….’  another week has passed and at a glance we can see signifigant movements, but not all of these movements have come from the police service. I have a quick guide to the failures and successes to the week following Ronan Kerr’s murder in Omagh last saturday afternoon.

The press has been in a frenzy to cover the death of Ronan Kerr. Since then, the investigation has been opened up and the police have been making some progress in both investigations and in political statements. An unseen sight for years gone past in Northern Ireland struck the newspapers as the police service stood, literally, shoulder to shoulder with GAA players.

Independant.ie image showing PSNI and GAA joining forces

 

This was a divide which was largely a separation of catholic and protestant members of the community. The death of Ronan Kerr inspired solidarity throughout the land in protest to the act. Over the week since his death the police have gathered their evidence and have now arrested a third man for questioning.

The movements in spirit and investigation with this case have moved Northern Irish citizens like never before, the direction is set heavily on condemnation of the attack. However, the terrorists responsible have also set on causing new disruption with car bombs described by the PSNI as being ‘very substantial’. The latest left at roadside in a transit van was a 500lb car bomb set to have a devastating effect.

BBC images of the Van containing a 500lb bomb

 

Since Ronan’s death last week the resistance to terrorism has been substantial and historical, but the attacks on the community have also taken a notch up leaving only one question. What next?

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