Oxford's Cinema Under The Stairs

14:24 Unknown 0 Comments

As a third year student with just four weeks left to scrape together a dissertation as well as managed four or five other deadlines, there's little time for fun. We managed a good night out but we'll be trading those kinds of nights out for ones at the library. However, we all know there's always time for a film on Netflix, so why not go out and watch a film?
The Odeon can be expensive in the evenings and you might have already seen a lot of new releases, but that's not your only option. My housemate and I discovered Cinema Under The Stairs over Christmas, and finally made it to a showing last week. Cinema Under The Stairs is run by a hilarious group of friends that show one film a month in The Cellar (just before PT). We got to see a Clint Eastwood classic, A Fistful of Dollars.
The idea these guys had was for cheap cinema, but good quality, as well as drinks, food, and people. We could tell from the first few minutes of being in there that they get to know the customers and it makes for an amazing atmosphere which is just loads of people who like film having fun. I paid £4 for my ticket, 50p for an outrageously good slice of banana bread, and about £3 for an alcoholic drink. It's damn good value, I'll tell you that.
The film itself was great, and I have a new found crush on young Clint Eastwood (trust me). Beforehand, one of the guys dressed like a character from the film sang songs to us and drank tequila, and afterwards they held a raffle. Tickets to the raffle are very cheap, but you have a pretty decent chance of winning vouchers for pubs, restaurants, Truck Store, and even DVDs, posters and more. It's just all really good value, and really good fun.
Another bonus for film lovers is the opportunity to buy the amazing posters they create for each film. It's £10 for an A1 size poster - and they are all stunning. You can also buy a poster from a previous event, so next time I go, I'll be buying the Fistful of Dollars one. We had so much fun at the first showing, we decided pretty much immediately to buy tickets for March's screening of Shogun Assassin, which looks ridiculous.

If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, you'll have to be quick. Customers very quickly become regulars which means half the tickets will be sold just hours after going online. It's honestly so much fun, and it's a chance to enjoy a film you might never have seen, and to hang out with friends and these guys who are genuinely wonderful. Plus you can enjoy free sweets, and try some of that beautiful banana bread!

You can catch them on
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CinemaUnderTheStairs/
Twitter: @CineUnderStairs
Website: http://www.cinemaunderthestairs.com/

(At the time of publishing this, there are 4 tickets left so hurry Brookes students!)


Writer's Block: A Short Anthology of Things To Do

01:06 Unknown 0 Comments

The idea of writer’s block is not uncommon among students, especially in your last year of university. If you’re not behind on deadlines are you really writing a dissertation? Although I’ve opted out of writing one, I still got twenty things I’m behind on that are not helped by feeling writer’s block. I will relate a few aspects of Oxford life that have helped me cope during these periods where I got to nurture my brain into productivity again. Quick disclosure being, I also write often and for pleasure, so this isn’t exclusively in academic writing.

Reading being a helpful thing that it is, reading for pleasure becomes a lost art whilst being a student. It sounds crazy but picking up a book without expecting heavy academic content from it can actually be a truly relieving thing. In honour of LGBTQ History Month, I purchased a really cheap copy of all of Oscar Wilde’s plays. Reading them at night and acting out the parts all has been a thoroughly enjoyable endeavour that’s restored my ability to A) pick up a book and B) enjoy what I’m reading. After all, I do actually enjoy reading my assignments, my course and the modules I picked were picked for a reason (I like, like what I study). So sometimes it becomes a matter of shocking your body back into remembering ‘reading is good, do it’.

Talking to friends about my feelings became a really important step in kicking my brain back into high gear. It might come as a surprise; they weren’t totally foreign to what I was feeling. In fact, highkey, they were feeling exactly the same way, only perhaps, coping way better with things. Each one of my flatmates was a grounding force in helping me write again. One would tell me to start small, writing bits and pieces till I felt confident enough to go all out in a paragraph. Another would tell me to go into the wilderness (aka South Park) and sit back and take in the scenery, no music or phone, just me and nature for a couple of minutes. Sometimes that’s what it takes for your mind to relax enough into wanting to say something and put it on paper.

Having said that, attending lectures and seminars (but especially lectures) can do wonders for a blocked mind, especially if you’re taking notes. My mind goes into auto-pilot for the hours that I’m making notes trying to make sense of theorists and academics. But the feeling of accomplishment at the end can be quite encouraging.

The university Poetry Centre will be having a few events in the coming weeks, looking forward to a recital makes me genuinely excited to have something to say. Expectations and deadlines are nerve-wracking, but maybe they serve a purpose. That sense of urgency will help break you out of a block too. Ultimately, I’m not the person to ask how to be the most productive writer, but I find every little bit of advice help when trying to get into the groove of things.

Best of luck Brookes.


Societies @ Brookes: Radio

11:50 Unknown 0 Comments

"Hello, Oxford Brookes!" I sing into the microphone every Monday 4-5pm (please tune in), "it's time for SK's Monday Mandem - a show about high quality tunes and low quality banter".

Brookes' range of societies is rather versatile, and I can proudly state that I have been a member of Radio Society since my first year here. Radio allows the voice of students to be heard - whether it's their political, social or general opinions, students are allowed to communicate their thoughts and theories through radio. Some shows revolve around certain topics such as sports, student life, improv - my show in particular focuses on music and, indeed, banter (it's the best show out there, let's be real).

The studio is located on Headington Hill Campus (just a short walk from the JHB building) and is rich in the finest equipment; from turntables to microphones to mixing decks, the studio has it all. Extra microphones are provided in the event of guest speakers or even friends joining in on the fun of the show. Plus it makes you feel like a much cooler version of Nick Grimshaw when you start.

Radio is fun and a good skill to acquire as you learn how to stream, upload and work with certain softwares and it even helps you enhance your confidence. Nevertheless, it is hard work. In my case, planning my script, compiling songs together, setting up the equipment and other preparation takes approximately 2/3 hours per week (plus another hour for my slot). Although it can be difficult to keep up with, all presenters enjoy Radio as we are interested in what we discuss and conduct. Additionally, promotion is of high importance so that people know when to tune in! For example, I made a poster and it is currently my Facebook and Twitter cover photo. I then tweeted the photo to the uni account who placed it on their advertising boards #MarketingStudentLyf.  

(please note this is an old poster and the time is now 4-5!)

Whether you aspire to be the next Annie Mac (she's not really that cool, though, super soz) or merely wish to discuss your views on current affairs or just want to gain some confidence then radio is for you. Just remember to prep, plan and be interested in what you're talking about. Also, don't forget to tune in to my show Monday's 4-5pm brookesradio.com ty x

Until next time,


10 things all Psychology students can relate to

13:30 Unknown 1 Comments

If you study Psychology, you'll probably be able to relate to these points on a spiritual level...(I know I do).

1. 'OMG! You study Psychology! Can you read my mind?' 

Yes Alex, by studying how the mind and behaviour I automatically become a Psychic. Here, let me show you my crystal ball.

2. 'Psychology isn't a real science' 

So...you're telling me... that even though I'll be studying neuropsychology, biological psychology, statistics, formulae, using specialist equipment such as EEG machines and the simple fact that my degree is a BSc doesn't count as science?

3. SPSS. 

I don't even need to explain this one.

4. Using reverse psychology on family/friends/various members of society

The golden sentence: 'It's fine, I didn't want you to anyway'. Sorted.

5. #TFW you get a result of p<0.05 


6. Your most used word is probably 'subconsciously' 

Everything is subconscious! That, or it might be 'significant'.

7. Every major Psychologist has a weird name. 

Zimbardo?? Festinger?? Vygotsky?? They're funny at first, until you have to do a 1500 word essay and type the name fifty times.

8. When you miss out on a first for getting APA formatting confused with Harvard referencing



9. "Oh you do Psychology? You must know a lot about Freud!"

Let's get this cleared up: Freud and his theories, despite how wonderful and wacky they are, make up maybe 5% or less of my entire course. There's more to us than the Oedipus complex ♡

10. Finally, THIS JOKE

"Why is Pavlov's hair so soft?"

"Classical Conditioning"


Brookes Talks Public Speaking Society: Budapest Trip

15:28 Unknown 2 Comments

In the deep bleakness that is January, feeling a little miserable from the crushing realisation that Christmas was over, I was feeling pretty down. Most of my 'home friends' were back to their respective uni's, and I still had another three weeks to go. So what kept me from dying of boredom in my now seemingly dull hometown? The Brookes Talks Budapest Social!

I have been a been a member of the Brookes Talks Public Speaking Society since the start of semester one, and before Christmas the fantastic committee organised a trip for myself and the other members to go to Budapest, Hungary for a week to bond, socialise and prepare ourselves for Semester two.

After a being reunited with my best friend from uni, Bethan, in a fashion that can only be compared to that of the opening scene from Love Actually (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUoxXpqof8A third party content, may contain adverts), we met up at Gatwick airport with our fellow members and boarded our flight to Budapest.

Our fantastic group!

We stayed in Adagio Hostel 2.0, opposite the largest Basilica in Budapest, on the Champs- Elysées of Budapest. I have to admit, I was so nervous. I was staying in a hostel, with people who I had only spoken to briefly in the weekly meetings, for an entire week. Was this going to be the most awkward holiday ever? 

The view from the hostel balcony

The trip ended up being one of the best experiences I've ever had- as a group, we got on like we'd been friends for three years, in just three hours of being there. We were fortunate enough to visit some of the most iconic sights of Budapest, such as the Chain Bridge, the Szeycheyni baths and Szimpla Kert, Budapest's weirdest/best ruin bar. 

I was also concerned about the food- was it going to be really stodgy? Was I going to hate it? I couldn't have been more wrong. The food ranged from rich, tasty goulash and langosh, to decadent macarons and rose gelato.

We were even lucky enough to see a little bit of snow while we were there-unsurprising, since the temperature ranged from 2 degrees to -12 degrees.

All in all, it was an absolutely fantastic trip; the Brookes Talks committee provided a spectacular holiday. By the end of the trip, there was just one question on everyone's lips- where to next? 

Ellena Gartside x


Young, Blessed with Plenty of Stress (A Placement Article)

15:00 Unknown 1 Comments

Stress is the key word to this article, because it depicts my exact feelings towards the placement hunt. It's not fun, it's not quick and it is certainly not easy. I know it sounds like I'm trying to steer potential Placementeers (that's the name I'm giving people like me) away from applying for one, but I am merely conveying the harsh truth.

I have applied for many placements since the dawn of time (September 2016, same thing) and have received many sweet rejections and a very few number of interviews. I've had interviews with companies such as Apple (was in top 25, it ain't a thang #justdoingme), EA and Disney (top 12, again #justdoingme). My Apple Assessment Day (AD) was... a strange experience because I felt like the environment didn't really suit me (and also because this random boy who was at the event attempted to chat me up via LinkedIn #noscrubsplease). It taught me that despite the fact that it's a fantastic blue chip company, it's just not for me - plus I had no idea what they were talking about half the time. 

What really frustrates me is when the companies don't bother responding to my application, whether it's a rejection or not, it's still appreciative to know, especially because my habitual situation needs to be organised for the following year! Alas, some companies take absolutely ages to respond, for example, Disney took 4 months to tell me that I made it to the AD stage. 

I had my Disney AD on the Wednesday 8th February and it was an incredibly intense day. Despite the fact that I live in London, I found it relatively difficult to locate the Disney HQ as I had to go through a particular entrance. Five minutes prior to the interview I was lost in the depths of Hammersmith crying on the phone to my mother, demonstrating my totally chill nature which is perfectly suitable for a renowned firm like Disney... Anyways, the day began at the exceptionally early time that is 8:30am and finished at 6:00pm. The AD consisted of team work, numerical tests, presentations, a significant amount of interviews, tours and more. It was quite the experience!

After all these interviews I realised (because, in the words of Snapchat Queen, Kylie J, this is the year of realising things) that I wouldn't know anything for certain soon, so I placed a deposit on a room at a Brookes student housing accommodation and just hoped for the best in terms of placement.

After this epiphany was engraved into my mind, Disney contacted me on the following Thursday (so literally the day after the AD) and offered me a placement! I will officially be an Intern at The Walt Disney Company as of the 3rd July in the Consumer Products Sector (official role is Buying Property Intern which is essentially the merchandising/advertising of franchise for films and writing up the legal contracts, etc). Yas!

Ultimately, you must stay motivated! Oh, and don't stress!

Until next time, 

StressK (see what I did there?)


Mia The Brookes Blogger - International Hospitality Management Year 1

19:33 Unknown 3 Comments

Dear All,

Hope you have had an amazing holiday! May 2017 bring Joy and Happiness to you :)

As promised just before the christmas break, I am going to continue telling you my Brookes stories.
This time, with the help of pictures I will share all the incredible experiences and my personal highlights of the International Hospitality Management Year 1  ........

The day it all began .... 16 September 2014

My very first day at the Oxford School of Hospitality was much better than I had ever expected. As you can see from the above picture I was pretty much over the moon from happiness. It was a great day full of new meetings. It was a day when I got to know my course mates and the very inspiring faculty members of the Oxford School of Hospitality. I knew I would have the time of my life at the school right at that moment when our programme lead suggested to end the induction day at the Brookes restaurant. Students together with the teachers were enjoying canapés and drinks, whilst sharing their life stories. I thought it was a really special and unique way to start the four year journey, as we all felt that they were not just going to be our teachers, but our mentors through life. My personal highlight of that day was meeting the head of school and saying goodbye to him in the end of the evening. He replied : 'Goodbye Mia'. When someone remembers your name after meeting just around 100 people it makes you very happy and motivates you to give it all you have got to make them proud.

The day I met Ken Hom ... 27 September 2014

Above you see another picture of me looking rather happy.... It was the most unbelievable day that had changed my life. So.... on the 27th of September 2014 the Bacchus Society had arranged this wonderful lunch with Ken Hom.  I was running 5 minutes late and when I finally arrived I was greeted by the gentleman who offered me pre-lunch drinks and showed me the venue. Inside the room I found my course mate Bryony with whom I had discussed how privileged I felt to attend that lunch. Bryony felt as excited as I was, which is why we both had not noticed how all the seats got taken while we were saying hello to the head of school. In the end we both got offered a place at the table where the head of school together with the patrons of the Bacchus Society were seating. However, it was not the end of all the surprises for that day. After sometime of seating at the same table with such remarkable people and wondering what to talk to them about, someone approached us and shook our hands. It was Ken Hom, and he, too, sat down at the same table. Bryony and I could not hide our shock and happiness. That could have been the end of the story, but it wasn't. After enjoying the amazing lunch and listening to Ken's interview with our head of school, I managed to get this fantastic picture taken and received a business card from the person that greeted me at the very beginning of the lunch. He was the general manager of the hotel where the lunch was held. After sending him my CV and attending several interviews, I started working part-time at the hotel that I really wanted to be part of.

Brookes Restaurant ... 18 December 2014

The first year experience would not have been complete without Brookes restaurant. You go in as a naive, confused person and you come out as a totally different version of yourself, the one who knows what he/she wants in life and what to do in order to get there. For the first six months I was working in the kitchen, and the following six months I was a waiter. This was the experience that has taught me to appreciate the importance of each and every job. The experience that has taught me that hard work and determination will result in great achievements. My personal highlight of the whole experience was the day when I was head chef. I, together with my other course mate Immi, was in charge of the whole kitchen operation for that lunch service. It was very nerve-wracking, however we managed to make success out of that day. Not only customers were happy about the food, but also the team we were managing thought that our management style was very effective.

Oxford Literary Festival ... 27 March 2015

Another of my personal highlights that year was Oxford Literary Festival. I was fortunate enough to be a personal assistant of Marc Millon a renowned food, wine and travel writer, and Patron of Oxford Gastronomica and Mario Fontana an award-winning producer of the traditional wines of Le Langhe — Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo and Barolo. Not only I got to meet the legendary people from the Hospitality industry and attend their wine tasting session at University College Oxford, but also had an opportunity to meet their family members.

The Bacchus Alumni Awards ... 31 March 2015

Every year the Oxford School of Hospitality Management celebrates achievements of its students and graduates with the glamorous Bacchus Alumni Awards. 2015 was the first Bacchus Alumni Award ever held, and I have had the time of my love meeting face-to-face all the leaders of hospitality 

The Bacchus Ball ... 17 May 2015

It was the best possible way to finish the first year. The Bacchus Ball was an event organised by the graduating students, which is why it was a very beautiful event full of touching speeches, great music and dancing.

Overall, as you can see it was a year full of wonderful moments. 

A year full of great people:


A year that has taught us a lot. It had a perfect balance between theory and practice.
It gave us the knowledge of theory based on what the major hospitality employees were looking for in future graduates. It developed our knowledge and introduced us to : 

  • International Tourism/Hospitality Management
  • Operations
  • Finance
  • IT
  • Marketing

Most importantly, it made us employable by:

  • giving us work experience at Brookes Restaurant
  • assisting us to create professional CV
  • helping us master our interview communication skills
  • giving us clear understanding of  which kind of skills and competencies we already had and which we needed to develop in order to become future GM's.

And last but not least, it brought the best Hospitality companies right to the campus ...

Next time I will talk about one of the most exciting years of my life - Placement year at the Marriott Park Lane.

P.S. The video that shows how very excited I was after my first year of studies


Top tips to survive architecture school

17:19 Unknown 3 Comments

Now that I am in the final semester of 5th year Architecture, I feel qualified to impart some personal experiences for my fellow architecture geeks. Here are top 5 tips to ace architecture school with some Ted Mosby quotes.

1. Get in the groove
Find your motivation. 'Assetize' your talents. Make your incredible hand drawings or your outstanding model making skills your unique selling point to market your ideas effectively to your audience. If you are passionate about photography, use it as a design and representation tool. Always experiment and learn new things.

Conducive work environment. Listening to indie music or working in dim background noise helps me concentrate. The studio is a huge resource of knowledge and inspiration - you learn from peers and tutors. 'You go faster alone, you go further with a team.'

2. Keep time
Every project begins with site study and research. Very often students get too indulged in theoretical research for weeks till design time is greatly compressed and rushed. Set aims, budget and timetable so your project can be delivered by a deadline.

A common mistake is to do everything that comes to your mind or suggested by others. Architecture is an art of curation. An impactful portfolio is precise, cohesive and speaks for itself. A focused 20-page work is more effective than a wishy-washy 50-page work.

3. Use university resources
Get the most of your buck to enhance your student experience. Use the technology workshop, studio space, careers and academic advisers, music room, library and gym.

Quoted from AJ,  your tutors are an invaluable source of wisdom and ideas - use them lots. Ideas don't knock on your door, be active in seeking opinions and critique. Do whatever it takes to make your ideas work. Initiative is a key trait employers look for in a candidate.

4. Build network
Strengthen a strong relationship with your peers and tutors who may be your future business partners or clients. Expand your social circle to non-architects, your connections may lead to work recommendation. An online networking site such as LinkedIn is great to connect with potential employers and latest industry news.

5. Most importantly, be Healthy!
The practice of architecture studies can strain the physical and emotional health - staring at the computer for too long; sniffing glue when making models; chasing the deadline with loads of energy drinks and sleepless nights.

A healthy mind and body generates productive work. Exercise, eat balanced meals, substitute coffee and alcohol with tea, and practice good working habits. Seek emotional support from the university wellbeing services if you are feeling depressed.

Despite how insane architecture drives you, it will be the best journey you will ever take! Rock on!


New Food at Brookes: The Forum

14:47 Unknown 0 Comments

If you've stopped by the Forum recently, you might have noticed a slight rejig of the cafe. Most of the changes revolve around less queueing meaning an extra till, three separate lines, and a queue-jump yoyo till (but I don't know what that is so don't ask me). They've also moved one of the fridges, put the cakes and pastries inside the till counters Pret-style, and have put in a full size hot counter.
It sounds relatively uninteresting for us students who will eat almost anything available, but I thought I'd check out what was on offer anyway in the new hot unit. Curried parsnip soup, broccoli soup, tikka masala, and chilli con carne with rice are all new additions I've seen so far. Don't fear - they still sell sausage rolls, in fact they now have two different types. The little takeaway tubs of hot food seem to change everyday, so decided I'd have chilli this time. For £3.70, it's not cheap but it was hot and I was starving. I also grabbed a Starbucks tea for £1.80, and a chunk of bread and butter for an extra 35p.

After practically inhaling the small chunk of bread (more bread please), I was surprised by the chilli. It was warming and probably full of good things like beans and veg. Aside from the excessive amount of kidney beans and disproportionate amount of rice, I demolished the chilli.
£3.70 isn't exactly a steal, but it's a good substantial lunch and your parents would likely be happy to see you eat something other than digestives or cereals for once, so not too shabby! They offer a meaty hot pot, veggie hot pot, fuller soup, and simple soup, but if it's not for you, there's still plenty of options around campus like the famous burger deal from the bar, and there are more changes waiting to happen around the Terrace and Roost restaurant so we'll wait and see. I'm personally always down for a food test...

What do you think? Have you tried anything new at Brookes?


Save the Dollar Whilst You're a Scholar

09:00 Unknown 0 Comments

"Rhyming title? Nice touch!" I heard myself exclaim as my creative juices excelled onto my screen (modest, much?). Anyways, one of my New Years Resolutions was to manage my finances better - a resolution I'm sure is shared by many. A majority of my capital is allocated to clothes, food/drink and leisure - although some is essential (e.g. gym and Spotify membership), there is still room to save! I have compiled a list of 6 helpful tips that I use to #SaveTheDollarWhilstYoureAScholar.

*Note: Interestingly, this week is Student Money Week, so this post fits perfectly with the theme and can give you some further helpful financial guidance!

1. The Yoyo Wallet App

I've used this app since I joined Brookes and it has not only been cost effective but also saved me time! You simply go to any Brookes cafe (whether it's in the main campus, H-Town, or Big Wheatz), pick your food/drink and simply scan a code on your phone to pay!
Using the App knocks 10% off the price plus it gives you points and rewards (sort of like a Tesco Clubcard), so you'll continuously receive free food/drinks the more you use the app.
I've recently become a student ambassador for the brand, so use PromoCode: YOYOSAHRAK when signing up!
Additionally, you can download the sister app, Yoyo Jump, to preorder your food and drink and pay through the app, so you don't even have to join the queue!

2. Vouchercloud AKA Bae

Every time I find myself dining out, I always check to see if there is a discount available online - my personal favourite website being Vouchercloud. It is quick, easy and definitely reliable to obtain any discount. In my experience, Vouchercloud often has many discounts for chain restaurants, such as your high street classics, Pizza Express, etc.

3. You Don't Actually Need A TV License...

Let's face it, you will probably end up watching 'proper' TV once throughout the whole year of your shared house. Plus, there are always catch up websites for your favourite channels. Interestingly, although you do need a TV Licence to access BBC iPlayer, as long as you have a license at home and your laptop/tablet is not plugged in whilst you access the website, watching shows on iPlayer is legal! Hooray! Yung Alan Shugz for days!
Additionally, you and your flatmates can split the cost of a Netflix account* and use a HDMI cable to hook it up to your telly! Boom - cheap, indoor cinema.
*Note: if there are several members on the account it can potentially disrupt Netflix and Chill sessions.

4. Skip Nights Out!

Jokes, m8, don't do that - just be a little more money conscious! Don't take your card out with you and withdraw a mere £15 prior to a night out. Try reserve the £5 for the return bus/taxi fare. The rest of the £10 may be allocated to your drinks (although this may limit the amount of beverages you consume, you will thank yourself in the morning - alternatively, pre hard, freshaaaa). This can also deter you from purchasing post-night out kebabs which you also often regret the next morning - this tip is both friendly to the stomach and the wallet!

5. Superstores, Not Convenience Stores!

Although it might be so much easier to pop round the corner and buy your weekly groceries, try and make the effort to a larger grocery shop (Tesco Cowley is a second home to many Brookes students) to make your week's shop cheaper. This method is extremely cost effective and you can also bulk buy - save money and get more, yaaaas!

6. Use Social Media

The next time you order clothes or anything online, chances are there is a promo code which can slash the price. This is where Twitter comes in - simply search the name of the brand and "promo code" in the search bar and you can see all the promo codes people have tweeted! For example, you need fresh crepes for Monday Night Bridge, but alas, ASOS' prices aren't so nice on the pocket, so you search "ASOS promo code" on Twitter for a cheeky discount (sometimes up to 40% off!) how juicy?!

I hope you've found these tips from a modern day frugal lady particularly useful and keep your eyes peeled for more monetary advice during Student Money Week!

Until next time,



16:26 Unknown 0 Comments

So while everyone else was on holiday I've spent the last 5 weeks on my 2nd placement with another 5 weeks to go,

 It's a great experience, every year I go on placement for longer and longer periods so I can really start to apply my OT knowledge (eek!) which means I really do have to remember what the lecturers said.

Because my funding is from London that where my placements are so another positive is that I get to spend time in one of the greatest cities on earth. Though I still miss oxford.


Placement can be really scary and stressful its a lot to take in and is practically a full time job on top of any university work. So stress has been high the last few weeks (hence the lack of posting, apologies).  But the important thing is to make the best of it you can, you get to work with practicing OT, physios, nurses as well as so many other professions! Talking to them about their own experiences, mining them of their knowledge can really help with understanding your own profession and theories better.


So this is just a quick update and if you have any questions about placement, finding accommodation etc just let me know! :)



GUEST BLOG: Raising awareness about mental health

12:30 Unknown 0 Comments

My name is Akeel Shah and I am a first year undergraduate student studying English Literature. With the first semester behind me, I am looking forward to the upcoming semester with optimism and I feel that I’m in a much more buoyant mood.

This blog centres around how I have been coping at Brookes with anxiety and, more importantly, how the support at Brookes has helped me deal with the various mental health issues that I have been suffering from.

The reason why I chose to discuss the topic of mental health is to make everyone aware of the challenges most of us students face and try to remove the stigma that surrounds the subject. I understand that these issues can be really sensitive and it can be extremely difficult to open up to staff for support, however, the aim of this blog is to recognise this and to convey a sense of togetherness with staff and students alike. I hope that this is beneficial for fellow students and also to students wishing to study at Brookes, as this is essentially a first-hand experience of the compassionate support available at Brookes.

Before I arrived at Brookes, I was very anxious and perhaps it wasn’t helped by the fact that I was a very shy individual. However, I felt that I would be able to manage my anxiety effectively with the support at Brookes. I noticed when I arrived there was plethora of support such as the Wellbeing Team who are situated in the Buckley Building. Having opened up to my disability adviser regarding my own issues, she assigned me to a mentor/counselor and this would do a lot in helping me cope with stress, and managing work deadlines. Whilst I still tend to experience the occasional panic attack, the fact that I have a mentor who is willing to listen, someone who really cares about your wellbeing and does not hold a judgmental view, goes to show how much I have benefited from the support on offer at Brookes.

It has not been the easiest and nor did I expect to develop feelings of resignation and despair during my first semester here. Talking really helps, trust me. Being able to just talk and to let all the pain and emotions come out of you really does do a whole world of good for you; it’s a weight off your shoulders. You needn’t worry about embarrassment or whether you feel nervous, confidentiality is an important aspect which is strictly respected at Brookes. The Wellbeing Team are conscious of your worries and will only discuss your personal needs with others in the case of an extreme situation.

Staff at Brookes have done so much for me! I’d love to single out every single person but most notably my academic adviser and student support coordinator have really made me feel comfortable and have provided a relatively considerate and attentive approach to my own feelings of anxiety. Even my module/seminar leaders have been really encouraging, and can understand that at times I can be really distressed and overwhelmed.

I’m grateful for the support that I have received in my short, but hopefully successful time at Brookes. I’m determined not to let my anxiety overshadow my time here and, with the support offered by staff behind me, I feel able and assured that I’ll come out of Brookes in the right frame of mind and confident enough to stand up on my own two feet without being overly dependent on anyone.

I hope this blog has given you an insight into an individual's experience of anxiety, and I hope you can relate to this and that perhaps it offers some proof that the stigma surrounding mental health can really be challenged through talking and communicating here at Brookes. Trust me, you’ll be taken aback by the support!

Thank you,