Wow, it’s October!
Although I suppose I should be sad that this year is whizzing by so fast, I have to say I am quite looking forward to wearing jumpers, eating toffee apples, drinking hot chocolate, and snuggling up closer to the fire. Autumn is my favourite season!
September has felt like a transition month more than anything. Not just transitioning from summer weather to the more chilly, but also shifting from my free and creative brain, to my more organised and academic one. I can already feel the pressure and workload of Final Year (I always capitalise it because it feels of such importance!) weighing down on me. With trying to manage all of that university work alongside running the UoB Linguist Magazine and returning every fortnight to work a few shifts at my hometown job as well- this month has definitely been all about trying to find that perfect balance.
But thankfully, it’s not been an entirely stressful September; after all, finding the right balance includes finding and enjoying some relaxing downtime too. Here are some of the things that have kept me going this month…
Browsing my favourite Instagram accounts
When I get some free time here and there, I like to check up on my various social media accounts, as most people do. Lately, Instagram has been by far my favourite to browse, because I definitely can’t deny that some friends I have on there are so creative, and truly talented! Here are some of the accounts that have been inspiring me this month:
- @UlianaZoe: I met Uliana and her boyfriend Alex when they came to live in Montevideo (Uruguay) at the same time as me last year, and we volunteered at the Indígena nature reserve. She only got Instagram just recently, but I am already often left speechless by the breath-taking beauty of her photographs. She posts high quality pictures of such stunning locations that it’s enough to give anyone a serious case of wanderlust!
- @Duckduckgu: I also met Jeff in Uruguay, a little later on when I went back to visit. Like Uliana’s, his account too is bursting with super quality travel photos. I love his shots because they really display the vibrant diversity of the places that he has visited through incredible colour, detail, and composition. Here’s a quick warning though; when browsing his account it’s not unlikely that you will feel very jealous!
- @JournalBebe: I know Tara from being at university with her, she is currently on her year abroad in Buenos Aires, just across the Rio de la Plata from where I spent my first semester Rather than go on about how jealous I am because she is now experiencing all of the things that I am missing, let’s talk about her interesting Instagram instead! This account is dedicated to her art journaling journey, which is fascinating. She is super expressive; her art is open, honest, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. I think she is incredibly brave to share something as personal as an art journal with the public, and the results are beautiful.
- @Sand.isfying: I don’t know who is behind this marvellous account, but I wish I did because they are genius! This account posts ‘Satisfying Kinetic Sand videos’ which sounds weird …and it kind of is… I can’t explain why but sometimes I get a little lost just watching these videos of someone slowly cutting and shaping coloured sand in different ways. The way the sand moves and the sound of the slicing has a mesmerising effect on me, I find it so therapeutic. And I can’t be the only one, because 225k people already follow the account!
- @UniBirmingham: I can’t miss out the official Instagram account for the University of Birmingham, I honestly have spent so much time looking at it, it always posts such beautiful pictures of our lovely campus. For some reason I don’t think I will ever get tired of looking at pictures of our iconic Old Joe!
Cultivating my Culinary Skills
And what I mean by that is: cooking! I’ve been spending quite a bit more time in the kitchen recently. This is because since I returned home I’ve been enjoying cooking for my family, plus last week I moved into our Final Year student house in Birmingham, where we have been trying to get experimental with our own little recipes.
Recently I shared my Kappucino Cake recipe, hopefully I can do some more baking soon, I have many treats in mind! In terms of meals, there are two recipes coming that will very likely attract different types of people. One is a quick and easy vegetarian Chilli con Quornie, and the other a hearty, slow-to-prepare-but-worth-it, authentic Hungarian Beef Goulash. (Coming soon!)
And I know that I am just an amateur, but I can feel that this is definitely the start of something bigger! I’ve been very inspired recently to continue on my foodie journey, so you can expect to see even more food-related articles from me soon, as well as from other foodie guest-posters that inspire me.
Great British Berries for Breakfast
On the topic of food, let’s talk about breakfast. Although I am one of those weirdos that really does love a good bowl of nutty muesli, the return of dragging myself out of bed for 9am lectures means that even I need something to make it a tad more exciting.
Back in Brazil, I pretty much got 4 out of my 5-a-day out of the way before I even left for classes because I ate such copious amounts of fruit for my breakfast every morning. But unfortunately, the UK is not such a great place for finding ripe and tasty mangos and papayas on a student’s budget. So I’ve had to do some substituting, and one type of fruit that England is great for is berries! Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries- you name it, I’ve been stocking up on them and piling them on to my bowl of muesli to make my breakfast a little extra interesting.
It may sound sad, but, for me, it really does make breakfast worth getting out of bed for! Berries can be a bit expensive for a student, but that little treat each morning (as well as all the good stuff in the fruit itself) seems to give my body and my mood a great boost. It has been a lovely way to start each September day, and no doubt, it will continue through October too.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
I’ve tried to avoid writing more about this for the sake of not shamelessly plugging it at every opportunity. But it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to write about what has been inspiring me this month without mentioning the one thing that has taken up the majority of my time and brain space over the past 30 days!
As it turns out, being the Chair/President of a society takes up even more time than I thought it would, especially seeing as we have had to arrange printing our first issue at the same time as organising Welcome Week events, such as our stall at the Societies Fair. I have definitely had a much bigger amount of UoB Linguist admin work to do than actual University work so far!
Yet, despite having to spend most of my waking hours arranging and coordinating it, I still can’t be anything less than ridiculously enthusiastic about this wonderful magazine!
Not many universities can provide a multilingual publication like this, established and run by students for students, offering them the chance to read, write, and edit in such a wide range of foreign languages and sections. I’m continually inspired by working with such a great team of passionate and like-minded people.
After a lot of hard work, our first issue of the semester will finally arrive this week- and I just can’t wait to have it in my hands! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates about its distribution around the UoB campus.