Josiane Wilson

UP for Uni Residential: Packing Hacks

So, you’re coming to stay at the University for the UP for Uni Residential? How much do you actually need to bring?
How are you going to get it all to fit into just one small suitcase?

These nine hacks that I picked whilst on a recent University music tour around Spain might be just the lifesavers you need:

  1. Roll clothes instead of folding them – this will save you so much space and you won’t get as many creases – double win!
  2. Less is definitely more. Don’t pack your entire wardrobe just because you don’t know what you will want to wear when you get there. Decide in advance what you want to wear each day. Remember, you want a small and light bag for the Residential.
  3. Travel size toiletries are handy – there is no point bringing full sized items for a three day stay. They take up less space and are lighter.
  4. Use clothes as padding – protect more delicate items that could break (such as perfume or make up bottles).
  5. Bra hack – Stack your bras, fold them in half and fill with socks and underwear. Not only will your bras maintain their shape but you’ll also save space.
  6. Make up hack – If you like to wear make up, bring things that do more than one job. For example, using eye shadow as eye liner.
  7. Mini Me -If you like to style your hair consider using mini hair straighteners. This leaves more room in your bag for other things.
  8. Laundry! – Make sure you have clean clothes before you leave otherwise you may find you have no clean underwear or outfits for your stay and no one wants that!
  9. Simplicity – Keep outfits simple – mix and match tops and bottoms. This means you aren’t limited in what you wear each day.

Think I’ve missed any? Share your hacks below.


What is a mindset?

‘Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ – Audrey Hepburn

We’ve all heard that our brains are our most powerful tools so we asked Psychology student Josiane to explain how we might be able to think ourselves clever!

“What is a mindset? 

It’s a self-perception. Which is just a fancy term that means a mindset is a belief that people have about themselves.

For example, ‘I’m clever’ or ‘I’m not clever’.

Has a teacher ever set you work in class and you’ve found yourself thinking this is impossible, I’m not clever enough to do that! Then  sure enough at the end of the lesson you’re still on the first task and everyone else is on the fourth of fifth activity? 

This is an example of how your mindset can hold you back from fulfilling your full potential. By saying negative things about yourself, even if they’re only in your head, you’re less likely to be successful in your task.


What types of mindsets are there?

According to psychologist Carol Dweck there are two types of mindset:

  1. A fixed mindset
  2. A growth mindset

Everyone has a mindset – but not everybody knows that they have one…


Fixed Mindset 

People with a fixed mindset believe that their qualities (like their intelligence or abilities) are fixed and cannot be changed.

This means that sometimes people with fixed mindsets are more likely to give up.


Growth Mindset 

People with a fixed mindset believe that their qualities can be developed and made better with effort and hard work.

Those with a growth mindset are less likely to give up and achieve their goals.


Can I change a fixed mindset?

Luckily for us, the best thing about our mindsets is that we can change them if we don’t like our current one.

For example, just because you may have had a fixed mindset now doesn’t mean that you can’t develop your attitudes towards yourself and your abilities into a growth mindset.

Why not write some growth mindset statements in the front cover of your exercise books of the subjects you find particular tricky. As corny as this sounds repeating them in your head before doing the task will over time help you.

Instead of “I’m no got at this” say “What am I missing?” or “I give up” say “I’ll try some other strategies I’ve learnt”.

Remember, you are in control of yourself. Anything you want to do is possible – if you believe in it. ”


Wise words there from Josiane! Why not give it a  go and think yourself smarter!

Let us know how you get on.

What actually are societies at university?

What’s a university society?

Why join one?

I’m not really interested in anything, what would I do?

University is all about being more independent and trying new things. For most people the thought of going can be both an exciting and scary thought. Which is where societies come in.  They help you settle in and get to know other students who are in the exactly the same position as you.

So, what are they? Societies are just groups of students who all share a common interest. This can be music, sports, languages… you name it – we have it! But if not, then you can create your own society!

Joining a society is so much more than just a hobby – there’s a sense of community – you make some amazing friends whilst doing something you love each week.


Still not convinced?  Here are my top 4 reasons why joining a society should be top of your list when you come to uni.  So why should I join a society at university?

1. It keeps you busy 

A busy student is a happy student. If you are living away from home for the first time you may sometimes feel lonely. Joining a society helps you make great friends and keeps you active.

2. You experience new things

I’m part of Taekwondo Society. In my first year I got to go to my first ever Taekwondo competition where I competed against other universities. I would never have had that opportunity if I wasn’t a member.

I’m also in Music Society. We get the opportunity to play in concerts and gigs throughout the year and there is even a music tour in June. If it weren’t for the society I would never have had the opportunity to perform abroad with my instrument.

3. Relax

You can relax and leave any worries and stresses in the lecture theatres.

4. Dedication

University is about making more of your opportunities. If you have been swimming all your life and you really enjoy it, then going to university shouldn’t hold you back. Joining a relevant society means you can keep doing the things you love regularly, despite a change in location.

I’m in! But how would I get involved?

It’s really easy, you go along to fresher’s fayre talk to current members and sign up to any that you like the sound of. You can join as many as you want – I have friends who are part of no societies whilst others, like myself, are members of 4 or more! 

Still not for you?

If you don’t like the look of any societies available at your university, that’s okay! Why don’t you give one a go anyway? University is all about learning new things and pushing yourself in directions you normally wouldn’t go in. Give it a whirl, you might surprise yourself.

Are you doing too much revision?

Struggling to memorise your notes despite constant re-reading?

Do you spend a lot of time making revision notes?

Spend lots of time thinking about all the revision you need to do instead of actually revising?

If you said yes to any of these….you’re not alone! Almost every student (no matter how old!) can struggle with revising efficiently.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – trial and error is needed because everyone works differently.

I’m Josiane and I’m a second year Psychology student. Like any other student, I have been faced with tests and exams all my life. But it is only now that I am starting to get the hang of how to revise in a way that works best for me.

I have put together a list of 7 ways to revise better using my years of exam experience. This works wonders on anyone and everyone!

7 ways to revise better:
  1. Start early This means that you can spread your learning out (and avoids panicked cramming the night before)
  2. Space out your learning  Memorising information takes time
  3. Don’t cram! Actors don’t leave their rehearsals until the day before the performance…so why should you leave all your work to do the night before an exam? You may struggle to learn new information in such a short space of time
  4. Keep testing yourself  Don’t be embarrassed to use your friends and family. Get them to ask you questions about what you are learning
  5. Look after yourself Sleep and eat well to have a healthy brain
  6. Teach someone else This helps your memory –  you will need to know what you are talking about back to front in order to teach someone else
  7. Sleep! This helps you to remember the revision you have learned. If you get a bad night’s sleep then your brain won’t be working at it’s best…It’ll be harder to recall information you need


But most importantly:

keep calm and stay positive – you can do it!

If you want to learn more about revising efficiently then check out this link: