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Aarifa’s blog

The only dentist who is destined to have no teeth

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Life tips for the soon-to-be freshers

Some of you reading this may be newbies, cute little GCSE/A-level students wondering where to go next. Others may be post-grads, already with a head full of knowledge but buzzing for your next learning fix. Some of you may be adventurous “GAAP YAH” or international students desperate for a new place to explore and a new way to learn…but ALL OF YOU have considered Cardiff University as your next step. Waaay for you! If your consideration was a facebook status, I’d like that shizzle.

Now, I’m officially a third year, ergo I am totes the Mr Miyagi to your Karate Kid in terms of student life in the ‘Diff. I’ve been many places, seen a latta thangs…but saying that there’s a few really obvious things that have only just hit me. I’ve seriously had a whole term of “WOooAHHH that’s AH-MAH-ZINGG” and “Ahhh BAH-NAH-NAHS that was a mess” moments, and I figured I should share these with you so you guys can all avoid my terrible student blunderz, and also see how Cardiff Uni is soo good at helping you fix those blunderz too! So, without further a-do, let me introduce

Student life hacks for the kids with no common sense who didn’t know this already. Alternative title: an ode to my mini-me’s

TIP NUMERO UNO: If you’re like me and suffer from being human reincarnation of a slobby slobby sloth, then caffeine binges and microwave meals will tempt you BIG TIME. But as tempting as they are, they’re just not healthy. I had a huge epiphany recently…


I had to give myself a bit of a talking to the other day…you know, inside my head. I sat myself down, took a deep breath and was like “Yo Aarifa, I say this because I love you (narcissist confessions)…but you really gotta lay off the lattes. I know they’re creamy and delicious, and I know they stop you falling asleep during Human Diseases but bruhhh there’s a limit. Wait, where are you going? Back away from the Starbucks! Don’t you buy an espresso shot they’re worse than the latte’s! OMG DON’T SPELL YOUR NAME FOR THEM! …. Haha man they called you Aretha…nooo wait!

Put the cup down.

Don’t you DARE take a sip…



That’s it. Drastic measures…Imma smush your loyalty card.

Caffeine addicted Aarifa gahhhhhhsps in fear

As this dramatic inner turmoil continues, some random F1 doctor nudges me and I proceed to spill the espresso everywharr. Caffeine addicted Aarifa breaks loose at the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and tries to lick the table, but non-addicted Aarifa manages to pull her back. After a good ten seconds of watching the espresso casually puddle into my lap, Non-addicted Aarifa won. I got my wet wipes and anti-bac out and proceeded to disinfect the area in a way that would make the DEC 1 supervisors proud. I got that infection control shizzle dowwwn.

But really what is the solution for panicky, last minute cramming sleepy students? Well the answer is simple, SLEEP MORE YA NUMPTIES. Here’s four tips to avoid work-induced late nighters…

  1. Make a plan
  2. Stick to the plan. (LOL) As soon as you get a project deadline, look ahead at your timetable and see how much time you can designate to it over a few weeks.  Staging your workload will prevent you from suffering from severe panic poops the night before. (We’ve all been there.)
  3. Keep reminders of your deadlines somewhere really visible in your room. Mine’s on my ceiling to scare me awake in the morning.
  4. Prioritise. If you have multiple projects all due around the same time then there’s still no need to stress! Put them in a list depending on grade weighting and also the time it’ll take to finish, and then just plod along with the beasts! To quote Pinocchio, “Anything is possible if you just believe” What’s good for those who really are struggling, especially during exams is the revision-tips and study skills workshops offered by the union, and also the cute petting Zoos they bring outside the libraries in the summer, just to make sure that everyone is getting a break and still smiling through such stressy times!

Completely-un work related insomnia is another thing! For the dudes with the Batman complex who are crazy awake in the wee twilight hours…ya’ll are nocturnal, and ya’ll need help. Get your diurnal sleep pattern str8 m8. You’re confusing the flowww. Here’s some terrible tips for youus

  1. Get off your phone. Seriously, the number of times I’ve woken up with my phone slapped against my face is insane. Put your phone on charge at the other end of the room, and turn off your notifications!
  2. Don’t do anything that requires a high level of brain activity at least 1 hour before bed. Have a wind down session, read a book, sniff a scented candle, pick your nose…it’s up to you what you do just make your brain sleepy.
  3. Make an alarm that says bedtime. Its cringe, especially when you’re at a party and then your bedtime alarm goes off and everyone looks at you ‘cause it’s only 10.30 and you’ve chosen Jack Black singing “A kiss from a rose” on American idol as your alarm tone. BUT IT’S WORTH THE EMBARRASMENT FOR ONE DANG GOOD COSY NAP.

And lastly, for those who just love the coffee taste, it is okay! You don’t have to give up dem beanz. One cup of coffee in the morning is fine to give you that oh-sweet-baby-potatoes-i-cannot-take-this-Monday-please-beanz-help-me-function boost. But no coffee in the evening or before bed, and try to limit yourself to 1 cup a day, not the 3 espresso shots I was doing (hashtag hard-core caffeine problems)


So for the past two years my kitchen prowess has been pretty much on par with a five year olds….beans on toast and rice crispy cakes were my specialities. If I was feeling fancy I may have even microwaved fish fingers (I also attempted to microwave the ketchup withhhh the fish fingers but that blew up the microwave. It went boom…my flatmates came running…I was covered in ketchup…they thought I got shot…I for a second thought I got shot…she started crying…I started crying…my other flatmate came in, licked my face and confirmed it was ketchup and then slapped me.) BUT THEN….I MET THE COOKING FRIEND. At some point in your student life you will find one, that dude that just popped out of Master Chef; who subscribes to good food magazine and invites you round theirs to make truffles and crème brulee on the weekend (shout-out to Gwen and those chocolate truffles. Gooey bits of heaven those squidges were.) But yeah…the cooking friend will change you. Here’s four tips for the freshers when surviving in the kitchen for the first time…

  1. Before you go food shopping it’s important to plan your meals. This will stop you from over-spending or over buying. LIDLS IS THE BEST. LIDLS IS CHEAP. LIDLS IS GOOD. There’s nothing wrong with a cheeky tesco click and collect either… but in terms of value for money, I vote Lidl all zee way! It’s literally around the corner from the students union so there’s no excuse not to pop down on the way home!
  2. Buy one BIG MONSTER of a carrier bag that’s comfy enough to lug home but also sturdy enough not to split half way down the road so all your clementines roll away and you gotta chase them down in this weird bent over squat position like a crab.
  3. If your course is crazy demanding and you have little time on your hands, designate two days a week to bulk cooking your dinners and then put them in little labelled microwave containers in your freezer. It’s still technically a microwave meal, just a little less processed and a little more wholesome.
  4. When your course gets a little less hectic and a little more chilled, organize house/flat dinners with all your buddies! I’ve braved the head-chef title and am organising a Mexican Night soon. This will mostly consist of those Old El-Paso taco and fajita packs…but they don’t need to know that. (Cheat cheats)


This doesn’t have to be food, it could be joining a new society or just trying out a different sport. This is where Cardiff is great. The Students Union has the most amazing “Refreshers” events in the New Year. I went a few weeks ago and they had built an ice rink in Y Plas (the SU night club) with fake snow and a lot of penguin sledges. It was hilarious. They also had dodge ball games going on and a bunch of other weird and wonderful things.

Being students we do tend to get a lot of discounts, and I think the best one is Rock Climbing for a fiver at Boulders. Boulders is basically this big indoor climbing centre just outside of town and it was such good fun going. I woke up with arms that felt like sausages, but the pain was good (masochistic moments.)

Going back to food though…last year I literally lived on city road, but this year Crwys road is my new mission. It’s really close to heath campus and it’s got the quirkiest till places! I aim to visit almost every restaurant and café down that long road of yum. They have such cute little hang outs like Stag-Coffee, where you can walk in and sink into big cushy sofa chairs and have a big ol’ teapot of chai. Then there’s Café Aroma with their melt-in your mouth Paninis and the INSANELY DELISH oreo milkshakes! Or Gutsy Goose (let’s take a moment silence for the epic-ness of that name) whose sweet potato chips were so good that everyone stole mine when I ordered them!

AND THAT’S IT. That’s my three life tips for those embarking on student life in the ‘Diff! Remember to check out our other insiders and instagram feeds for more daily-adventures!! 

Until next time guys!

Ginger Tea in the Yurt (albeit this is actually City Road not Crwys Road…but its still yum)

Aarifa over and out! 

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