Latest blog posts from students

A Vegetarian’s Guide to Exeter

Vegetarians. You either hate them or you are one. There’s no denying that vegetarianism and veganism are hot topics in foodie culture right now. And while I’ve been riding the veggie train for the last year or so, I promise I won’t use this blog to try to shame you into cutting meat out of your life. That being said, I’ve been working very hard (and eating a lot of halloumi) to bring you what I believe to be the best vegetarian hot spots in our little bit of Devon heaven.

 

Let’s start things off with on-campus eateries. Whether you’re in need of a quick lunch between classes or you’re just too tired to walk into town, there are plenty of amazing restaurants on campus for veggies.

The Ram Bar: We all know that the Ram has the best curly fries known to man. If you ever manage to look past the curly fries, however, you’ll notice that their menu is incredibly vegetarian-friendly. My personal favorites are the Nachos and the Jalapeno Poppers. Both are only £3.95 for a huge amount of food. The best part? The Nachos come with a giant helping of guacamole for no extra charge.

Grove Diner: This may be the American in me but I love the Grove. There is no end to the jealousy I feel towards the Lafrowda residents that get to live just steps from this American-style diner. Their Havana burger (£4.75) is one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. Bonus points as well for being one of the rare veggie burgers to be made of vegetables instead of just halloumi. It has sweet potatoes and peppers in the patty making it an amazing fall and winter dish. If you ask me, Grove Diner’s burgers are a gift from God.

 

It’s very hard to go wrong with a restaurant in the City Centre. There are endless options for good food in town but there are a few places that have really won my heart (and stomach) this term.

The Old Firehouse: This one’s a bit obvious. You can’t go to uni in Exeter and not have late-night pizza at the Firehouse. In addition to the restaurant being a time-honoured tradition amongst students, its vegetarian (and vegan!) options are some of the best you’ll find in the city. They currently have seven vegetarian pizzas and four vegan options. You can never go wrong with a classic Margherita (£7.50), but their Greek pizza (£12) is definitely worth a try. It comes with feta, olives, and a bunch of other Mediterranean vegetables plus tzatziki sauce for dipping. The pizzas are huge so make sure you bring a couple friends to dig in with you.

Bill’s: Bill’s is a great restaurant for late-night dinners with friends or a fun date. Though it’s a tiny bit pricier than the other restaurants on this list, the food is heavenly and totally worth it. The dishes have a very home-cooked feel but with the addition of interesting and unique ingredients. My personal favourite is the Macaroni Cheese (£9.95) which has mushrooms, leeks, and truffle oil mixed in. I’m always a fan of a good Mac n Cheese but adding truffle oil has truly changed the game.

Curry Leaf: It comes as no surprise that Curry Leaf was voted one of Exeter’s top restaurants in 2014 and 2015. Their authentic Indian food is easily the best you can get in the city. Curry Leaf’s menu is separated so that vegetarian food has its own section which makes it incredibly easy to pick out a meatless meal. For starters, the Vegetarian Samosa (£3 for 2) is a classic can’t-miss and is paired with a delicious dipping sauce. The Vegetable Korma (£7) is absolutely fantastic and has the best Korma sauce I’ve ever tasted. For a side, you must try the Aaloo Paratha (£2.75). It’s traditional bread stuffed with spicy potatoes and makes up 100% of my carb-loaded dreams.

 

Some more fun places to try are Tea on the Green for a traditional afternoon tea (savoury option available as well) and the Gourmet Street Kitchen tent that pops up near the Forum on Fridays during term. There’s also Seasons, an all-vegan food store in the city that provides amazing ingredients for a classic, home-cooked veggie meal. Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or an open-minded pal looking for a meatless meal, it’s very hard to go wrong in Exeter.

   November 14th, 2016    Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous


From Reading Week up to Christmas: what to expect!

For first year students and those lucky second years (myself included), reading week is upon us. But as you hear this term ‘reading week’, you can’t help but wonder what’s it all about? Well, as most people decide to go home for a few days, reading week can be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of a packed out term. Reading week is largely about enjoying the freedom of not buying and cooking your own food, of being able to watch TV, and of course, catching up with family and friends. However, not to be forgotten is the true purpose of this week, to catch up on academic work and basically organise yourself. First term can be a little overwhelming for anybody, living independently in a completely new place, making friends and adjusting to student life. Reading week is also just a moment to breathe.

From my experience, I advise: don’t waste your week! The second part of first term can be insanely busy and can fly by with deadlines, house hunting and exams looming. Here’s a few tips on how to deal with the period from reading week up to Christmas!

1) Use your time effectively in reading week:- catching up on any missed work (we’ve all been there), or start planning/writing your essays/reports etc. Also, as silly as this sounds, take advantage of home cooked meals! This is also a chance to bring anything back to uni you may have forgot,such as a Halloween costume. A Christmas jumper also always comes in handy in December (socials, flat meals etc)

2) In November, start looking for houses for next year. Make sure you’re clear on who you’re living with and commence house hunting! A lot of them are released in November and there’s a mad rush which leads up to the Housing Fair. You won’t want to leave this issue until when you have exams, it’s just unnecessary stress!

3)Don’t leave all work until last minute! Leave yourself enough time to do the research, write out a draft, edit the draft, and also enough time left in case something goes wrong (illness, losing work etc)

4) Go to lectures. As simple as this tip is, I know it can be hard on a freezing cold Monday morning dragging yourself out of bed for an 8:30. However, it is worth it, as missed lectures can slowly add up and when the time comes to revise, you’ll realise that you don’t know half of your course!

Lastly, enjoy this festive time of year! Exeter also has a fantastic Christmas market, which is something to look forward to!

   October 25th, 2016    Exams and Assessment, Life on Campus, Studying, Undergraduate     , , , ,


Fresher Realities

It’s always difficult to start a new school year—the stress of what’s to come, the frantic buying of textbooks, and the hopefulness for a good professor have been major stressors in my life the last few years. This year, however, was so incredibly different. Instead of gearing up for another year of studying with my friends in Florida, I packed up my bags and moved to Exeter.

As soon as I stepped foot on Exeter’s campus two years ago during a summer abroad, I knew that I’d be coming back in the future. The thrill of moving to a new country and living a glamorous, jet-setting life was all I could think about for the longest time. I was fully expecting postgrad to be some lifestyle/travel blog come to life. The thing is, those lifestyle/travel bloggers only show you the pretty bits—not the “holy crap I don’t know what I’m doing” parts.

For me, this feeling manifested itself most prominently the first time I climbed Cardiac Hill. I started strong and confident as any young adult with good health would. About halfway up, I started feeling that burn in my legs and the pressure in my chest that comes with an intensive cardio workout. By the time I reached the top I was pulling up Expedia to see how much a plane ticket back to Tampa cost. ‘Surely,’ I thought, ‘students can’t be expected to walk up this hill every day?’ A month later I’m still asking myself this question.

Though nothing else has hit me as hard as Cardiac Hill there have been so many moments in my first month here that have really shown me what it’s actually like to be living away from home for the first time. The thrill of going out to a new club with girls you just met in class the day before. The panic of going to a society event during Freshers where you know absolutely nobody. The relief when someone tells you they also have no idea how to turn on their radiator. Worst, the weird feeling in your gut when it gets a bit chilly outside and you can only think of your mom putting up the Christmas tree.

This last month has felt like a lifetime. For every bout of nostalgia or homesickness I’ve had, there have been a million more moments of excitement, new friends, and realizing just how lucky I am to be living this life. Though at times it can feel scary and lonely, I’m so excited to be here and I cannot wait to see what Exeter holds for me.

Some key tips that I think any Fresher should keep in mind are:

  1. Putting yourself out there and attending Fresher events are the quickest ways to meet people with similar interests.
  2. Almost everyone is going through the exact same thing—as brave and extroverted as some may seem, they’re just as nervous as you are.
  3. You don’t have to make yourself completely uncomfortable in the name of making friends. If you don’t want to go to the “wildest, sleaziest night out,” you really don’t have to.
  4. It’s not at all lame if you Facetime your mom and ask to talk to your cat—trust me on this one.

   October 24th, 2016    Freshers Week, International, Life on Campus, Postgraduate


Exploring Cornwall Without a Car

Cornwall, as many of you have undoubtedly found out, isn’t blessed with the best transportation system in the world; it takes about an hour and a half to even get out of the county if you are travelling from Penryn or Falmouth. So how on earth can you get out and see what Cornwall has to offer?

The obvious route to go down is to drive, but many students on this campus either cannot drive or don’t have a car. If you are lucky enough to own a car, arrange days out with your friends; make the most of having the easiest form of transport to get around Cornwall. The benefit of having a car is you can explore pretty much anywhere without having to get train or bus connections. Navigating the bendy roads is tough, but if you are going to get lost anywhere in the UK Cornwall is the best place because you are bound to discover something; from little cafés in the middle of nowhere to stunning secret coves.

Read the rest of Sibhan’s post…

   February 8th, 2016    Cornwall, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus     , , , ,


Time to Talk: Mental Health at University

Thursday 4th February is Time to Talk Day, a national event initiated by the UK mental health campaign Time to Change to confront stigma through open discussion about mental illness. I wanted to post this blog this week because the day is important to me, both for what it works for and the degree of personal significance it holds.

According to one National Union of Students survey, one in five students recount facing some sort of mental health issue during their time at university. This is – very roughly speaking, of course – one or two per flat/house, or three or four per seminar group. If this is a statistic that is surprising to you, it is probably because the majority of the people effected feel uncomfortable in talking openly about their experiences.

Read the rest of Libby’s post…

   February 2nd, 2016    Miscellaneous     ,