Mandy Lee Blogs

Student. Aspiring Journalist. Human

Joining a society at university?

I’m going to throw a notion at you, we are paying ┬ú27,000 plus for this uni experience, money coming out of our own pockets and money we have been forced to borrow off the government, with this being the case why not make the most of this situation by joining societies?

Enrolling into societies enhances the uni experience, allowing you to make friends and gain a respectable CV. At the University of Lincoln, students are presented with a fine list of societies, from forensic criminology groups to a very intriguing Harry Potter society. Yes! A Harry Potter Society! How damn wonderful!

If you are studying one course, like myself, I would highly recommend that you join a society. It prevents you from isolating yourself in your bedroom and and helps to boost your confidence when socialising with other like minded people.

When building a CV employers want to see your personality shine through. If you are applying for a job at your student bar for instance, joining a food or music society will enable them to see you in a creative light. If you are interested in business and your course is business orientated then why not join the “Banking, Investment and Trading” society? This illustrates to employers your enthusiasm to be part of the business field. It also creates a positive perspective on your behalf as it will show them how dedicated you are in succeeding in your chosen career.

Whether it be course related or hobby related, there is no reason not to join a society. My course is journalism based however, I have already decided to join the Film Making society as I have a keen interest in videography. I guess as a journalist, documenting is part of film making, so in that case I’m doing an additional “course” that is contributing to my journalism course as well as my own personal skills in film making.

Joining a society that is course related is an excellent addition to your CV as employers will be able to see your efforts as a creative spark whilst also admiring your drive to be successful in the field you are studying.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t be pressurised in joining a society. These are just my personal beliefs in joining societies and how they can help to boost your CV and communication skills. It’s your life, your uni experience and your decision, do what makes you feel comfortable but also make the most of them three years as they are the best years of your life.. and you are paying a considerable amount of money for. Goodluck Guys!


How to surpass freshers flu.

It’s been a week of tremendous torture and annoyances sitting in lectures, seminars and workshops knowing you will have a coughing fit in front of thirty other people. To an anxiety sufferer, drawing any unwanted attention to one self is agonising especially when all you want to do is cough to your lungs desire. I’m still battling this so called, “Freshers Flu” but I have come up with a list of “treatments” that can help ease the pain caused by this menace.


It’s the most obvious method of treatment but so underrated. I was so reluctant with the common advice of drinking water when you have a cough, all because I was against the idea it will do anything worthwhile. How wrong was I. My mother had packed a Brita Water Filter Bottle in my luggage, to take with me to uni, only recently did I have the drive to use it. It has helped so much. The bottle itself motivates you to finish the entire 600ml. It’s transparent design allows you to see the good you are fuelling into your body. As water does, it’s kept me hydrated and banished the symptoms of a dry cough, whilst also returning me to my beloved uninterrupted sleeps.


I know how lush putting milk in your tea is. But I’m sorry to tell you, milk is the worst addition to your daily cuppa, especially when you have the flu. Dairy causes mucus to build up in the throat, which then causes vicious coughing. It is truly depressing, I know, but to overcome Freshers Flu, put the milk back in the fridge, close the door and walk away. It will be the best thing you do right now, not for your craving but for you throat for definite. Also, avoid drinking cold drinks at all costs as well as eating dry foods such as toast, crackers, biscuits and crisps as they only contribute negatively to how you are already feeling, more definitely in cases such as a dry cough. Stick to warm drinks such as herbal teas and replenishing dishes such as soup, pasta and salads.


This was the hardest part for me. I love my social life and the people in it. Having to say no to plans is very difficult, especially when all you want to do is spend the night, forgetting the troubles of the day and take a long break from your accommodation room. But it is vital and more important for you to regain your health, even if it means saying no to a night out with your favourite people. In that moment you may feel very saddened by having to spend the night in your room while your friends are out having a great night, but I swear on my life you will not regret this. Quite recently, my heart was adamant it wanted to go out but my brain was thinking more intellectually, “why would you put yourself in a situation where you will contribute in making your health a lot worse, your mood more miserable and your attention span increasingly distorted?” (Yes my mind has a voice of its own) As always my heart always gives the wrong advice. Listen to the brain people and put your health first. Also, nights in don’t have to be boring. It’s great for catching up on your missed shows. As a student, without a television, on-demand sites are perfect during these troubling times. Just make sure it’s not BBC iPlayer yeah! (goddamn tv licence).


In times of urgency, cough sweets, soothers, lozenges (whatever you want to call them) are very helpful when you are about to go to class. Not only do they soothe the throat, the scent also helps to recognise you as a freshers flu victim meaning it’s great in gaining sympathy from your fellow peers.


OML! who doesn’t love a great big hug of warm, comforting water on the skin after a long, exhausting day? it’s a luxury I will forever be thankful and appreciative of. When you have the flu or a cold, a hot shower can instantly make you forget your current condition and in cliche terms, “wash away your worries”. The steam also helps in clearing your sinuses, allowing you to breathe clearly again. It’s also the perfect excuse for having those extra 10 minutes in the shower.

So, there you have it, a five plan scheme in treating the symptoms of the plague, that is Freshers Flu. You are not alone my fellow students, but please do take my advice and allow yourself to be top priority. You matter, your health matters and your wellbeing. It’s okay to be selfish during this time and I have my fingerscrossed for your speedy recovery. Take care my lovelies.

I survived Freshers Week!

It’s been too long since the last post, so firstly I would like to apologise for that. I am truly sorry.

The past two month have consisted of results, goodbyes and changes. It’s been pretty eventful.

August 17th bought news I did not think I would ever receive. “Congratulations from the University of Lincoln, you have met the conditions of your offer… see you in September!”. Yep! I passed my A-Levels and got into my firm choice. The endless days of revision and anti social departures to my room had paid off.

August 18th – September 16th was a time of accepting the reality that I was moving away from home. Away from my safe haven (my bedroom), away from my family and my friends, away from everything I had grown accustomed to during the past 18 years. Most of the weeks were spent buying necessities for my new life in Lincoln; Food (mainly pasta), cleaning supplies, clothing and decoratives to make my studio feel more homely. Talking of studio, finding an accommodation was difficult. Firstly, I had no idea what I wanted, all I was adamant about was wanting a room with my own en-suite. I had shared a bathroom for too long, having my own shower, was something I believed I deserved. Hundreds of searches and emails later, I found a place which my parents and I were happy with. Price aside, my parents wanted me to be comfortable with the place I would be living in and coming “home” to for the next year of my life. After several deep discussions, we decided this was the place for me. It took a few weeks for my accommodation to confirm my room. I found out a week before I was set to move in, so I didn’t really have much time to go and view my accommodation or Lincoln as I had so much planned before the move. Thankfully however, everything worked out.

September 16th came faster than expected. The night before I had been crying my eyes out, laughing hysterically and checking if I had everything I needed for the move to Lincoln. It didn’t help that my dad had work the next day, so I would only be seeing him the night before my move. Months of crying, which had been building up inside, finally overpowered my stubbornness and out came the tears. I was a mess for sure, but I was able to take back control before I passed out. Moving day consisted of bringing everything to the car, arguing over packing too much, vlogging my move & saying goodbye to my home town. The journey was pretty decent, however, being in a stuffed car for over two hours, is serious torture for the backside. When we finally arrived, the rain started. Slight pathetic fallacy there, my heart was beginning to sink knowing I would soon have to say goodbye to my mum and my sister, all of sudden the rain begins to crash down, coincidence much? Or typical, it is Britain after all. Once we had managed to get everything out of the car up to my room and I began to feel settled, it was time to say goodbye. My sister started crying first, whilst my mum put on a brave face, she knew if she started crying I would not be able to say goodbye. But everything worked out and after a night of feeling very homesick, I over came it.

September 22nd I turned 19. This was my first birthday away from home and I can honestly say it was epic. The day started with meeting up with all my friends (friends I had made through a lincoln groupchat) to go shopping and get lunch. The day later progressed to going to a fun house (not my plan – but a plan I was later thankful for) and it was pretty fun, thanks guys! The foam party had to be the highlight of the evening. Who else has the opportunity to go to a foam party on their birthday? It was quite an experience. Their were more events I was able to get into alongside freshers/ society fair; a welcome event, a beach party, a comedy night, open mic night and propaganda (an event hosted by our university) where my childhood crush Charlie Simpson from Busted turned up to perform! One of the best nights of Freshers Week!

The week beginning 25th mainly consisted of recovering from freshers flu (IT IS REAL BEWARE) and going to lectures and seminars. I’m not going to lie, they are really interesting and I’m loving my course already but when you have a really irritating cough, the fun seriously gets taken out of the subject. So touch wood, I get over this flu before the start of next week.

Overall however, I’m loving my time here at the University of Lincoln. I survived Freshers Week, made true friends and I’m loving this city and it’s electric atmosphere. Here’s to the next three years! X

Stand Together. 23/05/17

Once again heart broken over this attack in Manchester last night. So many young and innocent lives have been lost from another man-made disaster. 

It disgusts me how people are more concerned over whether Ariana will cancel the rest of her tour rather than the welfare of those who are currently critically injured and those who have lost their lives. Ariana herself is human just likes those who attended her concert, however there is no justification for people to treat one’s life highly than the other. 

Additionally, individuals have no right to catergorise certain people in the same manner. We should be standing together not pushing people away based on the colour of their skin.

There are still people missing from this attack. The Manchester police have issued a number (0800 096 0095) to help those struggling to get in contact with loved ones who attended the concert last night. 

Many children under the age of 16 are currently in critical condition. Thankfully over 60 ambulances acted effectively and efficiently to get to the scene of last night’s attack and were able to provide the best care to those who required it. I applaud their bravery and stealth as well as  Manchester’s police force for acting professionally and getting people to safety. 

The many beautiful, innocent and young lives that were lost in last night’s attack will forever be in our memory. We should be moving forward, by standing arm in arm and making those who have lost their lives proud through our unification. We will keep living for them & strive to not let these worthless, repulsive and pathetic cretins destroy the humanity we have left. 

Gone but never to be forgotten – Manchester: 23/05/17 ­čĺŤ

I’m not okay.

I wish I could simply explain the constant drilling in my ears. There are so many thoughts and feelings running through my body and mind right now, that I thought I should write them all down. 

The tension is back in the house tonight. It’s the petty arguments that are truly draining. You try and stay out of something but you are dragged right in the centre of it. My mum means the world to me. She is my inspiration and the definition of strong. The women on my mother’s side of the family are the most hard working and striving women you could ever have the pleasure to know. 

I don’t speak enough about my dad. If I were to tell a complete stranger about him, they’d probably see him in a negative light, a light that I have spent the last 18 years trying to shadow. You always try to see the positive in people, even after all the bad things they have done. My dad isn’t mentally stable. Some may refer to him as Bi-Polar. My parents have a toxic relationship, but even so they still have managed to find a little part of something that keeps them together.

I’m trying to hold back the tears as I write this but my anxiety is pushing my thoughts to the negative light. I’ve always wished for a happy family. A family who get on and a dad who is “normal”. It is so mentally draining to hear raised voices on a daily basis. I blame myself for pushing my mum through this hazard of a marriage by having prevented her from taking us far away all those years ago, from the man I now call my father. A man who can be so happy one minute but the next is a complete vile stranger. 

I try and cling to the knowledge he isn’t well, but how much longer can you cope being (metorphorically speaking) held under water. Every time the brief period of normalcy, of him asking how my day at college was or what shall he make for dinner, a sense of hope becomes apparent. Hope that everything is normal and as it should be. 

My friend just snap chatted me asking me how my nights been. God knows how much I would like to tell him what’s truly going on inside me. But the pain to even burden someone else with my problems aren’t something I see as helping me or them.

I’m so mentally exhausted, but I know, from hearing about my mum’s heart breaking past, you have to keep moving forward. I hate to think of the what ifs of when I leave home for uni in a couple of months, but nothing will change with me being inside this “home”. 

I’m not okay. At this moment in time, I need the rest that is available within this Easter Break to get the sleep and mentally prepare for the exams in June. Who knows if I will ever be okay. Both my past and present life have been a never ending rollercoaster ride. A ride that is beyond the reach of halting. 

I can assure you guys, I will never let something or someone stop me from reaching the places I could only dream of, & neither should you.  

Until next time guys, lots of love, M. 

“A light that never goes out” – The Smiths 

Body Confidence.

So quite recently I was having a conversation with my sister. Everything was going great until… out of nowhere she complains she feels fat. My sister is 10 YEARS OLD!

I’m not just saying this because she’s my sister but she is the HEALTHIEST weight she can be for someone her age and height. I was so stunned by this random outburst that I was seriously left speechless for a good couple of minutes. 

I’m not going to sit here and just blame the media and their presentation of women, but I’m gonna blame myself too. I am a factor of my sister even having that thought run through her mind. I’ve never been happy with my body and I’ve never been afraid to say how I feel about it out loud.

However, people throughout my life have complimented me for being “skinny”. To some this may sound like a compliment but to me it doesn’t quite ring a congratulations for being healthy. I have been classed as “underweight” my entire life. Alongside that I’ve been unable to gain weight or maintain a healthy number. I am a food lover and practically eat everything (apart from sea food). 

I can hold my hands up and say I have never stepped foot in a gym. Quite recently however, running has become one of my favourite work outs. Alongside this I have been watching (ish) what I eat. Protein is a MUST. Not only is it pumping blood through my veins but it’s also levelling out my anaemia. 

Being skinny shouldn’t be a goal. Being healthy is key to helping you both  physically and mentally. I wish I could take my own advice at times and look at myself in the mirror and be happy at the reflection that looks back. The changes I’ve made to my health routine should one day alter the way I see my body. But for now it’s the effort I put in, that will make a difference.

“Body Confidence” just like most things in life comes gradually. Don’t long for it to come…

“Work Hard, Play Hard”….. make that a motto to stick to. 

– Love M 

New Year, Same Me

Each year we are pressurised with the concept that we should recreate ourselves all because of the start of a new year. But why? Unless you yourself are adamant to reinvent yourself, then why not just stick to the person you had been just before the year came to an end. 

No person is perfect. The mistakes you make, are mistakes you learn from. The word “perfect” is questionable in itself. There is no image of perfection, it’s just what a individual claims something or someone is, due their own personal perception or because of the response from a number of people.Each individual is different. If we follow one another, we become “sheep”, all after one goal. 

The uniqueness of each individual is a beauty one should appreciate. Wanting to change ourselves should be one’s decision not because of the influence and input of others. If you are happy with the person you have been through out that year, then keep being that person. Don’t feel forced to change, be true to yourself. 

If anything, better yourself. By sticking to the person you are, you can grow and learn more about yourself and those around you by embracing the moments’ the new year throws at you.

“New Year, New Me” is a cliche in itself. “New Year, Same Me”… is a cliche that goes against the trend. Keep that in mind. 

– Love M 

Saying Goodbye 

Every story comes to an end. In life, a chapter ending is a milestone one has experienced and overcome. But when it’s a painful experience nothing is more warming then the concept of turning one’s back on the individual they once used to be. 

For instance, losing someone may encourage one to oppose those who offer their support and condolences. They devour the notion, that if they can recreate themselves, then the new person they have become will allow them to forget the person they once were. 

That monumental change, will feel in that moment as the right and exhilarating alteration one can make to their stance on life. I am no expert and having lived it, I do believe each and every individual has a right to react to a situation that has impacted them in their own way.

Saying goodbye or accepting change is a milestone in it self. I am currently in the process of preparing for my A-Level college exams in which I will be sitting next year. Alongside this, I will be preparing to say goodbye to college (quite ironic to be actually writing this out as this time last year I had just begun my first year at college – as well as having been a mention in my first blog ever posted). 

The highs and lows of college life, finding yourself and being able to meet such captivating, life long friends is a experience which I will always be thankful for. 

Even through the negativity and heart break, you are able to shape a understanding of the decisions you make and how you choose to go ahead with them. It’s never easy and never will it be easy, to leave a place which has contributed heavily in the person you are today. 

The next few months of my life are going to be life changing. It will either make or (never break) alter the path my life is set to follow. Saying goodbye, doesn’t have to be a mudane situation. When the day comes you can turn your back, walking out thinking about the achievements and happy memories you made during your time at that place or with that person. 

One day we will all look back at that chapter in our life and it may bring a smile to our faces because of the awareness of how we handled the situation. 

Live for the moment but also take a second to think about your future. The experiences we make now will one day confront us in the future. Staying true to yourself is an accolade. 

Say goodbye with your head held high, remembering that moment in life will one day be a memory to look back on. 

– Love M 

Mental illness should not be talked about…

Mental illness should not be talked about.

This is the statement I said to my 10 year old sister. Her response, “Why?”.

Why is there still a stigma attached to mental health when there are over 450 million people around this world who are suffering with a mental illness. A figure which grows every second I type.

Did you know that Anxiety and Depression are the top forms of mental illness? Every 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental illness at some stage in their life.

After countless research I was made aware that people do not report their illness to anyone, as they are afraid of being socially isolated or discriminated by the people around them. They are so fearful that if they tell someone, they will either be sent to a hospital to be examined or be locked away in a psychiatric unit.

From my research I discovered that the search I made under, “psychiatric units in the UK” matched the search of “mental health facilities in the UK”. Apart from a few residential care homes and organisations which provide care for those suffering with mental health, there  were hardly any facilities which let the sufferers wishes be heard.

Is being taken away from their homes & given drugs a way of treatment?

How about the concept of creating mental health facilities which offer support and give the user a whole range of natural treatments. One to one sessions with professionals, a chance to speak to other sufferers of mental health and to be given  the opportunity to have their opinions heard.

This “mainstream society” we are said to live in, is a false image if we are unable to help the people we share this world with.

#NationalMentalHealthDay should not be a one day trend. It should be a fixed point in everyday that follows. We should freely be able to talk about mental illness.  People who are suffering silently should be able to open up about their mental illness not hide it away.

*I suffer with anxiety. I’m still the same person before you found out I had a mental disorder. – Keep that in mind.

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