Thursday, 31 July 2014

♡ NCS - Week Two ♡

Hello all! 

I'm back again to tell you about my experience of week 2 on NCS. During week 2 you stay in university accommodation as well as studying 1/6 subject choices in the university. Of course I chose media so I was in my element video editing, filming and trying out a bunch of new equipment.  I can only tell you about the media side of the programme however there's also the choice of: Sport, Enterprise, Music, Drama & Photography.

During the first two days as a team we visited a local elderly home where we spoke & interviewed some of the residents as well as staff. It was great to hear all their positive stories about the home and how the home doesn't live up to the current awful stereotypes. We filmed the residents and some of the activities that they took part in to make a short promotional film for the home to use. On the second day we played carpet curling against the elderly residents which they won and seemed extremely proud of. 

On Tuesday evening (Day 2) we all took part in a talent show which our team were awful at! Our excuse was "we're the media, we're meant to be behind the camera not in front of it". After much debating we came up with the idea of 'aeronicks' where our team mate Nick lead an aerobics session. The talent show was a lot of fun even though we came last.

Wednesday (Day 3) was left for editing. We had a mad rush near the end to make sure everything would be ready for the showcase which was that evening. During the showcase family and friends came to see what each group had created. Each of our team members got up and said a few words before presenting our short films, this was more of a challenge for some than others. The showcase was a success and i'm so proud with how our short film turned out. 

On Thursday (Day 4) we left the media side of the programme behind us and it was time for us to come up with a campaign idea. We wanted to raise awareness of something and many ideas were thrown around before we came up with the idea of Depression and Anxiety. Many of our team members currently are or have suffered from these conditions so it was something we were all passionate about. The main aim of our campaign is to raise awareness and to make people suffering from these mental health issues not feel alone. As a team we decided to call our campaign 'Turn On The Light' and used the hashtag #comeoutthedarkness. We also created a Facebook page to raise awareness which you can check out here. We came up with the idea of having a tree, which we would make ourselves, and hanging lightbulbs onto it with the publics small fears/phobias that they're comfortable to share. 

On the Friday (Day 5) it was pitch day! This was the day that we'd pitch our idea to local MP's and they'd give us a budget to allow us to carry out our idea. We spent the morning writing out a script for our pitch, making sure we all had a part, and learning it off by heart. Pitching to the dragons was a very scary experience and so stressful! They asked us many questions that made us think and we were all so worried about saying the wrong thing. Once it was over we all came together as a wave and they told us how much they were willing to give each team. We were lucky enough to get the amount we asked for which was £80.

As we were staying in university halls it was left to us to cook for ourselves. This was interesting but luckily for us my group had a few that were experienced in the kitchen and they were able to help those that weren't so used to it. We all had our own room with an en suit which was like luxury compared to the previous week! During this week I feel like I learnt how to be more independent and learnt many life skills. 

Would you cope cooking for yourself for a whole week?

I hope you enjoyed this post. 

Jessica xo

Monday, 28 July 2014

♡ NCS - Week One ♡

Hello all! 

Woah where's July gone? It only feels like yesterday that I was writing my last post about Hastings! 

As many of you may know I have been super busy throughout July on NCS. I decided it'd be better to write about each week with its own individual post which will allow me to go into more detail without boring you all to tears. 

Before I start i'll give you a very brief introduction to what NCS actually is. NCS is a 3 week (I want to say 'summer camp' but that's not really what it is) course away from home where you learn vital skills that you'll use in everyday life as well as have an absolutely amazing time with tons of memories and new friends. 

Our wave traveled to Devon for the first week where we took part in a number of outdoor team building activities. The first activity we took part in was hiking! We walked for 13 miles which was definitely a struggle and there were many points where I thought I wouldn't have been able to make it to the end however with the amazing encouragement of my team all of us made it to the campsite. 

Where can I begin with the camping experience? This wasn't my first time camping out in the middle of a field however I can safely say it was one of the worst! When we first arrived we were greeted by being shown the bucket that we were expected to PEE IN! That is one experience I will never forget. After this we had to assemble 5 tents to only find we had to later dissemble 2 of them and assemble a new bigger one so all of our team would fit! Whilst  all this was happening 2 of our team mates did the cooking with the help of our mentor. Dinner was meatballs and pasta however hardly any of us ate it due the the very strange consistency of the pasta (worst pasta i've ever eaten sorry guys). Sleeping wasn't all that great either! 4 of us squished into a 3 man tent which left me squashed up against the side letting all the water from outside in. I was shivering constantly all night only to find out in the morning that I was left with the thinest sleeping bag! This all made the camping experience seem awful and probably doesn't make NCS sound that fun but looking back on it I had a great time and now have so many memories! 

The next day we got up early to go rock climbing and scrambling! This was definitely one of my favourite days of NCS. We all hoped into a mini bus to drive us to the coach and we were on our way! It was in a lovely area and it's a shame I didn't bring my camera because it was the perfect place to do some photography. We started with rock climbing which is a lot harder than it looks and has made me realise I have absolutely no upper body strength what so ever. This was then followed by scrambling which of one of my favourite activities. It was basically climbing over and under rocks up hill till we reached the top at 200 meters. It was quite scary as you had no harnesses or safety equipment other than our helmets! On the way up I had to challenge myself to crawl through this tiny gap under some rocks and now i'm so proud that I did it. At the top there was a sheer drop which was called 'The Edge' it was so nerve racking knowing the quite easily you could trip over the edge and fall over 200 meters. At the top we took a team photo before making our way back down. 

The next day was also amazing! We went Canoeing, Kayaking and Raft Building. I'd never been canoeing or kayaking before however i'd always wanted to! Both were extremely fun and i'll definitely do them again. whilst doing both we played games which were great and both times the team I was on won. My favourite game being whilst canoeing collecting balls and throwing them to the instructor each time he caught the ball you'd get a point. Raft building was also a lot of fun! Luckily for us my team had a lot of scouts in which meant knot tying came easily to them. Our teams raft stayed afloat and completed the race however the other teams collapsed as soon as it touched the water but they jumped in the water and swam the race meaning they came in first and insisted they'd won.

After this we came back and rushed for the showers before the mad rush of everyone else! In the evening after dinner we all had a final night disco in the barn which was amazing and very memorable I especially enjoyed the cha cha slide. 

So that's everything I did in week 1 of NCS! It was amazing and I would recommend it to EVERYONE in years 11 & 12 if I could do it again I definitely would! 

A new post will be uploaded very soon talking about week 2 so keep an eye out for that! 

- Jessica 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

♡ A weekend away in Hastings ♡

Hello all, 

Last weekend I went away with my friend Emily for a relaxing yet fun weekend caravanning in Hastings. I'd never visited Hastings before and the first thing I noticed when I arrived was the never ending amount of scenic views that simply just blew me away. 

We were super lucky to have sunshine for a majority of the trip when back home it was constantly raining. We managed to get down to the beach every day and got to fit one swim in the outdoor swimming pool. Ever since I can remember i've wanted to live by the sea and staying here has just increased my dream of this. I find the sea side so relaxing and beautiful I wound't understand why anyone wouldn't want to live in such a breathtaking place.

Each night we went out to get food. By far my favourite meal was on the Sunday night where we visited a Chinese restaurant. Chinese is by far my favourite type of food! Their sweet and sour chicken was to die for and if I could just live off of that no doubt about it I would. We also visited a fish and chip restaurant along the coast of Hastings, the fish was so fresh and tasted delicious! 

This trip made me realise how much I love taking short trips in the UK and realise how beautiful the country I live in is. I most definitely want to visit more parts of the UK on short breaks like this. 

Where's your favourite place to go on holiday?

- Jessica x