Dates for the Diary 2018 – Events in and around Aberdeen

Light shows, Grampian Pride, beer festivals, a latin dance festival… There are loads of events to get involved in this year in Aberdeen!  Don’t miss out.  Read on for a selection of events that are planned for Aberdeen and surrounding areas in 2018.

  • Belmont Street Market – Last Saturday of each month.
    A monthly farmer’s market boasting an assortment of food, drinks and crafts for sale.
  • Spectra Festival of Light – 8th-11th of February
    An award winning festival of light.  Spectra brings interactive sound and light shows to various locations around Aberdeen city centre.
  • Aberdeen Murder Mystery Experience – 10th of February
    Spend the day as a detective, hunting down clues hidden around Aberdeen and tracking down the ‘killer’.
  • Banchory Beer Festival – Beer @ The Barn – 16th and 17th of February
    The main event is in August but the smaller sister festival, Beer @ The Barn, also runs in February.  It’s not just about beer.  They have a range of drinks, food and entertainment.
  • North Hop Aberdeen – 30th-31st of March
    Beer, cocktails, street food vendors and music.
  • Nuart Aberdeen – 12th-15th of April
    This weekend the streets will be transformed as local and international artists work their magic on Aberdeen’s walls
  • Student Show – 18th-21st of April
    Part of the Raising and Giving charity fundraising campaign,  the student show sells out every year.  This year’s Aberdonian take on a classic is Fittie Fittie Bang Bang.
    Other shows at at HMT this year include Hairspray, The Kite Runner, Flashdance and various comedians.
  • Run Balmoral – 21st and 22nd of April
    10k, 5k and shorter races for children through the beautiful countryside of Royal Deeside.
  • May Festival – 25th-27th of May
    Organised by the University of Aberdeen.  A range of events spanning literature, music, science, sport, film and visual culture will be held throughout the week.
  • Grampian Pride – 26th of May
    This year Aberdeen will celebrate LGBT+, equality and inclusion with a Pride march, information stalls and entertainment.
  • Aberdeen Highland Games – 17th of June
    Highland dancing, piping, heavy weights, tug-o-war…
  • Aberdeen International Youth Festival – 27th of July-4th of August
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe – 3rd-27th of August
    Okay, so it’s not in Aberdeen but if you’re new to Scotland you won’t want to miss the Edinburgh festival.  A month of culture, with comedians, musicians, poets and artists coming from all over the world to showcase their talent.  It’s really popular so you’ll want to book your accommodation early or get an early bus/train and go for a day trip.
  • True North Music Festival – 20th-23rd of September
  • Aberdeen AfroLatin Festival – 21st-24th of September
    Love to dance?  Aberdeen hosts its second annual AfroLatin dance festival.  Expect 3 days of socials and classes with national and international teachers.
  • Colours of Cluny – Mid-November
    A stunning light and sound show brings the trees and paths of Cluny Hill to life.
  • Christmas and winter events – November and December
    Starting with a fireworks display at the beach on the 5th of November, winter events in Aberdeen also usually include a Christmas market, carol concerts, parades and a pantomime.

 

Search for more events:

New Goals for 2018

By Agir Holmgren, student blogger for the University of Aberdeen

As we are quickly approaching the end of 2017 one cannot help but wonder what has happened over the last year. For me, the end of December is equal parts a time for reflection and a time of looking ahead. It can be quite hard to grasp the idea that another year has already passed by, but once you begin to glance through your timelines and other recaps of the year, you suddenly realise how much can happen in the course of a year.

Since New Year’s Eve is creeping up on us it is high time to start planning our goals for the new year. Hardly anyone properly commits to their resolutions for the entire year but it never hurts to have something to strive towards. For some it helps to decide on specific goals but I would say that it does not hurt to make New Year’s resolutions vague. Drawing upon the most common ones I will present some suggestions for what one might try to change in the coming year.

Get into better shape

Probably the most common resolution for people to make and the reason why there are always 300% more people at the gym in January/February than any other time of the year. This might mean exercising more, eating better or quitting unhealthy habits. The solutions might seem simple but the main concern is to properly commit. Having occasional cheat days is perfectly fine but finding the motivation to continue the healthy lifestyle is the most important. Even if you already frequent the gym and eat healthily there is always room for improvement or, if you are already content, this resolution can serve as a friendly reminder.

Get better grades

Similarly common to the last suggestion but maybe harder to realise. Obviously, dedicating more time to studying helps but from experience I would say that the most effective way to boost results is listening to others. Having friends read through essays and paying close attention to professors’ feedback allows you to pick up on those reoccurring, and unnecessary, mistakes. Getting an outsider’s perspective on your academic work can be extremely helpful after having read, and re-read, the same texts over again.

Try to prepare for the future

All students are confronted with the realisation that there is life after university. While some students might have organised and planned their future other students are less certain about the future. Rather than trying to prepare everything at once, it can be helpful to focus on the small elements that can impact the future. For example, picking up a new hobby or learning a new skill could potentially be something transferable to a future career.

The best method for achieving any goal is to break it down into smaller pieces. Big, vague aspirations can be difficult to accomplish but, by creating smaller checkpoints, the impossibly big becomes a lot more achievable. Occasionally it can be hard to fully commit to something for a year and that is why it is much more effective to consider New Year’s resolutions as helpful guidelines for things to improve. Ultimately, the only thing to do is to appreciate those previous experiences gained and look ahead to the new ones that will be acquired in the following year.

Top 5 Revision Tips

By Naomi Grieve, student blogger for the University of Aberdeen

If you are a student you will most likely know that revision is hard.  However, it does not have to be!
I have given my 5 favourite tips to help revision go smoothly and be more enjoyable!

Revision tip #1

First things first, work out what is the best method of revision for you. There are endless methods of revision from hand-writing notes, listening to lecture recordings, making colourful mind maps and typing notes on a computer. It is trial and error but it will be much more productive once you find your best method.
My favourite is to type up my notes online, print them out and go through each page and highlight the important sections.

Revision tip #2

Distractions will be your worst nightmare while revising. However, they can be minimised by making simple changes.


Have you ever been in the position where you sit on your phone for ten minutes scrolling through Facebook and end up watching videos of cats being scared by cucumbers an hour later? Yeah, me too! So pretty much, turn your phone off for a period, even an hour with a 5-minute check in. But keep an eye on the time of usage.
Also, if you are using your laptop, log out of any social media to stop temptation!

Revision tip #3

To-do lists are key to a productive library session. I get myself settled in the library and, before I do any work, I write a quick to-do list of what I want to achieve within the day.


Placing the list where you can see it will keep you motivated to keep going as the tasks are small but plenty. If you are productive you will be able to have a relaxing evening after a full day of revision.

Revision tip #4

Food will help you keep going. Obviously, if you are sitting in the library the snacks may have to be slightly changed due to the noise, or smell of the food.


If I am going to have a long library session I will have a water bottle to keep hydrated and a bag full of good treats. I would bring cold pasta, salad or quesadillas made the night before for a healthy and energy boosting lunch. For the smaller snacks, bananas, apples, nut mix and mini chocolates will give you that much needed push to complete tasks and power through.

Revision #5

Where to revise? The environment you choose to revise in can impact your productivity. If you sit in front of a TV you may get distracted and watch the entire series of Stranger Things rather than looking at papers (this example has happened to me many times).


So, sitting somewhere with a desk, comfy chair and minimal distractions is key! I recommend Taylor Law Library as it has quiet zones, or the 6/7th floor in the Sir Duncan Rice Library where the noise of the café is minimal as it is so high up.

I hope that these revision tips will get you through the exam season.

 

Do you have any other revision tips which you use? Email cluedup@abdn.ac.uk, or message the StudentLifeUoA Facebook or Twitter pages.

If the work load is getting on top of you a bit, head over to our page on managing exam stress for some key tips and contacts.

Vegetarian Recipes

By Sofia Wigren, student blogger for the University of Aberdeen

Regardless of if you’re an avid meat-eater, a pescetarian, a vegetarian, a vegan or anything in between, this post contains vegetarian recipes for a whole day to suit all tastes. They are all student-friendly, that is – easy, cheap and delicious (because life is too short to eat bland food).

Breakfast

Starting off nice and easy with a three-ingredient recipe of banana pancakes: Mix 2 bananas, 2 eggs (chia egg or flaxseed egg should work for a vegan option) and 2 tablespoons of oats (easy to remember with a ratio of 2:2:2). If you’re feeling fancy you can add some cinnamon as well. Fry them on medium heat for a few minutes until they turn golden brown. Top it off with your sweetener of choice and whatever you can find in the kitchen. For me it was maple syrup, peanut butter and more bananas (there’s no such thing as too much banana, don’t fight me on this).

Lunch

If there’s any time you should listen to a stranger on the internet, now’s the time: I’m going to tell you how to pimp your ramen. This feeds two people or one very hungry student. In a medium pot fry one garlic clove, minced or pressed if you’re lazy, and ginger in vegetable oil and/or sesame oil. Add 3 tablespoons of green or red curry paste and all the veggies you like, here I used mushroom, green beans, and spinach. Once they’ve softened add 2 and a half cups of vegetable broth along with the noodles and its spice mix, wait approximately two minutes, add soy sauce and lime juice to taste and you’re done!

Dinner

Finish the day off strong with a 15-minute chickpea stew: Fry 1 chopped onion and 2-3 minced garlic cloves in oil together with 2 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of spicy cayenne pepper. Add 1 can coconut milk, half a can of crushed tomatoes and salt. Finish it off by adding a can of rinsed chickpeas, a bag of spinach and lime juice. Serve with grain of choice and enjoy!

 

If you want to hear more from Sofia you can visit her blog at www.sofiawigren.se

Hidden Gems – Places to Visit in Aberdeen

By Naomi Grieve, blogger for the University of Aberdeen

 

As an Aberdonian myself, I can understand why Aberdeen is called the Granite City. However, there are many hidden gems within the city which you don’t have to pay a fortune for! Here are a few of my many favourite places in Aberdeen to go and visit in the summer (or all year round!):

  • Duthie Park is a garden just off the edge of town and easily accessible by walking from the city centre or catching the bus. A large field in the middle of the park means summer time picnics and drinks with friends. The winter gardens are also lovely for the cloudier days in summer.  It is a greenhouse full of flowers and plants along with a café for an ice cream cone.

  • Aberdeen Maritime Museum which is free entry, BONUS, and a good afternoon for learning about Aberdeen’s boating history with views over the harbour and it can be a good laugh with friends followed with lunch as it is in the middle of town! Also, across the street there is the Tollbooth museum which shows the history of Aberdeen’s worst crimes and is also free entry!
  • The beach is the place to go when Aberdeen gets warmer over the summer months! Long beachy sands with cafes and main chain restaurants on the Promenade which can cater for everyone’s need. There is also a Cineworld off the beach for the cooler evenings.

  • Hazelhead park is for everyone! There are football pitches, golf courses and woody areas for walking, cycling and running. There is a maze of hedges and you should find your way into the middle and back out.  I have never managed without asking for help so there is a challenge. Also, there is a pet corner with snakes, llamas, goats and many more.

  • Finally, there is the opportunity to Dolphin watch in Aberdeen. The watch begins at Torry Battery which is only a short walk or bus ride away but if the weather is not the best on the day of the watch, I would recommend wrapping up as it can be blistering cold at the sea front!

These are my five favourite places to visit in the summer either alone or with friends. If you can think of anymore, please let us know!

Study Tips

By Abigail Sked, Student Blogger for the University of Aberdeen.

My first semester at university was a bit of a mess in terms of organisation. In September I was so busy meeting people and moving into halls that I didn’t realise there was a course guide I should know about until about 4 weeks in. And then I was super behind on reading but had essays coming up so they had become my focus. Essays finished and exams began and I realised that my notes were all over the place. Thankfully, the second semester was much better.

But then I went on holiday for 3 months and promptly forgot many of my study hacks!

I’ve just started my fifth year of studying with the University of Aberdeen and I finally believe I have this down.

Want to save time and not find yourself sitting in the middle of a chaotic mountain of notes come December? Read on…

  1. You can get a free copy of Microsoft Word through the University! Make use of it.
  2. Course Guides are a thing. If you haven’t already, go onto MyAberdeen ASAP and have a scan of your course guides. They should include a note of your lecture timetable, your weekly readings and your assessment deadlines. Make a note of them.
  3. On that note, academic planners are invaluable. If you’re a new student you will have one on the back of your New Students’ Notebook. If not, this is my favourite.
  4. If you’re taking a laptop to your lectures, check MyAberdeen just before the lecture to see if the lecture slides have been uploaded. That way you can download them and just make notes of any extra things that the lecturer says directly onto the PowerPoint (or onto a Word document if you copy the notes over).
  5. However, don’t underestimate the power of handwritten notes. Apparently writing notes out helps you to remember them so both note taking styles are good.
  6. Do the readings for your tutorials. I’ve found that exams have been so much easier for the subjects where we’ve had real discussion in tutorials because I don’t have to revise as much. I just remember having the conversation.
  7. Around exam time, take a look at the Learner’s Toolkit online resources that you can use to aid your studying (and make it more fun and colourful). You might find MindManager, GoConqr, and Evernote useful.
  8. Make use of the interactive resources that are available at the University. The Student Learning Service offer frequent workshops about topics such as study skills, essay writing, and time management. Additionally, if you are a first year, you have the option of speaking to a mentor student who can advise you on academic and personal issues through the Student 4 Student scheme.
  9. You can also find guides on Academic Skills, Professional Skills, IT Skills, and Library Skills on Achieve which you can find on the first page of MyAberdeen after you log in.
  10. Unfortunately… There is almost always something to do. We all work differently and some people are good at cramming. However, it helps to get started early and so if you know you don’t do well under pressure, try getting ahead of your lecture readings when you have a spare moment.
  11. Mainly though, try not to stress too much. Take breaks and enjoy your time at University. Student Life is about so much more than just studying and if you have fun things to look forward to then staying in the library until late to finish your essay won’t feel quite so hard.
  12. Whichever year you are in, if you feel you are getting behind with your studies or that life is all getting a bit too much, try to talk to someone about it sooner rather than later so that provisions can be made. Have a look at the Key Contacts page on the CluedUp website if you need someone to speak to.

Making the most of University Life

Whilst the main reason you came to University is your degree, there are so many other opportunities that come with being a student that you might not have thought of.

Here at the University of Aberdeen we want you to make the most student life. Being a student isn’t all about sitting in the library and studying.  Here are four ways to get involved at university:

Societies

AUSA (Aberdeen University Student’s Union) has over 130 societies for you to get involved with. Societies are a great way to meet like-minded people, find a new hobby or pursue an interest. You can do something like join the A Cappella Society and sing to your heart’s content or join Mary’s meals and do something good for charity. We have so much available and getting involved in committees counts as volunteering hours that you can use towards a STAR award.

Sports teams

AUSA is also home to over 50 sports clubs. We try to have something for absolutely everyone, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for… you can set it up! We get to use the lovely Aberdeen Sports Village facilities for our training sessions, and then every Wednesday we compete in BUCS against other universities in a variety of sports. We’ve got your more obvious sports like Rugby, Football, Hockey and Lacrosse and also things that you might not expect like Golf, Fencing, Archery and Surfing. Getting involved with a sports committee also counts as volunteering hours that you can use towards your STAR award and it’s also a great addition to your CV!

Volunteering

Volunteering is another great way that you can add to a STAR award, do something for the community or add depth to your CV. Volunteering allows you to make new friends at University, and make a difference within the wider community. You can register your details with AUSA and they can help you find a volunteering opportunity in your local area!

Co-curricular activities you can put on your transcript

Who doesn’t want to be recognised for their hard work? By taking part in one of the careers services registered co-curricular activities/opportunities, you can have your hard work formally recognised on your transcript when you finally decide to leave us.
So what’s recognised as a co-curricular activity?
Accredited activities include:

Recognised Activities include:

A full list of roles recognised via the STAR Award is available on the Careers Service website.

About CluedUp

Get CluedUp and live happy!

The University of Aberdeen is dedicated to making sure that its students enjoy a university experience which is as safe, comfortable and happy as possible.

During your time at university, maintaining good health and wellbeing is important for your studies, safety and happiness.

CluedUp is a Student Health and Wellbeing Campaign which, as well as this website, includes activities and social media communication.  It aims to ensure that, as a student of the University of Aberdeen, you have access to all of the information that you need in order to make positive life choices and to be aware of the services which are available to you if you need support.

The CluedUp website acts as a signpost to other websites which provide health and wellbeing services and information. A non-judgemental website created solely for students and covering topics as diverse as mental health, fire safety, and societies, CluedUp supports students like you to find the information that you need fast.

Get involved!

The University of Aberdeen and The Aberdeen University Students’ Association have teamed up to bring you mid-week Health and Wellbeing activities and an annual Health and Wellbeing Day Fair which will be held in mid-October.  Keep an eye out on the Student Life Facebook page and the University of Aberdeen students event calendar for more information.

Got an idea about a topic that you think should be covered on this site or a suggestion for a Health and Wellbeing activity that you’d like to see organised?  Get in touch with us by emailing cluedup@abdn.ac.uk

Making your bedroom your own in halls

Moving into halls can be difficult for a number of reasons… We want you to be able to make it feel like home without fearing the damage bills at the end of the year.

Here are our top tips for making your bedroom your own whilst avoiding those dreaded bills:

Storage boxes

Many student rooms, especially in privately rented accommodation, don’t include much storage space so why not kill two birds with one stone and buy some patterned and colourful storage boxes to brighten up your room?  B&M have a wide range of cheap storage boxes.

Photos, posters and all that jazz

This is where you have to be careful because blue tac/white tac leaves little moisture marks on the walls and that usually means that the whole room will need a coat of paint when you leave.  Try sticking posters to your walls using self-adhesive strips instead. These are supposed to come off cleanly and leave no surface damage – meaning you can make your room feel more like your own by adding that band poster to your wall.

 

Optimize the use of your pin board

All of our halls rooms come with pin boards. So why not actually use it? You can pin up photos, bunting, fabric… the list could go on.

Add comfort with cushions

Primark has one of the best and cheapest home ranges and it’s filled with ADORABLE cushions. Pile these onto your bed teamed with a huge, fluffy blanket and you will have the cosiest and comfiest spot to read, watch movies, or actually get some studying done.

Desk top accessories

Let’s be honest, we can’t be expected to look after real plants… but the faux ones look just as good and can make your room feel brighter and more sophisticated. So why not grab yourself a few? They’ll look super cute next to candles and stationery storage baskets on your desk!

Make it smell like home

Our parents are all fascinated with those plug in air fresheners so getting one for your room can help it smell like a boudoir while also reminding you of your home comforts. You could even try a lavender scented diffuser to help keep you calm during those stressful periods.