Hooray! A week of deadlines is over and us uni students have been set free to roam back home. I arrived here on Friday, totally ready for fluffy slippers (or in this case, giraffe slippers, see below), cuddles with my pooch and a whole lot of Christmas movies- just what the doctor ordered. 
It'll be another week until my friends get to return home as we're all studying in different cities, but I can't wait to catch up and have a few drinks. Mum has decorated the house with twinkling lights, baubles, wreaths and pinecones and the whole place smells of advent candles, laundry and home cooked food.

A lot of us blame ourselves for our anxieties, we apologise for feeling sad or mopey and hide it in fear of not being fun to be around but this is just what we tell ourselves. We sit and wonder why we don't feel okay, we're taught that there always has to be a reason and you have to tackle it or there's something wrong with you- this isn't always true! None of us are a stranger to the feeling that is sadness, or anger. Or even just not being okay in general.

2015 seems to have been an excellent year for Regal Rose. Among new releases, back in June the amazing Hannah Sykes collaborated with Regal Rose to make this beautiful line of jewellery. Lately, with winter settling in and layers upon layers of clothes, I've found it a super nice touch to adorn my hands and ears with rings and chains galore. 

The piece I chose (the range has five amazing pieces in total) was Bodhi. Bodhi means enlightenment, illumination and clarification. Inspired by buddhism and art culture in eastern Asia, each design is 14k gold plated and sterling silver. Which means no nasty infections and a delicate yet tough piece of jewellery! It arrived in a gorgeous drawstring black bag with the collaboration logo printed in gold foil.
Hands up if you've ever felt personally victimised by cold mornings! If you haven't experienced them yet then you're one of the lucky ones (especially if you're in the UK, like me). With the sudden drop in temperature here it's becoming harder to hop out of bed in the mornings feeling refreshed and ready to work. 

Personally, I'm one extreme to the other- just the other day I didn't want to get out of bed because I'd been awake and peeping at a screen until 3am the night before. I'm either that, or bleary eye'd at 7am with a coffee in my hand and wonky eyeliner from buzzing about too early. There's just no in-between! I've put together a short list of components for a better night's sleep, explaining how important these things are to help us look after ourselves and get a good nights rest.
It's been slow and steady on the blog front for a few weeks now, even though I've been busy it feels good to have some awesome things to share with you all! On the 21st November my boyfriend Josh, his family and I went to Hotel Gotham in Manchester for the night to late-celebrate his 21st birthday. His birthday was back in the heat of August though I still remember being told what his present was (a night at the hotel and celebrations around Manchester) like it was yesterday. In fact, one of my favourite posts is about that awesome day!

You caught me, I'm guilty of starting festive celebrations a little too early. A few days ago I went into the city with some friends purely to window-shop and sniff all of the apple pie and cinnamon candles I could see. But chances are, you've probably already said "Oooh that smells like Christmas" or oogled at a few metallic garments- that's exactly what I did the other day, so I've decided to put together a star spangled wishlist for those of you that are and aren't in the tinsel spirit yet. 
Isn't social media wonderful? You can use it to chat about your day, discuss touchy topics and every once in a while we simply stumble across a page or post that rekindles our love for a certain topic or hobby we forgot we had. Around a year ago I was scrolling the 'explore' page on Instagram when a photo from 'inspiredtattooportraits' took my attention. The account belongs to an amazing lady called CĂ©line, a photographer and tattoo collector living in Paris.

As part of my new blog series 'An Inkling' I had the chance to interview her and find out more about CĂ©line. I should start by mentioning that 'An Inkling' will run every two weeks to a month and will feature interviews with artists, writers, personalities I find inspiring or interesting and hope that you will too!

The reason I chose CĂ©line to kickstart the series was because she is all-round captivating. From her timeless photographs (reminiscent of a book I have, full of tattoo photos taken in the 20's and 30's), her ability to capture the essence of a person in a photograph, her travels all over the world to her full body suit; the progress of which you can follow through Instagram (I've popped a link at the end).

I'm currently sat beside my fluff-ball of a dog, drying off after one of the dampest walks of this year. Don't get me wrong- I'm not complaining, Autumn is probably my favourite season as I'm sure has been said here before.

Nothing beats crisp air and golden 5 o'clock sunsets. Even though the nights are drawing in earlier, I have been busier than ever! One thing I suck at is time management so stacks on stacks of uni work have decided to turn against me while my time to blog is hanging on a cliffs edge waiting for me to pick up the slack. I've missed my little corner of the internet, it's nice to come back once or twice a week to dust off the cobwebs and talk to you guys!

Want to know something that makes me go crazy? Not having enough light in a room. My room in halls was at a weird angle and no matter what time of day, I'd always be peeking out into the courtyard full of light while my room remained dark. I had to liven up the room myself as best I could while dealing with the restrictions of renting.

I know a lot of you guys are either at uni or buying a little place of your own which is sometimes hard to actually make your own if it isn't livened up and opened out with those personal touches. It won't be quite like the apartments in Friends, but I've put together a few tips to make living in a rented space more you.
Is there anything more taboo than taking what people normalise in day-to-day life and calling it murder? Probably, but not much. In my last Week Journal I talked about how I'll always love a good roast dinner, but in the past few weeks it's come to my attention more and more of the inhumane ways that we treat animals for their meat, milk or eggs.
I'm guilty of posting this almost two months too late as I couldn't get hold of my photos but it's wedding season! Or so I was told by my television last night, after attending a beautiful wedding in my home of the Lake District. I briefly mentioned this trip in my last Week Journal (which I'll eventually start posting every Sunday instead of sporadically) where I visited my gran and had coffee.
I can tell you, I drank a lot of coffee that weekend.  My dad got married on the 4th September to a wonderful woman called Debs. They've been together for a number of years, she's lovely and I couldn't be happier that they got married (finally). Prepare yourself for a LOT of pretty photos!
Hello everyone! I wanted to share a bit of happiness with you today as lately my illustration projects have been revolving around positivity. I'm feeling fab as I recently hit 100 followers, I know this is barely anything in the big bad blogosphere but it means so much to me that a whole 100 of you want to follow my rambles and day to day life so thank you!

Cosy bed socks and tea

It's been a couple of weeks since Back to Uni #1 (Planning and Goals) and we're now into the term! If you're not then lucky you. Life at uni can be stressful and challenging, and it takes weeks or reminders or crying over that last cocktail to realise that it'll all be worth it in the end. Has anyone given up out of stress yet? Sometimes the debt might not seem worth it, or the partying (or Netflix) looks SO much better than that deadline on the horizon and believe me it is, but you can't blow your top just yet. 

Here are some tips to help you along when the living is anything but easy, you just need to de-stress and liven up your space.

Clean your bedroom. 

A messy room is a messy mind so goes the saying- after many years of untidy bedrooms, I can vouch for this to be true. I always feel better sitting down at a tidy desk to work or being able to enjoy my down time in a clutter-free, calm environment aka my bedroom. Nothing is better than fresh sheets, towels and minimal mess to wipe your brain slate every morning!

Make time for yourself

As elaborated on in my 'Why You Should  Date Yourself' post, there's nothing that takes stress away like removing the stressful things from your life. I don't mean procrastinate, I mean take yourself out on a date. Have a bath in Lush bomb bubbles and relax. Forget about that assignment for tonight- it's time to think about yourself.

Separate work and home

Sometimes it's easier said than done, but instead of taking your work home, spend that extra hour at the end of class rewriting your notes or finishing that painting at your desk. Chances are, you'll feel more organised in a work environment and it means that your brain associates home with relaxation instead of cramming and deadlines!
girl sat at desk with plants

Sleep, sleep, sleep! 

For a minute there I considered exercise as a solution, which has been touched on before and does make you happy, but if you're run down or stressed the best solution is to sleep. Quit your 2am bed times and 8:30am starts, you're running on empty. Rest, re-cooperate and see how your brain deals with life then.

Work and live in natural light

Natural light will keep your brain awake better than artificial light, will make your eyes feel less groggy and living in open spaces helps to clear the mind a little more. Would you write an essay in a room with no window? No. Take in that fresh air and enjoy the daylight hours instead of being cooped up. You'll feel better for it!

These are just a few tips that I came up with but if you have more, feel free to pop them in the comments! How do you de-stress?

Sarah x
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Henna has been used for a suspected 9000 years in Eastern cultures, used for weddings, birthdays and holidays in decorating brides-to-be and guests of the host. It can also be used as hair colour, but has had some taboo surrounding it for a number of years because of allergic reactions that black henna can cause.
The henna used in this post, Golecha Quick Dry Henna, is entirely herbal so no nasty allergens and it's clinically tested. If you're prone to allergic reactions then do a test before hand just to be safe! I've been through anaphylaxis and am allergic to just about anything but I can promise that this henna is safe and sound! This particular henna goes dark instantly and lasts up to a week or two depending on your skin type. For advice on real, needle and ink tattoos, head to this post!
Time to break the silence! I recently, in the hustle and bustle of daily life, took an 'accidental hiatus' from social media and general life which has actually done a world of good for me. So why the hiatus? As a long term alone-a-phobe, I decided it was time to force myself into some alone time and actually try to enjoy it. Technically, I 'dated myself' for a while. It's not like I was away from everyone the whole time but I took time to learn the difference between alone and lonely while spending time with myself. 

Sometimes being wrapped up in a world where communication is at our very fingertips all the time (literally), things can get overwhelming; people to please, reply to, constantly wondering why someone has read your message and not replied or feeling guilty for not scheduling that morning blog post- I decided it was time to be selfish and chuck all of it out of the window (that was not so literal). 
Whether you're reading this post as someone who's been to uni and is going back or someone who's starting uni for the first time, I have some tips that might help make it a lot easier. I should start by mentioning that this post is going to be a series of 3 that I'll publish at intervals through September and early October. You can follow me on Bloglovin' here so that you don't miss a post! This particular one focuses on planning and goals.

One of the best ways to feel organised and get organised is to think of your goals and plan them out- whether that's project deadlines, personal goals like reading a book for your essay or actually writing that essay with time to spare. I'll be honest- I'm the worst for time management and I'm super messy, even though I love feeling organised. I totally need to work on the way I handle things if I want better grades this year so here's some tips I came up with to help!
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I've been through a couple of changes recently! After being red for a good 3-4 years I was a little sick of the lack-lustre colour and decided to switch it up. Blue has always attracted me as it's such a calm colour, though I'll probably always feel like a fiery redhead at heart. I know that removing colour from hair is something people struggle with (especially red) so here's how I did it!
Last Tuesday was one of the most eventful days I've had since 'Robbing a bank with the Joker', as it started with an 8am get up and it was all lights on green from there. Josh and I headed to the bank to open a business account before heading to grab coffee together, music shop errand-running then a light trek to the cinema, where we FINALLY got to see the much anticipated 'Inside Out'!
Hello lovelies! We're a few days into September already and I still can't believe how quickly this year is going. It's been an awesome year so far so I'm planning on fighting to the end of it to make it the best it can be. I always feel kind of crazy when it gets to this time of year, planning and trying to sort everything out before I get busy until Christmas. 
I've written a few small goals for this month to keep myself motivated. I might not achieve all of them  but it'll be such a great feeling if I do!

Forgive me, lovely followers- usually, what's going on in Hollywood is of utter unimportance to me. Celebrities to diet trends, nothing matters but this topic made me mad, like real mad. Even if you're not a fan of Miley or have no opinion on the girl, read on anyway! Hear me out.

Yesterday it came to my attention that there were lots of articles circulating about Miley's nipple slip at the VMA's and just her usual dress code; skin on show, crazy hair and scarce coverage for her breasts. During presenting the VMA's (which I didn't actually watch, just to clarify, but I've seen snippets) she 'accidentally' flashed her nipple to the camera and the whole internet is in uproar over it. With complaints being filed to MTV, every website has something to say about it.

Pssst... keep this between us, but what if I told you that you could take two lipsticks and make three, four or even five different lip colours? What if you added a third lipstick into the mix? Imagine all of the possibilities! Here's the secret: you can.
As an artist and a generally educated human being, I started playing around with colour mixes at the age of about 5. The world of colour is out there and waiting to be discovered- did you know that we only have 3 'colour cones' (receptors) in our eyes and therefore can only see a mix of those colours? Mantis Shrimp have 12 colour receptors, so can see a whole psychedelic rainbow of colours that's beyond our comprehension, imagine the lipstick on that one, folks!

To keep it simple, I'm showing you some colour creations for the upcoming season, Autumn (or fall for you crazy Americans) and some dupes that you can make on the go. Ranging from peachy pink for the wide-eyed early birds, to reds and purples for the classy lady. The best thing about creating your own personal colours is tailoring them to your skin tone for an award-winning finish.

At such a young age with many mistakes yet to make, I don't feel entirely qualified to write about this, but I've been in a happy relationship with my boyfriend for close to 3 years now. There's something morbidly satisfying knowing that you've outlasted a few couples that you thought were made for each other *muaha* and something completely satisfying about sharing how you've stayed so happy in your relationship so that others might feel the same.

Hello lovely people! I don't know about you, but here in the UK it's starting to creep into that time of year where the summer sun is deceiving, conkers are beginning to crack on the pavement and the leaves are slowly but surely starting to turn. I've decided to get down and cosy in George's transitional summer to autumn range*, readying myself for the inevitable cooler months ahead.
In the UK 5.4 million people struggle with asthma everyday. I was diagnosed at the age of around two after struggling to breathe and contracting chest infections. Now, at the age of 19 breathing is something I still struggle with every day, though how difficult it is changes from day to day.
Credit Cirque de Art

In 2009 I remember waking up one morning and finding out that a girl I knew (albeit via Twitter) had suddenly passed away during the night from an asthma attack. She hadn't been ill, or sick or congested, she woke up in the night and went into an attack then died and it terrifies me that that could happen to any of us.

I popped down to our local comic book store with my boyfriend the other day to drop off some issues of 3 Parts Mad, without the intention of going anywhere else until I remembered that the Superdrug around the corner stocks Make-Up Revolution. 
Hollllly smokes! When I saw this palette I had to have it. I've actually had my eye on it for a little while now but never had the courage to put anything brighter than rose on my eyelids. Lately I've been leaning towards the orange/pink horizon (who knows, maybe I'm finally exiting my little emo phase, or entering a more hard 'scene' one. C'mon, we've all been there) and decided that I might as well go big or go home with this AH-MAY-ZING palette.
Can you say NOSTALGIA?! In my previous Hidden Treasures post I took you to a little flower shop in the city of Preston, my second home. This time we're going to The Sweet Emporium in my home town. I've been away for a year and haven't ventured into the town centre so forgive me if you're reading this from the little old Lake District and have been here already, but I got excited about this place.
There's not much better on a rainy day than being in a blanket on the sofa, taking a break from the world around you.  Perhaps you wanted to watch a movie; there are a million of them out there but you can't think of a single one that you'd love to watch right now, so you've ended up somewhere like here. Let me help you out! Here are my favourite 5 movies to watch on a rainy day.
  1. Into The Wild: One man, a successful graduate and athlete, Christopher McCandless makes his way from home to Alaska under the name Alexander Supertramp, penniless and alone in an attempt to rid himself of dependency and possessions. This truly is a movie for the adventurous escapists or the wild at heart. See the trailer here.
For a while I've been looking for a mascara that really makes my eyes POP while not breaking the bank, and it's got to the point in the month/year where all of my make-up decides to run out at once. Even if I have very little foundation on, if my eyelashes and eyebrows are camera-ready then I look and feel okay to face the world for the day. 
Photo: McKel Hill
Admit it, you've probably looked in the mirror once or twice and not been happy with what you saw, attempted crash dieting for 10 days or cut your calorie intake for a week in an admirable attempt to lose weight. Maybe you lost a few pounds, but you've gained a few if not most of them back now, right? And that could be why you're reading this post on why dieting isn't working for you, or anyone.

Trust me, this is no revelation and I'm sure that you've been told before (if you haven't then grab a cuppa and listen) that dieting does not work. There's a lot more science behind it than you think and than I can fully explain incase I get it terribly wrong but it goes something like this:

It's been another whirlwind of a few weeks over here, since my last 'Life Lately' post, time has gone so quickly! I mean, we're halfway through August already, where has the year gone?!
Since you read my last catch-up post, lots of little and large things have made an appearance in my life. From my first nephew being born, my boyfriend's birthday and selling my comic '3 Parts Mad' internationally, it's been another crazy couple of weeks. 
For a while I was super stressed out, which has made me consider keeping a journal where I can just tear out the pages once I'm done writing or ranting into it so I never have to look at it again haha. Do any of you have a journal? I've found that writing down feelings helps but I always get annoyed when re-reading them. 

Put your hands up if you're guilty. We often think of charity shops as the complete opposite of glamorous but while strutting my stuff down the promenade in these bold Jeffrey Campbell's I felt glamorous as anything! We took a walk last weekend at Grange-over-Sands, a quiet little town in the lake district (you can read more about this day here) where I took the chance to break in these loud shoes that I found in a charity shop in my home town. 
Guess how much they cost? Any guesses? No, okay.

Ah smoothies. Sweet, sweet smoothies! Everyones favourite snack (or meal!) in summer, from breakfast smoothies to afternoon snacks, berries to bananas, there's always a recipe that everyone can enjoy. Often I don't follow recipe's and just throw in complimentary fruits but with this one I decided to plan a little more so that I can share it for you guys to enjoy. The recipe is simple and easily manipulated to your taste, so have fun and play around with some substitute ingredients for what you don't like or have.
She's the one on the right, the other is me
Forgive this rather serious post, it's not something I'd usually post but as some of you may know, on the 6th August I became an Auntie for the first time! 

My nephew is called Alfie and was born fit and healthy at 12:06pm, weighing 8lbs 1oz. Usually, when I see this sort of information on Facebook or the likes, I'll scroll past and roll my eyes at it being another pregnant teen, however this time it was my younger sister.

We all got to meet him in the evening of his birth and held him for a while. They're both home now and I've been cooing over him so much. My sister Laura is 17 (only just...) and I remember going on a cold walk with her in winter, when we found out she was pregnant. We knew as well as anybody that this wasn't the best thing for her life. She's only young and was still in sixth form at the time, without any A-levels, re-sitting some GSCE's. She's so smart but suffers bad anxiety and had no means for a job in the future, so you can see where we're coming from with the 'not the best thing' attitude.

I've been nominated for this award by the lovely Izzy. She's one of my favourite bloggers so I'm flattered that she tagged me in this! As she said, blogger awards are awarded to bloggers by bloggers, so it's nice to be responsive and reply to these tags when they're given to you.

Rules of the award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link them in your post
2. Answer the ten questions you have been sent
3. Come up with 10 questions of your own
4. Spread the love and nominate up to 10 bloggers

These are the questions Izzy had for me:

We had a sunny Saturday this weekend so decided to take a family trip into the Lakes with Mylo to make the most of the beginning of a new month. We're so lucky to live where we do, with the Lake District on our doorstep (although it does mean it rains quite a bit here), and Grange-over-Sands is a quaint little town with some beautiful views on a sunny day.

Having a summer bucket list can be great for the days where you don't know what to do with yourself. Since leaving school for higher education, summer has lasted around 10 weeks each year! I've had a lot of time for exciting adventures. Last year my boyfriend and I made a bucket list (more me saying a million things I wanted to do and him telling me to write them down), and I've decided to do the same again albeit smaller.

Last year we hired out a rowing boat Lake Windermere in the early hours of the morning, took a visit to the aquarium and an expensive bar, went blackberry picking (and made an awesome crumble), made sushi together and got into the swing of creating our comic, 3 Parts Mad, among other things.

If somebody told you that you had to freedom to do whatever you wanted to make yourself happy being you, would you? As a girl growing up in a convicting society, I never felt all that comfortable in my own skin and from listening to friends, other bloggers, campaigns, girls (and guys, I'm not ruling you out!) I know that this isn't uncommon. Lately that's started to change for me and on a selfish whim I'd like to write about it, maybe inspiring others who still don't feel comfortable in themselves to realise that it's okay, and start to feel at ease. 

Stick a stamp on me, I'm officially a comic con approved nerd. If you didn't already know, my boyfriend (also writer) and I have been working on a comic for a good year or more now and were funded by Ideas Tap to print it and take it to conventions. On Saturday we took ourselves to Manchester to make connections and fangirl over real life superhero's.

The queue was like a parade and I'm pretty sure that the only costume I didn't see was a Nintendog. I'm gutted that I didn't dress up as I love any excuse to look a acceptably, explicably crazy for a day but I've been too busy to make a costume lately! Next year *shakes fist*. The irony of talking about Transformers in my last post and seeing real life Bumblebee from Transformers at Comic Con made me giggle more than it should have, and fangirl even more. We saw so many Harley Quinn's, old and new, a good few Jokers and I even got to rob a bank with the Joker's friends. Not really, but they were pretty cool.
We caught up with our favourite graphic-novelly friends, Twisted Dark, and Neil let us into an awesome secret which I won't disclose here (but you should definitely follow them to find out in due time) and met a load of cool artists and writers, so many that I actually can't remember the names of them all. All I know is that my macbook is now speckled with cool stickers and that I have more zines and comics to add to my collection! My favourite zine of the day and new discovery being from Childish Butt-Vomit who you can check out here.  We queued for a while to be drawn as a sloth by them but then were drawn in by the hilarious, crude comics, unforgettable!
With a tummy full of hotdog (I don't actually really like hotdogs) we touched swords (lol, samurai swords) and I fangirled over the mountains of Totoro merch that I couldn't afford. However I did purchase a few Kick-Ass comics, glossing over the crazy items that I might get for Josh for his birthday- watch this space sir. 
It was such a great day and I'm so glad we got the chance to attend! When we got home, I got dressed up and went to a friends 21st where we all shouted to Tenacious D songs and got acceptably, explicably drunk. What a day, eh? :)

Have you done anything or been anywhere awesome in the last week? Let me know if you're going to any of the comic con's this year or next and I'll meet up with you!
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Until this recipe, I was never a huge fan of scones. They were always too dry, too crumbly and never sweet enough for my never satisfied sweet-tooth. Then mum gave me this recipe made from only three ingredients.

All you need is some self raising flour, some lemonade (none of that diet lemonade stuff) and double cream. Don't worry, they don't taste lemony at all though it could be quite nice if they did! It takes about 10 minutes, if that, to throw all of the ingredients together and 10-15 for them to bake in the oven. I'm pretty convinced that our oven is a Transformer because of the horrific noises it makes when it's asked to do something but we'll let that one slide; if it was a Transformer, I'm sure it would've eaten these scones by now.

I'm sitting here on my bed in the morning writing this, giving myself 45 minutes before I start work for the day. At the moment, 'work for the day' is drawing up mandala's and vectors for one of those adult colouring books- and getting paid for it! My 9 year old self might say I'm living the dream. Which I am, minus the New York apartment and hefty bank account.
Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy right now and it's crazy that I'm doing this at the age of nineteen having not even finished my degree yet but, it's always been an almost equal dream of mine to be living it up in the big apple. Whether I could actually cope with that, I don't know!

I'm from the Lake District,  which I absolutely adore. Sometimes (and I know that this isn't true) it feels like I've grasped at every opportunity that it's offered me and I've ran out of places to go here, places to push myself. But I'm still a country kind of girl at heart, I learned that after moving to Preston city, instantly missing the fresh air and rolling hills that make me oh-so happy. You can see more about this here.
So why New York? Perhaps it was watching too many american Disney shows as a kid, perhaps it's from watching Breakfast at Tiffany's a million times or the incredible fantasy of the New York apartments that roll down my Pinterest feed over and over again.
My first tag! I was tagged by Helena's Teabreak a week or two ago in her 8 Photos of Happiness. It's taken me this long to choose just eight of them! I even got out the old hard drive and rooted through the photos on there but came to the conclusion that these more recent photos make me happiest, maybe just because the memories are still pretty solid in my mind.

The rules:
  • Thank your nominator/s and link them in your post.
  • Link the creator (Ariel’s little corner of the internet)
  • Post your 8 photos of happiness;
  • The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.
  •  Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!
  • Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers!

  1. Walking Langdale. This was taken at the top of a hill (I can't remember which!) that my mum, auntie, cousins, sisters and dogs hiked in May this year. I hiked it in heeled boots because I didn't know we we going on a walk, pretty proud of that feat! We visited a little lodge by a river that my auntie had rented out for a week and caught up with the whole family. Theres little more I love than feeling free and standing on top of a windy fell with the world below me is something that will always make me smile.
If you're reading this then chances are you've been through the grueling task of applying for uni through UCAS, been through the nerve-wracking interviews and in anyone going for an art courses case, weeks of portfolio arranging and rearranging.