A New Adventure in Canada

Hey guys,

I know it has been awhile since I last posted, however as many of you know, I am in Canada for a semester abroad at Brock University in St. Catherine’s. I left Scotland on January 2nd and it definitely has been a busy few weeks. I am studying Tourism Studies instead of Events Management and I am enjoying the change of direction this course is taking.

I live in a village residence with three other flatmates, one of which is my best friend from back home. I absolutely love living by myself, i.e. without my family; it gives me a certain freedom, that I did not have back home. I enjoy cooking food, having friends over and having the ability to do things without someone constantly asking me what, where, when and with who?

I am thankful that my best friend, Cathy is also on the exchange because it has made the transition easier. It’s always nice to see a familiar face, especially when you are on the other side of the world.

I have made several new international friends who I met on an trip to Niagara Falls. They are from all over the world, like Germany, America, Sweden, England and the Netherlands. It is really nice to meet people who have the same interest as you, so I am excited to see what this semester brings.

I’ll be doing weekly blogs and will be posting every Wednesday. So stay tuned for more!



That Time of Year Again…

Hey guys,

So unfortunately, it’s that time of year again where university assignments are due and students are revising for exams. However, I have no exams this semester, though that doesn’t mean it is any less stressful. Writing essays can be exhausting and finding references that are actually related to your topic can be demanding. Here are my top 10 tips on how to cope with the stress of assignment and examss:


  1. Manage your time effectively
    1. Start early… you have probably heard this a lot but it does work. If you get assignments done early, you are that much closer to enjoying your summer. If that isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is!
  2. Avoid drinking cups of coffee and tea
    1. Caffeine is a stimulant that ultimately increases your level of stress rather than decrease it. I know that if I start drinking cups of coffee to keep me awake, I usually get migraines, which doesn’t help me be productive in any way, shape or form!
  3. Take a walk
    1. Getting fresh air boosts the brain power and memory retention which in turn aids your revision for exams and helps you be more productive when doing your assignments.
  4. Eat dark chocolate
    1. You may not like it, but dark chocolate contains over 70% cocoa which fights the stress hormone called cortisol.
  5. Break free from distractions
    1. If you are going to set a specific amount of time to do your assignments, make sure there aren’t any distractions! Put your phone away and concentrate on getting the work done, then you can allow yourself to go on your phone! It really does enable you to be more productive!
  6. Try studying with someone else
    1. I know revision can be boring but maybe if you have a study buddy, it’ll help you do more work. Go to the library with someone and you might find comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only one being forced to revise for these exams!
  7. Get some sleep
    1. Don’t stay up till 3am watching movies or seasons of tv programs on Netflix because that will just make you more tired the next day!
  8. Listen to music if you can’t study in silence
    1. I know some people cannot listen to music when they are studying, I am one of those people but I know some of my friends find it impossible to study in absolute silence. So, put your headphones in and head to the library or stay at home and blast some music.
  9. Play with your pet (if you have one or knows someone that does)
    1. Spending time with your pet increases the stress reducing hormone oxytocin so if you have a pet, go for a walk or let them run around in your garden! You get fresh air, a chance to take a break and spend time with your pet!
  10. Spend time with your friends
    1. Whether you admit it or not, you cannot stay cooped up in your room or library every single day. You need to see your friends as that will help put things in perspective and help you relax. You don’t have to feel guilty for it because you’ve earned it!


I hope this helps and these are things that I do myself when it comes to assignments and revision! Just know that after your last exam, that’s you done till September and you can enjoy Summer without a worry on your head!


“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” – John Wooden

50s Rock ‘n’ Roll Night

At Queen Margaret University, if you are studying Events Management, you get to plan your own event in second year. In the first semester, you and your group have to do a video presentation to pitch your idea to the professors. If your idea is feasible and viable then your pitch will progress further which means you will get to plan your event in second semester. Our team was called Unorthodox Events and our idea was a 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll Night!

As you are working in a group, there will be several disagreements however, the point of the exercise is to learn how to work in a group, how to effectively communicate and how to plan a successful event. As we always get told in class, as an employee in your future career you may need to work with someone who you do not get along with but you just have to get on with it and do the work effectively and efficiently.

Unorthodox Events chose to donate all our proceedings to the charity St. Columba’s Hospice.  St. Columba’s Hospice is a charity that works with patients and families of find out what matters the most to those who are close to their death. In essence, they help patients live out their last wishes and they provide care and support to not just the patient but the patients families as well all free of charge. They want to make the end days, weeks or months worth remembering for all those suffering not just physically but mentally as well. At our event, we were lucky enough to have Louise Stirton who is the Senior Fundraising Manager come and deliver a speech about the Hospice.



Our event was held at the Musselburgh Ravelston House Hotel which is situated about 10 minutes away from our university. Getting in touch with the venue was very difficult. However, they answered all our questions regarding the venue and the requirements that were needed. We picked this venue, for a few reasons: one it was very affordable, two it suited our theme better than other choices and three it suited our capacity, so the venue was not too big or too small.

17800243_1265852850200277_4230457479231288700_n.jpg         17795821_1265848643534031_8994545225110258511_n.jpg

17814277_1265853060200256_466555386296690370_o.jpg          17758550_1265850580200504_7947817140917972102_o.jpg


Entertainment wise, several members of our team members managed to find an Elvis Impersonator and then we found out that Elvis came with a friend called Ziggy! We also managed to find a DJ which was fantastic! My friend Mattia also volunteered to do make up on the night – you can find her on Facebook @Makeupbymattia. We also had temporary tattoos being done and had a Photo Booth! There was also an auction and a raffle! Overall, we had a lot of activities going on and according to the feedback, that was really good as people had lots of things they could choose to do!

17620239_1265851540200408_2629312507116494129_o.jpg          17814227_1265849390200623_504693633747699211_o.jpg

17553547_1265851160200446_4261045962743745757_n-1.jpg          17799014_1265850996867129_1583766832701755163_n.jpg

17800487_1265698500215712_7796246543408677261_n.jpg         17796172_1265854320200130_6666508323455446102_n.jpg


We had 50s themed sweets on the table as well as crisps and popcorn in jars which we used as table decor! One of our team members made 100 cupcakes for the night and we had burgers and fries brought out onto the buffet table. We also had sausages and cheese on cocktail sticks!

17798957_1265851950200367_6019292050931504771_n-1.jpg          17760011_1265850210200541_4689060998184668424_n-1.jpg


We could not have had a successful night without the help of our sponsors! Thank you to everyone who either sponsored us in money value or in vouchers and equipment! We really appreciated it! We raised over £1000 on the night which includes the money from the auction, raffle tickets and ticket sales!

17634347_1265850076867221_1410421520146618163_n.jpg         Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 16.48.57.png


“Unity is strength when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!” – Mattie Stepanek

Meeting with David Zolkwer – Creative Director at Jack Morton Worldwide

David was a very down to earth man and the way he passionately spoke about his work on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, showed us that he really puts his heart and soul into his work. He works as a creative director for Jack Morton Worldwide and has worked on several Commonwealth Games ceremonies and other major projects.

He told us how he and his team successfully planned the 2014 Games:

  1. He kept emphasising how important collaboration was. Working with others to achieve shared goals.
  2. He wanted to create, inspiring, spectacular theatre for live broadcasts and performances.
  3. He wanted to create moments of drama and spectacle to entertain audiences.
  4. He wanted to celebrate the uniqueness of the time and the place, to offer distinction.
  5. He wanted to engage with the communities; by having them participate in the show. The ceremony had so many participants, of all race, gender and age.
  6. He wanted to create enduring memories.
  7. He wanted to capture and convey Glasgow’s unique story.
  8. He wanted to leave behind a a meaningful legacy.
  9. He wanted to create each program, that was unique in its own way.


  • Skills, talents and experience were the core qualities when choosing staff
  • Everyone can give new ideas in the early stages of production


  • Personality was very important
    • They had to work together as a group
  • Diversity was also important

Celebrity Endorsements:

  • Celebrities were part of the ceremony but they weren’t the stars
  • They were integrated into the performance and embraced the experience


He said something and it really stuck with me.

“Failures usually come up with something better!”

For the actual ceremony, David wanted something to represent the progressing technology in the world, so he got Eric Whitacre to make a virtual choir, which involved over 3000 people being a part of the video.

In the program there had to be an allocated time for Unicef; he said it was quite hard to find a time to play the video as Unicef is not fun and entertaining. So he had an idea to bring out athletes from each region and introduce a film sequence, which showed the audience inspiring stories. Each region had a celebrity, and each celebrity had a Glaswegian partner to relate it to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.

David said that the spirit created at the 2014 Games couldn’t have happened without the collaborations. He did say collaborating was hard, especially when everyone has their own opinions but it is completely worth it in the end.

Tips and Advice From David Zolkwer:

  1. Ego is toxic to collaboration
  2. For it to thrive, you need a safe, non-judgemental team culture
  3. All ideas and opinions are welcome
  4. Listen
  5. A clear vision. A shared vision
  6. Trust
  7. Courage
  8. Team Players – good people


“You want right ideas not just good ideas.” – David Zolkwer

I hope this advice from David Zolkwer helped you, as it did for me.



Student Life vs. Working Life

Sorry guys about the long break, the workload for uni got very heavy hence the hiatus.

I can’t believe it has been five months since the last post. Time has been flying by the last couple of months. So as you know, I am a student and I also have a part time job, like many students out there. The Guardian did a survey and found that 59% of students have a job during term time. Some may work to spend money on socialising, food, rent or save. However, working doesn’t just have to be about money but it can be about gaining experience in your chosen career path, which will also help employment prospects.

Even though I am studying events management, I currently work in retail, that being said I am trying to find a new job closer to my course. After working in retail for a year, I know it is not for me and that’s ok, everyone has their own likes and dislikes. As I still live at home, money isn’t a priority for me right now but the experience I gain from a job is. In the events industry, “experience is vital” as my Professor says.

I am not going to lie, it is difficult working and studying at the same time as well as spending time with your friends and family. It can be hard to balance everything but I guess you just learn how to handle it. However, it is hard when your friends plan to do something but you have to work or have too much course work to do. But my friends are all considerate of the fact that I work as most of them work as well so it is that much harder trying to find a time that suits us all!

For me studying and working is very important, however, it is also important to give yourself a break. You are not going to be as productive if you feel tired all the time. So save yourself the energy by taking a break when you need it. No one will judge you for taking care of yourself.


“It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” – C.S. Lewis



Welcome to my Blog, my name is Raakshaana and I have decided to start this journey of blogging. The reason why I decided to start blogging was because I wanted to share my experiences with you.

I am a university student based in Edinburgh studying Events Management. This is my first year of University so it has been easy going so far but I know it will get harder. University was always what I was going to do after high school but it’s not for everyone. Parent’s might ask what are you going to do after school? What are you going to do without a degree? How will you get a job?  But it is not always about what everyone else is doing. It is about what is right for you. You may not be ready for university or you may not know what you want to study in higher education or you may feel it is not the path for you. You have so many other options and you might not even know it. You could choose to go on a gap year, get a job, get work experience, volunteer for a good cause, go to college or you could do an apprenticeship. Your life is not about what others are doing, it’s about what you want to do.

“A lion never loses sleep, over the opinion of sheep” – Anonymous