I’m Evelyn Robinson, 21, studying International English and History at the University of Leeds, UK.
My number one passion in life is writing- closely followed by an insatiable thirst to travel. Other interests include playing netball, biking, hiking, rock-climbing and anything that keeps me active in the great outdoors. I also enjoy the occasional glass of white wine, big curry nights and listening to James Blake, Alt J or the XX. Can most likely be found bashing out another blog on my poor old laptop while drinking Yorkshire Tea in an oversized shirt.
Following my study abroad year in South Carolina I tend to think of myself as a Trans-atlantic hybrid of a student who likes country music and the Southern drawl just as much as the Arctic Monkeys and British sarcasm.
I am a proud feminist because I believe that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.
I’m a well-established student blogger since September 2012, with over 1,400 followers. Highlights include being voted by Cision as the UK’s number 1 student lifestyle blogger and as South Carolina’s Best Student Columnist 2013 by the SC Press Association. Other arm-pinching, dream-come-true moments have been writing blogs for The Guardian Students and being re-tweeted by Yorkshire Tea. Okay, maybe the last one wasn’t a lifelong dream, but it was pretty cool.
For the past year I have been based in Columbia, South Carolina on my exchange year studying abroad. During my time at the University of South Carolina I was a Viewpoints Columnist for the student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock. My articles- all of which can be found on my blog- draw upon global differences in society, politics and university life.
The university also published my independently-sourced feature article about women’s self-defense classes on their website, and I wrote frequently for Garnet and Black Magazine, A World Apart, Leeds University Union English Society and recently, an articles for Verge Magazine and Trek America.
Other achievements include trying my hand at public speaking by opening USC’s annual MOSAIC symposium, a conference that encourages underprivileged and minority students to seize global learning opportunities. I delivered a 15-minute speech explaining how studying abroad has helped me to become more employable, professionally and personally. As a Thinking Globally Ambassador, I delivered presentations about England to American middle school and university students to audiences as large as 160 pupils. I also gained a first place prize at USC’s annual undergraduate showcase, Discovery Day, for my 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges in which I recounted my journey as a writer, a columnist and a feminist.
For more about all things USA, visit the ‘Student Life in South Carolina’ tab on the right hand side of my main page.
Journalistic achievements back in England include completing editorial work experience placements at the Southport Visiter, the Southport Champion and the Liverpool Echo & Liverpool Daily Post.
At KGV College, Southport, I represented a student body of 1,500 students, chairing fortnightly meetings of 20 members of students and staff alongside studying for my A Levels. Highlights include managing my own election campaign and organising the college’s first end of year prom in seven years. #voteeveie
I played goal defence for Leeds History Society netball team and have been a member of Southport Netball Club for six years. I also had the privilege of playing for the first team at Leeds University Union Korfball Club in the 2012-2013 season.
From age 7 I played the violin, and was a member of the Southport String Ensemble for ten years including progression to solo violinist. I earned my grade 5 music theory certificate and grade 7 practical examination by the age of 17.
My blog is inspired by the Costa-Rican phrase ‘pura vida’, which means ‘pure life’. Travelling in South America 2 years ago, I discovered that the phrase is often used beyond the bounds of its literal translation to mean ‘relax, everything will be fine’. On return to the UK I started puravidastudent with this in mind. No matter what happens in this inconstant and unpredictable student life, everything really will work out in the end.
The main thrust of my blog muses upon student life in Leeds and beyond, covering the most typical aspects of student life from drinking and partying, to the more testing aspects of academia and struggles found along the way.
Comments and feedback are very much appreciated.
Pura vida, enjoy!
Hey Eveie! Didn’t realise your blog was on wordpress, moi aussi…http://theoldcuriositybookshop.wordpress.com/. (It needs a bit of work though :/ )
Looking forward to next dose of Pura Vida!
Eveie, don’t forget you are 21! Did you get our card? Aunty A and Uncle L
Thanks Aunty A and Uncle L! I will change that now! I haven’t checked my post for a week (I have to go to my student union postbox) because I’ve been struck down with a bad case of the flu and haven’t left the flat, but will be checking it this weekend! Thanks so much :)
Hi! I’m a prospective student looking to study history at Leeds this coming September, I would like to say your blog has really helped me out with gaining insight and looking at the kind of things studying does to your prospects. I’d love to study abroad for a year (its my dream to travel and to do so whilst studying something I’m so passionate about would be the best thing I could ever do!). I love your blog. :-)
Hi Nicole! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my blog- and especially that it’s been helpful! Studying abroad was the best year of my life and it’s all thanks to Leeds. Leeds History Society (@LeedsHistorySoc) is also incredible, it keeps growing every year with a whole range of events offers trips and socials throughout the academic year, which has been the cherry on top of my decision to study history at Leeds. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions- I could talk about Leeds, history and the study abroad experience all day! Thanks again :)
Thank you so much, it’s been a pleasure corresponding with you. I’ve got to get AAA to be accepted onto the course which is obviously a high grade boundary, so I’ve been biting my nails since doing my last exam. I’m specifically interested in Tudor history, and was wondering about how flexible the course actually is? In an ideal world I’d be going on to do a masters and hopefully a PHD in Tudor History.
In regards to studying abroad, does it cost more money? I’m in that unfortunate situation where I don’t classify to have maximum financial support, but my parents don’t earn enough to support me once I leave.
I apologise for being so persistent, but I have had my heart set on Leeds for as long as I’ve decided to go to university!
Again, thank you so much. :)
No problem it’s my pleasure! As I’m a joint honours student my studies are split equally between English and History, and I’ve never studied the tudors, but tweet your question to @LeedsHistorySoc and @comingtoleeds and I’m sure they will reply. Alternatively, find Leeds University History Society on Facebook as people post questions on there all the time, from what modules to take to selling books. But from my perspective I have always been happy with the varied range of modules available to study at Leeds, and that’s the primary reason I chose to study there. There’s also a third-year dissertation, module called ‘The Tudor Discovery of Russia’ which might interest you.
You do get the same student loan that you get in England to study abroad, but yes it does cost more money. If you stick to English speaking universities in European countries you can go with the ERASMUS scheme which gives much more funding than worldwide destinations. If you plan ahead you can also apply for loads of different scholarships!! :)
Let me know how everything goes! If you could share my blog on twitter and/or facebook that would be great, thanks!
Thank you that helps so much. I did English Language at A-Level and although I’m studying History it was my best subject – I heard that you have to take an additional course in your first year, is this true? If so I would preferably chose English. Even though I took language my love for history is shared equally with a love for books.
I’d gladly share your blog on twitter, however I don’t have facebook! Is it worth getting in regards to communication with other prospective students and possible flatmates?
I’m not sure about the extra course! There was a ‘Studying and Researching English’ one that we had to take but it was only 5 extra credits and was all done through answering questions online, it was super easy!
Thanks I’d love it if you could share my blog! And yes I would 100% get Facebook to stay in touch with all things leeds and History! I found my flatmates on Facebook before first year!
Ah then someone, somewhere is trying to make us more worried for university! Must have been a false rumour.
I’ve shared it on my twitter feed, although I haven’t that many followers. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me!