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!