A photo of my driving certificate came up on my Timehop this week, marking two years since my test. I passed second time around and actually haven't driven a car since... I know, it's pretty bad but it's totally been my choice, and not without a lack of opportunities. Following that, it's probably unsurprising that I didn't particularly enjoy my driving lessons (read: I despised them) but all I knew is I wanted to finish them and have a full driving licence to my name. I tried to have a lesson a week and just get it done and dusted. 

Which leads me to Tip 1: Book your theory as soon as possible. It's a good way to force yourself to get revising the rules of the road and have a bit of background knowledge about what is going on. Yep, some of the questions seem really obscure. Yep, they can actually ask you about sheep in the theory test. But getting your theory out of the way early gives you plenty of time to get ready and book your practical test. 

Tip 2: Check the waiting list for your nearest test centre. I'm not sure if this is the case everywhere, but when I was learning to drive the waiting list for a test was 3 months... This obviously meant I had to book my test in waaaay before I thought I was ready to take it so that I didn't have to wait another 3 months when I felt comfortable to take the test.

Tip 3: If you're unhappy with your instructor, change!! This is something I should have done, but for some stupid reason I chose not to. It's very easy to get the vibe of someone, and if you don't get the impression that they are the right person to teach you to drive, find another instructor!! Similarly, if they keep double booking you, cancelling lessons and messing you around, find another instructor!! It's not awkward and there will be plenty of other instructors looking for people to teach. 

Tip 4: Pretend to yourself you know what the hell you are doing. It's all about confidence, isn't it? If you act like you know what you are doing, the chances are you do know what you are doing. The second you start hesitating and worrying things sh*t starts to hit the fan. So, when coming up to that huge multi-lane roundabout, instead of sweating like a Brit in the Algarve, change gear, find the right lane and play it cool. 

Tip 5: Go out and practice between your lessons. If you have your own car, fab, just get learner insurance, whack some L plates on it and find someone older than you who's held a licence for a while to sit in the car with you. If not, do what I did and put yourself on your parent's insurance, and try not to write off their nice car. No, but seriously, going out driving in my mum's car was really beneficial for both my confidence and general road knowledge as I got to drive to places I hadn't yet been, and had to get used to being let loose on the road without my instructor for guidance.

Tip 6: Don't compare yourself to your friends. If you, everyone, and their cousin's neighbour is learning to drive at the same time it can very quickly turn into a competition as to who passes first, does this first, does that first etc... Don't get caught up in it, just do what you can do. There's no point comparing yourself to Petrolhead Peter who's been breathing exhaust fumes and polishing wheels since he was 3, go at your own pace.
the realities of student living from a second year psychology student
Living with my best friends is single-handedly the best thing about University. I was extremely fortunate in my first year to be put in a flat with a bunch of people who are now my closest friends. We literally do everything together, all the time, and I absolutely love it. Also, before we start. if you're interested, you can see my student room tours here and here.

That being said, student housing itself is not quite so much of a good experience. Don't get me wrong, my halls last year were absolutely incredible, it was like living in a fancy hotel/apartment suite for a year, and I had no complaints to make about any of it. Fast forward to this year, our first year in a privately rented student house, and things aren't quite so idyllic. 

Firstly, student housing is cold. There's no getting around it. It's not very well insulated, and the houses on the whole aren't very well looked after either. Oh, and bills now make up a part of your monthly budget, so unlike in halls where they were included, we all tend to be fairly wary not to have it on too much.. But, with a cold house comes damp and mould - two things my room is full of. Yummy, right? 

Where I live, the majority of student housing is terraced housing on quite a few really long roads. Now, this is great because it means all your friends live in pretty close proximity, and going out and getting taxis home is an absolute doddle. It's not so great when all the walls are really thin and you can hear next door having a lit party as you're trying to sleep before an exam the next day. Student houses are noisy

As much as you and your housemates try and keep on top of the house, and try to keep it clean, it's impossible for it to ever be spotless. There's always washing up to be done and rubbish to be taken out, despite trying to keep on top of it. Have you just spent an hour cleaning the kitchen? Ah well, give it five minutes and there'll be a whole load of new mess to clean up. 

But, for me, the worst part of living in a student house is the pests. At the beginning of the year we had company in the form of rats, and the newest addition to our house is slugs. Lovely isn't it. 

Yeah, so I know this post hasn't particularly sold the whole university lifestyle, but it's genuinely been the best time of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way... After writing all this it would only be fair to offer you some tips on how to choose the perfect student house, you're welcome. 

So I might not be turning 21 for a while, just over a year to be exact, but for today's post I thought I'd compile a list of things I'd like to complete before my 21st birthday. Some of them are infinitely more realistic than others, but I thought this would be a fun list to compile, and I'm really intrigued to see how many I manage

- Run a 10k
- Visit 5 more countries
- Get (and sustain) some abs
- Develop a personal style
- Ride in a helicopter
- Throw a huge uni house party
- Do more volunteering
- Get good at public speaking
- Run a Parkrun in under 22 minutes
- Drive for the first time since my test
- Learn more than just GCSE Spanish
- Become more politically aware
- Spend a week without social media
- Find a new hobby
- Get a tattoo
- Visit all my home pals at their unis
- Reach 1000 Bloglovin followers
- Visit New York
- Talk my parents into getting us a puppy
- Climb a mountain
- Raise £100 for charity

I mentioned in my Tips for Solo Travelling post (which you can read here) that last summer I ventured to Cambodia to spend a month there travelling on my own. It was incredible. Rather than write one massive post on my experiences, I thought I'd post about each of the places I went, alongside photos, reviews and recommendations... Seeing as it is the capital of Cambodia, and where I flew in to (and out from), it seemed only right to start with Phnom Penh. 

The traffic is by far one of the first things I noticed - it's hectic. With few rules, and the majority of people on motorbikes, weaving in and out of the traffic, it's certainly not somewhere I could drive. Most streets have people selling goods and cooking food, and children running around and playing. The locals I met whilst in Phnom Penh, and Cambodia more generally, were honestly some of the nicest people I've ever met. 

I volunteered at a restaurant for street children, and the kids were such angels. They were kind, polite and honest, and were extremely happy despite their awful circumstances. I visited a couple of the slums where some of them lived, it was surreal. It didn't seem fair that these happy, intelligent, loving children could live in sewage, with fewer belongings to their name than there are days in a week. Whilst at the slum, one lady asked me to take her newborn baby back to the UK with me, despite having never seen me before or knowing anything about me, which was tough and really put things in perspective.

Before we left our placement, a group of other volunteers and I bought a load of clothes for all the children at the restaurant, and they absolutely loved them. If you're ever out there and want to help, other than just donating money, buy clothes for the children, they were extremely grateful.

On my first full day in Phnom Penh I visited Tuol Sleng, an old high school turned mass genocide prison by Pol Pot. It was code-named 'S-21' and up to 30,000 prisoners were held there, many of whom tortured to death. It was not an easy first day, but extremely important to see and hear about, to fully understand the devastation that has happened to this beautiful country. It is definitely worth a visit, a must do.  

Later on in my trip I visited Choeung Ek, otherwise known as the Killing Fields. This is the location of one of the mass graves for the victims of the Khmer Rouge. They estimate that at least one million people; both Cambodian and not, were killed here. You walk around the grounds with headphones listening to the inhumane things that happened there and some of the history, but all I found myself doing was questioning how it was ever allowed to happen and why no one stopped it for so long. 

On a happier note, I also visited the National Museum of Cambodia. This was full of lots of Khmer art and sculptures, and showcased a lot of the country's other history. It has a beautiful courtyard in the centre, which is a lovely to place to sit in out in the sun. 

The Central Market is in all the guidebooks as a must-see, but I'm not sure I entirely agree. There are lots of markets in and around Phnom Penh, and the Central one tends to sell the same things only at a higher price due to it being a tourist hotspot. Thus, whilst exploring a market is a must do, I'm not sure it needs to be the Central Market.

One place I would highly recommend going is Friends n Stuff. It's a restaurant and nail bar, whereby the staff are all former streetchildren who have been trained by the organisation. The food in the restaurant was delicious and the pedicure I had at the nail bar was the most thorough and professional job, the nail polish lasted the duration of my trip and beyond. 

A couple of other places to mention; Bassac Lane which us a street filled with beautiful bars, and the AEON Mall, which is a huge mall full of all sorts of shops including a Costa, Dominos and Pandora. None of which I expected to see, so it was a nice surprise to have a taste of home away from home. 

So, there we have it, a roundup of my time in Phnom Penh. If you are visiting Cambodia then you definitely need to schedule a few days in to get the most out of Phnom Penh, and all it's important history.

With Pancake Day around the corner (Tuesday 13th if you were wondering) I thought it was the perfect time to share this recipe. It's not difficult in the slightest, and also doesn't take long to do at all, but the outcome is absolutely delicious.

The batter is made of three ingredients;
- a banana
- 2 eggs
- a tablespoon of flour

(I know lots of recipes for these don't have flour in, but I think it really helps with the texture, and stops it being so much of a banana omelette)

All this recipe requires you to do is mash the banana, stir in the other ingredients and cook them... It's so super easy. Now, if you're not a massive fan of bananas then this perhaps isn't the best recipe for you. Whilst they are delicious, and do look like pancakes, they're not quite like the real thing, and you can most certainly taste the banana.

I tend to top mine with fruit, yogurt and/or ice-cream... They're so easy to make, good for you and taste pretty fab too