Lifestyle

Meet the Lifestyle Team (Part Two): Six Things We Can’t Live Without

Images: Riana Modi, Fariha Uddin, Gloria Morey, Amelie Bhaluani

In which the other half of the Lifestyle Team reveal Six Things They Can’t Live Without. As before, we’ve limited ourselves to the six items which are essential to helping us get through our day.

Riana – Travel Editor

Glasses

Sad but true! I am really short-sighted and basically need my glasses to see beyond the end of my nose, and wear them absolutely everywhere (even in the shower). My current glasses are from Ace and Tate who have a branch in Oxford and are particularly cool because all their frames and lenses are the same price.

 

Speaker

My Wonderboom speaker was an impulse buy because it was on sale at the start of the academic year but now gets daily use. It’s made a massive difference to the way I work (not having to have my headphones constantly glued to my head while revising / in essay crisis mode). It’s also waterproof, which has proved good for listening to podcasts in the shower and summer punting trips.

Camera and Photos (phone or DSLR)

I’ve always loved taking photos, and I like to have a camera of some kind on me at all times. I love being able to capture a moment straight away, and have been enjoying my first attempt at the ‘one second a day’ video diary this year. My photo taking addiction is not helped by my inability to delete photos (‘what if I need this blurry photo of the floor?’) which means I currently have around 25,000 photos on my phone and a box of full SD cards.

Tea

Preferably lots of different kinds. I love mixing it up and will happily drink anything from black tea with no milk to fruity herbal teas. I don’t often drink other caffeinated drinks, so black or green tea is my main source of a much-needed caffeine kick. There’s also something incredibly comforting about always having a warm mug to hand – bonus points for an Emma Bridgewater mug, which I’m convinced feel the nicest to hold.

Cheese

I love cheese. I’ve been compared to a mouse on multiple occasions and received a surprising amount of cheese for my last birthday. I get cheddar cravings while late night essay-crisising and my flatmate has more than once stumbled out of bed to find me eating a mini bar of cheddar cheese in the kitchen at 1am.

Hair ties

Hair bobbles, scrunchies, ponies, hairbands – whatever you call them, I’m constantly looking for them. I will never understand their endless ability to vanish when I most need them. I quite like having my hair down on occasion but find it almost impossible to think straight with it like that.

Gloria – Health and Wellbeing Editor

A notebook (and obviously a pen…)

I write everything down. Any quick thought that pops up in my mind, so I don’t forget it later. A reminder of something I need to do, or a time and date I’ve planned something for (I should really get a proper diary…). I also really like to write out my thought processes around big decisions. There’s something therapeutic about writing out your thoughts in a stream of consciousness. That, or I can always fill pages with small doodles, if I’m really bored.

Headphones

Wherever I go, I am usually listening to music. My phone is kind of automatically included in this list (and probably would be in everybody’s “6 things”), but wherever I take my phone I also take my headphones, so that when I have to walk somewhere or find myself aimlessly wandering, I can listen to something along the way.

Aurora’s discography

On that note, I would say music in general is something I can’t live without, but Aurora’s music stands out in particular. I know all her music inside out; she has a song for just about every mood. During the 5 years I’ve used Spotify, she has emerged as my top all-time artist, so that’s got to count for something.

Earrings

Earrings have become a part of my style and I love to wear them to bring my look together, or to jazz up a lacklustre outfit that I threw on at the last minute. Some of my favourites include: green tortoiseshell hoops, dangly silver eyes (which I’m wearing right now), and some wire geometric shapes (which are too abstract for me to Google the name of).

Water Bottle

I always take a bottle of water with me, pretty much wherever I go. My pink bottle means I don’t have to buy a plastic one. Particularly important in the summer months!

Pasta

I’m that person who is obsessed with pasta. If I could eat it for every meal, I would. (I suppose there’s nothing stopping me, except for keeping my diet balanced…) Of course, I have a huge bias towards my mum’s various homemade pasta dishes, but really I will fall in love with any kind of (vegetarian) pasta.

Fariha – Work and Study Editor

AirPods

Life-changing. I used to spend a lot of my time untangling my wired earphones but not anymore. Music helps me get through the mundane tasks of the day and AirPods are great for that. They are also a good accessory for studying if you are like me and cannot get through an essay without a good Spotify playlist.

Xbox One S

If only my university room allowed a gaming console, I would have packed up my Xbox without a doubt. There is nothing more I miss in 8th week than my Xbox and moving back home for the vacation always ends up in a gaming marathon. I enjoy all kinds of genres but if you were to ask what games I play, they would include Fortnite (I know, embarrassing), The Sims, Forza Horizon, and DiRT.

Water Bottle

My emerald-green water bottle has been with me for five years now. You could even call it my “emotional support water bottle”. I have sat every exam since 2016 with it by my side. Everyone needs one – trust me. 

Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal

My dotted A5 pink bullet journal is where I write everything down and I do mean everything. If you cannot commit to a weekly planner for more than two weeks, a bullet journal is the solution. I would be very lost without it. 

My copy of Robert Frost’s poetry

There is something very special about Frostian poems that I just cannot explain with words, and I will leave it there. 

Glasses

This should have been at the top of the list but here we are. I have a pretty bad eyesight, but you will seldom catch me wearing my glasses in Zoom meetings. Why? Unfortunately, they are not anti-glare. But without my glasses, I would have a hard time doing most things. 

Amelie – Food Editor

My Doc Martens 

The best shoes I own. Comfortable, sturdy and stylish. I also love how they sell a wide range of styles and patterns now, so one can even wear Doc Marten sandals in the summer. They are the kind of shoe that I think is worth the steeper price, which I can’t say for most high-end trainers and the like. I do also own a pair of knock-offs just because they were much cheaper, but am saving up for my second pair of chunky-soled Docs.

Plant-based milk and cheese

The best thing since sliced bread… maybe. I must admit that vegan products are often hit-or-miss, but vegan cheese and oat milk have been my saving graces since I found out I was allergic. The ‘Applewood smoked vegan block’ has brought an end to the days of misery eating cheeseless pasta and bland toasties. I’ve tried most plant-based milks too and (like basically everyone nowadays) think that oat is the way to go!

My Airpods / any brand of wireless headphones 

Something I made fun of when they were first being sold. I thought they were overpriced stupid gadgets that would never stay in my ears. However, I genuinely don’t think I could return to the days of wired headphones. My Airpods have saved me from the constant knotted and tangled mess I faced everyday, and I can confirm that they do stay in my ears surprisingly well.

The theatre 

The chances that I will be found here during the holidays are very high. There is nothing I love more than seeing a play or musical and forgetting about the world for a couple of hours. Nothing compares to the feeling of hearing the overture and the butterflies you get in your stomach as the curtain rises. My favourite type of trip to London is one to the theatre; I could spend every day and night in the West End and never get bored. 

Wasabi 

My go-to takeaway will almost always be Japanese or Thai food – and Wasabi has been my favourite for years. Their recent vegan options are excellent – my go-to is the pumpkin katsu curry which is just divine. However, all of their dishes are absolutely delicious and, in my opinion, reasonably priced.

Rock music

Specifically classic rock from the 70s and 80s. I know a lot of people love listening to classical music while they study, and I sometimes do pump up the Vivaldi when writing an essay. However, nothing can compare to the joy of AC/DC or Iron Maiden or Queen, or any of the rock gods, up to full volume! Especially good for me when feeling like I need to pick up the pace. 

That’s all for now, but there’s plenty more coming in the Lifestyle section over the next few months. We hope you’ll enjoy reading it!

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Joseph Geldman (he/him) is the Senior Lifestyle Editor for The Oxford Blue. He is an MSt student in Romantic-period English literature at St Cross and previously studied English at Wadham. He pretends to like coffee more than he actually does.