By Shanice SSA Harrow teaching you a simple lasagne recipe which serves two people
Mince (same as spaghetti Bolognese)
6 Lasagne sheets
White sauce
  1. Make mince, boil sheets for 8-10 minutes and make white sauce (recipe below)
  2. Transfer sheets to bowl of cold water, drape them individually around bowl for a couple of minutes to cool down
  3. Put mince in dish, layer with 2 sheets, then a layer of sauce, repeat twice
  4. Put remainder of sauce on top layer and sprinkle with cheese (optional)
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden at 180 degrees
White sauce:
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of plain flour/sauce flour
100ml milk
Cheese (only include for mac cheese)
  1. Melt the butter and heat the milk separately so its hot not boiling, then add flour to the butter by whisking it in
  2. Pour in the milk bit by bit to the butter and flour, whisking it. Repeat the process until all the milk is finished
  3. Add seasoning and cheese, whisking
  4. Leave on low fire to cook out for 15-20 minutes
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Communication barriers: basic tips

by SSA Cavendish

Everyone would define communication in different ways. How would you define it? For me it’s the way you receive and impart information whether that’s face to face which will include verbal and non-verbal means and written communication such as emails, letters or instant messages.

We all know how crucial it is to present ourselves to others properly. On many occasions we may find ourselves lacking the ability to communicate due to barriers in place. So what are some of these barriers that arise?

Having a hard time expressing yourself: The words are not coming out and your brain has frozen. I have this problem when I’m on the phone to my gas company, bank or student finance. I have this mental block and I have no idea what to say. There was a time I used to answer consistently with ‘hello hi’ which caused my sister to laugh at me. So I always try to plan out exactly what I’m going to say and rehearse it a couple of times. As silly as that sounds it’s helped me immensely. In terms of speaking face to face with someone it may be a good idea to take a step back, pause and think about what you want to say next.

Not everyone will be as interested as you are: You can sense from the way the person is receiving the information that they just don’t care. So ask yourself do you need to spice up what you’re saying, because it’s boring, or is this an inconvenient time for the person? Think about where you work, some students work at call centres, as charity fundraisers and other positions where you need to sell your product to your customer. Their lack of interest shows in their rude responses or curt replies. How can you get around that?

They lack the knowledge: Imagine the passion you have for your degree and the knowledge you love to gain. Now imagine trying to explain difficult terms and concepts to a family member as if you were a human textbook? Or think about where you work and a customer walks in whose first language isn’t English? We meet people from all walks of life, so figure out who you’re dealing with and how you need to explain a concept to them.

Personality or behaviour: Imagine a person with an aggressive nature having a conversation with someone passive by nature? It could go like this, the aggressive person is a difficult person to be around, they’re rude abrupt and possibly even dictatorial. The passive person will either allow this to build up and never say a word or one day they may explode with hidden anger. Now, that causes more damage than good. Ask yourself how do you present yourself to people? Now these questions may seem harsh but ask yourself if you’ve ever been difficult on purpose and did you have to be that way? Perhaps you’ve seen yourself behave in a way is harsh to others. Don’t beat yourself up about it though because life is about changing and wanting to grow.

Comment with some other barriers to overcome

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Temporary stopping points of life

I cannot even begin to understand what you may be up against because our pain is not the same. However, we’re all up against something in life and if we choose to let it define us for the better then we’ve accumulated another one of life’s precious gems: heartfelt advice.

Just over a year ago I went through a traumatic experience and despite this I knew I had no choice but to keep on going. So I’m going to offer some generic advice for life which includes what I did to help me get through this difficulty. I also include what I could have done now I look back and contemplate.

You feel like you’ve hit a dead end. Or it’s a turning point and the roads so narrow that you’ve swerved. Or maybe you’ve been stuck in a pit for a long time and are struggling to get out.

1) Isolate to contemplate but not so you sink into despair. Living in a fast-paced environment means we don’t always get to have time to ourselves. Put aside five to ten minutes on a daily basis and empty yourself of any negativity. Perhaps you may even get that ‘light-bulb’ idea you were searching for.

2) Pour your heart out to a friend, family member or any support system you can find. The comfort came from the meaningful advice I was presented with or having someone listening to me. Sometimes, that’s all you want really, to have a listening ear. Or you may find yourself on the giving end where you don’t know how to comfort the person in need. Just be honest and simply say, ‘How can I help you? What would you like me to do?’

3) Isolation is good but staying cooped up in a dark room with no fresh air is not. Maybe try taking a long walk, put some loose change in your pocket, have your oyster card topped up with your phone fully charged and see where your feet take you. London is an amazing place to get lost in…but be careful where you go.

4) Keep yourself preoccupied with a list of things you want to accomplish, participating in University events and acquiring new hobbies when you have free time from assignments.

5) Don’t remain silent. If you’re having trouble and it may be affecting your mind-set then you need to tell someone. Whether it’s your lecture or University support systems, you don’t want to keep it to yourself and then regret it later on.

6) Take notice of life’s simple blessings whether it’s a healthy body, loving friends and family, or the gentle smile of a stranger. Being grateful for what we already have makes it easier to endure what comes our way.

What is the point in weeping when you have the chance to become mightier in your resilience? (That is an SSA Cavendish quote don’t you dare steal it 😀 )

This was adapted from the article I wrote for one of the early issues of the QH.

Impart your wisdom and comment below.

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Recharge your motivation

I went to that dark place as a student where no one wants to go but find themselves there and I want to supercharge myself out. What happened? Demotivated, procrastination and deep sighs to the maximum. We approach the end of semester one already. See how time flies? Assignments are overloaded so here are some of my tips that I am currently finding useful. Please do contribute below with your own. I’ve got my doodle to accompany the article and that actually boosted me for my assessment this Monday. I’m a Biomedical Student not an artist, so please don’t judge me my fellow students.

1)      Take the first step. Procrastinating wastes energy that could be used efficiently.

2)      Approach the problem hands on. If you’re having difficulty with getting the work done ask yourself why this is so. The problem won’t be solved if you ignore it or wrongly diagnose it.

3)      Find the right mind-set to overpower this. Mind-set beats skillset anyway because it’s your approach or view on life. If this is strong then you will find the skills to get the work done.

4)      Eat healthy and exercise.

5)      Talk to a person you trust and who will be able to offer you advise. Arrange a visit with the Academic learning support at University.

6)      Work with a friend who will boost your motivation levels

7)      Take a shower. It worked for me I felt refreshed and ready to start

8)      Find the best time for you to work.

9)      Take a step back and relax. Don’t overburden yourself, relieve your tensions.

Images taken for doodle



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Surviving an all-nighter or late nighter

By Shafina Khatun (SSA Cavendish)

Sorry for such an overdue update. It’s time for some quick blog updates and then back to my work. It’s that time of the semester where nothing exists but you, your computer and probably caffeine drinks. Let’s just be honest with ourselves, as much as we try and time manage, organise and prioritise days somewhere that goes out the window. Your days become a never ending cycle of (cue creepy horror music) *dan dan DAAN* LATE NIGHTERS. So if we’re going to have them, let’s do it W.E.S.T style.

Here are some tips to start off with without needing an excessive amount of energy drinks that has some belly-aching repercussions later on if you know what I mean.

*avoid sitting on something comfortable like your bed with your work perched out because you may fall asleep. Sit at your desk, in your bathtub on the floor but it has to be a place where you won’t sleep.

*every so often do some gentle stretches

*walk to the bathroom, splashing cold water and brushing teeth helps to waken you up and get rid of pongy breath.

*rather than red bull, tea or coffee try ice cold water or fruit juices. But ice cold!

*don’t attempt to stay awake through the whole night, have a small nap at some point and keep the alarm far away so you have to walk to get to it. (Unless you’re a flop like me who walks to my phone alarm, turns it off, then slumps straight back into bed…totally zonked)

What are your all-nighter tips?

Or the smart thing like a small percentage of rare students is to not have an all-nighter and work consistently throughout the year. *awkward silence*

Good luck with your assignments everyone, you’re nearly there with the semester and before you know it you’ll be snuggling in bed, in a world in which morning lectures don’t exist.

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Rugby dragon with ‘tashes’

By Shafina Khatun (SSA Cavendish)

This is another overdue article. Oh dear just terrible aren’t I?

Have you seen the Rugby team walking around the University with their moustaches growing and thought to yourself…hang on that wasn’t there before? If not then pop into Miriam Hanna’s SU pod there’s quite a few ‘tashes’ lurking around.

Westminster’s rugby team support Balls to Cancer which helps to support families and sufferers to cope with prostate cancer. For Movember month the team are growing their ‘tashes’ and aiming to raise £500 for the cause. They will be raising money throughout the year and your help is greatly appreciated.

So please, donate to the just giving page even if it’s just a fiver. It will go a long way. Show your support for the team by helping their cause

The Captain of the Rugby team is Morgan Rees who is in his final year studying Biomedical science. I must add he’s doing well with his moustache.

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Helping parents

By Shafina Khatun (SSA Cavendish)

My moment of preparing for Open Mic at Regents last Friday was emotional for me as I planned a small piece on family. I was realising how inactive I was and I will be honest with you a wakeup call to realising how unappreciative I can be of my mother and my late father. On the day of Open Mic I was practising to my friends, afterwards we sat down and devised ways that we could help them out. Here are some tips they provided which serve as a beneficial reminder, perhaps we could try out one or two tips and see where it leads us. Hope it helps.

*Tidy the house, putting away any mess before you leave for University. You could add in an extra fifteen minutes to your morning schedule.

*Make parents tea, give them small gifts and surprises every so often to show a token of appreciation.

*If you see something that needs to be done just do it. For example, laundrette is piling up, or there’s a dish overload in the sink then get rid of it.

*Once a week vacuum the house

*Eat and cook dinner together with the family.

What tips and advice do you have? Please comment below. We often forget the most important people in our lives who have loved and cared for us so much that they deserve the hugest amount of gratitude.


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