IH Blog Recommends: 5 Hidden Picnic Spots in the City this Spring

By Nikol Stoykova

With spring break coming to an end and the dreadful period of end of year exams quickly approaching, it can all get a little too much a little too quickly. A quiet one-day escape from the madness of the city might be exactly the right motivation booster and de-stressor that we all need to fuel our brain and productivity. If you’re looking for a study getaway, a place for inspiration, a picnic date or a sunny day out with friends, then you’ve come to the right place! With the increase in sun we’ve been enjoying in London these days, the IH blog recommends a few hidden gems in the heart of the city.

Holland Park

  Image Credit:   CC by  Holland Park/Google Images

Image Credit: CC by Holland Park/Google Images

A little way off from Hyde Park, you can find Holland Park and enjoy its blooming cherry blossoms, dahlias, and a Japanese-style Kyoto garden complete with a waterfall, a decorative koi pond and a Japanese bridge: a true Monet painting come to life.

Battersea Park

  Image Credit: CC by  Battersea Park/Google Images

Image Credit: CC by Battersea Park/Google Images

If you like long walks along the Themes, then this is the place for you. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the peace and quiet Battersea offers. Find the Japanese Pagoda, take a stroll in the botanical gardens, and even meet some friendly deer in the mini zoo!

Richmond Park

  Image Credit: CC by  Richmond Park/Google Images

Image Credit: CC by Richmond Park/Google Images

Just outside this city, Richmond park is one of the biggest parks and a national nature reserve. Although it is a bit of a trek from the city, it is definitely worth it taking the train for a one-day adventure, especially for the hundreds of red deer that you can casually grazing the lawns or roaming about.

Highgate Wood

  Image Credit: CC by  Highgate Wood/Flickr

Image Credit: CC by Highgate Wood/Flickr

For all the hardcore nature-lovers looking for a piece of wildlife haven in the city—well, Highgate Wood is as far as you can get to that in the city! It’s the perfect spot for a hike on the woodland trails or if you want to feel like you’re out in the countryside for a moment.

Horniman Park

  Image Credit: CC by  Horniman Museum/Google Images

Image Credit: CC by Horniman Museum/Google Images

If you’d like to combine nature and culture, then in South London you can find a secret anthropological museum and 16 acres of beautiful botanical gardens. Visit the Horniman Park to find an aquarium and a butterfly house, as well as some friendly alpacas.

However you decide to go to enjoy the first blissful sunny days of spring, we hope you find the time this month to relax and take a break from studying to incite your motivation and refuel your energy. The IH blog wishes you a positive end of break and a most successful exam session!


Sources: Time Out London

IH Positivity Board

We asked IH Resident to submit their favourite quotes to help spread positivity across the Hall. Here are a few of the many submissions we have gotten so far. Still want to submit one? You can do so until March 8th by using this form.


"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb

"Life is not full of problems, it is full of solutions waiting to be found." - Chinese Proverb

"If you don't believe in yourself, who will?" - Anonymous 

"I’d rather die regretting that I had done something than regretting that I hadn’t" - Anonymous

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything." -Vincent Van Gogh

"If you wait until you're ready, you'll be waiting the rest of your life." - Unknown

"The best & most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart." -Helen Keller

"Life is like photography. Develop from the negatives." - Unknown

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

"Learn to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it." - Unknown


“Falha-se sempre na realidade aquela vida que se planeou com a imaginação.” - Eça de Queirós

"When you are trusting yourself, you are trusting in the wisdom that created you, which is infinite." - Wayne Dyer

"Work hard till your signature becomes an autograph :) " - Unknown

"Aspire to inspire before you expire." - Unknown


Learn more about Mental Health

Mental health is becoming more prominent among university students. In this post, we have assembled some resources for readers to learn more. In addition to these, please remember that the Warden's Team is ALWAYS available for ANY resident or their partner learn more about available resources, to help intervene or to just talk. 


Amazing TED talk on Depression: “Depression, the secret we share” by Andrew Solomon (30 minutes)


A true story told live about how a husband contends with his wife's depression - A deeply moving and emotional story - From the podcast ‘The Moth’.
12 minutes long.
Warning this podcast does mention suicide

This American Life Podcast episode “Say Anything.” Does talking about it really help? Stories where it does, including a man who tried to battle his fears by listening to them. 
Warning this podcast is about one persons battles with suicide

This American Life Podcast episode “Who You Gonna Call?” When everything goes wrong, one of the first things we think is, “Who do I  call?” This episode is stories of lucky people who have found the exact right person to call for help. 
Warning this podcast is about one persons battles with suicide.

Image Credit: CC by Mental Health/ Pixabay

#IHLove: The 2018 IH Valentine's Message Board

'Tis the season of love at International Hall. Here are some of the messages we received through anonymous postings from our residents.

Have a message for a special someone who caught your eye in the Dining Hall? Been aching to sing a sonnet for that special someone you met one time in the Laundry Room? Well, here is your chance to let that special someone know that you care. Use our IH Valentine's Message Board to anonymously post a message for that special someone (or your close hall mates). These messages can be in the form of poems, sonnets, screenplays, etc.

There is still time till the 14th to send a message. You can do so here.

The Stallion

There are many reasons you are special. The most important one being you have the face of an Angel, but the body of a God. I love that you can run marathons effortlessly. You probably built up a lot of stamina from running around in my head all day, every day since October. Most importantly, I love the old man noises you make when you sit down. Knowing how old you are makes me feel so young. :)


Hey :) you dress nice

Forms of Love

Sarah B,

You smiled when you first arrived. A warm, shiny, and beautiful day for September, but not as warm as your expressive brown eyes; not as shiny as your captive smile; not as beautiful as your marvellously undefined-colour hair. The world stopped the moment I saw you... I tried to capture every shape of you: your hair, your eyebrows, your adorable eyes, your lips, your neck, your long figure. And then, brought from the place I was caught in awe, I heard a voice, like a fairy talking smoothly: you started talking. Why oh why was I not the subject of your questions, why oh why was I not the one to whom you were talking to, why oh why didn’t I have the courage to go and introduce myself. I got closer, I wanted to get a name, to get a room number... “Sara”, you said. And I was happy. You walked by like a breeze and I could sense the perfume... I knew, right there, that I would like to know more about this Sara, about this smile, about this colourful hair, about those captive eyes, about this sweet voice of yours, about... about you... love has many forms: Eros, Philia, Ludus, Pragma, Agape, Philautia, Storge! With you, I have them all!



Thanks for my life, you gave me all the tools to learn to be happy

Have fun, kids.

 I have no idea, whoever can recognise I suppose?,

x^2 + (x-y^(2/3))^2 = 1

<3 <3 <3

Greek God,

Don't know your name but I call you Greek God and you're a beautiful man and I love your vibey preppy style. 

Bhalobasa r potro

Sir Sudipto Mitra FRHS, OB,

Pakhare tha ki tha tu dure,
Sabubele lagu achhu mo
Bhabanare tora mun thae
Mo bhabana arambha tori
Emiti bhala paichhi tote,
Jane nahin yara mapa ta kete.
Hrudaya ta ebe tori ghare.

Loads of love and wishes

To all families,

Hi I am really delighted to be with so many lovely people. The family block is specially filled with smiles of cute and lovely kids and parents. I also appreciate efforts of Tsveta for taking care of us specially when I arrived here.

For THAT Post Graduate Group

Sudhir, Do you like photography? Because I’d love to take you to a darkroom and see what develops. #PictureThis

Georgia, You’re like a broken staircase. You make me go head over heels.  #FallingForYou

Joe, The Surgeon General ought to put a warning on you, because you are smokin’ hot. #Warning

Jose, I need a compass when I look at you, because I keep getting lost in your eyes. #SaveMe

Ish, If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me? #369DamnYouFine

Sasi, You know what’s on the Valentine’s Day menu? Me-n-u. #MiracleKitchen

Adi, Do you like cats? Because I’d like you to take meowt for Valentine’s Day. #Purrrrr

Seba, Are you a parking ticket? Because you've got fine written all over you. #Naughty

Nicole, It's a good thing I have a library card because I am checking you out! #Studious

Jacob, Something's wrong with my eyes because I can't take them off you. #SoWrongItsRight


Dear Jake,

You look like a delicious piece of cake
My love for you is anything but fake
Thinking of you every night I quake
For a date we can go to a lake.

Your Secret Admirer



The tall, German dude from LSE
You're an Abercrombie model :)

Music of Love


Your beauty Makes my Tanpura strings go naughty
I think you are very hotty
I know I look like forty
But it's okay since you are so shorty.

Secret admiration :)

Angelina Georgieva,
You are too beautiful! Absolutely flawless!

Smoking causes cancer!!!

Virender Chandale,
Hum kabhi very good friends hua karte they...
Lekin ab tanhai mey facebook sey tumahre photos dekhta hoon...
Tumhare tarha mujhe bhi bikes ka bohot shokh tha
Lekin zindagi ki tarah Delhi ki sarkon par gadiyon ka raftar bhi bohot tez tha...
Aj bhi kabhi kabhi raat ko IALS se lautte waqt thand mey apna raftar kho baithta hoon...
Tab tumhara yaad aata hai... Phir thodi si Bikaneri bhujia muh mey dal ke wapis se chalne lagta hoon.

The love glove

Dear Katie,

Your powers make me flurry
Turning me into a sweet little bunny
For cupcakes I love
I think we’d fit into one glove
-Henry the 8th



Noticing you existed was a mistake but now I do not want to lose your sight every time I see you my heart can't fake hoping that there will ever be a might. There is for sure no lake or sea with the colour of your eyes. Such a luck they are here for me but following them is not wise. I hope the time will bring a sign and the destiny changes for us because I want you to be mine there is no other thing to discuss.

The First Date Song

Let me ask you out on an awkward first date
I will be nervous
You will be late
I'll come off too weird
You'll butcher my name
And it may not end well, but oh, what the hell
Let me still ask you out on a date

Let me ask you out on an awkward first date
You'll drink for two
While I'm thinking for two
Just looking for fun?
I don't think you're The One.
But let's not give in to fears; we can down a few beers.

Just say yes to an awkward first date.
Let me ask you out on an awkward first date
If we make it through one
We'll have already won I'll let go of The One
Settle for Didn't Run
And some people, you'll find, just get better with time
Don't miss out on an awkward first date.

Secret Love

Dear PC,
Sun bhai,
Tu mujhe bahut sahi lagta hai yaar
Tujhe dekh ke dil ke mere baj uthte hain taar Chal na
Hum kahin door chalte hain
Chal kar karte hain pyaar
Tu phoonk ta nahin hai
Isliye aur bhi sahi lagta hai

Five ways to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions

By Nikol Stoykova

We all know that with January comes the time to pull yourself back together, slim down after feasting on your mum’s specials, get back on track with the uni work you fell behind on during the holidays, and save twice the money you spent on gifts last year. But did you know that while 100% of us enter the new year with some grand expectations in mind and 50% of us have a very ambitious list of resolutions in hand, only 6% of people actually feel accomplished by the end of it? So instead of beating yourself up over some quite unrealistic intentions, why not avoid the imminent disappointment and self-loathing of falling behind by following IH’s simple tips on how to start the new year off on the right foot—and keep up the momentum for good.


1. Narrow down your list

Before declaring you’re going to cut down on all sugar and fat, try thinking first about cutting down on your list of New Year resolutions. The more you have, the bigger the failure you are setting up for yourself. Don’t expect that you’re going to change every single aspect of yourself overnight; keep it real and stick to one, two, or at the very best three concrete and realistic resolutions. Cutting down means avoiding the trap of being too vague as well: forget about ‘losing weight’ or ‘reading more’. And that brings me onto my next tip…

2. Break everything down

If you want to succeed, planning is your best friend, and big vague promises are your worst. Think in numbers and break down the big intimidating goals into baby steps. You want to read more, but how much more? In order to see a change, you need a point of comparison. ‘Losing weight’ won’t do the trick, but trying to fit back into your old jeans might be a step closer to getting you there. And if you write it down and plan how to tackle it, you’re already halfway there: visualization is half the realization.

3. Don’t think All-or-Nothing

A grand mistake of all passionate resolution makers is throwing away everything once they slip up. Not going to the gym for a day because you’re feeling lazy or spending a few extra pounds on that cute top that drew you in as you were walking by the store won’t make you a failure. But giving up because you derailed once and creating a vicious circle out of that one mistake will. What’s even worse, you’ll stop enjoying the luxury of occasionally indulging if you compensate for having a few scoops of ice cream for dessert by eating the whole tub.

4. Bring a friend

There’s nothing better than a friend, right? And resolutions aren’t necessarily about blood, tears, and eternal suffering; working on yourself could be even fun! Hopping on the NY resolutions bandwagon with a friend can bring some extra motivation and help both of you get on track by keeping each other accountable. Going for a run doesn’t seem as intimidating when you have a jogging buddy, and going through all the uni work can’t be that terrifying with a study buddy!

5. Be kind to yourself

Finally, don’t forget that the New Year and all the expectations it inevitably brings is merely a social construct, and all the pressure it can bring is simply an abstraction. Don’t get too caught up in any incredible three-month transformations and even if you fail with every single one of your new year’s resolutions, don’t punish yourself and always remember all the incredible qualities you have. After all, good things always take time, and most, if not all, radical overnight changes are never bound to remain a valuable or sustainable lifestyle choice. Remember IH believes in you and wishes you a wonderful year ahead!

Image Credit: CC by New Year's Resolutions/Flickr