The importance of a work- life balance

When coming to uni, a lot of the time you find that people are here for one of two things. One of them being a great social life and the other being to work really hard for your degree. Now personally I completely disagree with that, I believe that you need to have a good balance of both, getting your work done but also enjoying your time at university. Even when you are not at University it is really important to find a good balance.

What happens if you do too much socialising– well to put it plainly it is likely that you are not going to end up doing very well in your degree. Your work for university does take time and if you are going out all the time and doing lots of extra curricular, it is highly unlikely you are going to have a lot of time to do your work. You will also probably end up with very little, if not no, money in your bank and so you will end up living off plain pasta for breakfast lunch and dinner, which nobody wants. You do need to be able to have a break from studying, however you need to make sure you get the right amount. 

What happens if you do too much work- I mean this is probably not a good way to put it because I don’t think there is a way for you to do too much work, but what I mean is that you are not getting a break. It has actually been shown that if you don’t take breaks from your work you actually become less productive. Even if you don’t like going out there are lots of other things to do on campus other than just going out and drinking. One of my favourite things to do is go for a walk around the back of the sports fields, or going to classes at The Sports Centre. 

What I do to ensure a good balance- I try and set myself a time in the day where I am going to go and do something I want to do, a lot of the time I try for that to be first thing in the morning particularly if it is going to the gym. For example on days where I am not into university till later on or if I am not in at all, I will still try and get up at a decent time and go to the gym or go for a walk as it makes me much more productive throughout the day. I have also joined the dance society as this is something completely different from my course and is a chance for me to have a break from studying. 

Productivity Tips

Being productive within your studies can be one of the hardest things to do. Especially at University, you may find it even harder than what you’re studying now as you can have quite a bit of spare time during the week. Myself for example only has 13 hours contact time (lectures and seminars) every other week, however, this will depend on your choice of subject. So these are my top 5 productivity tips to help you get through your studies.

To Do Lists 

Creating lists can help you focus on specific things one-by-one. When I first came to Edge Hill, I found myself struggling to keep up with the work so I got a whiteboard and listed all of the deadlines and important things to do in that week.

Listen to Music 

This is actually more statistical than expressing what I do myself but, research shows that listening to music increases your productivity. This combined with being on your own in a quiet space will also help with being more productive. What I do is create my own playlist of my favourite songs and don’t play it on my phone, but my laptop to reduce distractions and skipping songs.

One at a Time 

Don’t ‘burn yourself out’ by trying to complete so many tasks at once. This will only be more stressful for you and this is when a breakdown might occur as you may think that you haven’t completed anything.

Switch Off

I know this may sound one of the hardest things to do, but, trust me it helps a lot…turn off your phone. By doing this, you’re zoning yourself out from the world we’re essentially in: ‘the digital age’, and this will help you concentrate on the things you need to do.


Take Breaks 

Some people think that when doing work, you’ve got to keep going until you’ve completed that piece of work. This is not the case. If you do little-by-little and take breaks, get food, have a nap etc, it will help you focus even more in addition to reducing your stress.

So these are my 5 tips, just remember to keep it as a routine, then your mind will understand that this is how you work and you’ll adapt quite quickly, making it easier to do work.

Barack Obama once said: ‘If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress’. 

Hope this has helped!

Ellis x 



Hill Start- The dance society

Hi everyone, I came to the realisation the other day that the end of my first year is fast approaching, which is crazy and scary, and so I wanted to start reflecting on some of the things that I have done over the year as there may be things that you will be interested in doing next year.

One of the things that was a priority for me when coming to university was to carry on with my dancing. I have danced since the age of 4 and as much as I am not involved as much anymore I still enjoy it and it is also a good bit of exercise. Luckily for me a girl from home was one of the people that ran the society “Hillstart” so she was really helpful and answered any questions that I had. 

Hillstart offer a variety of classes such as, Broadway jazz , commercial, jazz technique, ballet and contemporary. I was lucky enough that one of my flatmates wanted to try some of the classes out as well so we went along together. I first tried out the Heels class, which is something I’ve never done before, but it was good because there was a variety of different capabilities there yet the girl made sure that everyone was happy and feeling confident. And no one is the class judged you and if you needed help I felt like I could’ve asked anyone, because at the end of the day you are all there to enjoy yourself and have a good time.

I also tried out the lyrical class, I had done lyrical before but it is not my strongest style of dance. I was quite apprehensive to attend this class, however it was a nice small class and there were a couple times I couldn’t do a move because I was incapable or had problems with my hips, however the girl taking the class made sure I was happy and gave me something different to do. And I have found that in every class, they just want to make sure you’re enjoying yourself.

And last but not least the tap class, I attended this a few times in semester 1 and really enjoyed it, and it is available to all capabilities. Tap has always been my strongest style of dance and the one that I have enjoyed the most so I definitely wanted to carry it on at uni. I have continued to attend this class and I am now going to be a part of the show piece that we will perform at the start of June. I am very much looking forward to it and can’t wait to try out more and different classes next year.

[Part One] Studying in Ireland and thinking of Edge Hill? – The Leaving Cert

Irish Leaving Certificate and EHU

As someone who has experienced the Irish Leaving certificate first hand and furthered my education at Edge Hill there are a few things that can trip up the unsuspecting student. This four part guide will hopefully give you an insight into some of the points to consider when coming to Edge Hill from Ireland.

In this, part one, I want to take a look at the Irish Leaving Certificate. For refrence, I studied and completed my Leaving Cert in 2016/17 taking honours Math, English, Gaeilge, DCG, History, Geography and Physics in Deele College, Donegal.

Projects and Portfolios

Getting your projects and protfolios done during the year is important. Not only are these projects the easiest points you will get in your leaving certificate, but they actually will set you up well for university where continious assessment rules the roost.

Its worth remembering not to just submit what the teacher suggests. Do your own thing. The examiner wont want to see the same thing 200 times, so make yours stand out.

Scheduled study, and exam papers

Having a schedule for your revision is a great idea. Spread it out and never cram. I could rant on about my personal opinions in regards to the Leaving Certificate, but this isnt the place. When it comes to your exam take it how it is and make everything count.

Do exam papers. Do all of them. Every single one. One a week every week that you can possibly do them. Trust me, I dont need to explain that any more.

Relax, chill out. Sleep.

Yes the Leaving Certificate is important, and yes you should take it very seriously but you also need to take time to chill out and put work aside every now and again.

And going out partying, thats good but dont let it take over. Trust me, it’s a bad idea.

That’s everything. Take these three things and you will be praised, trust me. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

And if you want more free and great advice email or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Exercise and keeping fit at Edge Hill.

Hi everyone, hope you’re well and have had a good week! For today’s blog, I thought I’d write a bit about a few ways I try to keep fit at uni. I think many people think of uni as a time in your life where you slip into bad eating habits of cheap junk food and do zero exercise as you have no time because of uni work! Whereas, I feel like that is completely to the individual, and if you make the time, effort and motivation for it, you can get into a healthy routine of fitness and healthy eating, while also having time for uni work! I like to do exercise after I’ve been to the Catalyst for a couple of hours and have a good healthy meal afterwards.

The Sports Centre                                                                                                                                     In the past couple of months, I have been in the Sports Centre most days, and really making the most of my membership, as I know alot of my friends who have a membership like to as well! The facilities as brilliant, for me personally my favourite parts are the exercise classes (all free with an Edge Hill sports membership!) and the pool. I feel like in the few months I have got my fitness routine at the Sports centre down to a tee and really loving it.

On Mondays I have swim team from 7-9 (I am going to do a blog post all about the swim team next week, about what it’s like to be part of the team and what we do). On Tuesdays I go to Step class at 7:15 and Yoga straight after at 8:20, on Wednesdays Zumba at 7:35 and Konga at 8:25. On Thurdays, if I’m not still in my Critical Theories lecture, I go to land training at 7-8 and Friday I go to Zumba at 6:30!

So yes, you could really say I like to make the most of the factilies, at the weekend I like to go swimming and on a run around the back of the sports centre and aroung campus. It all depends on what I’m up to that week, for example last week I didn’t go to as many classes as I went to a few different shows at the Arts centre to change things up a bit!

Exercising with friends                                                                                                                         I really like to go to the classes at the Sports centre with friends, who if they don’t have a membership can pay for an individual class, and same for going for a swim. I find that getting into fitness is so much easier and more fun if you do it with friends, (I do find the classes are lots of fun either way though, especially zumba!) I also really enjoying going jogging with friends, it can be a great hangover cure the afternoon after a night out as well as a good sleep. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog about ways I do exercise and keep (a bit!) fit at uni. These are just ways I like to do it, I know everyone is different, some people like going into the gym and getting into their own routine or having a personal trainer, whatever works for you. Remember to do what feels right for you and not to push yourself too far, I often have the weekend off and sometimes only go to one of two exercise classes a week, I just gave you an example of a busy fitness week for me!

Alice 🙂



Teaching Jobs

Hello everyone!

I hope you have had a fantastic weekend. Since I am coming to the end of my university course,  it is that time where everyone is looking for their dream school to work with!

Edge Hill University offer a lot of  support to help you search for work. In 2018, 95% of students who completed my primary education course found employment within 6 months after finishing their degree. Edge Hill Careers offer advice on lots of topics of discussion such as job-hunting and CV writing. It is easy to book an appointment online.

NQT pools

Different authorities and areas have their own ‘NQT pool.’ I hadn’t heard of teacher pools before so wanted to find out more information about them. Some pools may require an application, interview and teaching observation. Once you gain a place in the pool, different schools in that area have access to your information and experience. From here, they contact you directly to offer an interview. I highly recommend researching which pools you would consider joining!

School websites

Individual schools often advertise their vacancies on their official website. There are usually the following information and documents available: application form, person specification, job description, a closing date and an interview date. So if you have a specific school in mind, perhaps from your previous placements or work experience,  make sure to have a look and see if there are any vacancies available!

Other Websites

Other websites provide filtered search engines to help you search for vacancies that match what you are looking for. Options include the location, the year group / key stage, full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary jobs.

AND if you decide teaching is not for you… the primary education degree opens you up to soooo many other options. Some people decide to do a masters in a different subject and others begin to teach abroad! The possibilities are never-ending. Wishing you the best of luck!

Speak soon,


My Experience of My First Professional Practice!

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a fantastic week!

As part of my Primary Science Education course, I have to complete three block placements over the course of three years. On the 8th of March I finished my first ever professional practice at university.

I hope you enjoy reading about my experience of my first professional practice in a primary school setting!

All my stuff packed up and ready for my first day on placement!

When I first arrived to my placement school, I was a bundle of nerves. I had no idea what was going to happen or what the staff were going to be like.

Luckily for me, I was placed in an AMAZING school that values the use of outdoor learning and building resilience in children. As well as having a great school ethos, all of the staff were so so lovely and welcoming and I immediately felt right at home.

I was placed in a year 3 class with another student teacher and yet again, I felt so grateful to have such respectful and well-behaved class of children. The class teacher/my mentor could not have been more kind and accommodating from the moment we came into the class.

It was safe to say that my nerves quickly faded after my first day on the job!

In terms of planning and preparing for lessons, I found this really hard at the start because it was such a new concept to me. However, with the help of the Edge Hill professional practice blackboard support and previous seminars on planning, it quickly became second nature to me.

This is what the Edge Hill lesson plan format was like. It was really simple and easy to follow!

While I was on professional practice, I knew how important it was to involve myself in as many activities and out of class experiences as I could. Me and the other student teacher were luckily given the opportunity to accompany our class on a school trip to Ribblehead Caves in the Yorkshire Dales. This experience was something I will always remember as it was so much fun but also way out of my comfort zone!

The caves were so tiny, I had to walk sideways!

If you want to read more about my trip to Ribblehead, head over to my blog post about it here;

Coming up to the end of the 7 week block placement, I began to get really sad that it was almost time to leave the children and the teachers. I could not believe how much I enjoyed the whole experience and how lovely everyone in the school was.

After teaching the children so much, I am really happy to say that I am no longer worried about my ability as a teacher as this professional practice has really made me see the potential I have as an educator and how rewarding it is!

Some of the lovely handmade cards I received from the children in my class!

Overall, my first professional practice experience in a primary setting was so rewarding. Edge Hill also always made sure that we were supported throughout the placement, sending out newsletters, adding resources to blackboard and emphasising that they were only an email away if we had any concerns.

I really hope you enjoyed this blog. I am so grateful to the university for being so supportive during professional practice and for sending me to an amazing school where I learned so much about my future career!

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

– Dr Seuss –

Choosing the Right Halls for You

Hi guys when looking at universities, accommodation can be an important factor to consider, price, location and overall quality come into play and in my own experience it can be tough to choose when you haven’t seen everything to offer in detail so here’s a quick guide to what Edge Hill can offer you during your time here.

Chancellors Court/South, Founders East/West, Palatine Court, Graduates Court: I have grouped all this accommodation together because of their similar pricing/interior style.  From next year all rooms in these accommodations will range from £120-to 130 a week depending on the block. The different buildings do have some differences (mainly in location) but as far as I know they aren’t major. Overall as someone who has previously lived in Chancellors Court I was really impressed with the accommodation, rooms are a nice size, kitchen is also great, big enough for multiple people at once. Then there’s other things like the mini-fridge and my personal favourite feature, the wired internet connection. There is wi-fi as well, but if you do want to use wired internet it is really fast and very reliable, something you don’t always see with any kind of accommodation. 

Main Halls, Back Halls,: These blocks are a bit more budget friendly but do offer up some major differences, mainly in that there are no en-suites something you might not be bothered about at all so happy days. Most importantly the Main Halls are self-catered so part of your hall fees will go towards credit for food on campus. Self-catered accommodation here is £76 as of next year and catered £112 per week. So if you’re looking to save money these buildings could be the choice for you.

Forest Court: I put this one on its own as it’s kind of the middle ground between the two types above, Forest Court features both shared bathrooms and en-suite rooms and is priced at around £90-102 a week for next year so is a nice middle ground if neither of the others is exactly what you are looking for.

Woodland Court: These building is specifically for 3rd year students which is why I have situated it in its own group. With prices from £122-127 as of next year it’s in a similar price range as the other new buildings talked about earlier. the main difference being as far as I know it is the only accommodation that has a washing machine in the kitchen so there’s a bonus, if your going into 3rd year and looking for somewhere to live this could be a good bet for you.

Whichever halls you do end up choosing all accommodations run on a 40 week contract and include 24/7 security as standard for piece of mind. Here’s a link to the website for more information and for pictures etc. Anyway hope this helps and thanks for reading.


Ways to keep your room clean and tidy at uni!

Hi everyone, hope you’re well and have had a good week! For today’s blog I thought I give some tips on how to keep your room tidy and clean in your flat at uni.

Personalising your room                                                                                                                    It’s a great idea to make your room personal to you, but something I’ve found is that if I have alot of things in my room, it is easy for your room to get cluttered and messy. A nice idea is having photos up with white tac and posters on your wall and make your room more you without it becoming cluttered. I have a cork board in my room that i like to stick sentimental cards, letters and photos as well as having a few frames photos on my desk that make my room more me!

Having a certain place for everything                                                                                          Something I like to do is have certain place for everything. So I have little boxes for bobbles and hairgrips and a jar for all my pens and pencils. This really helps when my room gets really messy and I can pick everything off the floor and put it all in the right places they belong, it makes it alot easier for me. Like for when I do my laundry, straight after I’ve brought it back up all my stairs ( a right nightmare), I hang up my laundry on my clothes airer and when it’s all dry I fold or hang everything back up in my wardrobe. I always like to do it like this as it means I don’t keep putting off tidying it all away!

Take time out to keep your room clean.                                                                                      There is a difference between keeping your room clean and keeping your room tidy. When my room is very messy, I first put everything in the places they belong and tidy everything away. Then I clean, hoover and clean all the surfaces and clean my bathroom. I like to tidy my room properly twice a week and give everywhere a good clean once a week. I used to hate tidying my room, but I find that if I pop on a good playlist and have a good dance while I get it all done, I actually really enjoy it! Or I’ll facetime a friend while I’m putting fresh sheets on my bed or organising uni work. By having a certain day each week that I clean and do my laundry means it gets done and I won’t just put it off because I know it has to be done!

I hope you enjoyed this blog and it has given you a few tips of how to keep your room clean and tidy at uni! It can be hard to stay on top of it, and sometimes mine gets into a right tip but if I try to keep it tidy, it means it saves me time in the long run and makes a room that’s a lot nicer to be in!

Have a good week,

Alice 🙂



Food and Drink in The Hub – Opening and Closing Times 🥪🍝🥗


One thing I think is really important to have is the opening and closing times of places around the campus. Some do display it around their area but I’ve found these aren’t always accurate and they are subject to change. So I did some research and asking around today and got some information about the wonderful places to grab food or drink at Edge Hill – more specifically (because there are so many) we’re going to look at The Hub today!

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The Hub is found right in the center of the campus, attached to the back of the main building. It can get fairly busy at times as it holds some popular places to eat and drink.

McColl’s is the local express shop for the campus. They also cook and serve hot food in the mornings like sausage/bacon barms, hot dogs, slices of pizzas.
Mon – Sun: 7.30am – 11pm

Starbucks is the reason The Hub is quite busy in the mornings. Who doesn’t love a Starbucks? The ladies there are really friendly too and if you bring your own cup you can get money off your drink!
Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 6.30pm
Sat – Sun: 1pm – 5pm
(However, on Applicant Visit Days – they are open from 8am!)

Grab and Go is a lovely little sandwich parlour where you can grab a pre-packaged sandwich, drink and snack for a £2.95 meal deal. Or you can opt for a freshly made ‘subway-like’ sandwich, which is also included in the meal deal and these start at £1.40 (on their own) – which is amazing! They also have paninis, pies, salad boxes, confectionery, drinks and sometimes pizza in the afternoon!
Mon – Fri: 10am – 5pm
Closed at weekends

Sages is a hot food canteen with some lovely meal choices. It’s open in the morning for breakfast but also serve lunch and dinner. I’ll insert a little menu from this week but be aware that this changes!

Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 2.30pm then 5pm – 9pm
Sat – Sun: 10.30am – 1pm then 5pm – 9pm

My favourite thing during the week The Hub holds little pop up market vendors with various street food, sweet treats and other little bits and bobs. There’s always something going on in The Hub and I love that about it!

Wow. Is anyone else hungry? I am.

I hope this helps to show how many amazing places there are to eat and drink at Edge Hill – and that’s only The Hub! There’s many more around campus and we’ll get to that soon ☺️ – thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment if you have any questions.