Learning New Skills: Summer Edition.

At university, you learn many new skills. From cooking, to socialising, and then more academic skills like how to reference, cite, quote, work your way around different platforms like Blackboard. I know I certainly learnt lots of new skills in my first year. However, now as I’ve been relaxing for exactly a month since I finished my final assignment, my passion to learn something new had arisen, so in this blog post, I’m going to discuss exactly what I’m teaching myself at the moment, and provide some idea for yourself.

Photo editing is an important skill related to my chosen area, marketing, and therefore when I saw all my friends with great capability to do so, then looked at my skills, I did often feel like this was an area I was lacking in. Therefore over this summer, I’m going to self-teaching myself how to use a photo editing software called Affinity. Affinity is a cheaper alternative to higher-priced software on the market, and only charges you once, so it’s perfect for students. Affinity offers in house tutorials developed by themselves, and then beyond that, there are a plethora of YouTube offerings on how to get started. If you decide to give their free trial a whirl, I suggest this video as a good starting point on how to use their exciting editing tools.

A screenshot of my Affinity workspace

Beyond what I’m doing with photo editing, there are several other things you can do over stuff to either prepare to come to university, or strengthen your CV if your placement has been cancelled due to ongoing world events. Simply taking sometime a week to read relevant and up to date journal articles will bulk up your academic knowledge. Or perhaps you can take time to go through old pieces of work, and refine your reference style.

Learning Edge has the capability to easily find mountains of Journal Articles for yourself to read.

Ultimately as students, we have to identify our areas of weakness and improve upon them, beyond what a tutor may find in your coursework. I hope my account of what I’m doing over this summer to better my skillset has inspired you to consider doing something similar.

Alice

Staying Fit and Healthy – Lockdown Edition!

Hey everyone! We all know how important it is to look after our mental health during times like these but it is equally as important to look after the physical side of your health which will impact positively on your mental health. Here are some of my tips on how I am keeping healthy over lockdown!

1. Walking

I feel like this first tip does not need much explaining. Walking (within the limit) can be just as good of exercise as going to the gym or doing a really long run. I just realised how much I sound like my dad by saying that…isolation has damaged me, let’s move on.

2. Resistance Bands

As the gym has sadly been closed for the seeable, I have had to rely on my trusty resistance bands for working out at home. I mainly use them for leg days or when I need a stretch as they add a little bit more resistance (surprisingly) to squats, lunges etc. 

I also am really lucky that my family has kept some old workout equipment such as dumbbells and bars over the years which have come in handy during this period.

3. Zoom Classes

I am sure that most people are quite familiar with Zoom for pub quizzes and family calls etc. As I have not been able to train with my Gaelic football team, one of the girls set up two exercise classes a week for us all to join and workout together. It is a great way to stay connected to the team and to continue with keeping fit. Why not try it with your friends?

I hope that some of you found this helpful during this time and are keeping safe at home! Keeping fit and healthy does not have to be hard and can easily be done without a gym or loads of equipment.

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.”

-Buddha-

Course Prep Part 1: TV and Film Production

When coming to University, most of you don’t really know how to prepare, or what to expect from your course. From my own experience, I didn’t really prepare much, but this is what I did do.

Look into Scholarships

I knew that Edge Hill offered a few scholarships. I entered in my details to the scholarship calculator and found that I was eligible for the Excellence and High Achievers scholarships. Once I found this out, I clicked on the link for the Excellence scholarship and put in an application.

REMINDER: Scholarship applications are until 1st June 2020 for academic year 2020/2021.

Get on Facebook Groups for Edge Hill

This definitely helped me to feel more settled coming to Edge Hill. Here I was able to ask about whether there was a group chat for Media or Film and TV. I got put in it soon after and got talking to people. Also, once you find out your accommodation, you can say what building and number you are. The likely-hood is that you’ll find someone in the same block quite quickly. This also helped and settled my nerves a lot as it already felt I had met people.

Attend an Open Day

I know that at the moment, undergraduate students starting this year are going to attend Open Day events virtually, but when I came it was physical. This is probably one of the best ways to prepare yourself. You can see whether you can envision yourself within the University. Also, you get to go around campus and see the types of accommodation you want to live in, as well as where your course will be held.

The faces of Edge Hill University - Unsung Heros - Inside Edge

Placements

For me specifically, I had a look to see whether there were any production companies nearby that I could contact about getting some experience. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear from many of them that I did contact. And when I did hear back from them, they weren’t taking on anyone at that moment in time. I wish I had stuck at it, but luckily, I managed to get some more experience through my own contacts.

Ellis x

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Student Finance: SFE

For all students, this blog is a little reminder about the SFE fund that you get before coming to University. You need to apply for it before starting your course and preferably, as soon as possible too. This is to ensure that your details go through and get the right amount of money.

If you’re beginning University in the upcoming September, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Create an account – Go onto the GOV website and search up for student finance. This should just direct you straight to the page you need.
  2. Fill in the details – Fill in all the details required. You will need to know some important information such as your parent(s)/guardian email address.
  3. Need to let parent/guardian(s) know – Your parent or guardian will have to of received an email regarding your application. They will have to fill out their own portion of the form in order to complete your application. This is very important so as soon as you’ve finished yours, let them know that they will be getting an email from SFE.
  4. Any other conditions you need to fill out – As an example, if you have some form of disability, the SFE will take this into consideration. You will probably need to supply some more information on the condition. You will find this at the home page screen of your account. Also, I should note that the SFE will ask you if you have a condition they need to be aware of in the questions.

There is a useful step-by-step guide on the GOV’s website, just click on the link below: https://www.gov.uk/get-undergraduate-student-loan

Also, there is a slightly different application for people living in Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland or the EU. Follow the link here to find out more information: https://www.ucas.com/money

Hope this has helped!

Ellis x

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My First Year in Recap: Academics

As someone who didn’t originally consider a Foundation Year in Medicine, I didn’t know what to expect at first. However when I read more into what I’d learn, I became more and more interested. But what was it like to experience it? I’ll be discussing just that in this blog.

Lessons

In a class of seventeen, we all have opportunities to contribute. Our five weekly lessons cover: science, the Multi-disciplinary team, personal and professional development, public health, and communication. Every two weeks we learn study skills on a Wednesday afternoon. We learnt 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm from Tuesday to Thursday, giving us four days ‘free’.

Opportunities

We had the opportunity to teach CPR to members of the public, and two of our classmates went to a conference in London to meet medical students from across the country! The staff are always looking for opportunities and are always asking us what we would like to do.

Assignments

There was a nice mix. We wrote a vignette essay to discuss how Multi-disciplinary teams help patients, presented for the communication theme, wrote a public health report, and completed a reflective portfolio. The independent learning involved with these assessments allowed us to develop understandings which will be of great benefit in our career. I also have two upcoming exams: an online science exam and three case based scenarios.

Placement

Unlike most Foundation Years, we have two weeks of non-clinical placement: one in a CCG and one in primary care. Our second week should have been this week, but my first week in primary care in December was fantastic! Placements are in the North West and I observed the reception, ultrasound appointments, ANP and GP consultations, and the prescribing office all within five days. The staff were lovely and welcoming and I can’t wait for my next placement!

Closing Words

Being assessed in different ways, having plenty of opportunities, and being on placement have made this year a great learning experience, while also being less stressful than the first year of the five-year programme. I feel more prepared to deal with the challenges ahead thanks to the Foundation Year!

Business School Freshers Week 2019

I’ve spoken a fair bit about Freshers week in my blogs, but never intensely on the activities my department (The Business School) put on for my cohort. If you’re a new student reading this blog, beware everyone’s Freshers is different, and the next cohort’s Freshers week activities for the Business School may be very different. Disclaimers out the way, time to get into my first week at Edge Hill.

Day one of the week was arguably the most jam-packed. The entire Business School cohort converged on the Wilson lecture theatre for an introduction to the school, key members of the department, and other important things tied to being a Business School student at Edge Hill. From the introduction lecture, I had a smaller lecture focused on my specific degree in one of the rooms of the Business School. The smaller lecture had activities for people to mix and begin to create friendships. Yes there were icebreakers but they were enjoyable ones, well, as enjoyable as an icebreaker can be.

Introductions over with, the whole cohort came together again for the delivery of the week’s task. The entire cohort was split up into groups. Each team had the same task, create a new business for the Ormskirk area. Groups could talk, throw ideas around, get a basis on everything, before heading home for the night. It was a good way to meet new people, and I know several people who formed lasting friendships through the task.

Tuesday to Thursday was centred around working on our businesses, my group came up with an escape room. On the Thursday we presented the ideas to a panel of judges, this took place in the Business School foyer for about an hour, followed by a lunch break and big awards ceremony in the Wilson building one last time as a whole cohort. My team did not win any awards, but several of my friends I made prior to starting university did, so there were celebrations to be had following the ceremony.

The poster for my team’s business.

Finally, a big barbecue outside the Business School to commemorate the end of Freshers Week!

Like I said at the start of this blog, your activities may be different come Freshers week 2020, or beyond if you’re reading this much further down the line. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have as much fun as I did!

Alice.

My Lockdown Activities and Hobbies

Learn Something New | Skillshare Projects

Whilst in this strange situation, your mind might be running wild on how to keep yourself occupied. Being back at home can be hard too, as it’s lost part of my independence that I had whilst living at Uni. But, to try and keep busy, I’ve tried to do various activities and hobbies for my mental and physical health.

Here’s a few things you could do if you’re feeling unmotivated or bored at home in lockdown.

Exercise

Exercising is a good way to de-stress, and it also helps your physical health too. I’ve been trying to follow yoga routines that are on YouTube. Yes it is difficult, but it gets me up in the morning and ready for the day ahead.

Learn an Instrument

Why it's never too late to learn an instrument? | Coster Content

Learning an instrument is a great way to preoccupy your time. Look at YouTube for videos on your instrument of choice for techniques, starting from beginner. At the moment, I’ve tried picking piano back up as I used to do it back in Secondary school.

Bake /Cook

Baking and cooking are two of my favourite things to do at the moment. Due to all of this free time, I’m able to look through my Mum’s recipe books and create different dishes. I’m really into baking cookies and different cakes at the moment, so we have something in the cupboard ‘treat wise’ every week. We also do a thing in my family where each of us cooks at least one night a week.

Clean

The Spring Clean Checklist - SPM Window Cleaning

I know this may sound like a really horrible task but, its actually a really good way to cleanse. I started organising and giving my room a ‘spring clean’ when I got home from Uni. Throwing out clothes and removing items you don’t need can be a great way to make some money, or you can give some to charity. I’ve done this and made a bit of money and also donated to charity.

I hope this has given some of you ideas to make your time more enjoyable being in this lockdown. And I hope you’re all staying safe and well.

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Ellis x

My First Year of University in Recap: Non-Academics

So, in three weeks time my first year at University will be done. This year has given me a lot of opportunities and I can only wonder what my final three months could have been like. After all, the first six months were fantastic! In this blog, I’ll talk all about the non-academic side of my first year.

Forming Friendships

The first few friends I made were coursemates and some flatmates. They will likely be your first friends too. I made some great friends attending a few societies on the free evenings I had, but I made a lot of friends in employment.

Working

Our University offers paid opportunities for students to represent the University at events. I always enjoyed helping out on Open Days at school/college, so the money was an added bonus. I knew some people from societies who worked as a student representative, so I went to the training day with them. They introduced me to their friends who also worked as representatives, and from there, friendships formed! Everyone is friendly, and it’s a fantastic way to meet people from different years and courses. The staff in charge are lovely as well, and I enjoyed working alongside them.
Being a student representative is a rewarding job in which I’ve made some great friends I would have never otherwise met.

Trying New Things

I wanted to go to shows, but they’re expensive and I never saw the point in karaoke as I can’t sing. However at University, there’s no excuse to miss out on these things! There are free shows all throughout the week. With weekly karaoke being a minute’s walk away, sometimes you just need to ask yourself, “why not?” Even in my flat, I learnt new skills, such as cooking (most of the time I was too ambitious, but the result was edible, no matter how it looked…)

Closing Words

In my first year, I have made some great friends, learnt life skills, and took part in things I would never have done if I studied at home! My advice for anyone going into First Year is, when faced with an opportunity, to ask yourself “why not?”, not “why?” You never know who you might meet or what you might learn!

-Tony

Open Days

So many of you may have had the idea to come to Edge Hill for an open day in June. Unfortunately this isn’t possible at the moment but, you can attend a virtual event instead. This is taking place between Monday 15th June to Friday 19th June. You can book an open day visiting this link:

Open Day booking for Edge Hill University.

For the upcoming virtual open day for Edge Hill, these are some of the best spots to have a look into.

The Hub

hub Archives - Inside Edge

The Hub will probably be one of the main spots on campus you attend everyday. Its a great spot to hang out with friends. There is a convenient shop, Starbucks and a cafe where you can get hot food.

The Catalyst

Catalyst - How to find us

This is an amazing building that you have to take advantage of when you are at Edge Hill. This is a Library which also holds a cafe and the Catalyst help desk. It is a perfect space for studying and writing essay’s.

Your Subject Building

Depending on your subject, you will be based in one building with the majority of your studies. It’s a good idea to take a look at this space so you know how the floor system works.

Sports Centre

Edge Hill Sport - Edge Hill Sport

The Sports Centre is an amazing space. You can have fun doing different classes, going to the gym or, taking a swim in the pool. There’s also a track and field, so if you’re the type of person to go for a run, its the perfect space to do it.

Accommodation Blocks

It’s important to see where you’d be living or like to live before you come to University. On campus, there’s loads of options accommodating to your preferences. For me, this was quite an important part into my decision, especially as I’m living four hours away from home.

I hope that you have found this useful. Remember to book your place!

Ellis x

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What’s it Like to Study at Home After Living at University?

Due to recent events I have moved home. I was sad to say goodbye to the campus and my room but I told myself I would remain focused on my studies. While I have, I have struggled studying at home. In this blog, I’ll explain my thoughts towards studying at home.

My Workspace

I have a small room, so my desk space is limited. I studied with a laptop, open folders, and paper all on the same desk at University. At home, I don’t have the space for it! Luckily I type up all my notes so I don’t have much use for my folders right now.

Online Lessons

Our tutors set us work we need to research and discuss as a group. I actually enjoy this as I feel independent and more motivated to work at home! I enjoy having a small class size for that reason; we can all contribute and learn together in lectures.

I won’t lie – at first, it did feel awkward on video call. I hate hearing my voice and knowing my class can see my bedroom feels strange. However I adjusted really quickly!

Socialising

A big part of University is the people you meet, not just the lessons. It’s difficult knowing I could be seeing my friends daily, and now I’ve not seen them for two months. However calling friends and keeping in contact helps me! To effectively study, you need to look after yourself. One way to do this is to socialise, as socialising is key to good mental health!

Closing Words

Personally, I feel like studying at home is different than studying at home for GCSEs and A Levels. However, by feeling in control of my studying and keeping in touch with friends, I feel like I am handling lockdown better than I thought I would. I also know that, if I struggle, I can ask my personal academic tutor and study support for help.

In a few weeks, I’ll have my final exam and while I’m sad I won’t be able to see my friends afterwards, I am looking forward to next year!

-Tony