Things You Will Never Hear an Edge Hill Student Say

There are a lot of students that go to Edge Hill and they all have their own opinions, however there are some things you will NEVER hear an Edge Hill student saying and I’m going to tell you why!

  1. There’s nowhere to eat 

Edge Hill’s campus is full of places to eat, in all different locations. Firstly the hub has at least four places selling food and drink, from McColl’s if you just want a quick sandwich or a packet of crisps to the dedicated food counter that serves and array of hot meals. On top of that you have Water’s Edge with it’s wonderful view of – you guessed it – the lake, the Red Bar located in The Arts Centre for when you’re peckish mid-rehearsal and Café Rewind in the Health building. There are many other places to get food on campus, we really are spoilt for choice!

  1. There’s no decent accommodation

As I, and many other student bloggers have mentioned before, the campus is ever expanding. We are constantly hearing of new developments and new accommodation being built. In my time at Edge Hill they have added an entire new cluster of flats called Palatine Court, and they are currently building more over the old running track. All of these buildings are decked out with fancy extras such as en-suite bathrooms, TVs and computers. To say that Edge Hill doesn’t have awesome accommodation would be totally untrue!

  1. There’s no sports facilities

As of September 2015 Edge Hill has been the proud home of Edge Hill Sports Centre, a new purpose built facility, not just for sports students. I often frequent the place to swim, the pool is probably one of the nicest I have swum in and not to mention the changing rooms are fantastic. The fact that they not only have cubicle showers (as opposed to those awkward communal ones) but hair straighteners (yes, this is a big deal to me), shows Edge Hill’s attention to detail when they were designing the building. It does not just stop at the pool though, there are so many other facilities such as a gym with in-built entertainment technology, exercise studio, 8 court sports hall and much more. That’s just on the inside, there are also football, ruby and hockey pitches, an athletics track and an outdoor 2.5km fitness trail with exercise equipment.  Who says students are lazy?

  1. The campus is ugly

I’m going to answer this in the form of pictures –

  1. You can’t get a job

Edge Hill has a great policy on student employment, they offer so many different job opportunities for their students from working in the SU bar or sports centre to student ambassadors and student bloggers *flashes a smile* But if you don’t want a job on campus the Careers Centre is always there to help you find a part-time job. They constantly post updates on Facebook, Twitter and their webpage for different vacancies, but if you’re still unsure you can book and appointment and an advisor can point you in the right direction – they’re very helpful like that.

Nature On Your Doorstep

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all having another good week 🙂

This week I’m going to be talking about a unique aspect of Edge Hill Campus – the amount of nature that can be found here!

The Lakes

Not every campus can boast having a lake, never mind having two!

I lived in Chancellors Court in First Year, and my kitchen overlooked the lake on Eastern Campus. It was such an amazing view, and one I never expected.

The other lake can be found on the Western Campus, near the Faculty of Health and Social Care, so no matter where you are on campus you’re close to an amazing view and a lot of wildlife. Which brings me onto. . .

Ducks!

There are always a few ducks roaming around campus and Edge Hill is probably pretty well renowned for its duck population.

Be careful though, if you have food they like to come and try to steal it!

Plus they’ve been known to wander into the Hub every now and again, which is a pretty fun sight.

If ducks aren’t enough for you then there are rabbits hiding all across campus and even the famous Campus Cat. Definitely worth trying to spot whilst on campus!

 

La Plage

Along with the lakes Eastern Campus even has it’s very own beach!

With places to sit, enough sand to make an impressive sand castle and the feeling of being on holiday without even leaving campus the beach is one of my favourite spots.

In First Year I would always cut through the beach on the way to lectures and seminars (it’s impossible to be sad for those 9ams when the first thing you see is a beach.)

It’s also a great place to play some card games with friends in the sunshine, our personal favourite is Go Fish.

Nature is all around

Edge Hill’s campus is truly beautiful, and if you don’t believe me come and see for yourself!

The first time I visited I knew this was the place I wanted to spend the next three years studying for my degree. The course was perfect, the tutors were friendly and the excellent scenery was just an added bonus!

Quote for the day: “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’ ” The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Until next time!

-Becki 🙂

The Future

So this week I finished Uni. Yes I know. I actually finished my degree. If you had asked me in January whether I would have seen the end of my degree I would have thought there was no chance. It was so overwhelming to have so much to do, that I didn’t think it was possible to get it all done.

I can honestly say that it was the support I had from the tutors at Uni that made me see that it was possible. Many times I found myself panicking in the office and thinking that I couldn’t do it. It was the tutors support that helped me to get back on track and look where I am now.

Finishing Uni can be a scary time and the big bad world is a daunting place for students. however, it is reassuring to know that regardless of what happens we also have the support of Edge Hill. They are so concerned about our futures and how we will use our degrees to the best possible potential. I feel like the tutors I have worked with this year will be there for me in years to come.

They have always held the open door policy and frequently say how nice it will be to see us again after we have finished. I know it may seem like a scary thing leaving Uni and entering the ‘real world’ but the skills that I have gained from completing this degree, not just academically but also personally will help me to be as successful as possible.

The future doesn’t have to be scary it is exciting, you can show the world exactly who you are and do the job you want to do in life. Grab the future and follow your dreams and don’t let anyone else take that away from you.

Food Shops in Ormskirk!

One concern many people have when looking into universities is the worry of moving to an unknown town. However, in this post, I hope to ease this worry by highlighting some of the best food shops, as food is a good place to start!
Disclaimer: I’m going to be talking about the food shops I go to, which means they are at the cheaper end of the supermarket spectrum.


First up on the list is the place I buy the bulk of my shopping: Aldi. It’s a lot like Lidl, except better. Aldi houses all you could want from a weekly shop, from pizza to curry, bacon to cereal, cake to cheddar, it’s all there.
Most of the food at Aldi’s not from household brands, so it’s often half the price, yet it tastes just as good! It’s located right next to Poundland and McDonald’s, which is near the centre of Ormskirk. There’s a car park that offers an hours parking for free, so if you know a friend with a car make sure to pester a lift out of them and fill up the boot!


Unfortunately, Aldi may be cheaper but sometimes you need to venture a little upmarket in order to get exactly what you want. So when Aldi doesn’t have what I need a take a gander around Morrisons, which, conveniently, is just across the road. Morrisons isn’t as cheap as Aldi, but it does offer plenty of household brands. So if you’re looking for good quality bacon, your favourite cereal, or perhaps just treating yourself to a £3 meal deal at lunch, Morrisons will be sure to have it. Once again there’s free parking for a couple of hours, and it’s just a short walk away from Ormskirk centre.


Both Aldi and Morrisons are great convenient places to shop, but when it comes to freezer food, Iceland is the place to be. Iceland offers everything you need to fill your freezer, and at a reasonable price once again. Iceland is located in the centre of Ormskirk, but there’s another one on the outskirts of town, called the ‘Iceland Warehouse’, which is bigger if you don’t mind the extra walk!


Additionally, there is B&M, Poundland and McColls (on campus) for all your bits and bobs such as loo roll and chocolate!


Thanks for reading this post, hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Preparing to move from halls to a house

As I have mentioned before halls are very spacious and in your first year of university you can often end up bringing way more than you’ll ever need. Moving from campus to a house can be seen as downsizing so it’s important to consider this when packing for your move. 
Often when moving into a house it is a strong possibility that you may have only seen your new house once. You can arrange with some estate agents to view the property a second time just so you have a better idea of how many things to bring. You will also need to discuss with your estate agent what additional items you will need to bring most student accommodation does come fully furnished however there are some items you may be required to purchase such as a toaster, kettle and microwave. These things may seem expensive initially but when the costs are split between 2/3 people it doesn’t seem so bad. When you move out you can re-sell these items in selling groups or even to other students and reclaim your costs back making it a small investment.
You also need to check whether or not you are paying your bills separately or as part of a bills included package. If you are paying as part of a package you have probably already set up your payment method but if you have decided to pay them separately you may need to set up a new account for everyone to pay into and for the bills to come out of. If you are paying the bills in this way you need to ensure that you are all responsible for the bills and are paying in fairly. The landlord or letting agent should help you organise this. As well as organising your bills you need to make sure that you have secured student finance for the next academic year and that the account your finance is being paid into is the same account as your bills are coming out from. If you update your card details at any time you need to let the estate agents know to save you any hassle in the future.
Lastly as long and as boring as it may be you need to familiarise yourself with your new rental agreement. You may have gotten used to the way things are in halls or at home but the rules for a rental property can offer differ and be a lot less lenient. You need to make sure that you are following these rules as any deviance from them could be seen as a breach of contract and leave you with fines or charges at the end of your tenancy. 

6 top tips for surviving placement

So, as my life is currently taken over by placement, here are 6 tips to keep in mind that will help your survive.

  1. Be willing to ask for advice.
    1. My behaviour management was one of my weakest areas last year on placement, partly because I refused to ask for advice. I walked into that placement, feeling confident that I knew what to do, but in all honesty, I didn’t have a clue. The worst part about it is that I thought asking for advice was a weakness. My mentor knew those kids better than I did! There was no shame in admitting I still had a lot left to learn.
  2. Be open to feedback.
    1. I have friends that hate receiving feedback from their mentors, but like I said before, we still have so much left to learn, and it really is in your best interests to listen to it – especially if they’re grading you!
  3. If there’s more than one EHU student on placement, support each other.
    1. A lot of trainees I know spend their first placement in particular, acting as if it’s a competition, but having that support and friendly face there can really combat your nerves and make you feel better when you’re having those bad days.
  4. Make sure you have at least one day off.
    1. Everyone needs some downtime and if you’re completely overwhelmed and stressed out, that means you’re not going to be efficient. Take some breaths, put on a movie, eat some ice cream or go for a walk and just chill.
  5. Talk to your friends / colleagues.
    1.  There are days when I really want to throw in the towel, because my lesson hasn’t gone as I’d planned, or someone was particularly disruptive, or I was just feeling generally overwhelmed. Firstly, I probably should’ve kept in mind that I was still training, and everyone makes mistakes when they’re training. However, without my course friends, I’d potentially continued to feel that way, but a gentle reminder that everyone has bad days can really ease the situation and help you to think with a clearer mind.
  6. Remember the biscuits for the staff room / your co-workers.

Employability in Biology

The biological sciences degrees at Edge Hill University – Biology, Ecology & Conservation, Genetics, Human Biology and Biotechnology (and soon to include Plant Science and Food Science) – offer a number of ways to increase your employability. Within your modules, many aspects enhance skills that will no doubt increase your employability – there are additional opportunities however that will further your employability by showing determination and experience.

Within Modules

Undoubtedly, all modules enhance your employability by virtue of their contents, however, some give you more experience than others, and some are designed specifically to increase your employability. For example: Laboratory Masterclass is a module that develops your lab skills through experiments; Research Methods, as you would suspect, develops your research skills, from experimental planning to statistical analysis – all enhancing your employability via experience.

Placement Module

During second year, you have the option to choose a placement module, and undertake work alongside your studies. It goes unsaid how this enhances your employability – real life experience is invaluable when it comes to employment. With Edge Hill having numerous links, there are options to what field of work you wish to do a placement in, although sourcing the work for yourselves is also highly encouraged.

ERASMUS+

ERASMUS+ is a European placement program for students that funds them to work abroad. The current Erasmus programs at EHU for biosciences take place across the summer between second and third year, lasting a minimum of 6 weeks. I myself am taking part in an Erasmus placement, with a coursemate, in Sweden – specifically at SLU in Umeå. The other current option is work in Cyprus (a country most Edge Hill biologists will be familiar with thanks to the first year residential field trip) with more options hopefully being available in the future.

Sandwich Years

The option also exists to take place in a sandwich year – spending a year at a foreign university or on a work placement. Studying abroad shows a great deal of adaptivity and resilience, each boosting your employability. Working for a year in between your studies is also good experience and may even give you some inspiration for your dissertation the following year.

Food glorious food!

Hello all, hope you’re having a wonderful week!

One of the things that is probably the most demanding things about living a more independent life is fending for yourself food-wise! I had not had much experience cooking before Uni, so this was definitely one of my higher concerns, but it’ll be different for different people. And, even though I was nervous about getting behind a pan and not setting fire to anyone or anything in my path, as time has passed I’ve come to be much more comfortable and happy cooking.

A lot of people joke that University students live solely off pizza, takeout and pasta and, well… it is a little bit true. Not always true, but pasta is definitely a staple of the student diet, and when student finance comes Domino’s certainly gets an increase of income. However, if you fall into unhealthy eating patterns you’ll be doing yourself no good. You need your strength, energy and a good balance of the food types and vitamins etc. you need to put all the focus and effort you need to put into your studies to be a successful student and do yourself proud. Plus, if you chose to live off takeaways you would completely mess up your budget – that stuff is expensive!

There are some ways that you can ensure you get what you need from food:

  • Get your veggies!- the problem with a lot easily cooked meals that students generally gravitate towards is that they don’t have any vegetables with them. I may sound like your mother when you were a kid, but it’s an easy mistake to make if someone forgets to include vegetables in their meals. They give you a lot of stuff you need though, so even if you popped a side of lettuce, cucumber or carrot sticks onto meals, which is just as easily prepared as a ready meal, you’ll be a lot healthier and it’ll do you a whole world of benefit!
  • Variety is important – not only is creating meals with a variety important to stop yourself getting bored when it comes to meal times, but this will also help balance your meals.
  • Get yourself a recipe book and try something new! – again, the “try something new” might sound like something your mother would say, but it’ll help you a lot! I’m a fussy eater, but when you’re being more independent it’s a lot harder to be fussy about food. I never thought I’d be sticking mango in a chicken meal, but last week I tried it, and even though it wasn’t something I’d try again, it was a nice meal to try! You never know, you might find you like some interesting things. On top of trying new things giving you more variety, it’s also really fun to experiment with food. I grabbed a couple of recipe books that were on sale at my local book shop before arriving at Uni and they’re pretty cool. I even managed to grab a book which teaches you how to do microwaveable mug meals, so you can really find stuff tailored to student life!

Your health is super important at Uni, as it can affect your study, so food, your diet and getting into cooking is something I’d definitely ensure you’re thinking about! Another side to the topic of food is budgeting for meals, so I’ll be a doing another post on that soon which I’ll link below once it’s done!

Hope you all have a great end to your week 🙂

A Welsh Person in an English Uni

When you move to university, not only are you leaving behind the place you grew up in, you’re taking on a whole new way of living. Let me explain; although my experience is not quite as extreme as might be had by an international student, I have noticed a lot of significant differences between how things are done at home (in my case Wales) and ‘up north’ in Ormskirk. So, I thought I’d share with you a few of my experiences as a Welsh Student in an English Uni.

The Great Bread Debate (Dialects)

One of the main arguments that characterise uni students is the ‘great bread debate.’ If you’ve never heard of this, run, run away now and never get involved! Basically, there will come a point in your life when you order a bread roll/bun/bap/batch/barm whatever you call it, and spark a debate with your friends that will span centuries. The thing is, every region of the UK seems to have a different way of describing the crusty roll that is the king of the bread world and that is a BIG deal for students. Personally, my rule is it’s a chip bap, burger bun, bacon butty and for all other uses a bread roll. Yes, I am that indecisive. The reason why a lot of students get so up in arms about what to call bread is because when you’re surrounded by people with different dialects, you become exposed to loads of different ways of saying things. Therefore you may find yourself becoming far more assertive about the ‘right’ (your) way of saying it. It’s important, however to be open to different dialects and you may even find yourself adopting some great new phrases – I know I have!

No One Understands the Struggles of Welsh Bacc (But that’s part of the fun!)

Anyone from Wales will agree with me that the Welsh Baccalaureate, whilst very useful for gaining an all-round knowledge and extra UCAS points, was by far the most stressful course you will ever undertake! But nothing compares to the excitement you feel when you find another Welsh student to share your sixth form horror stories with, because unfortunately no other student will quite understand the pure struggle. Again, because all your uni mates will come from different educational backgrounds, not all of them will have experienced school/college the way you have. But do you know what? That’s okay! One of the easiest talking points when you first meet your uni friends is to talk about their experience of education and comparing what you loved and/or despised about your school. This can also be helpful when doing assignments as your friends may have a totally different understanding of a subject than you do and therefore bring new ideas.

‘You can speak Welsh? Go on then.’

Okay, so, the most frequent thing I’ve had to encounter as a Welsh student, which is probably true for a lot of international students also, is the fascination with your ability to speak another language. I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of this a bit myself, so I’m coming from both sides. The only problem I have with this is that I haven’t spoke Welsh since my GCSEs and I’ve dropped most of the more constructive words from my vocabulary (though Sboncen and Sglodion will always remain as my favourites), so that makes stringing together a few simple sentences quite the task. I tend to just opt for the obvious ‘Dwi’n hoffi coffi’ but that doesn’t tend to cut it these days (Thanks Gavin and Stacey). I mean, on the upside it motivates me to actually brush up on my Welsh and try and slip it into everyday conversation to confused the non-welsh speakers – that’s always fun!

I hope that gave you a bit of insight into the funnier parts of moving to a totally different part of the UK, and that it will, perhaps, help my fellow Welsh applicants to prepare for uni. Until next time! 🙂

 

Edge Hill Campus

Hey everyone!

Following last week’s post on all the things to do in and around Ormskirk this post is going to focus on everything available on campus.

Accommodation

Edge Hill has accommodation spread across campus, with different prices and living options.

Living on campus is a great options for first years, everything you need will be right on your doorstep. It will be slightly easier to navigate your way to classes as you’ll have a good sense of where everything is on campus.

If you want to find out more about the accommodation available at Edge Hill you can check out my previous blog here.

Sports Centre

The Sports Centre is on the Eastern side of campus and is open to students, staff and members of the public.

Inside the Sports Centre you’ll find the gym, swimming pool and sports halls, plus a Starbucks!

The Hub


The Hub is located in the centre of campus. Inside you’ll find Mccoll’s shop which sells everything from sandwiches to washing up liquid.

The Hub also has a a coffee bar, food outlets, computers and printing.

Pretty much everything you need in one place, right at the heart of campus.

The Arts Centre

I talked about the Arts Centre in detail a few weeks back, but this list would be incomplete without it.

Offering everything from films, performances and exhibitions the Arts Centre is a great place to spend an evening.

If you live on campus you won’t be far away from the Arts Centre and students get free perks and discounted tickets so it’s definitely worth checking out!

SU Bar, Nom and Shop

The SU bar offers food and drink on campus in a pretty relaxing environment. A great place to kill an hour or two between lectures, grab a bite to eat, play a game of pool and then treat yourself to dessert!

If you’re in a hurry though don’t fear, you can head to Nom next door to the SU, a takeaway service that offers the same menu.

The Shop is next door to the SU and sells EHU hoodies, tshirts, bears, scarves and even binders. If you want something to show off your Edge Hill pride then this is the place to go.

Library

Probably the most important building on campus, and one where you may find yourself spending a lot of time.

The library is located in the centre of campus, near the Hub and has three floors of books, computers and study spaces.

If you can’t find a free computer here don’t worry, the LINC building on Western Campus is open 24 hours and has even more PCs for students to use.

Faculties

There are a number of other buildings on campus where lectures and seminars take place, including the Faculty of Education, the Business School, the Wilson Centre and the Geoscience building (I won’t provide a comprehensive list or we’ll be here a while.)

These buildings all have different facilities dependent upon the course taught there, although each has a lecture theatre and seminar rooms.

I hope you enjoyed a *quick* tour around Edge Hill’s campus, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment 🙂

Quote for the day: “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” – Shelby Foote

Until next time!

-Becki 🙂