2nd Year – My Goals

As of now, I am a 2nd year student at Edge Hill. I had an amazing first year at this University and my expectations are higher for this year. I’m looking forward to starting my degree again and getting my brain active after it being unproductive throughout the summer. But also, I’m looking forward to moving into my house with 5 of my friends I made throughout first year. However, I have also set myself some goals for this year too.

Firstly, I’ve decided to join trampolining at team Edge Hill. I did want to do it last year, but I figured that I didn’t really know what University would actually be like, so I decided in the end not to do it. Looking back at it, I wish I did start doing trampolining but sometimes you just need to get used to the surroundings rather than trying to do absolutely everything.

I’ve also been considering starting a language at Edge Hill too. When you’re a student, you can choose to do a language as an extra thing outside of your studies. However, with some degree’s you can opt to do a language which will go towards your overall grade. I feel like doing a language will get you better opportunities as its ‘another strong to your bow’ as some people say.

Lastly, I’ve decided to try and get ahead of work more so this year as 2nd year goes towards my overall grade once I’ve completed the degree. Last year, I tried to keep up with the reading but that didn’t really last very long. I know most people don’t like the readings due to them being academic. However, I know the readings are always useful because if you don’t understand it, you can talk to your lecturer and ask them to simplify it for you. Plus, it’s always good to make a few quotes from the readings as you never know what essays are always going to be about.

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Ellis x

Personal Statements

Another year which means another UCAS application for all of you who have decided to go to University. One of the most important things about this application is the personal statement.

Your personal statement is important as this section allows you to express yourself not only as a student, but as an individual. It gives the University a chance to see why you would want to be there studying that particular degree. However, writing about yourself in a positive way can be quite difficult as you sometimes may not see where your strengths lie. But, as you start to write the first couple of sentences, you’ll begin to find a flow and find it easier to write.

Writing down a structure may help. When I was writing my application, I broke my statement down into different categories: explaining who I am and why I want to study that subject/degree course, writing my strengths and finally, any work experience I have done. The work experience can include anything that will enhance your application, such as a part time job alongside your studies at 6th form/college. Also, this is a good time to write down any skills you have gained from work experience. This can include communication skills, organisation, time management etc.

Once you’ve built some kind of structure, you need to try and make it your own and stand out from the rest of the people you’re up against. One of the ways to do this is to create a good opening to your personal statement. For mine, I wrote a quote from Steven Spielberg who is an inspiration of mine to start of my application. Also, if you have any hobbies that you think could relate to your degree, write it! As an example, I wrote about how I do scriptwriting in my own time and go out and do photography too (I’m doing a tv and film production course). This is best to put this information at the end of your personal statement.

Lastly, you need to remember that even though you may have your heart set on one specific university, you will be required to put in an application for 5 Universities. So, you need to write your personal statement accommodating to all of the Uni’s you’ve selected.

Like all my blogs, if you have any comments, just drop them down below!

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Ellis x

Packing Tips and Tricks!

Hey everyone! With Welcome Sunday just around the corner and some of you finishing off some packing and getting ready for your travels, I thought I would do a little post on some of the tips and tricks I picked up over my first year on how to pack more effectively. I am currently in the process of packing to move back over to university and I am using every single one of these tips. I hope you enjoy!

Quick Tip – do a quick wash before you pack, it helps to fold clothes smoother.
  1. Vacuum Bags – these were a life-saver for my suitcase when it came to moving back over to Ireland. I was able to condense all my clothes into smaller packages so I could fit more in my case!
  2. Rolling – rolling your clothes and socks etc saves so much room in your bag as they are in tighter little bundles. This does take slightly longer to pack but I promise it saves you having to sit on top of your suitcase to get it to close or worse…busting the zip.
  3. Packing within packing – by this I mean, if you have a handbag you need to take over with you, packing things in that before putting it in your suitcase. This way, the things inside your handbag are not taking up extra room in your case. 
  4. Pack only what you need – when I first moved over to university, I packed everything! And some of it, I didn’t even wear or use. Before you start to put things in your case, really think about whether you need it or are just packing it because you have to. If you find that you have clothes that you don’t wear, donate them to a charity shop where you know someone will love them.  
  5. Buy things when you arrive – I made the mistake of buying everything I needed for the flat over here in Ireland such as; pots and pans, plates, cutlery, bedding etc. What I should have done was just pack all my clothes and duvet covers and bought the rest of what I needed over in Ormskirk. This would have saved me a lot more room.
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My final tip caters more for my fellow Irish pals or anyone who has to fly or take the boat over: 

This year I used UniBaggage to help me move over my things which was way more convenient than I thought it would be. All I had to do was get a box, pack all the things that I needed into the box (including my vacuum bags), measure the dimensions of the box and then weigh it. A delivery man then just comes around to the house and sends it off. I was able to choose a date in which I wanted it collected and when I wanted it delivered to my new house in Ormskirk so that it is waiting for me when I arrive!

I hope you enjoy this quick little post and that it helps you in your future packing!

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

Personalise YOUR Statement!

Hey everyone, as there has been a lot of focus on freshers and getting started on university, I thought I would write a post that appeals to the students going through their UCAS application for entering university next year (September 2020). This can be a little stressful and perhaps overwhelming but worry not, I am here to tell you that this is normal.

This post will focus on Personal Statements as I was told in high school that this was the most important part about your UCAS application and in my own personal experience, this statement turned out to be very true.


A little background…

Once upon a time, I wanted to be an author, a teacher, a chef, no, I wanted to be a teacher again and then no, I wanted to be a publisher. When it finally came to writing my personal statement I decided I wanted to be a speech therapist. I went and did one days work experience and some workshops and thought, “this is what I want to do.” Little did I know, that was a BIG lie I told myself.

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It wasn’t until I began to write my personal statement did I realise that what I truly wanted to do in university is train to be a teacher. I realised this when I my careers teacher told me to write about why I wanted to be a speech therapist and what inspired me to want to study this course and I got as far as, “I want to study to become a speech therapist because…” Big seller that would have been, am I right?

After thinking about what to write for a while (three days), I soon realised that what I could write passionately about was why I wanted to be a teacher and why I think I would be great for the course. I don’t think I have ever been able to write so easily about myself like I did in my personal statement. 


What my point here is that, writing your personal statement about what YOU want to do should not be hard. If you truly want to study the course that have picked to write your personal statement about then you shouldn’t need to sit for three days thinking about why you want to be a speech therapist for example. Once I started writing about why I wanted to be a teacher, and why I thought I would be suited to the course I couldn’t turn back to tricking myself into thinking I wanted to a speech therapist. 

Your personal statement should be about why YOU want to study the course YOU have picked and not what you THINK you should study. After all, it is called a Personal Statement for a reason…

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I hope you found this useful for when it comes to writing your personal statement. Remember to keep it concise and to the point about why you want to study the course and really make sure you sell your skills and qualities but most importantly, make sure it is about what YOU want to do.

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

-Marc Anthony-

What to Watch?

Hi everyone! As we get closer to welcome week and the return of students to Edge Hill, there’s a lot of focus on welcome week, fresher’s activities and getting settled in. Since all of this has been covered already I thought for what looks to be my last blog I would do something a bit different and make a list of upcoming TV over the next few months which might be suitable for binge watching once the university quietens down and you find yourself with more free time.

The Witcher (Netflix) – TBC (2019)

As someone who is a big fan of the games, the show has a lot to live up to, but with a generous budget and Henry Cavill starring, this could be a show worth watching especially if your looking for something after Game of Thrones.

Big Mouth (Netflix) – Oct 4

Not for the faint of heart but definitely funny and could be perfect for watching with your mates. Season 3 is out later this year.

Mr Robot (Amazon Prime) – Oct 6

Starring Rami Malek who you might know as Freddie Mercury from Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr Robot seems to have been overlooked by most but it’s a tense thriller that deserves more peoples attention Season 4 is out this October.

His Dark Materials (BBC) – TBC (2019)

I don’t know a lot about this but it’s a co- venture between BBC and HBO so it must have a good budget, and is based on a series of highly regarded books. The show stars the likes of James McAvoy and is set to air on BBC one sometime later this year so might be one worth looking out for.

Top Boy (Netflix) – September 13

The first series originally aired on Channel 4 back in 2011 with only one follow up series in 2013. I caught it on Netflix a year or so back and have been waiting for the return ever since. Top Boy is a crime drama set in London so expect some violence. it’s minimal episode numbers mean every episode barely has a dull moment. Definitely one to watch.

The Crown (Netflix) – November 17

My girlfriend first got me to watching this back a few months ago, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since, the production value is insanely good and with series 3 seeing a new older cast featuring Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, it’s definitely on my watch list.

So that’s the TV shows I’ll be watching over the coming months, I think it’s good to have a good variety. I hope at least one interests you if so that would be great!

This looks to be my last blog so thank you for reading if you have read any of my blogs over the past nine months and see you later!

Jordan

Making Friends 101

It’s getting closer to the day you all move in and start your university experience! i hope you are all enjoying binge watching what do bring with you to university videos on YouTube (please tell me I was not the only one!)

As a girl who moved from Ireland to Edge Hill University, I thought that making friends would be the hardest part about university but low and behold I was very surprised…doing your own washing is the hardest part. However, although it is not the hardest part about starting university and I had a very good friend that I knew from home, it can be quite nerve-wracking especially if you are introverted like I was so, here are some of my tips on how I managed to get people to be in my company voluntarily.

Image result for let's be friends gif

BE YOUR BEST SELF!

I’m sorry for how cliche this is but it is seriously so true. People have this weird ability to sense if people are being fake and this only heightens when you get to university. I will admit that I was very scared to be myself in front of my fellow classmates and flat mates but once I got comfortable, let’s just say that we are now very close and they know why I am not myself around everyone I meet…

Societies will be your first best friend!

I have heard that joining these at the very start of the year can be so useful when wanting to make friends in an environment that you are comfortable in. For example, there are musical theatre groups, dance groups, Doctor Who groups and many more that you would never think of. Don’t make the mistake I made and not join one of these!

Go on nights out!

This is another classic case of do as I say and not as I do. I made the mistake of not going out much with my flat mates and not being able to meet new people outside of my course. I now have learnt that while being an introvert is not a bad thing, it can be damaging when you want to meet new people. Take my advice and push yourself to socialise outside the confines of your flat because, while it might be hard and scary you won’t regret it!

Now that I read this blog again, I really should have titled it, ‘Mistakes I made whilst trying to make friends.’ I really hope that you find the friends you deserve because they really do make the difference to your university experience.

“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you”

Rasheed Ogunlaru

Welcome Week at Edge Hill!

From your Welcome Sunday on the 15th September, there is a whole week ahead of fun things for you to do! These events will get you to socialise with new people and hopefully make new friends too!

15th September

Welcome Sunday AND launch party! This is primarily for new students but anyone can come along! Only £5 to get in – definitely not one to miss!

16th September

  • Make your own plant! – Make your own plant and take it away for free! From 2-4pm in the HUB.
  • Tour of Ormskirk – Guides will take you around Ormskirk to show you how to get into town through the free shuttle bus as well as showing you what is around in the town centre. From 5-6pm on the 16th and is free! Meet by couches in the HUB on the ground floor.
  • Milk – LGBTQ night! – Starting from 9pm, the LGBTQ night is for everyone! Only £5 entry on the door and held at Venue.

17th September

  • Bracelet making – The first crafter-noon held from 2-4pm in the HUB upstairs.
  • Bubble football – 12-3pm. To be able to book all you have to do is email: campus-sport@edgehill.ac.uk.
  • Mature students meet and greet – Held from 6:30-8:30 in the SUBar! Chilled out atmosphere and everyone can get social!
  • Free film screening – Held in the Arts Centre on Edge Hill’s campus. From 7pm and is Free!
  • Quiz night! – A special welcome week quiz special. Starting at 9pm in the SU bar.
  • Level takeover! – 10pm – 4am. Edge Hill have teamed up with nightclub Level in Liverpool. Available to get wristbands on welcome Sunday which is only £7.

18th September

  • Welcome fair – 10:30 am till 3pm in the HUB. This a where all of the societies and sport clubs come together so you can join and sign up to any one you like!
  • Vintage Sale pop up – 10am -5pm held in the Venue.
  • Board game night – Held upstairs in the hub from 6-8pm.
  • Foam Party – Another great night held in the Venue on Campus. Starting from 9pm and only £4 entry.

19th September

  • The Dye – Another crafter-noon on Edge Hill campus. Held between 2-4pm. Outside SU Bar.
  • Roller Disco – 6-8pm in the Wilson Gym. Book through campus-sport@edgehill.ac.uk.
  • Tropical Party – 9pm in the SU Bar and Venue. Only £5 entry on the door.

20th September

  • Friday night karaoke – held in the SU bar from 9pm and it is free entry! One of the best nights we do and is a laugh.

These are only some of the events Edge Hill are doing throughout the week. You can find out more by clicking this website below:

https://www.edgehillsu.org.uk/welcomeweek19

Ellis x

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Uni Essentials

Seeing as a lot of you guys are now preparing for University, I thought this would be a great time to suggest essentials for University life when you move in. So, these are my essentials!

Firstly the Bedroom: this is what I took with me:

  • Bedding – 2 duvet sets, 2 pillows, mattress protector and a duvet.
  • Storage – A couple f=of baskets and laundry bag (go to Primark!).
  • Pictures and lighting – fairy lights, a lamp and loads of pictures of friends and family.
  • Clothing – There is quite a bit of storage for clothing in the accommodation buildings. You’ll figure out what you like to wear most within the first few weeks at Uni.
  • Decoration – Anything you want to show off your personality or just for comfort. For me I bought a grey blanket, extra pillows, fake plants (or real ones if you prefer), and some other small decorative pieces. There is a fair in the HUB at Edge Hill that sells posters, I highly recommend going here as it will bring colour to your room.
  • Hangers – Both clothing hangers and over the door hangers. This is very much a space saver in your room.

Next, the bathroom:

This is the exact storage box I used for my bathroom at Edge Hill.
  • Bath/shower matt – so you don’t slip in the shower.
  • A set of small draws or box – so you can put any spare shower gel or other essentials in there to keep your bathroom tidy.
  • Towels – I recommend bringing 2 sets with you, so you still have one if the other needs washing. I had 2 big towels, 2 hand towels and 2 hair towels.
  • Holders – toothbrush and hand wash holders to be exact.
  • Cleaning products – toilet bleach, antibacterial wipes.

Lastly, the kitchen:

  • Utensils – Spatula, wooden spoon, tongs, scissors, garlic crusher etc. You can normally get a pack of all of this from Ikea or a homeware store.
  • Crockery – Get a mixture of everything, but keep numbers to a minimum: 2 plates, 2 small plates, 2 bowls, 2 mugs, 2 glasses, knives, forks and spoons, plus anything else you would like.
  • Cleaning products – disinfectant, antibacterial wipes.
  • Storage – a few freezable containers, sandwich bags and tinfoil.
  • Extra’s – I realised when you’re at Uni, a staple is cheese toasties, so I got a toastie maker which also makes waffles and panini’s too. Definitely one of my favourite buys.

Ellis x

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Mentally preparing for university!

Hi everyone, hope you’re well!

With September fast approaching, comes with planning and preparing for university if this is what you’re going on to do. I am studying English and Education and am in September, starting second year. I moved out of Halls on campus in June and after spending July and August at home working, going away and catching up with friends, which has been nice, I now do feel ready to start back at Edge Hill. In today’s blog, I will be suggesting some tips to help you to feel ready, prepared, excited and relaxed for your time at university, whatever year you are starting or age you are!

When it comes to making friends- everyone is in the same boat!

Last year, when I moved into Halls and started my course , I was worried about who I would be living and being on my course with during first year, whether they would like me and get on, hoping that I would feel at home at Edge Hill and in the flat. But I remember collecting my keys and having my photo taken for my student ID and talking to some girls in the queue. They felt nervous and excited, just like I did and it was then I realized that everyone, no matter how old they were, where they were from or what course they did, was in the exact same boat I was. It is so important to treat others how you’d like to be treated in life, and this definitely goes for at uni, so times when others feel homesick,stressed or worried about something, just think about how you’d like someone to treat you and let them know you care and are there for them!

If you forget something when packing, it can always be sent in the post or collected next time you visit home!

I know this one seems very obvious, but it was something I didn’t really think about when i was packing last year! I brought basically everything I could think of, and of course it’s important to have the things you need, but it’s also important not to over pack, especially if your flat is like mine and has lots and lots of stairs haha! It’s important to bring the things you need, then extra things like decoration for your room and food, when you get to uni and keep extra room in the car for bulky things like your duvet and clothes airer!

There is always someone there for you!

I remember when i first moved into Halls last year with my parents, they helped me move all my things and gets settled in. When I was all settled in, it was then time for them to leave me and go back home. I waved them off in the car, and as I watched them drive away I was hit with the sudden realization that this was it, I was at university! I suddenly left quite lonely and like I didn’t know what to do next, I got lost on my way back to the flat and I could feel myself panicking a bit. But when I made my way back, i was greeted by a few of my flatmates who had moved in and immediately started talking with them and was offered a cup of tea! I knew then that everything would be ok and that someone will always be there for me. I rang my parents that night and my best mates and my boyfriend and I knew that everything would be alright and I would enjoy my first year at Edge Hill.

I hope you enjoyed the blog and bets of luck with moving into your accommodation and starting uni!

Alice 🙂