Goodbye

Well guys, this is my final blog! I thought I would just dedicate my last blog to reflect on my time at Edge Hill.

I came to Edge Hill in my first year as an 18-year-old young girl, who wouldn’t even think of even staying away from home for more than a week! But then, I spent months at a time away from home, at first admittedly missing my family (especially my dog!) and then by the time I was able to sit and think, it was Christmas and I had my first exam to prepare for, when I came back! My first exam at uni and I gained a 1st! Then I decided I was applying to go to America for 3 months to work in an office, with Camp Leaders. The most unforgettable experience of my life.

Then came along second year, then 19, and more life wise. Not quite as much partying as first year I have to say! Living in a house is very different to halls, this was the year I learned about bills, cleaning, and true friendships, both good and bad. Second year was extremely tough for me, a close family member was suffering from cancer, and during my exams in May it became clear that her time was coming to an end. Getting through my exams were extremely difficult, but knowing I had the support of my friends and family really got me through. I was lucky enough to have a two-week placement straight after my exams in a law firm, where that also became a challenge as during my time there, she passed away.

My third year, as a 20-year-old strong-headed woman was by far the most challenging. For me, I knew that Child and Family law was the area that I wished to specialise in. I’ve never worked so hard for my degree as I did in my final year.

I am extremely proud of my self to say that I have Graduated with a 2:1 in Law from the University of the Year, Edge Hill. I have achieved so much, and to say that I have made my family proud is one of the best feelings I have ever felt.

Good luck to all you potential Edge Hill students, do your best and make your time at Edge Hill the best it could possibly be, it will all be so worth it.

Family :)
Family 🙂

Graduation Day.

On Wednesday 22nd July, I officially became an Edge Hill Graduate, and I couldn’t be happier! 🙂

Jessica Katie Wood LLB.
Jessica Katie Wood LLB.

My ceremony was at 10.30am, before hand you get an information pack through the post on what time to arrive. My graduation took place in the Health building in a large lecture theatre. All the graduands sat on one side, and parents on the other, with a large long red carpet in the middle where we walked on, to meet and shake the Chancellors hand to recognise our degree.

I don’t remember much of the walking on the red carpet apart from the Chancellor, Tanya Byron, shook my hand and asked if I had family, I looked up pointed at them and she said, “that’s lovely, well done sweetie.” She is such a lovely lady!

red carpet walk to shake hands!
red carpet walk to shake hands!

It was really nice to see all my lecturers too! They all had their robes on, and were all so lovely and supportive. The ceremony consisted of a few speeches and ended with a lovely lady who sang “Songbird”, by Eva Cassidy. It was truly beautiful.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself. My family have been so supportive and have been there for me throughout all the good and bad times and I am so thankful. I did this degree not just for my future, but for my family, to make them proud, and knowing I’ve achieved both is very fulfilling.

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For those of you who choose Edge Hill to complete your degree, I promise you now, you will not be disappointed. My 3 years here have been the best 3 years, and my graduation ceremony was the most unique unforgettable experience ever, and it has made the whole 3 years completely worth it!

Thank you Edge Hill. 🙂

Freshers…

The next most exciting thing to look forward to is Freshers’ Week! I remember seeing a list of all the events that were taking place on the SU website before I started. It ranged from silent disco, to special guest DJ’s to UV paint parties! I was so excited, it’s like nothing you will ever experience in your life, but I had two main concerns:

1. Do you go out as a house/flat? Will it not be awkward going out with people you don’t know!?

2. What do you wear for the events?!

I lived in halls for my first year, and as we were moving into our rooms we all got chatting helping each other make the beds! We were all so excited that it felt like we had known each other for years, so going out wasn’t a problem!

Outfits… I really wouldn’t worry about this. Freshers’ Week is not about wearing the best dresses or the best shoes, because they won’t stay in the condition you bought them in… not at freshers anyway! So don’t over-think your outfit. In the end, me and the girls ended up borrowing each others clothes anyway.

Freshers’ Week is the time where you make memories straight away with the people you live with. During the day there’s the Freshers’ Fair where you can sign up to societies. They have everything from dance societies, football societies, Christian societies right through to Harry Potter societies, so there really is something for everybody!

If I could give you one piece of advice… do everything you possibly can, because 3 years will go by so so so very quickly. 🙂

what to bring to halls?

One of the biggest stresses for me moving into halls, was wondering what to bring. Regardless of what accommodation you’re in, you still want to make it feel like home! I lived in Forest Court in Maple, where I shared a bathroom and kitchen with 4 other people. But your room was still your room, so make that as homely as you need it to be! I took so many teddies with me, they were literally all over the place, haha!

Another tip I would 100% recommend to just put that homely touch, is plenty of pictures from home. Then each semester print the ones off from uni and put them up too!

Apart from buying the kitchen essentials like plates and knives and folks, don’t bother buying a toaster/ kettle/ smoothie maker! As a group you will probably all pitch in together to buy one for you to all share…so much cheaper…and less to worry about to buy.

Bathroom stuff however, I would say depends on if you have an en-suite or not, in case you want to buy a bath mat and holders to hang your bathroom things in. But myself and my flatmates just put all our shampoos and wash stuff in the bathroom together.

I lived in halls for the first year and a house for second year and third year, and I can tell you now, I loved halls. It was so much fun moving in with new people, learning to share and of course helping each other out. I can assure you that most of you will end up moving in with them for second and third year… and therefore the kettle just keeps moving on with you all! Perfect!

Good luck guys and shop well! 🙂

Finding a part time job whilst at uni

When I was at college I found a part-time job in a Bistro. When I went to uni, I maintained that job and commuted home every weekend, Friday to Sunday to work there. Until Christmas came and I had enough of trains – especially on a Sunday!

Needless to say, after the Christmas break I went back to uni and straight away handed out my CV in Ormskirk. I was extremely lucky as the first one I handed out became my new job! It was a pub called Disraeli’s, which was perfect as I mainly worked the night shifts on the bar, so it meant it wouldn’t clash with any of my lectures or seminars, and so I had the days to get all my work done.

I remember getting a call within 20 minutes of handing of CV into the pub. The landlady asked me to go in for an ‘informal chat’  and so I did, and within 10 minutes of being in the pub I was behind the bar pouring my first pint!

The pub has recently changed hands, but if you’re looking for a cute lunch time get away with a few twists and fun nights out then Disraeli’s has it all!

It’s been hard leaving all my work friends there, as I worked there from the beginning of 2013 straight through to this summer now! But I’ve made some really good life long friends! 🙂

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Results are out!

Results for final year students were scheduled for release at 1pm yesterday. But with nerves I was up at 7am! My phone was going crazy as all the girls from my course had messaged and said the results were up early…

I think it’s fair to say that my mum and quite possibly my neighbours are still suffering from a headache with all my screaming I did yesterday, with happiness of course!

I am absolutely over the moon to say that in 18 days I will be graduating with a 2:1 Honours class degree in Law! 🙂

Three years have gone so quickly, there’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears throughout my time at uni, but it has all so been worth it, and I wouldn’t change my time at Edge Hill for anything!

It’s a privilege to be able to say my degree is from Edge Hill, and I only hope that for those of you who are coming to study here, you will enjoy your time here as much as I have done. Work hard, because three years will fly by so quickly and before you know it… it’s all done with. Make your time here worthwhile, there is no better feeling than knowing all your hard work and determination has paid off. 🙂

 

Coming to uni

For me, I came to University with my boyfriend who I met in college. We both studied Law at A Level and both wanted to carry on with it at degree level. We both had our own options for which universities that we wanted to study at, and it just so happened Edge Hill was the one we had in common, and both got accepted into.

Throughout education when looking at which high schools and colleges to go to, I’ve always been told by teachers to not pick the ones that our friends go to. But, for us it wasn’t like that, we didn’t pick it because we wanted to stay together, we both knew that law was what we were interested in and Edge Hill felt like a second home to us!

For me, coming to University with a boyfriend hasn’t stopped me from doing what I’ve wanted. It’s been useful to have someone so close who is going through the same thing as me, to talk to and of course when it comes to exams, it’s great to revise together.

I appreciate this blog may not apply to everyone reading this, but for those of you who are going through a similar situation and are worried if it will distract you or get in the way of your uni experience…I personally wouldn’t change the way my three years have gone at uni, I managed to complete my degree with my best friend by my side.

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“Everything happens for a reason”

Summer Camp

This time two summers ago I was getting ready to fly out to do Camp in America!

Summer is what you make it, and after my first year at Edge Hill, I decided it was time to make it the best summer ever! If it wasn’t for me coming to Edge Hill I would have never done or known about half the things you can get involved in. Edge Hill frequently have stalls in the Hub and Hale Hall, which advertise part-time, graduate jobs and voluntary jobs. And that was where I found the stall for Camp Leaders. It was blue, which was to be honest what caught my eye, as it’s my favourite colour!

I took a leaflet and the next thing I knew, I received an email offering me a place at a Camp. Don’t get me wrong, the process was long and time-consuming, but it all seemed to happen really quickly for me!

I spent the most incredible 10 weeks of my life in Massachusetts. I originally applied to be a counsellor in teaching dance (as I do dance at home as a hobby) but then realised, I could make it relevant to my degree and be an office secretary instead.

Every day there was a schedule, and working in the office you had to be there for 7.30am to play the first “bugle” which woke the whole camp up for breakfast. It was so much fun! My roles were basically to keep the office running. But, out of working hours I could get involved with all the camp activities, and go explore out the camp too.

On my days off I would go shopping in the town, or spend it on the beach, chill out and socialise with other campers that were around.

I wish I had more of a word count…I could go on all day long! If you ever get the opportunity to do Camp… I promise you, it’s the best, most amazing experience ever! 🙂

The most exciting thing to ever come through the post!
The most exciting thing to ever come through the post!
My cabin!
My cabin!
celebrated my 19th birthday over there! :)
Celebrated my 19th birthday over there! 🙂
Camps lake
Camps centre lake.
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Office girls.
nights out with the bestie!
Nights out with the bestie!
my cabin bed!
My cabin bed!
Office.
Office.

 

Who am I now?

Finishing University is the strangest feeling ever. I’m not a student any more, yet I’m not in full-time employment either. I’ve already mentioned that completing my degree has further reinforced my ambition, to become a child and family law solicitor, but this summer is a little bit busy for me to start applying for jobs just yet.

At the moment, I’m working part-time at my dance school that I’ve been with since I was 7, and have decided to take my teaching associate exams to qualify as a dance teacher in Ballroom, Latin and Freestyle. I’ve also started taking my driving lessons, with the aim to pass by September! And I’m going away on a surprise holiday with mum for my 21st soon, and then away with a group of girls down South for a weekend.

I’m taking the “sensible” option and just trying to better my CV and try and enhance myself as a person, so that when I am ready for a full-time job, I will be able to show them something different that makes me stand out.

I signed up to the careers centre at Edge Hill, where they email out jobs that fit your criteria, which is really helpful. I’ve been lucky enough to have been short-listed for one or two jobs, but the only problem being, is for immediate start, and therefore with regret I’ve had to decline. I only hope that when the time is right I will be able to get my job straight away! 🙂

Starting at 18, finishing at 21… 3 years already?

I started University at the age of 18. For my 19th birthday I was in America, doing camp. For my 20th I was here in England with all my family and friends, and for my 21st (which is coming up in a matter of a couple of weeks) –  the day after I am spending a week away on a surprise holiday with my mum.

But three years have flown by for me, and that’s because of University. You’re so busy by the time you start it’s no more than a few weeks and it’s Christmas, then once you get back into your routine, it’s Easter and then bam it’s summer and you’ve completed a year already!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all as easy as it sounds, you have your early morning lectures and your deadlines to meet, not forgetting those dreaded exams! But for me, after completing each year I’ve never felt anything other than proud. Proud to have said that I did everything that my tutors asked of me and I 100% tried my best at everything.

Coming to University widens your knowledge and your own confidence, because as my famous saying goes “knowledge is confidence”. 

I often wonder where I will end up in another 3 years… which will take me to the age of 24! I am hoping to see myself in a law firm, ideally allowing me to specialise in the child and family department, hopefully nearly trained as a fully qualified solicitor. But… I guess I will just have to let you know!

I am just thankful that my time at Edge Hill has confirmed that my dream is to be a child and family law solicitor! 🙂