The Last One

Well ladies and gentlemen, I am incredibly sad to announce that this will be my last blog for Inside Edge. I’ve been writing these blogs every Wednesday for nearly two years now and have loved every minute of it, but unfortunately, as of the end of the month, I will no longer officially be a student at Edge Hill University (although I will always be one at heart, I assure you).  I hope that I’ve been able to give you all at least some useful advice over the years, and a bit of an insight into the life of a rather reclusive, soppy, English Literature student. For my final blog, I thought I’d leave you with some last pieces of wisdom that I’ve gained during my time as a student.

Don’t leave your work until the last minute. I’d recommend getting your university work done as soon as you can. It’s so much less stressful than leaving it until the deadline. Also, if your internet packs up ten minutes before your essay is due and you can’t upload it to Turnitin, you’re going to regret not getting it done sooner.

Something I wish I had done a lot more of is volunteering. If you can, volunteer in your free time. I know, sitting at home watching Netflix is a lot of fun and university can be exhausting, but getting some work experience will  look so great on your CV when it comes to looking for a graduate job. Seriously guys; it’s invaluable.

And finally, it’s a cliché, I know, but: do what scares you. University gives you the freedom to step outside of your comfort zone, experience new things, and take opportunities that you would never have considered before. Even if you end up not enjoying whatever it is, there is always a sense of satisfaction gained from trying something new.

Edge Hill University has proved itself to be a wonderful place for me to learn and to get an amazing degree. But it’s also been so much more than that. It’s been a home to me for three years, somewhere that I’ve made memories that will last a lifetime, and a place that I met some truly amazing friends. Edge Hill changed my life forever and is without doubt the best decision I have ever made.

If you’re just about to start Edge Hill in September, make sure you enjoy every single second because it will be the most incredible time of your life.

Graduation, the last time I was at Edge Hill but definitely not the final time!
Graduation, the last time I was at Edge Hill but worry not, I WILL be back to visit!

Congratulations Freshers!

A big hello to all you brand new Edge Hill freshers out there! Well done for working hard and getting your place here! My three years at Edge Hill have been full of so many happy memories and now I am walking away with a fabulous degree from the University of the Year  2014! You have so many great things ahead of you and I bet you can’t wait to get started.

Before you have to get stuck in to all the hard work though there is of course Freshers Week! In case you haven’t seen it already, I’ll stick the line up below. I am especially jealous of the headphone disco on Saturday; during my freshers week we had one of those and it was such a blast! The Freshers Carnival also sounds like it will be loads of fun!

As exciting as all of that is, freshers week isn’t just about going out and drinking loads. For a lot of people, myself included, that wasn’t even really a big part. I went to a fair few freshers week events, but I spent the majority of my time meeting new people and hanging out with them. I’m not really someone who enjoys going out clubbing a lot (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) so it was nice just to take a few nights off and have an evening in at my flat with my new friends. There’s also probably a few talks that you will have to attend related to your course, as well as talks about things like finance and accommodation. You’ll get given information about these before long!

Freshers week is also a great chance to get to know the local area if you’re not familiar with it. It’s definitely worth trying out a few places in Ormskirk, and don’t leave it too long before you travel to Liverpool because there’s lots of fun to be had there!

Edge Hill University is a truly special university with an amazing campus, so I hope all of you love it just as much as I do!

‘Twas the Night Before Results Day…

…When all through the house, not a student was sleeping…because they were all far too nervous!

So tomorrow is the big day. In less than 24 hours Edge Hill University will have a brand new set of students ready to start in September. This is so incredibly exciting! Although I imagine the butterflies are starting set in properly by now! Tomorrow will probably be a day you remember forever, hopefully for the right reasons.

There’s nothing that I can say that will make tomorrow seem less scary, that’s only going to happen when you’ve finally been able to check Track and look at your exam results. But if you have any room in your head right now for something other than worrying about results and university places, it should be that these things are not the end of the world. They don’t define who you are and they don’t necessarily ensure that your life will go a certain way. Don’t get me wrong, getting great results and a place at your university of choice is an amazing achievement that should definitely be celebrated, but when it comes down to it, there’s more to life than some words and numbers on a page.

If you’re looking for any last minute advice from me, I’d say to make sure you’re well aware of all the possible outcomes tomorrow. You can read up on how to understand Track on the UCAS website. UCAS also have a really useful results page. Another tip is that you should have all your login details at hand, because there’s nothing worse than finding that Track is finally open only to realise that you’ve forgotten your username.  You might also want to refresh yourself on the conditions of your offer from your university of choice (if you received a Conditional Offer), so that you know right away whether or not you’ve met it when you see your results .

I am so nervous for you all, but I know that tomorrow will bring so much happiness to so many people which is so wonderful to celebrate. Best of luck!!!

 

A Level Results Day: What to Expect

It’s just over a week until A Level results day and so I imagine that for a lot of you the nerves are well and truly setting in. I won’t lie to you: it’s a big day, and if you’re waiting to hear whether you’ve got a place at university, it could be a day that changes your life forever. But this doesn’t mean that you have to be terrified; it is also a really exciting day, and regardless of what results you get or which university you get in to, you should be proud of everything you’ve achieved. Making it through A Levels is not an easy thing to accomplish, and I still consider it to be one of the toughest points of my education.

So what’s going to happen on results day? Well, if you’re anything like me you won’t get a lot of sleep the night before and will be up at the crack of dawn refreshing the UCAS results page just in case. They do normally update the results page a little earlier than they say they will, but there’s not much point sitting in front of your computer in the dead of night. Track will be available from around 8:00am, at which point you will be able to see the status of your university application. Hopefully, it’ll be good news all round! But if not,  try to stay calm; this doesn’t mean that you’re definitely not going to university. Clearing is a wonderful option (I have a lot of friends who found their universities through Clearing and they couldn’t be happier). Visit the UCAS page that explains what your status on Track means if you’re unsure.

A few hours later your colleges/Sixth Forms probably open for you to go and collect your envelope containing your final results (although I know some exam boards now publish results online from midnight). This will be a chance to thank your tutors and to celebrate with friends. However it’s also an opportunity to ask any questions or get any help from members of staff who are very in the know and will be able to help you, especially if you find yourself in Clearing.

Results day will probably be stressful, but it should also be joyous! I am keeping my fingers crossed for you all!

I’m a Graduate!!!

Last Thursday was my graduation ceremony.  It was honestly one of the best days of my life – I wish I could graduate every day! After spending the previous night in Southport and meeting up with some friends, I arrived on campus the morning of graduation two and half hours before the ceremony was due to begin (it’s amazing how much stuff you have to do beforehand!). I then went and collected my graduation gown. I wish I could have taken it home! I then spent the next few minutes feeling like I was about to go off to Hogwarts or something!

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After that I went to register, which was really quick and easy, and picked up my tickets for my guests. Next it was professional photograph time (although my parents had already taken about a hundred of their own pictures by this point!). I then had a bit of time to relax and catch up with my friends, and my nerves were definitely building! However I was also extremely excited.

Before I knew it,  it was time to enter the hall and graduate! The ceremony was so beautiful, and despite being extremely nervous I enjoyed it thoroughly. I even had friends and family at home watching the live stream online which meant I could share it with them even though they were hundreds of miles away! There was an amazing selection of food and drinks laid out by the university afterwards as well which was so lovely.

From the free photo booth in the hub during the post-graduation reception!
From the free photo booth in the hub during the post-graduation reception!

My graduation day was such a happy one, but I was also devastated to be leaving Edge Hill. I can’t believe that my time at university is now truly over. I’ve made some amazing friends and memories, obtained a wonderful degree and now I’m going to see where the rest of my life takes me! It’s pretty scary but I’m so excited.

By the time you read this I will be on holiday in (hopefully sunny) France having a well-deserved break! I hope you’re all having wonderful summers and resting up too!

Getting My University Work Done

(The things I’m about to say really only come from my own experiences, we’re all different and all courses are different so please don’t assume that what I’m saying will definitely be applicable to you)

The summer before I started university, I was keen to be as prepared as possible before I started my course. I bought the books on the reading list as soon as I could. Despite this, I was only a couple of weeks ahead (at the most) of my classmates who hadn’t done anything to prepare, so I wouldn’t worry if for whatever reason you can’t start reading in advance. However, once you’re at university the reading really must be done as soon as possible. To be honest, I found first year easier than Sixth Form. I could easily handle the essays and reading that I needed to do. The only thing that took a bit of time to get used to was learning to reference my essays properly, but this became second nature to me eventually. First year went by in a blissful haze full of relatively good marks.

When I started second year I went into a state of shock for about a month. I would say that the workload tripled. I don’t want this to scare any of you like it did me; it’s not as bad as it seems, honest. But at the time I didn’t know how to handle it. But I eventually did, and this is how:  I read three books a week, every week (one for each module) and completed any additional work for seminars that I was asked to do (there was a fair bit – but this all depends on the tutor and the module).  I also squeezed in writing essays whenever I needed to, normally over the holidays and Reading Weeks when I had a bit more time. It wasn’t easy, my grades weren’t as good as first year (although still decent), but eventually I made it through.

Third year was less of a jump in terms of workload. Although it did still increase a bit from second year, I was able to manage it better. I’d perfected my technique in getting my reading done and I learnt how much time to put aside to get my essays written properly, even though now they were required to be longer than ever before. My grades went up, and I managed to have a really decent social life at the same time. Third year was wonderful, I really enjoyed it. It really was all about gathering the skills I’d learnt over the years and pulling them together to succeed. Tomorrow I will be graduating with a 2:1 and I couldn’t be happier!

It’s All Coming Around So Quickly

I am still consumed by happiness from receiving my results last week – updating my CV with my final grade felt so surreal! And I can’t believe that I graduate next week; it’s all come around so quickly! I’ve found that quite a few of my family members have been getting quite nostalgic lately whenever I talk to them about graduation, claiming that ‘It only felt like yesterday’  that I started and asking ‘Where has the time gone?’. I definitely am feeling the same way; I cannot believe three years has gone so quickly. But when I look back, I really have achieved a lot in that time and I have definitely grown as a person.

I am currently very excited about the fact that by the time you read this, I will hopefully be on my way to Liverpool for a quick visit. I miss it oh so much, and although I will be travelling up north next week for graduation too, I won’t actually get a chance to go to Liverpool so it would be nice to spend a bit of time there beforehand. I’m hoping to catch up with one of my northern friends, and also to show some people who have never been to Liverpool before the touristy places, of which there are many to choose from!

There is also now LESS THAN A MONTH left until A Level results day! Terrifying – I know! However it’s also really exciting! My A Level results days was one of the happiest days of my life. I woke up, checked my results, and then celebrated all day and all night. I hope very much that something similar happens for all of you! But, as I’ve said before, even if things don’t go completely to plan it is not the end of the world and everything will turn out ok in the end, I promise. I will be posting more advice and tips for surviving results day nearer the time, so keep an eye out!

I trust that you all are having lovely summers and making the most of your well-earned break!

 

Results Day 2015

On Friday the results for everyone graduating from Edge Hill this summer were finally released and I am so happy to share with you all that I will be graduating with a 2:1 BA (Hons) English Literature! I am so glad that all the hard work I’ve put in over the past three years has paid off. I know that a few of the other Student Bloggers also got their results last week so congratulations to you guys as well! I can’t believe that in two weeks or so we will all be donning our caps and gowns – it only feels like yesterday that I found out that I’d got my place at Edge Hill!

If you’re interested in what results day is like at university, it’s pretty different to what I experienced at school and Sixth Form. Everyone doesn’t turn up at the university and collect envelopes with their results in; it’s all done online. To collect my results, I logged in to the student portal and just clicked a link to view my transcript! A copy also arrived in the post later that day. It’s a bit less exciting than celebrating with everyone else, but that’s what graduation is for!

I am so excited to go back to Edge Hill for one last time (for now, anyway – I’m sure I’ll be back for reunions and such in the future!). It’ll be great to see my friends again, and to celebrate the last three years of lots of hard work, fun and amazing memories. Graduation will also be the last time I visit my beloved North West before I move up there in Autumn 2016 (if all goes to plan!). I’ve never been to a place that I’ve felt instantly at home until I discovered Liverpool and Ormskirk, which is why I am so desperate to one day return for good. But my future is so undetermined at the moment, and my degree has opened so many doors for me, so who knows what’ll happen!

The Shy Student

If you’re someone who is naturally quite shy there are a lot of things about university that can be really daunting. This was definitely the case for me, anyway. I’d struggled my way through school and Sixth Form, just about warming up to all of my teachers and classmates as it was all coming to an end. Starting afresh at university kind of felt like going back to square one. But in reality, it wasn’t as bad as I’d been imagining.

I think as you get older you gradually become a bit less shy, and so for me, I found myself able to settle in and be more comfortable in my university classes in a much shorter time than it took me at school. As time passed I gradually got to know all the tutors and my fellow students and so it all became a bit less scary. This was especially important when it came to taking part in a seminars, because a really big part of the session is contributing to group discussions. Even if you’re not loving the idea at first, my advice is to try and face your fears because I always find that once I’ve shared one point, I find it a lot easier to carry on talking. It’s also ok to accept that class discussions will never be your favourite thing, or something you particularly enjoy, but if you can somehow get yourself just to endure it a bit, you’ll get by ok.

Another thing that I worried about was making friends. I didn’t know a single person when I started at Edge Hill, and I was panicking that my shyness would mean I wouldn’t be able to get close to anybody. However I found so many people that I got on with and made some amazing friends. A great piece of advice that I heard is to force yourself to get to know the people around you, but I found this wasn’t even difficult at all because I had so many questions to ask seeing as everyone was from totally different places and studying different courses. And when you find someone that you click with it just gets easier and easier until, suddenly, you’re friends!

How NOT to Spend your Summer

Your last summer before university is full of endless possibilities, and you can do whatever your heart desires. Travel, see your friends every day, work, spend every waking moment shopping for your future flat; it’s up to you. But there is one thing you should definitely NOT spend your summer doing, and that is worrying. I understand that there are a lot of big changes coming up, and it can be scary. But I guarantee that it is not worth stressing about. Everything always turns out for the best.

If it’s your exam results that you are worried about, you’ve got to try and remember that there’s nothing you can do about them now, and so really you’re better off just trying to enjoy your summer. If your exams didn’t quite go to plan, then perhaps the results will lead you down a different path, but I believe that you will be just has happy wherever you end up. And I know so many people that only found their universities through clearing, but every single one of them is so glad that it happened because they all love where they’ve ended up. Sometimes things just happen for a reason.

If you’re worried about what university life is going to be like there’s really no need to dwell on it. The past three years have been the best of my entire life. I’ve met so many new people, and made so many memories. Not every single minute was perfect, and there were some really hard times, but I would still go back and do it all over again if I could.

And finally, you might be worried about what will happen to your life at home with your friends and family. I’ve found that going to university has only strengthened the relationships I had with those who really mattered. They’ve also been a wonderful support system, despite being so far away. Distance doesn’t necessarily mean anything.