Meeting your Flatmates

When you really stop and think about it, the whole concept is pretty strange. You’re driven by your parents to some random town you hardly know, left in a strange new flat with a group of people you know nothing about and for all you know could be mass murders (catfish anyone?) and then your parents leave you there to fend for yourself. There is no other situation for this other than university, and while it may sound pretty terrifying when you break it down, mine and most people’s experiences are pretty far from that strange scene I just created but why? Because this was definitely something I feared for before the big day!

Firstly, you can visit the campus as many times as you like before. I would definitely recommend going to open days and applicant days to get a feel for the place and town before making the leap to move in September.

Secondly, you can actually meet everyone in your flat before you move in via social media. I met the majority of my flat through Facebook freshers pages, which I shall point you in the right direction of when they go live. I found this really reassuring when I moved because I had already done the awkward introduction online and knew a little bit about everyone already making conversations so much easier.

And thirdly, everyone is in the same boat, which is really hard to remember but so true. The first day really is nothing to worry about, from my experiences, everyone is super friendly and everyone’s trying to make friends just the same as you are, so make sure you go out and introduce yourself to as many people as possible!

Leaving teen hood, for the first taste of adultness

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I remember my best friend sending this exact quote to me when we both first started university, and `I distinctively remember identifying with it. When I went to university I really did think that this was the first taste of true adulthood, being in charge of your own life, making your own decisions about where you’re going and when and whats for dinner. Whilst this sounds rather idyllic, it did suddenly feel a bit daunting, and I did worry that there would be no one around anymore to catch me when I fall (sorry for the clichĂ©). But I was pleasantly surprised by how much support I found in and around the university, for a multitude of different needs, which I found highly reassuring so I thought I would share a few of those today.

Personal Tutor
I have written a post about this before, but I can’t stress enough how helpful this aspect of university is. A personal tutor is a tutor that you meet with regularly throughout the year to ensure you are on track with assignments, happy at university and help you achieve your goals. The same tutor stays with you for the full 3 years so they really get to know you, which is extremely helpful and ensures you always have someone to turn to if you have any worries, work related or otherwise.

Student Services
I cannot rate this department enough, the teams within are absolutely fantastic and so incredibly dedicated to ensuring all students are happy and getting the very best experience they can from Edge Hill University. Furthermore this is where the ‘adultier’ adult comes in, as they are there to help you if you have any concerns including things like finance, job searching, house hunting, contract reading and health and wellbeing advice. These are the experts to turn to when you’re in need of a helping hand and just goes to show that although university is about gaining independence, there is so much support available along the way.

Students’ Union
And finally the students’ union, the team of students representatives there to make sure all your wants and needs for student life are met. Whether you need a friendly face, want to make a change to the university or get involved in a society these are the guys that are there to help you out!

So you can see from this that there is so much support for students at Edge Hill and although you wont have your parents there with you, there are people around to support you and you’re not alone!

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Graduate Ball: I’ve Finished Uni!

Yesterday was my last full day in Ormskirk and what better way to finish an amazing 3 years than getting dressed up with all my best friends and having one last amazing night out! We all spent the day getting ready, going to cobbles for pancakes and chilling out before heading to Aintree Racecourse for dinner, dancing and G&T’s! It was such a beautiful location filled with everyone I have crossed paths with over the last 3 years, and it was great to catch up with so many familiar faces.
Last night really made me realise that the friends I’ve made at university really are friends for life and I feel so lucky to be so close to so many lovely different people who live all over the country. One thing I felt especially thankful for was the amount of opportunities I have had throughout my degree to meet so many different people, from work friends, course friends, flat mates and social mates, there really are so many people to meet. The only piece of advice I can give is really to just get out there and get involved in everything, and just be lovely to everyone you meet, because university really is a place you will make friends for life at.

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2 days to make your firm and insurance choices!

As I’m sure you are all aware (but I thought I would just throw out a little reminder) firm and insurance decisions about which university you wish to attend need to be made by the 4th of May in two days time. This can be a really tough decision so I thought I would share some tips about how I chose which university was right for me, just incase you still haven’t decided!

– Make a pros and cons list – literally write it out so you can see it all out in front of you. Consider everything about the courses, for example which one has the modules you’re really excited for or do they offer industry placements or the opportunity to study abroad? Consider the amount of students they accept onto the course, what the facilities are like and what the learning style is like. This can all help you work out which place is right for you.

– Consider the distance. Originally I really didn’t want to go to university far away from home, but now I’ve done it, it was honestly the best experience for me. It forced me to get involved in everything I could, and make loads of new friends because I couldn’t go home often. I did get quite home sick in the beginning but that’s normal and I think it’s really helped me grow in confidence and independence.

– Also think about the local area, what you can get involved with in your spare time, which university is going to give you personally the best all round experience and what do you wish to gain out of them? What societies exist, what are the sports facilities like? These things will all count to your university experience so going somewhere you know you can get involved with lots will really make a difference.

– Think about what your gut instinct tells you, league tables and stats can only do so much. I knew as soon as I arrived on the Edge Hill campus it was the right university for me, I felt at home immediately and knew it had everything I wanted from a university. You too will probably get that feeling, so don’t listen to your parents or be persuaded by friends, just go with what feels right for you.

To find out more about how to make the firm and insurance choice check out the UCAS WEBSITE.

 

Things I wish I knew before University

Here is a compiled list of things students (my friends I roped in!) said they wish they knew before starting university, enjoy!:

1.There will be lots of fancy dress so bring your whole wardrobe (even that hideous dress you’ve been hoarding since 09.

2.Buy an NUS card and a student rail card – it will save your life.

3.Buy ear plugs – they will come in handy at least once.

4. Lock your room – flatmates love to cover your stuff in cellophane (it will only happen to one poor innocent person once, but it will happen!)

5.The internet is a life saver (that’s why half of us still haven’t entered the library!)

6.Get to know your tutors and make sure they know who you are (and be nice to them, they’re there to help you after all)

7.Fire alarms will educate you that someones burnt some toast in the flat above or had the shower on too hot.

8.Your sleeping schedule turns onto ‘student mode’.

9.You’ll realise how much you love and appreciate your mum’s cooking!

10.Don’t leave all the referencing to the end of the essay, you will hate yourself for it at the end.

11.Don’t judge anyone when you first meet them.

12. Every night is student night.

13.Freshers flu is REAL – stock up on the meds before you arrive.

14. Attend everything – every social every lecture every drinks out – get to know everyone and make the most of every opportunity

15.It’s ok to feel over whelmed or homesick – just remember everyone’s in the same boat

16.DON’T spend your entire loan in the first week – (someone always will! don’t let it be you)

17.Try something new – whether a new sport or society, it’s probably the best time in your life to try something you’ve always wanted to try (for me pole, hoop and silks!)

18. Percentages work very differently at uni 70% and your winning at life.

19.You will live off pasta, so google different variations!

20.MAKE THE MOST OF IT – three years will fly by before you know it and next your saying goodbye to some of your best friends (like i will be next week!)

My Plans For After University

It is official. I only have 4 weeks left of being a university student and then I’m off to be an adult! How terrifying is that?! Now the question I’m getting asked non-stop at the moment is what are my plans for after I finish, so I thought it might be an interesting thing to put into a blog post to show how far I’ve come through my degree and what experience I’ve gained and what I hope to do with all this advertising knowledge!

Now for my course in particular ( BA (hons) Advertising) we have had a lot of support and guidance about what jobs are out there for a creative student with a lot of emphasis placed on actually HOW to get those sort after jobs. So luckily for me I had a lot of help with creating a creative CV and a portfolio which if you want to check out is HERE.
Additionally, as part of the course we had a compulsory placement module which involved going into industry and working with an agency (or multiple) for a total of 4 week, mine of which I did at That Lot, a London-based social creative agency. At the time I absolutely loved the placement and learnt so much so I was incredibly thankful for my awesome CV (with help from my lecture and the careers team) that got me the placement in the first place and for the opportunity itself which I had to do to get the grades in the placement module.

However since then, a lot more doors have opened just from this one opportunity, and I can now say that (after an interview last week) that as of May I will be interning full-time for That Lot! I am so super excited about it and really cannot wait to get straight into the industry after my degree, and it’s definitely something I could never have done without the course. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more from the course and it has set me up in perfect stead for the next chapter of my life – starting a career in advertising!

Personal Tutor System

Sometime the thought of coming to university, studying a subject you may have never read before, moving away from home and having a totally new acedemic routine can seem a little bit daunting, and can take quite some getting used to. I think when I started university I was really worried about being thrown in at the deep end, and having no one to talk to if I was struggling, but *thankfully* this really wasn’t the case at all!
I have found over these three years of study at Edge Hill, that it is a university extremely committed to giving a high quality of support and guidance for its students, which is probably why we have won the university regularly ranks highly in student satisfaction surveys.

A personal tutor is basically in a nut shell someone from your department, usually a lecturer on your specific course, which you will have regular contact with to ensure your personal development and acedemic goals are being reached. Not only this but its really great to have that contact with someone that you can go to for any worries you may have wether that be to do with the course or more personal issues.

I think this system is really beneficial as sometime sitting in a big lecture theatre can be a bit daunting and you can’t always ask the questions you want to ask, and more so sometimes if you are on a particularly big programme the lecturer might not even know you by name, so its really great to have someone who knows you personally and your goals and ambitions that can push you to get the very best grades you can. This personal tutor also stays with you for the full 3 years at university so they can really get to know you well through regular meetings over the 3 years. Overall I think it has been really helpful over my time at university and its nice to know this system is in place and that you have someone to turn to if you have any worries or concerns at university!

 

What’s Developing on Campus?

As a student at Edge Hill for the last 3 years, I can honestly say I’ve never been in an environment that has changed so much so quickly in all my life. In these three short years so much development has gone on in and around the campus, and it really nice to see that the campus is constantly being invested in and being improved and expanded for the students. Since I started the campus has grown so much with the development of Creative Edge, Sport and Chancellors South and Palatine Court, and the future holds a lot more developments to come which I thought I would share briefly in this post!

The Technology Hub
At present the computing students are bunched in with the media students in Creative Edge. However, the university has just been given the green light to develop a new £13million technology hub to be home to the University’s Department of Computing and will provide classrooms, offices and a new lecture theatre. This will be absolutely fantastic for our vast array of computing degrees and will give the student even more space and opportunities to get the very most out of their computing degree while also giving the media department more space! Having this kind of space really does make a difference to the university experience, as I feel that the different departments have different buzzes and vibes about them, which make them unique and creates excitement and enthusiasm around the specialisms something in particular I have found with the media department.

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Accommodation
As you would expect, Edge Hill are constantly developing new blocks of Halls to keep up with the vast amount of applicants applying to the university and hoping to stay on campus! The new Halls of Residences will provide 168 new single-study en-suite bedrooms, bringing the total number of students that can live on campus to 2,259. These Halls should be very similar to the likes of Palatine Court!

Both theses developments are currently underway and due to be complete for the start of the 2016/17 academic year in September, so should be ready for anyone hoping to start this year!

 

Applying for Student Finance Top Tips

As I’m sure you are aware Student Finance England is the organisation that most students apply for in order to help pay their way through university, and will help to pay for things like your tuition and living costs. However, I know that there are plenty of people out there who end up applying for finance very late on and often have issues trying to get the application complete before they start in September, so I would strongly recommend trying to get it sorted out as soon as possible so you can concentrate your time onto other things!
There are 4 stages to the application, and it does take a little bit longer to gather information and fill in details than you may initially think so make sure you are prepared early! The stages go as follows:

1. Registration
When you register you’ll be given a unique Customer Reference Number and be asked to create a password and secret answer. Keep these safe as you’ll need them to log into your account to check the progress of your application and re-apply for student finance next year.

2. Before you start your online application, you should have the following to hand:

  • your valid UK passport, if you have one;
  • your university and course details;
  • your bank account details;
  • your National Insurance number.

If you want to apply for finance that depends on your household income, they will ask your parents or partner to give us information about their household income and their National Insurance number. This is the bit that could take a little more time than you might think so make sure you have all this to hand before you start!!

3.Evidence
Not always but sometimes student finance will ask you to provide evidence of your house hold income, so this could include your parents p60 form to show what they earn for the last financial year, so make sure you ask them in advance to have a look for it just incase!

4.Declaration form:
Finally you will be asked to print and send of a signed declaration form which will need to be processed before student finance can pay you so don’t forget to do that!!

If circumstances change and you need to change your application, this can also be done and you can find out more information about that : Here 

I really hope this post is helpful, I had lots of trouble trying to get my application sorted in time so I was highly recommend trying to sort it out early!

Why I love my job: Student Guide

As I’m sure you know if you are an avid reader around these parts, I have been working as a Student Guide at Edge Hill for the past 3 years. It’s a job I applied for during Freshers’ Week 2013, and have continued to love it for my entire 3 years at University and I would recommend anyone that’s starting University to also apply.
The role predominantly includes working on Open Days and Applicant Days, showing prospective students around the accommodation, and campus and making sure they get the best experience and impression of the university. It’s such a sociable job which just allows you to chat and get to know people, while also telling them all about your course and University experience. I really love that sociable aspect, making it an absolute pleasure to go to work even at 8am on a saturday, and when you do really love your uni – it makes it a pretty enjoyable job!
Moreover the job includes a lot of other roles such as giving student experience talks, running higher education workshops for 6th form and college students, which not only is really fun, it’s really good experience especially if you’re looking to become a teacher, and it’s so confidence building. Before starting the job I would never have dreamt of standing in a room with 20 people and giving a presentation, let alone 60 6th formers! This has also aided my course, as through practising at work, I am now super confident when presenting!
This job has also served me well for the last 3 years as its so flexible with my studies, I can pick up hours whenever is suitable for my timetable which means I never have to fall behind with my coursework, which is a worry many students get trying to juggle earning and studying.
Overall, it really is the best job I have ever had, and I’m totally gutted to be leaving it behind when I graduate, it’s such a lovely team and I’ve made so made some of my best friends through the job that I know I will know for years to come. I honestly couldn’t recommend the job highly enough, so if you’re starting in September I’d definitely look out to sign up during Freshers’ Week!