A few questions answered!

So some things I wanted to know before I went to uni were things like when do I get my uni card, is it worth getting an NUS card, what will I need and when will I get my timetable?

All these questions made me extremely excited to start uni but I would have liked to have known the answers to these questions before I started!

So, you will get your Uni card, along with your uni flat keys on Welcome Sunday which is really exciting! You will also get a timetable for Welcome Week, where you will go to introductory lectures to get to know your classmates and the university. As much as you’ll probably find yourself going out at night and meeting new people, it’s important you don’t push yourself too much.

An NUS card is just like a student discount card which you can use at many retailers to redeem your discount. As most Unicards don’t have a valid expiry date on them, some retailers will not accept them so as a precaution I bought a three year NUS card which is coming to its expiry date 🙁 The amount of times I’ve used it has more than outweighed the money I spent to buy it, so if you’re frugal or a big spender I highly recommend it.

So what will you need for uni itself? Well it’s very similar to college, you will need to provide all your own equipment i.e. paper, folders, pens/pencils etc. If you’re unsure of any extra equipment you need then get in contact with the Course Leader or the University who will point you in the right direction. Worst case scenario you could always ask during Welcome Week, but just ensure you can quickly equip yourself  for the next lecture!

So I hope I’ve managed to answer a few questions you might have. If you have any others please let me know by commenting and I’ll do my best to answer them!

A Normal Day!

So summer is well and truly here, hopefully you’ve finished to enjoy the sunshine being carefree! For this blog I thought I’d talk about what a typical day at uni on campus looked like for me!

8:00am: My alarm would go off and after about 10 minutes or so I’d get up and get ready.

8:45am: Set off walking to my lecture, from ForestCourt most places on campus took 5-10 minutes max to walk to leaving me good time.

9:00am: My lecture would start normally around 9am, but not all do! I would sit with and talk to my friends as the lecture began I would take notes, listen and talk to the lecturers.

10:45am: Around this time we would normally be given a comfort break, meaning we could have a snack, drink and relax!

11:15am: The lecture would continue around this time in the form of a tutorial where we would answer questions based on the lecture. The lecturer is still available to ask questions during this time if you want more information or get stuck!

1:00pm: The lecture would finish around this time. This means dinner time! In first year I occasionally pre-prepared my dinner, went back to my uni flat to have dinner or even tea out occasionally if the budget stretched!

1:30pm: Another lecture! For me these lectures in one day mostly contrasted between the maths side of my degree and the education part.

3:00pm: Another comfort break.

3:20pm: The lecture begins again! Normally with a tutorial like activity, working individually or in a group! The education lectures promote conversation and topical debate! The sharing of good practice is also promoted and extremely useful!

5:00pm: All finished for the day!

This then just left the evening to have some tea, complete work and get ready for the next day! Between this time you should talk to your flat mates and enjoy living in a the student community!

So in a few months time you’ll be in your own little routine! Enjoy it!

Before it starts…

In my blog post earlier I spoke about what happens when Uni finished, but for all you lucky people this is miles away!

So what will you need to bring to uni when you’re living in halls? Well all your necessities… unfortunately this is not a holiday where you can pack a suitcase and be done. I would highly recommend you start gathering these things ASAP to reduce your panic and stress nearer the time! There’s a lot you will need to pack that you don’t think of, you will need everything from toiletries to pans!

  • Toiletries- shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste/brush!
  • Kitchen pots and pans, knives and forks, spatulas, spoons etc. Plates and trays.
  • Towels, bath mat, toothbrush holder, soap and toilet roll. (If you’re lucky enough to have an ensuite, don’t forget toilet roll!)
  • A single quilt, pillows, a fitted sheet, duvet cover and pillow cases.
  • Maybe a lamp for your bed side table.
  • Clothes, pyjamas, underwear, socks, shoes (even your winter wear i.e. a coat, gloves, hat, scarves etc.) Do not forget coat hangers!
  • A bag for your uni things, folders, paper pads, stationary, calculator and a laptop!
  • Don’t forget your makeup, straighteners etc. girls or drama students!
  • Sports wear if you fancy heading to the gym or joining a sporty society!
  • General bits and bobs to make your room more homely/cosy!
  • Oh and food essentials! Bread, milk, sauces, pasta… the staple student diet!

You may forget somethings or think you don’t need them, then change your mind! However at uni there are plenty of shops in Ormskirk where you can pick bits up from! With your uni card you can get the uni bus from Edge Hill to the town centre which is extremely convenient, especially if you have a lot of shopping to carry!

So if you’re moving from far away and you know your means of travel will not allow you to transport a lot of items, then you can always go shopping for it! So either way you won’t go without!

Good luck packing!

What happens when it’s finished?

So a lot of the time you’ll hear people speak about how Uni was one of the best times in their life… and I wouldn’t disagree! However you don’t really hear what happens when you finish Uni! As much as this probably seems light years away, it will creep up on you sooner than you think! So I think it would be good if you has an insight into not only starting uni, what happens while you’re there as well as what happens when you finish!

So as a third year student, my last exam was last Thursday… which means I am finished after a handful of assignments, another module and exam- PHEW! So what’s in store next?

Uni finishes quite abruptly! Unlike school or college where you may have an assembly or leavers party e.t.c. you finish your last assignments and then your free! This closure comes when you have your Graduation Ceremony, for me that happens this July and I cannot wait!

If you complete a teaching degree, you’ll have been searching and applying for jobs from around Christmas so fingers crossed that you will have secured a post before you finish your third year! I also know of a few people from non-education based courses who have successfully managed to secure jobs already! However if you don’t have a job by the time you finish then there’s no need to panic as because you are normally finished from around May, you have plenty of time to get those job applications filled!

Then there’s a case of saying goodbye and moving back home! This is a bit of a shock to the system as the dynamics are different at home so it does take a while to adjust but after you’ve carved a routine for yourself you’ll be on your way! Uni is a fantastic time, so make sure you enjoy it and savour every minute!

If you have any questions please ask! Hope to hear from you soon.

What’s Going On…

So what’s happening at Edge Hill?

Well the dissertation is done and my exam is around the corner! This has probably been the most intense time of University Life in terms of the abundance of assignments due in for May! However I am not stressed as I have planned out my time and I know what I need to do and when for! Unfortunately procrastination is something of the past and isn’t an option anymore!

At first coming to uni maybe stressful as you’re in a completely different environment with different demands! However it takes no time at all to settle in and realise your own capabilities! You need to identify your strengths and weaknesses and play them to your advantage! So for example you may not be great at concentrating in halls due to the distractions of friends, maybe your Phone or TV. So you need to work somewhere else where these distractions are limited I.e. The library or the LIC building!

You will have the opportunity to make use of the stunning new facilities at Edge Hill such as:

  • Creative Edge
  • The Revamped Geo-Sciences Building
  • Technology Hub
  • Library and student information (completion date set Summer 2018)
  • The tonnes of new accommodation

In general the facilities at Edge Hill are second to none, as a student you will be making  use of these buildings on a regular basis so make sure you have a good look around when you come to open days etc!

You may find yourself in these building for some time when your doing your work, so you may find it easier to pack a lunch for you to eat! But if you forget or you’re simply just too busy you can buy a lunch from the numerous cafes on campus. There’s also McColls in the Hub or you can make use of the vending machines!

So good luck with any assignments or exams you have coming up!

What’s there to know about Ormskirk?

Edge Hill is situated in the North West of England in a town named Ormskirk. So what is there to know about Ormksirk?

Well Ormksirk is a beautiful market town in West Lancashire.. Yes a market down actually means there is a market (normally on Thursdays and Saturdays!) which is well worth a visit! I have seen an American candy stall, cheap clothes and food!

You may not deem the location of the university you’re considering very important. However if you have to move off campus during your degree and you have to commute, it is well worth thinking about!

Edge Hill has a lot going for it. The university itself is gorgeous, if you’ve visited the campus you will know how picturesque it is! Surrounded by fields and tonnes of greenery both around the campus and in Ormksirk town centre (there’s a big and small park!).

The uni runs a free shuttle bus, that runs around every fifteen minutes or, from the bus station in Ormskirk to the Uni. It is really convenient in first year when you have a tonne of shopping to bring to halls and your arms are falling off! There are plenty of supermarkets to shop at in town as well as a shop on campus for all your necessitates! There’s a train station too which also runs lines to Preston and Liverpool centre, meaning it is very well connected and it’s easy to get around!

The buses also run to Southport so if you fancy a day on the beach then there’s one not too far away!

There’s also fitness facilities, pubs, clubs and restaurants… Ormksirk is a lovely town that isn’t publicised enough! So come down and have a look, we hope to see you soon!

Life as a Secondary Student Teacher

I am a trainee Secondary Mathematics Teacher in my third and final year at Edge Hill. I have four weeks left of my degree before I finish and have my last exam. The graduation date is set (18 July) and the outfit is yet to be bought.

But luckily for you, your journey has yet to begin and hopefully you’re filled with excitement and anticipation for your September start date.

On my course, the main aspects over the last three years have been:

  • Skills Tests- You need to complete an English and Maths Skills Tests for many Education Courses…. Check this out to see if your course requires this from you.
  • DBS Check- Again, any work with children will require you have a DBS check, Uni will complete the administration forms for you, but again make sure that you know whether your course requires it and how it is completed.
  • Placements (Secondary/Primary)- Many courses at Edge Hill require placements be completed which are arranged through Uni for you. These placements are fantastic learning opportunities which mould you into fantastic teachers. Although sometimes they throw you into the deep end it allows you to show off how you can cope and thrive in such an environment… This may even land you a job.
  • Assignments (Coursework)- I have had at least one piece of coursework from each module I have undertaken (6 a year).
  • Exams- some on the modules I have undertaken have been assessed using both coursework and exams, other modules on other courses may have other make ups.

My course involves exams, not all do, so make sure you know this. Unfortunately I didn’t know this was something I should know before I came to university… Good job I don’t mind exams.

Anyway, if you have any questions about being an Edge Hill student or becoming a Secondary Teacher please feel free to comment!

How will you be Assessed?

So exams are around the corner! However you may not ever take another exam again… depending on your course! It is well worth finding out whether your course involves exams or coursework.

Another part of university life that you may have heard about before comi to Uni, is the infamous dissertation. This is an in depth research project, where you plan, create and write about your findings. It is a chance for you to show off your skills that you’ll have built up over the last few years. It is nothing to worry about and everything to look forward to. When you decide on your research title it is exciting as you are in charge of finding something that may impact your career… your practice.

My dissertation is based on peer work in the Mathematics Classroom, I completed the research whilst on my placements and this work will also help me in my professional teaching practice in the future.

I also have a handful of assignments left and I also have one exam left at the end of May and then that’s it, waiting for Graduation in July! It is so worth putting in the extra effort to ensure you get the best grades you can which will result in you getting the best degree classification that you’re capable of.

If you’re taking a course that requires you to pass the teacher skills tests, make sure you do these in plenty of time before the deadline. It’s one less thing to worry about and it means you can get on with your course stress free.

Soon enough you’ll be at Uni completing your assignments…. we can’t wait to meet you!

How Will You Change the World?

So how are you going to change the world?

Is it by sticking up for what’s right, maybe for people whose voices can’t be heard or helping others who cannot help themselves. Maybe educating the young is the right career path for you! Whatever is your calling, make sure you choose the suitable degree!

For me, I want to teach maths, you may think that this isn’t something that will change the word… but think again! My actions will equip young adults with the necessary qualifications that allow them to follow their aspirations, maybe a doctor who will save someones life or a nursery worker who will one day look after your child. Everybody plays a vital role in society and whatever you choose to pursue you too will contribute one way or another!

Uni allows you to build these skills for you to be a productive member of society, whether that is becoming good with budgeting, cooking, timekeeping or just generally maturing! Without University you may not be able to build upon these skills until you move out, so why wait!

Personally, I felt University was the right choice as there was no career I wanted to pursue that didn’t require a degree! So when choosing which degree would suit me best I looked at the topics that interested me and I honed in on maths! I have always been told I am a good teacher and on reflection I have the necessary personality traits needed i.e. patience and determination! So I chose maths teaching, and I’ve never looked back!

Make sure you look at Edge Hill’s Undergraduate courses here to choose a course that suits you!

Gaining More than just a Degree…

If you’re one of the lucky ones… It’s your Easter holidays! Either way it’s not long off exams which means you’ve nearly finished and you’re having to persevere to study through the sunny days! However the motivation and excitement of going to uni is hopefully keeping you on track to achieve those well deserved grades!

As a third year student, looking back, uni has been a great experience and I’m devastated I only have one term left! So my point is… savour every minute of it! There are so many things going on throughout the year that you’d be silly not to! This morning I registered for Graduation which means it’s not long before I finish!

Talking to college students, some are unsure about whether University is for them, and I can only advise based on my personal experience but I would say jump at the opportunity while you can! Many students come to uni for the renowned ‘student life’, which is great as you have very few responsibilities and a lot of time to be selfish (when else in life will you get to do this?!).

You come to Uni to better yourself, choosing a course that you will enjoy and that will open doors to exciting careers later when you finish! You will meet some fascinating people from Edge Hill, both staff and students… who hopefully will become your friends for life! University is exciting and will provide you that time to get to know what you do/don’t like, what you like to do to keep yourself company… or even how messy you can be without being told to clean up!

The time at University has allowed me to truly know who I am as a person and what makes me get up in the morning! It is a testing time full of demands and assignments, but it is totally worth it!