More Time Than You’d Think

You are very used to education being an all day thing, with little flexibility and happening 5 days a week. But UNI is not like that, while there may not be a tonne of flexibility on lecture times, there is also a lot of free time where you won’t be based in a class.

This is because the philosophy of education changes at Undergrad level, you are very much working to get your degree, people aren’t going to get it for you. While you will need a lot of this free time to finish essays and work on your reading, there will still be time left over.

When I started first year I thought I would be swamped, having no free time and forgetting that weekend were even a thing, by month two I didn’t know what to do with the time that I had without any purpose.

Regardless of your financial situation, a part time job could be a great way to fill this time, that little extra money is always great, especially if it keeps you out of an overdraft but also not having a big employment gap on your CV will also help in your post UNI job hunt.

This being said don’t go and work every free hour you have, Edge Hill recommends no more than 12 hours a week which makes sense because when work gives you money, times when you lack motivation will quickly mean missed lectures and rushed deadlines.

There are loads of shops in Ormskirk so that is always a good place to start looking, Liverpool is also only 30 Minutes away so there are plenty of options. If you prefer to look a little closer to home there are jobs available on campus that you will be made aware of throughout your 3 years at Edge Hill

Until Next Time 🙂

Graduate Enterprise

This is going to be fairly specific to people who will be studying in the Business School so apologies if you aren’t. However i thought it was important to highlight one of the modules put on in second year that really stand out from the rest and gives you an entirely new set of skills.

Graduate Enterprise gives students the chance to create their own business, produce their own product and sell it in a trade fair on campus. It involves a company called Young Enterprise, and the businesses are real, registered with companies house and allow you to take on a variety of roles.

You go through the entire process, interviews, product design, market planning, branding, it’s all in there. You can work with people you know or join an entirely new team and get to know them.

It is based on entrepreneurship and is great for anyone who has any motivation to go out and start their own business, but even if that isn’t for you, you can still gain a tonne of skills that will make you feel a little more confident in your post UNI life.

It is just one example of what Edge Hill does to make sure that you don’t end your UNI life with just a degree and nothing else to back it up

One of the most successful projects from my year was a group who created a card game called Wet Fish, they ended up going on to win a variety of awards around the country and still make and sell the product today long after the module ended.

If you want to take a look at what they do i’ll link their social media below.

It was a really cool idea and they have done really well with it.

The Cliff Before the Real World

Usually education is a stepping stone to more education, with University that isn’t really the case, it is very much the last hurrah before you become a real adult out in the real world.

Universities are aware of this, and as such they try their best to prepare you for life after lectures, this might be in your modules with transferable skills, or extra sessions and events that are put on to aid you in post Uni life.

My main experience of this was the aptly named “Employability Week” it is put on by the Media department and involves a week where lectures are replaced by talks from businesses and sessions on boosting your CV and getting work experience.

It isn’t all talks and CV advice though, in my second year there was a competition to design a campaign for a new local council initiative with a prize of £100 in Amazon Vouchers. Not only would this look great on a CV but the experience of working on live briefs is invaluable.

It has happened every year whilst I have been here and while it may seem too soon to attend it in first year, going every year really hones in those skills and makes the year after graduation a little less daunting.

It isn’t just the Media department who put on events targeting Employability, however this is the main one I have had experience with. In fact Edge Hill have just opened up a new fund that allows students to apply for a grant that will allow them to go and get experience in a way they might not be able to without financial backing. One student recently went to work for a week with Sky News, which would have been excellent experience and something great to add to the CV.

Until Next Time 🙂

The End Is Nigh

2016 has been one hell of a year, it seems as though the world has become a very different place in just a year, we have lost some of the greats. Brexit Happened. Trump Happened. Honestly it’s been one for the history books, and as always it has gone by faster and faster, which might be a good thing in hindsight.

It is pretty obvious but the end of 2016 means the beginning of 2017, and 2017 is going to be an even bigger year for you.

You will finish College, this means exams, assignments, deadlines. Fun Fun Fun

But it is important to buckle down, the first half of 2017 for you is all about getting stuff done, study hard, put the effort in. It is very easy to see the end and ease up thinking it is already over, but these exams and essays are what count, and they are going to give you the opportunities you can take advantage of in the second half of the year.

You will also start University, which means new people, new experiences, actual Fun Fun Fun.

The second half of the year is all about new experiences, starting UNI is going to be one of the biggest changes you have had since 5 year old you started primary school. You will meet the most diverse group of people you have ever met in your life.

You will have to get stuff done too, as well as meeting new people, you will learn so much in your first term, you will have deadlines, but the excitement of it all being new is about enough to drag you through all of that.

2017 is going to be a big one, hopefully we have less of the bad from 2016, but either way you will barely have time to notice.

Until Next Time 🙂

Mistletone, Wine and Deadlines

Your first December at UNI will be a strange one, you will have been used to getting in the Christmas spirit at home with your family throughout the month, however at UNI you won’t be going home until at least halfway through.

And you can’t slack off you will have deadlines, and there will be work due in just after the break too, you might even have an exam or two. Holidays at UNI aren’t a couple of weeks where you can forget you are studying you will be expected to keep up a level of work across the holidays.

It isn’t all work though, and there are loads of things you can do at UNI to make yourself feel just as festive even if you are away from family.

Multiple Christmases
There is no need to just have one Christmas, get all of your flatmates to chip in and cook a Christmas dinner together, it will be a nice way to spend some time with your flatmates before you all flee for the holidays.

Secret Santa
I love a Secret Santa, i legitimately live for them, they are a good and cost effective way to do presents with a big group of people and they are always a lot of fun. If you want to mix it up a little, you could do a White Elephant, which involves gift stealing and swapping and is a great twist on your traditional Secret Santa.

Decorating is probably the easiest way to make UNI feel festive, you will be coming to the end of your first term so money won’t be abundant, which is where B&M comes in, they do loads of great decorations for very reasonable prices, you can get a fake Christmas tree for £10 which is a steal

It will be different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad, so as you spend your last full month of December at home, you can look forward to an even more exciting one next year.

Until Next Time 🙂

Time Flies

If you are going to ask people about what UNI is like, you will likely hear one thing over and over again. “It will go by faster than you think” and this could not be more true.

I have finished the penultimate term of my degree, meaning there are mere months left before I graduate. You are at the other end of the spectrum, you haven’t even begun yet. However that doesn’t mean it’s too early to think about what life after UNI might entail.

For me it’s a Masters Degree, I’m not quite done with Edge Hill and I definitely have more to learn. For many of you it will be moving in to the world of work. Nobody expects you to have a certain plan for what you will do, but having some idea might help with how you get started.

There might be optional modules in your degree, the chances are there will be at least one at some point, this means the knowledge gained from a degree can vary widely between various students. Picking modules that interest you is always a safe shout, but picking modules that may directly benefit your chosen career path can’t hurt either.

You might also be sure you want to go on and study a Post Graduate degree so it can’t hurt to look at the modules those might entail, and pick accordingly so you are well prepared.

In short there are two ways to go through UNI, one is to live each day as it comes, and do what feels right in the moment and see how it pans out. The other is to plan backwards, think of the end goal and work backwards so you know how to get there. Neither is better than the other, and by now you should know what kind of person you are.

Either way, UNI is a great time, and no matter how you plan the unexpected might be the best parts of it.

Until Next Time 🙂

Speak Up

University is a big place, and when you arrive you will notice just how much there is going on at all times. It can get a little bit overwhelming and you can feel like a small fish in a big pond at times. This is especially true of a Uni where life is completely situated on one campus for those that live there in first year.

Edge Hill is a great university, but it is growing and as things grow and change there are bound to be teething issues. The worst thing you can do is sit back and let them go unnoticed, even if it is only something minor, you do pay to be there and you deserve things to work so you can get the best degree you can.

You have to Speak Up, and the Edge Hill SU has made this a little easier with an aptly named system called “Your Ideas”. It is relatively simple, you can post on the “Your Ideas” section on the SU website, this can be anything from issues with WiFi to an idea you have about Locker Space across campus. The post lives for 30 days, and if in that time it gets 30 up votes it will be discussed in the relative meeting by the SU Officers.

It is a great system, and a simple way to see if other people share your issue without having to lobby across campus for support.

Here is a link to the section if you would like a bit more information, or want to check out what kind of things might be added to the Uni before you arrive.

This might seem a little premature seeing as you might not have even applied yet, but it is things like this that can really affect both your choice of Uni and the life you will have there when arrive next September.

It is also really important to speak up about your course and lectures but that is another post for another time.

Until next Time 🙂

Selling Yourself

If you are anything like me then you might find talking about yourself incredibly hard, especially when it comes to thinking about past achievements or qualities that will help you with a prospective job, or in your case with a UNI application.

This is what a Personal Statement is all about, and they are not always the easiest things to write. You instantly forget everything you have accomplished in your life, and wonder how you even made it to college with what seems like a complete lack of skills.

However they are a really important part of your application, and outside of the grades you might need they are the one chance you get to sell yourself and show what a great addition you would be to a prospective UNI, in some instances they can be what sets you apart from everyone who will be studying similar courses and getting similar grades.

Now I am not an authority on writing a Personal Statement, and therefore I am not the person to be giving you the advice, mostly because I hate them and try to forget about them entirely when I am done. However I thought I would share some resources that helped me when I was writing mine.

The UCAS website is a solid place to start seeing as this is where you will be actually writing your statement, on here is a handy video and some tips that are a good starting point and a solid place of reference to check back on.

TELEGRAPH “How to write a great Ucas personal statement for university”
This article is a little bit more in depth, and offers some good things to think about if you get stuck, and a few good ways to get started if you just cannot think of what to write.

I think this is a really helpful resource, it has some handy tips but also some videos with examples and do’s and don’ts which should help if you get stuck along the way.

Lastly, and I can’t link this one, People, ask people you know who have done it before, ask them what skills they think you have and what things they remember you accomplishing them, in general people are a lot nicer about you then you are about yourself so they are an invaluable resource.

Until Next Time 🙂

Not at all, then all at once.

One of the weirdest things to get your head around about applying to UNI is that it is literally never too late, this can be whether or not you are a mature student going back to education, or coming straight out of A-Levels it is never too late to apply.

Things might not be smooth sailing if you leave it till the summer to apply, but if that’s when you decide you want to get a degree then you can still go for it.

You will be told deadlines by people, both UCAS deadlines and some colleges and UNI’s have their own for various reasons, and I know that this sounds like the opposite to what I’ve just said, you really should apply as early as you can, this doesn’t mean you should rush it and not think about where you are applying too, but getting it all out of the way is always a plus.

I’d recommend trying to get it done before Christmas, then you don’t have to worry about it in the new year and can enjoy the holiday period, this also leaves you enough time after Christmas to sort out any little changes you might want, or need to make before the 15th of January deadline for most UNI’s.

The one date you should really keep track of is the 4th of May, this is when you should have replied to all of your offers, and chosen your firm and insurance choices if you don’t then they will be declined and offered to other people who are applying through EXTRA or they will come up through Clearing later in the year.

If you want to check out all of the dates that might affect you then…

UCAS Key Dates – this is a list of everything you might need to know, and it will link through to any information about EXTRA or Clearing should you want to know a little more.

It is also worth checking with your college what deadlines they have set, because you need references and your tutor to sign off and some colleges might not be willing to do this after a certain date, so bear that in mind.

But don’t fret, if you can’t make up your mind by these dates then you can always apply later in the year through Extra, or through Clearing, there are literally always options.

Until Next Time 🙂

Little by Little

I am currently applying for my Masters Degree, and therefore i am reliving all of the things I hated about applying for Uni the first time around, e.g. Personal Statements, remembering what GCSE’s I got and what exam board they were for.

So if you are filling out your UCAS application, I feel your pain, and I thought I would share a few tips I remember, and a few I am figuring out all over again.

Don’t Do it all at Once
Just don’t even try, you will get stressed out, and bored and end up forgetting things or not putting enough effort into it, this is particularly true about your personal statement. Spend a fair amount of time on it, but not all at once, give yourself a break and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes every couple of days

Ask for Help
I am rubbish at asking for help with things, I generally just plod along with things until I figure it out myself, but this is stupid when it comes to your UCAS, there will be people at your college who can help you with certain parts, whether it’s writing a personal statement or choosing a course to begin with, use them it will save you a lot of time and stress.

Do your Research
It is always good to have some decent back up options just incase things don’t go to plans, but don’t just put down whatever, because then you won’t want to actually go to them should you have to, find two or three solid backups that you would be happy to do your degree at just in case, it saves a lot of stress around results time.

Don’t stress out, and get it done as soon as you can to focus on college work, and then you don’t have to think about it again until next summer, which is kind of ages away, and kind of not very far at all, but you will understand that as you get there.

Until Next Time.