An Apple A Day

If you are moving away to Uni and are living on Campus or in Ormskirk, then one of the first things you should do is find yourself a doctor and a dentist. Do it early, don’t wait until you are ill because then you might struggle to find one, or you might be too ill to actually do it.

I cannot stress this enough. In First Year I got Shingles, which was incredibly painful, and took me out of action for about two weeks. There wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it as it definitely wasn’t an ambulance situation, so I just had to make do.  If I had organised a GP in Ormskirk I would have been able to go and get help, get some medication, and not just suffer in silence.

This past two weeks I have been quite ill again. Living in Preston for my final year, I hadn’t found myself a GP yet, so I had to suffer in silence again.

So, I really can not stress this enough.  Do it as soon as you can, do it with your flatmates, go together and sign up so just in case anything does happen you are prepared. You can find out about the health and wellbeing facilities at Edge Hill on the website.

Dentist’s are helpful too – Uni is prime age for wisdom teeth, and there is not enough paracetamol in the world to make them bearable.  Also, you should get check-ups a couple of times a year anyway so doing it at Uni makes sense seeing as you are going to be there for three years.

If you are looking at Uni for next year, maybe take into account how accessible things like this are depending on your accommodation choices.  I know I would rather be closer to a hospital than to the bar, because ‘sick me’ is way grumpier than ‘drunk me’.

Look after yourself at Uni, because a two-week illness at the wrong time can really make you fall behind.

A Marathon not a Sprint

UNI lasts three years, and while it’s hard for you to think about what it will be like at the end of a degree, you can’t just focus on the first year. You need to think of your whole time at UNI as a single entity.

You might have lectures this year, that aren’t particularly challenging or that you don’t find very interesting, but you need to work as hard in these as you do in the others, because come second and third year, you will hear the words, “You should remember this from first year” and if you don’t then that’s a whole lot of work to add to the increasing load you’ll have when your grades count to your final degree classification.

This also works the other way, don’t burn out in the first term of your degree, because Christmas comes and goes and you are straight into deadlines and exams, you need to be prepared for that. You need to find the happy medium, put in the effort, turn up to your lectures and complete all the work that is expected of you, but don’t spend every night rewriting your essays because they might not be perfect, or stay up all night every night in the library, give yourself some time off, focus where it matters.

It is also really important to take some time for some self care, if you enjoy reading, make sure you don’t only read text books. Take a day for you every now and then, stay in your room and watch your favourite films, or go to Liverpool and spend the day shopping with friends, it is only one day and it won’t put a dent in the end result, and will make getting there a whole lot easier.

Until Next Time 🙂

And so it begins…

It’s October, which means it is around the time you will be starting to learn about UCAS at college and doing some research on all the University’s and courses you might want to go to. It can be pretty daunting there are a lot of places out there, and they all have a lot of differences, some small, some not so small.

The first thing you have to realise, is that your perfect UNI might not exist, now I don’t mean this to be a downer on things, but understanding this will save you a load of time, not to say you won’t find a great university, but some great universities might not do your course, and some courses might be done best at some not so appealing universities.

You need to work out your priorities, whether or not you want to move away from home, and if so how far. What kind of course you want to do, be it a BA or a BSc, and if this affects the way your degree might be taught. You really cannot go into too much detail.

In my opinion it is best to start with the course you want to do, this is the degree you will end up with and it is what you will be taking to employers for years to come. Go in depth, look at modules, look at the way things are taught or examined, and make yourself a shortlist, then you already have a short list of universities.

And remember, there is only so much you can learn from the internet, Open Days are your friend, the first Open Day for Edge Hill I attended really sold it to me, and I was dead set from then on.

Don’t limit yourself, try everywhere you can, because even if you get it on the first go, the second and third might still make the decision that bit easier.

Until Next Time 🙂

Library Living

The one thing I should have done more of In my First Year, was making use of the library, living on campus meant my bedroom always seemed like a more attractive study space, but the library is your friend, and it’s not all books and journals.

Get to know where the books for your course are kept, you should be told this in one of your early lectures but if not, go and have a look around and find your section, because you will be using it for the next three years. Take out a book or two and do some reading around your subject if you have the time, or pick up some of the recommended reading texts and get to work if you want to be keen.

The library has a lot of other services outside of the books, there is loads of help for various study skills, workshops are run that teach you how to reference well, how to take notes etc. all the things you might need a bit of help with, and it’s better to do this sooner rather than later because there is no time to bluff Harvard Referencing.

As well as all of this, the library is a great study space, the floors get quieter as you go up, so the bottom floor is great for group work or for meeting up before and after a lecture. Then as you go up you will find computers dotted around and the top floor has silent study, so it really depends on how you like to work.

For the past couple of years the library has been opening for 24 hours in certain weeks through the year, which is very useful if you have a deadline and you can’t afford to spend 8 hours sleeping before it.

The bottom line is, use the library as much as you can, it’ll all pay off in the end.

Until Next Time 🙂

Class of 2019

You do everything three times at UNI, you have three first weeks, you have three last weeks, and each year is just different enough that each semester feels like an entirely new experience.

The only thing you do once at UNI is graduate, and you will be donning those caps and gowns before you know it, because your degree will feel like both the longest and shortest experience of your life.

Freshers Week is all about getting to know people, having fun and letting yourself go a little, you can take part in as much or as little as you want. But from next week, you don’t really get that choice, you have to take part is as much as you possibly can, go to all your lectures, participate in all your seminars and meet all your deadlines.

Get to know your lecturers, and become friends with them, make them like you by having good attendance and participating loads, because having them on your side when you need the most help is always a win, especially when it gets to third year and you are going to need a Dissertation Supervisor who is practically going to be a driving force towards your degree classification.

UNI is fun, you don’t need to work at having fun, it will happen you are living away from home, meeting new people it will be fun. But UNI isn’t about fun, it’s main purpose is getting you a degree, so you need to focus on that, and let the fun take care of itself. And it will, even if you feel like you’re not doing enough, or you haven’t met any good friends yet, you will find them.

All you have to worry about, is 2019, when you will walk across the stage and get your degree, that should always be your goal.

The Way it Works

You are going to learn a lot over the next three years, mostly to do with your degree but you’ll hopefully learn how to adult successfully too. It can be handy to know how things work on campus and then you can be the beacon of knowledge for all your flatmates.

If you are living on campus then you will have to do your laundry at the launderette that is located on campus. It is run by a company called Circuit and it works using a card which you load with money to pay for each wash and dry. The machines can’t take liquid detergent or fabric softener so bring tablets. It is around £2.20 for a wash and £1.00 to dry your clothes. If I was you, I would bring a clothes horse so you can air dry your clothes in your room. It is easier and it saves you having to go back and forth too often.

You could, technically, never leave campus. However, while there is a food shop, it isn’t as well stocked as a supermarket, so you will be wanting to go to Morrisons or Aldi in Ormskirk.  Both are just a 10 minute walk from campus and will have everything you need. There is also a Bargain Booze and a Boots or Superdrug in Ormskirk should you need anything that the supermarkets don’t sell. My advice is to take a list. I ended up spending so much money on food in the first few weeks because I didn’t know what to buy and severely overestimated my motivation to cook.

When it comes to nightlife I can’t offer too much help, mostly because I hear Ormskirk has changed a little since I was last there and also because I was a rubbish fresher who only went to Alpine a handful of times through the year. But the best bit of being a fresher is working out where your favourite spots are, so I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you anyway.

Four days left, absolute madness!

Until Next Time 🙂

Calling All Freshers

Welcome Week is almost upon us, there are less than two weeks, and only one Sunday standing between you and the first week of University.

Welcome Week is the best opportunity to get stuck in with UNI life, there are parties to attend and people to meet. Now most people think of Freshers week as a non stop alcohol fueled party. Which it can be if that is what your after, but Edge Hill put on a whole host of things so your alcohol intake is between you and your liver, but drink responsibly otherwise people will remember you as the one who threw up everywhere.

Monday is Fun Day. And who doesn’t love a rhyme. In the evening there will be a party DJ’d by Radio 1’s Scott Mills, but during the day there will be a whole host of activities going on outside the SU, Sumo Wrestling, Bungee Runs the lot. There will also be some financial advice available from the Advice team should you need it.

On Tuesday there is Live Music from Lucy Spraggan in the evening, preceded by a Treasure Hunt during the day, and what says grown up more than a Treasure Hunt.

Wednesday is all about Free Pens. There is a welcome fair in the Hub and this is the place to sign up for all the societies that interest you and find out as much as you can about all the opportunities there are available to you. Get as much free stuff as you can along the way, nothing is better than free stuff. Nothing! There is also a Toga Party in the evening.

For Thursday there is Rock and Roll Bingo and the first Comedy Night over in The Arts Centre, great for some chilled out time, and hey if the alcohol is calling you then you can always Head into Alpine should you desire.

Friday is the day for some peace and quiet. In the form of a Silent Disco in the Quad, Silent Disco’s are the best, so head along if that is your thing. If not then there is also a free film night/slumber party in The Arts Centre.

Saturday is Sit Down Saturday. The only thing better than Rhyming is Alliteration. Have a chilled one, take a break and maybe give the liver a rest as well.

Rounding off the Week with Sunday is Tinchy Strider in the Quad, see off Welcome Week with a bang and try not to remember your Monday 9am until at least 2am, but make sure you go to it, start as you mean to go on.

Welcome Week should be a blast, with or without alcohol so enjoy it.

Until Next time 🙂

The 4 Hour Trek

I am a southerner, I come from Southampton and therefore Edge Hill is a solid 4 hour drive. When I was a first year it was my first time I had ever ventured up north (The North being anything above Birmingham). I was excited to move away and live on my own for the first time, but the distance can feel a lot longer than it is, especially in the winter months when you are used to preparing for Christmas with your family.

I think moving further afield than your local UNI is a great idea if you are willing to be a little more independent. It gives you the opportunity to get to know an entirely new city, entirely new people and in some cases an entirely new culture.

Not that people up north are foreign, but there is nothing right about gravy on chips, no matter how much you try to convince me.

However you do have to put in that extra bit of effort to make sure you are not homesick all the time and so your friends and family don’t forget what you look like.

Skype is your friend, well really any kind of video chat is a great idea. Get you mum acquainted with how to use it before you go away and check in a couple of times a month, my Mum always calls and shows me the family Christmas tree.

Also don’t feel like you are stuck just because you are a long way away, you can still go home, it might just take a little more planning and budgeting, because you will likely need to go through Liverpool and then depending where you live you might need to go through London as well.

But venturing away for UNI is great, it forces you to be independent and also gives you a taste of somewhere new, and even if you don’t like cities, Ormskirk has everything you will need while you are there.

No song again this week because I a writing this in advance and I’m in the middle of packing my life up again.

Until Next Time 🙂

What is Happening to Time!

Today is my 21st Birthday. Well it isn’t because I am writing this beforehand so I don’t have to do it on my birthday. But for you it is. And this is mad to me.

I am just about to enter my final year of university which means doing my Dissertation and at some point trying to figure out exactly what I want to do after UNI because I guess I’ll actually have to go and do something with my life. Or maybe I’ll just put it off and do a Masters.

My point is the next three years of your life are going to go incredibly fast and you kind of have to brace yourself for it. Because First Term turns into First Year and before you know it you are closer to the end than you are the beginning and you feel like you only just started.

Because of this it is important to keep up-to-date with things, especially the things you learn. UNI isn’t like school in that you will just be taught everything you need to know before they get into the hard stuff, it goes straight in and starts getting you your degree.

The time you realise how fast things are going will come around the end of November and you will need to start finding somewhere to live for second year. This always feels like it is happening way too early but you have to get on it or you will regret it later.

Things do happen pretty fast at UNI, it will be over before you know it, but just keep up with everything and enjoy the ride and don’t worry about getting left behind because everyone is making it up as they go along just like you are.

No song this week because I’m writing this in advance but I’ll get back on it with the next one.

Until Next Time 🙂

The Big One

So, it’s tomorrow. It’s insane to me that it has been three years since my results day. But I still remember it pretty well and the day before I was bricking it. Hopefully you are a bit calmer and are able to just get on with your day.

I think it’s important to note that regardless of what happens tomorrow it is not the end of everything, even if things went horribly wrong with your exams and you didn’t get what you needed for UNI there are still a lot of options for you.

There is Clearing, which is always a solid option. I didn’t have to go through clearing so I am not an authority on the matter but the basic idea is that if you didn’t get on the course you wanted then there are two options. You could do a similar course at a different UNI that still has places left. Or you could do a different course at the same UNI again if there are places left. So either way you can still go to UNI, and get a Degree if that is what you are after.

It might also be possible for you to do a Foundation year for the course you want instead of going straight into first year. This will give you all the skills and knowledge that you need to get onto First Year and it will allow you to still go off and carry on education after college.

Then there is the Other option, which is no UNI at all, for some people UNI is a great option but it isn’t the be all and end all of life. There are so many other options, you could go straight into work, you could apply for apprenticeships and earn and learn on the job. Whatever you decide there are options.

Good Luck with your results, hopefully everything will go well and you won’t have to worry about any of these but it is good to know there are options.

This weeks song is called “Humans” by Rag n’ Bone Man, and it is a tune, I heard it behind one of the olympics races and I have been listening to it non stop ever since.

Until Next Time 🙂