Things I love and will miss about my experience at Edge Hill

This blog is going to be a little different, as it is my last ever blog – cry. I’ve had the best time at Edge Hill and I couldn’t recommend it more. Anyone who knows me knows that I find any excuse to big up my uni and the amazing time I’ve had there. But unfortunately, things must always end and as my graduate was five weeks ago (how has it gone that fast?!) It’s about time I entered the adult world, however reluctantly. So, before I pass the baton onto a newer, younger student, I’ll grace you with one last blog, giving you a list of all the things I have loved about my time at Edge Hill. Here it goes.

  1. First year weekly flat parties (‘Laverty Fridays’ as me and my friends would call them)
  2. The friendly lecturers – shout out to all the creative writing and English lit staff
  3. The beautiful campus
  4. Cobble (Best food/drink in Ormskirk)
  5. Liverpool nights out – even Popworld
  6. Crepes and Smoothies in the hub
  7. Drinking way too many Starbucks coffees (especially during Christmas)
  8. Making friends at the printers in the hub
  9. Froyo from Shake it up
  10. Marmaris Kebabs
  11. The ducks
  12. Chancellor’s court
  13. The swimming pool
  14. The long walks to uni in second year
  15. Living right next door to my friends in third year
  16. The arts centre
  17. Paninis from the hub
  18. Meal deals from McColl’s
  19. Karaoke night at the SU
  20. Friendly Ormskirk Taxi drivers
  21. Going for a drink in the SU whilst waiting for my clothes to wash
  22. Spoons
  23. Walking around campus late at night – because it’s actually safe!
  24. The huge kitchens in halls – the best place to practice my dance moves
  25. Being able to use ‘I’m a student’ as an excuse for most things

So, this is it. I hope you all enjoyed reading my blogs over the last few months and gained at least some knowledge from them. I’ll now leave you in the very capable hands of the other student bloggers (and hopefully some new faces come next year) as I galivant off into the sunset.

Thank you and goodbye *mic drop*

🙂

Preparing for Results Day

Results day is right around the corner and I’m sure that reminder will be met with a mixture of nerves and relief. Soon you will know for sure whether you have got a place at your chosen university and you’ll be able to make your last preparations before you start in September! However, the anticipation can make you feel a little uneasy, so I’ve compiled a few tips to help you prepare and enjoy results day.

Have a good night’s sleep

I cannot stress this enough! I know it will be difficult, you’ll be nervous and excited, but you must try to get an early night. There’s no point going to sleep at 4am and then missing your alarm to go pick your results up. That kind of stress is the last thing you need. You could try to wake up early the morning before, that way you will be so tired by the evening that you will naturally fall asleep earlier.

Keep occupied the day before

You may spend the day before worrying, it’s completely natural. Try to keep yourself occupied the day before. Maybe spend some time with your friends and family? I went paintballing for a friend’s birthday the day before I got my results. It really helped to distract us all and keep us from being too nervous – trying to avoid people shooting at you with paint has that effect.

Co-ordinate with friends

You know what they say: ‘There’s strength in numbers’ – I’m not sure who They are but it’s definitely true. Perhaps liaise with your friends so you all turn up at the same time. This way you can all support each other and share in the relief that your hard work has paid off!

Celebrate

Perhaps most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself. Make sure you find some time to relax during what will be, probably, a very busy day and recharge your batteries before celebrating. Whatever way you celebrate, whether its hardcore partying or a nice quiet meal with your family, give yourself time to have fun, you deserve it!

Good Luck everybody! 🙂

Weekly Shop Tips

When you start uni the last thing you might think of is something as mundane as groceries, right? I totally get it. In the excitement of making friends, getting to grips with your course and discovering your new home, you might not think about the *shudder* adult responsibilities. Then it dawns on you: ‘how the heck do I execute a weekly shop?’ oh believe me, been there, done that. Luckily I’m here to help, after all, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Here are my top tips on how to do your first weekly shop.

Choosing a shop

First of all you have to choose where you’d like to do your shop. This decision can be made up of many factors – where you’re used to, which is cheapest, where’s most convenient – one of these factors will take priority and that is how you will choose your shop. I tended to go for the cheapest (which conveniently was what I was used to). You could also go for multiple shops if you prefer certain brands that aren’t stocked in your chosen shop, or you’re very bargain savvy and love to find good deals. At the end of the day you will find yourself drifting to the same shops time and time again, even if you find yourself being indecisive in the early days.

Plan your meals and stick to your list

The best way to keep to budget with your shopping is to create a shopping list (and stick to it – no matter what!). I found that planning my meals in advance was a great way to do this. I would make a list of what I wanted to eat that week and then write the ingredients into a list, add any extra things I needed, and et viola! I knew exactly what I was getting. This not only saves you from buying excess of things you don’t need, it also saves you time as you won’t spend hours wandering around aimlessly.

NEVER shop on an empty stomach

This is a bad idea, do not do it. You will find yourself buying the whole shop… and then some.

Go with friends

If you find your weekly shop is a bit too boring, or you’re nervous to do your first shop or you just love to spend time with your friends, why not bring them along? This way you will have someone to chat with whilst you shop. You may even find yourself exchanging food ideas or you may be convinced to try a new brand of washing powder (how exciting!)

Until next time! 🙂

Things to keep in mind when living with friends

Living with your friends sounds like the ultimate dream right?! Well, it really can be, but you need to remember that you and your friends are completely different people. You don’t truly know a person until you live with them and you may have a bit of a shock when you move in. Luckily I’ve complied a list of things to keep in mind when living with friends that should make your time as housemates as fun as you always imagined.

Different backgrounds
You and you friends will have undoubtedly come from different backgrounds. Whether that’s places, races, religions or even just a different family dynamic. This will always affect the way they live their day to day lives. You need to be respectful of your friend’s traditions, the way they keep their room and their schedules – whatever is important to them. In order to live harmoniously, you’ll have to learn to strike up compromises when your ideas clash with those of your friends. It’s not as hard as it sounds; for example, if you come from the kind of family where there is lots of noise and your friend comes from a small family and prefers silence in the house, you’ll have to talk it out and work out what level of noise is appropriate for the both of you to live comfortably.

Different ideas of clean
One of the biggest differences I had to deal with when living in a student house was mine and my friends’ differing ideas of how clean the house should be. I’m a self-proclaimed ‘neat freak’, I hate the idea of anything being less than spotless – which makes me a real pain to live with sometimes, but I’ve had to learn to accept that things never stay that way – which is totally normal. One way to combat this is to draw up a cleaning rota and stick to it. Each person has their own responsibilities to complete in their own time and then the cleaning isn’t just left to one person. It’s also good to dedicate one day a week to cleaning – a day that everyone is free – and then you have a bit of a routine going.

Boundaries
When you sign up to live with other people to sign up to seeing them at the worst as well as their best. There will be times when your friends feel low or act a bit moody. You need to establish from the beginning what their boundaries are and what’s best to do in those situations. Some people like to have people around them when they’re feeling sad and others want to be alone. Establishing and respecting these boundaries will make those times so much easier for everyone.

Chill time
One of the most important things to remember is to take time out. Enjoy living with your friends, don’t get so wrapped up in work that you end up ignoring them all year. Enjoy the time you have to do movie nights or video game sessions or whatever you enjoy doing. It’s incredibly important to bond!
Until next time! 🙂

What to Expect on Welcome Sunday

What is “Welcome Sunday”? I hear you ask. Well, It’s none other than the first day of the rest of your lives (scary stuff, I know!). This is the day that everyone moves into halls and gets to know the uni and the people in it. I’m going to tell you a little bit about how my welcome Sunday went, all the way back in 2014. Hopefully this will give you a bit of an idea of what to expect.

Registration

The first thing I did was register. We were given allocated times to come based on our names, if I remember correctly my slot was some time around midday. This is the part where I received my unicard with the most (least) flattering picture ever on it. My unicard gave me access to all sorts on campus, from my building (via a swipe card system) to the library loans system. I later made the mistake of accidentally damaging my card and having to pay £10 to get it replaced. Keep them safe!

Moving in and meeting flatmates

Then came the time for me and my mum – the only two people who could fit in our car – to lug all my possessions into my first floor flat. Luckily the campus staff were on hand to help and transported us and all my stuff on a golf cart. They aren’t half helpful. I also got to meet some of my flatmates at this point, we were able to chat whilst unpacking all our kitchen things and our parents found a lot to talk about too.

Course introduction

After settling in and saying goodbye to my mum, I met up with a few friends I had made during the summer residential and headed to the business building for our course introduction. It was a really casual set up where you could talk to staff and they would explain the course and what you can expect to be doing. It was a great introduction to my studies and took some of the pressure off my first week of lectures.

Socialising

In the evening the SU held a welcome party and of course I was going! I pre-drank with my flatmates which was great way of getting to know them, especially after a good game of Never Have I Ever. We then headed to the Su bar where I also found some of my residential friends and we party’d on. Well, until I got tired and headed by to my flat for a well needed rest – believe me, I needed it!

Until next time! 🙂

Keeping in touch at uni

I’ve got to be honest, I’m surprised how well I have kept in touch with my friends at home over the last three years. My friendship group has not only retained most of it’s members, its expanded as we have introduced each other to our uni friends/boyfriends/girlfriends etc. It’s really not all that difficult to keep your friends and family up to date with your new life, although it may seem really daunting at first! To help with this, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you get your head around juggling home and uni friendships.

Skype or Facetime

I never used facetime or Skype all that much before uni. I eventually discovered, however, that they are probably the best ways to communicated with your friends and family when you’re not around them very often. I recommend, at least in the first term of uni, you arrange specific times every week/couple of weeks to facetime or skype your friends and family. This means that you always know when you’re going to ‘see’ them and it gives you something to look forward to if you’ve had a long day. If you’re parents are technophobes like mine, maybe take some time to teach them how to use skype before you go off to uni. This could be a fun (or frustrating) bonding activity that you hopefully won’t regret!

Group Chats

I swear by group chats, it’s how I sort out my social life and keep up to date with everything going on with all my different friendship groups. Maybe sort out different group chats for different friends (school, dance class, uni etc) so you can figure out what they are all up to and arrange meet ups when you’re all in the same area. I find this is a great way to let all your friends know any big news and just generally chat with them. Group chats are the best.

Visits

Nothing will stop you friend visiting home, or even inviting your friends and family to come and stay with you one weekend. It’s so nice to have a break from everything and return home, though this could be quite costly for some people who live far away. I highly recommend that you get a rail card before you start uni, this will save you so much more money than you spend on it. I also love having my friends from home come and visit Ormskirk, some of my friends have even been adopted as honorary parts of our uni friendship group because they have visited so often. It’s so lovely to see your old and new friends getting along together.

Enjoy yourself

You do need to keep in mind that you don’t have to constantly update the people at home, they’ll always be there. Try and take some time to spend with the people at uni and build upon those friendships too. Your friends and family will understand how busy uni is and shouldn’t expect you to have lengthy phone calls with them every night, you needn’t worry about keeping them up to date every day. So long as you don’t neglect them for months on end, your friendships will stay strong.

Until next time! 🙂

Freshers Fair Tips

Following on from last week’s post, today I’m focusing on Freshers fair. A Freshers or Welcome fair is an event hosted by most unis during the first week in order to welcome the new students and given them a chance to check out what the uni has to offer. At Edge Hill the fair is often held in hub, in the afternoon, mid-week. The entire hub building is taken over by stalls that represent societies and businesses. You can check out what societies Edge Hill has to offer and maybe even sign up for some of them, not to mention there are a lot of chances to grab some freebies and discounts! There’s a specific art to making the most of the fresher’s fair, so I thought I’d share with you some of my essential tips.

Get there early

You can turn up for freshers fair at whatever time you want, however, I recommend that you turn up as early as possible. This is for a few good reasons; For one, it can get incredibly busy, which will mean that you may end up having to push past a load of people to get to the stalls you want to visit. This can also be a pain as there tends to be a lot of freebies on offer and if you’re late you may end up missing out on a free slice of pizza or that coveted Edge Hill pen. Another reason to be early is to give yourself time to do everything. If you turn up five minutes before the end you will never get everything done!

Sign up for everything

See a society you like the look of? Sign up for it! You have nothing to lose after all. It isn’t contractually binding; you will only receive an email giving you details of how to join the society. Besides if you sign up for loads of societies it gives you a chance to try something new, if you go along to one session and decide you hate it then that’s perfectly fine!

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s the whole point. These people are here to help you get as much information as possible about societies and the university experience. If you want to know more about something, ask for more information. You can even ask for contact details of society presidents so you can ask them questions that you think of later on. There’s no need to the scared to communicate, you may even make some new friends!

Until next time! 🙂

Freshers Week Tips

Fresher’s week is the first week of University and for a lot of first years their initial taster of what university life is like. It’s one of the most exciting (and busiest) weeks in the university’s year. With all the social events and different ice-breaker sessions, it’s the best way for freshers to plunge into the big world of adulthood. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of tips that I have learned over the last three years that may help you first years make the most of your first week of freedom.

Facebook flatmates/people on your course

The best way to prepare yourself for uni is to start talking to the people you will be spending most of the year with before you move in. Edge Hill’s student assistants often sort out facebook groups for halls and courses so that you can get to know people before you move in, I highly recommend this so you know exactly what to expect when you arrive!

Pack medication and vitamins

Okay guys, seriously, fresher’s flu is a thing. You will get it, so stay prepared! It’s not exactly going to be a life threatening thing but this minor inconvenience may put your fresher’s plans on hold. So, make sure you pack plenty of medication and cold/flu treatments to avoid getting too ill.

Stock up on hangover supplies

Likewise, if you’re a drinker or plan on getting even remotely sloshed make sure you have plenty of supplies for the next morning. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a raging hang over and having nothing in. Get those snacks now, your hungover self will thank you!

You don’t have to go to every event

Let’s be realistic now, not every fresher’s event if going to appeal to you. The Likelihood of your uni not having that one crap event no one wants to go to is incredibly low. My advice is to talk to your friends/flatmates and organise what events you actually want to go to and then you won’t be wasting a night on something you really don’t want to be doing.

Preparing for Uni

As one person’s journey ends, another person’s begins… It won’t be long before I graduate (a month to be exact!) and with that comes another summer. For a lot of people this will be the last summer before they begin university, you don’t need me to tell you what a huge step that is! So, this week’s blog post is going to be dedicated to the ways in which you can prepare yourself for university.

Buy everything, but in moderation
There are a lot of things you’re going to have to buy before you start uni, pans, bleach, textbooks, you name it. This is can be quite the financial burden. I recommend starting to buy your stuff as early as possible, this gives you time to spread the cost and shop around to find the cheapest deals. Plus, it means you won’t be faffing about last minute and fighting other students in the isles of Asda for the last cheese grater.

Go to an open day/applicant visit day
I highly recommend attending an open day even before you apply for a uni. But it is also important to revisit the uni that you have chosen. This is important for a variety of reasons; for one it reminds you what the uni is like and gives you a chance to explore the surrounding area and secondly you can speak to tutors to get more information to prepare adequately for your degree. Edge Hill offers applicant visit days for those holding conditional and unconditional offers to study there. These visit days are often between February and April and give applicants a chance to really experience Edge Hill.

Make the most of the summer
Most important of all though, you should make the most of your time off. This is probably one of the longest summer holidays you’ve ever had and it is well needed after all those assignments and exams. I recommend you spend as much time as you can with your friends and family and make as many amazing memories as you can to carry without to university.

Until next time! 🙂

 

Support Available at Edge Hill

There may come a point during your time at university where you might need a little help. This is totally okay; university is stressful enough as it is without the pressure of personal issues or other problems getting in the way. Edge Hill has a number of different places you can go for help, depending on your problem. I’m going to outline a few people or places you can turn to if you find yourself needing that little bit of support.

The Careers Centre (for work-related problems)

If you’re struggling with finding a job or your CV is putting you under a lot of stress then the careers centre is the best place for you. Their webpage offers so many different support services, such as; an option to upload your CV to be checked by experienced professionals, resources to help you write successful applications, CVs and personal statements and lastly, and the option to book face to face or telephone appointments with the careers team. I have made so much use of the careers centre during my time at Edge Hill, they’ve given me so much more confidence and helped me to improve my CV. So, if it’s your job prospects that are getting you down, the careers centre is here for you.

The Wellbeing Team (for emotional support)

As a student you are entitled to free counselling sessions at our dedicated health and wellbeing facility. These sessions are lead on a one-to-one basis with experienced counsellors who offer you a safe place to talk through your problems. But if counselling is not your thing then they also offer a number of support groups and workshops aimed at specific issues that students may encounter such as, stress, confidence or bereavement. There are also electronic resources that can help you if you are feeling emotionally strained.

Student Information Centre (for pretty much anything)

The Student Information Centre (SIC) is the hub for student support. They can offer you advice from finances to inclusion. For most questions you can either email them on studentservices@edgehill.ac.uk or just drop-in and they will advise you as to what steps you should take to solve your particular problem. They really are a helpfully and friendly bunch, not be scared to ask for help, that’s what they are there for!

There are also a few other options when looking for support that are listed on the student services webpage.

Until next time! 🙂