A Day in the Life

Now as much as I would like it to, I can’t lie and say that my day often begins with me springing out of bed, watching the sunrise and skipping off to a lecture. As a primary education student my timetable is pretty varied and some days my lectures begin at 9am and other days they begin at 2pm. But a typical day for me goes a little something like this:

8:00am – Is generally the time I set my alarm for if I am in for 9am, living on campus means I only have a 10 minute walk to get to the faculty of education so this leaves me plenty of time to get up and get ready for the day

9:00am – Most commonly when I am in at 9am it is for an APD lecture. APD is a core aspect of Primary Education and it stands for Academic and Professional Development. This area of the course focuses on areas such as learning theory and behaviour management. Lectures often have a bad reputation for being boring but ours are energetic and interactive especially this one

12:00pm – When in university for most of the day I often get lunch from McColls and sit with friends in the Hub. For me this is easier than remembering to make lunch and is also a fairly cheap option. As well as McColls there’s also hot food available from Sages and occasionally there are vendors in the Hub selling everything from cakes and crepes and smoothies and sweets.

2:00pm – Once I have finished for the day I usually call into the library on my way home, I find this is easier than making another trip later in the day and as most people are still in lectures or seminars it’s often a quieter time. During busier periods the library is open 24 hours which is convenient when you’re working late at night and suddenly realise there’s a book you urgently need.

3:00pm – When I get back to my flat I pretty much always have a nap. Halls are much quieter in the afternoons and I find this is the perfect slot for a little me time.

5:00pm – Following on from this I like to try and get some work done everyday even if it is only a small amount. I find that on my course organisation is key and filing notes and completing reading may seem small but really helps me to stay on top of the bigger tasks and prevents work from piling up.

7:00pm – As a flat we always have dinner together. This has taken many weeks of trial and error as it is not easy to co-ordinate 8 meals in 2 ovens at any one time, but we have almost perfected the art. Sitting together in an evening is a really important part of the day for me as it allows everyone to catch up and talk about their day.

9:00pm – Evenings at university aren’t that different to what most people experience at home. Following on from dinner we usually spend an hour doing work and then all get showered and watch a film or television together. As the night draws on we almost always spend an hour saying that we must go to bed soon followed by another hour of chatter. I think when living with other people that you enjoy being around it is hard to just go to bed as you don’t want to miss out on what is going on around you resulting in many, many late nights.

Home Sickness vs Uni Sickness

Uni sickness is something that I never thought I’d experience, having suffered so terribly with home sickness at the beginning of my first year. But as time has progressed I’ve found myself becoming increasingly fond of my lifestyle at Edge Hill and in many ways it has overtaken the home life that I used to favour. Luckily my home sickness was short lived and with help from Wellbeing team and their homesickness workshop (alongside a few last minute trips home in times of crisis) I am now experiencing the exact opposite.

Coming home for the Christmas holidays has made me realise all the little things about university that I am missing and resulted in what I am now referring to as ‘uni sickness’*. One of the main things to re-adjust to is the fact that often now I am home alone, living in halls this has been a very rare occurrence. I am used to the atmosphere that is associated with living with 7 other people, having people pop in and out at random times to see me and where waking up in the afternoon isn’t considered a bad thing. But I think the thing that I am missing most about being back at uni is that no matter what you do or how weird it may seem, no one really questions you about it. Fancying Coco Pops for dinner? Completely acceptable. Slippers in the library? Whatever makes you feel comfortable. For me it is this overall feeling of acceptance that makes university so enjoyable.

I think something that adds to my longing to be back in halls is the fact that I have made such close bonds with the people that I am living with. It is safe to say that living together really accelerates the relationship you have with other people and you quickly feel as though you have known one another for a lot longer than the few months you’ve spent together in halls. In many ways I think it is s strange feeling to be spending Christmas away from the people with whom you would normally spend every day. As a result of this we decided to have a flat family Christmas before breaking up for the holidays. This was compromised of everything a traditional dinner would be, dodgy jumpers, turkey and competitive after dinner games.

So luckily I’ve had one lovely university Christmas already and I am now looking forward to another.

* Uni Sickness adj. – to have a longing or desire to be back at university or living the university life style whilst living or staying at home.

Top tips for education based placements

As a 2nd year Primary Education student living in halls, at this time of year I find myself undertaking a lot of reflection. Watching my flatmates who are 1st year primary education students go out on placement I find myself thinking how I was in their position only a year ago and how far I have developed during this time. Although challenging, placement is an exciting and important time in constructing your professional development. Having had the experience of a first year placement and making it through (somewhat) successfully I find myself offering advice to others who are embarking on placement, work experience or even just considering a career in primary education.

1)      Don’t be afraid to ask for help – often when going into schools you feel like you want to change the world and the thought of having this power is an amazing feeling, but you cannot do this alone. The university offers a wide range of support to help and assist you throughout your placement and I would make the most of every opportunity when someone is willing to offer you their help.

2)      Magpie ideas – you will find this term used quite frequently in Primary Education but building a strong portfolio of resources and lesson ideas will make planning easier and less time consuming in the future. If you see a lesson you like make a note of it, ask the teacher about the resources and see if you gain a copy of the lesson plan. Don’t be afraid to ask, teachers will often see it as a compliment that you have enjoyed their lesson and seen the benefits that it is has on children’s learning.

3)      The more feedback the better – it may seem daunting having someone critique you for the first time, but teachers only want to help you, it’s important to remember that they were in your exact position once also. Try and take as many chances to be observed as possible normalising observation will reduce stress and increase your performance in the classroom.

 One of my reasons for choosing Edge Hill to complete my degree was the wide range of opportunities for placement such as a remote placements which can occur all over the country. Seeing my flatmates going through placement in their first year has only made me more excited to begin my next placement and implement what I have learnt over the past two years.