Campus Developments

So, if you have visited for a campus tour, or attended the Open Day on 19th August, you may be wondering what all the building work is that’s going on!

If you turned right when leaving the hub, you may have noticed the building work going on outside Wilson, on the old running track (do not fear: we’ve got another virtually new running track right next to the Sports Centre).

One of those developments, which will be completed in two phases – the first opening will be September 2017, and another will be sometime during 2018 – are the townhouses, specifically designed for 2nd and 3 years and post-graduate students. Previously, campus accommodation was only available for 1st year students, unless you had a specific reason for staying in halls, so this new development is incredibly exciting!

Living on campus was the best experience of my life: I made so many new friends; I was always on campus if there was paid work to be done; I was close to the library if I had forgotten something. In addition to all that, living in such a peaceful and beautiful environment was truly wonderful.

I’m even considering doing a post-grad, just so I can live on campus again.

So, if you’re a prospective student looking for 2018 or 2019 entry, it may be that it’s the possibility of living on campus for the full three years that sways you towards Edge Hill. I know accommodation was a big factor for me, so it may be for you too.

If you came on the open day, you may also know that we couldn’t show all of the Main Halls and Back Halls accommodation. This is because Edge Hill, over the summer, has been improving and renovating this accommodation, making them even more homely and welcoming for new students starting in September 2017.

As you may know, we were voted the Best Student Accommodation Award by the National Student Housing Survey Awards in 2016. We have beautiful accommodation, and not too badly priced either! I’m sure you’ll agree, if you come and take a look.

The open days this year are: 7th October, 11th November and 2nd December.

Some words of encouragement

CONGRATULATIONS if you managed to get the grades and have been accepted at the university of your choice. There is no better feeling than knowing you have put in the effort and have been rewarded for it.

Make sure you celebrate! You’ve worked hard to get to this point, and you’re about to embark on 3 stressful, but crazy, wonderful years.

My own A Level Results Day was bittersweet; I had got my place at university, but not received the grades I wanted. If you’re in the same position that I was, please do not feel defeated! It is important to remember that you got to where you wanted to be! You have so much left to learn and will grow so much over the next 3 years. Do not let your grades define you.

  • If, unlike me, you did better than expected, make sure to drop the Adjustment team a call, on 0808 144 66 44.
  • If you didn’t get the grades you wanted, why not try our clearing line, on 0800 028 66 77.

It may seem odd that as a teacher, I am telling you that grades do not matter, but the truth is, they don’t. They do not define your worth or your ability. It won’t feel like it now – but it will one day. It may feel like an awful situation to have found yourself in, but there is always, always another option. I like to believe that when one door closes, another opens – a better, brighter, more exciting door.

Many of my friends did not receive the grades they wanted on results day, but they still persevered, and are on track for their dream now. One of my friends chose to go back to college to improve their grades, which paid off, as they’re now on the degree of their dreams. Another didn’t get the grades for the degree she wanted, but phoned clearing and got offered a different course. She’s currently on track for a upper second class degree and is planning to apply through UCAS this year for the degree she needs for her future career. Both of my friends decided to take the long route, but it has most certainly paid off, with a little bit of faith.

Week 1 of the EHU Residential

As we make our way into the second week of the residential, I thought I’d have a look back at the previous week.

Subjects on offer this week for prospective students were:

Advertising and Design; Animatio;, Creative Performance; Creative Writing; Dance; Drama; English Language; English Literature; Film and TV Production; History; Music; Musical Theatre; Public Relations; Social Sciences; Physical Activity – Physical Sciences; Sport & Physical Activity – Social Sciences.

Throughout the day, prospective students attended academic sessions based upon their chosen subject. These sessions are incredibly similar to what we as students would attend whilst at university, designed to give you a taster of studying at Edge Hill University.

In the evenings, there were a variety of activities for prospective students to try.

On Monday, the students downloaded an app called Actionbound* in order to complete a treasure hunt, around the campus. This was a great way of getting to know the university campus and its facilities, as well as finding out some interesting facts. I was very proud of my team for coming 2nd place, particularly as a result of their creativity!

On Day 2, students had the opportunity to sign up to a society at lunchtime, which they would experience that evening. Societies we offered on the evenings included, but were not limited to: Harry Potter, Murder Mystery, Just Dance and Circus Skills. We appreciate that societies aren’t for everyone, however, which is why some chose to spend their free time working on projects, or getting to know other students on the residential. Some students also opted to pay a £10 fee to use the gym for the week, and chose to go during this time.

Finally, the final night of the residential was Edge Fest, which included a barbecue, quiz and a festival-themed social. Students dressed up and had their faces painted in preparation. This was a fab night, and definitely the best.

If you’re going into Year 12 or your first year of college and aren’t sure whether university is right for you, the 4-day long residential is a brilliant way to get to know if university life is for you or not. Make sure to check out the website for more details.

Subjects on offer next week are:

Applied Health and Social Care; Biology; Business / Economics / Accountancy / Marketing; Computer Science; Geography; Geology; Law, Crimonology and Policing; Professional Health; Pscyhology; Teaching and Education (Early Years & Primary; Secondary).

*If you’re a trainee teacher, download this app! It’s fab.

6 things freshers should know

  1. Be aware of your bank balance, and know that you’re going to have to pay your overdraft back. I had friends who spent all of their student finance within the first week, and then had to use their overdraft to pay for their rent. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your overdraft is free money!
  2. Avoid getting into bad habits in your first week! Everybody’s first week will differ, but I was in 10am-5pm almost everyday for my first week. Attendance was generally good for the first few days, when everyone was excited and keen to get stuck in, but it quickly dropped during the tail end of the week. That first week may feel really intense, but it’s best to dive straight in and fully experience the course. Some of what we were told in that
  3. Always ask if there’s a student discount – and download unidays! There’s a purple card option in Ormskirk, which gets you freebies and discount, but this is specific to Ormskirk. Check out the different options available to you, to work out what will give you the best deals for you.
  4. Don’t worry if you’re not particularly sociable. I promise you that you will find a group of people that you will fit perfectly into for your time at university. That being said…
  5. Do check out the freshers fair, and sign up to any societies! They’re a great way of making new friends who have something in common with you. If there isn’t a society you want to join – then create one!
  6. It is perfectly normal to feel homesick. My best method for combatting this in first year was to keep in contact with friends via group chats and phone calls etc. It’s likely that you’ll be starting university at the same time or similar time as some of your friends from back home, so you’ll all get the best university experience if you remember that you all need time to settle in! Whilst it can feel awful being away from friends and having to socialise with people you don’t really know, make sure you strike a balance with keeping in contact with people at home and going out and getting involved with people at uni. It can be really easy to isolate yourself if you do this.

It’s graduation week!

If you’re following Edge Hill on any social media, then you’re probably already aware that it is Graduation Week!

Your Graduation day is the receiving of an academic degree or diploma, but more than that, it is a celebration of the 3 years you have spent at Edge Hill. Although I have one more year left at Edge Hill, I already know that I’ll be gutted when I leave. I feel that I have grown most in the past 3 years at Edge Hill than I ever have, and have made some absolutely amazing friends

As some of my friends prepare to bid farewell to the university, I have asked some of them what their favourite things about university life at Edge Hill are:

  • The grounds – the campus can be such a quiet, relaxing place to both live and study, as a result of the well-kept grounds and beautiful greenery.

 

  • The facilities – you can get almost everything you need on campus, as a result of having everything so close together.
  • Being so close to Liverpool! – whether it’s for a night out, or a day’s shopping trip, it’s fab to only be 30 minutes from Liverpool city centre by train. You get all the benefits of living near a big city, without too much hustle and bustle.
  • The fact that there’s an Aldi – I honestly don’t know how some students cope when there’s only an Asda or Sainsbury’s near them, because Aldi has been an honest life saver in helping me to save money, but also make sure I’m eating proper meals.
  • The people – okay, so this one probably isn’t specific to Edge Hill, but I think looking back on your university life and your friends, and thinking about how you would most likely never have met this person had it not been for the fact that they also chose Edge Hill… well, that can be quite emotional.

  • Ormskirk – it’s a quaint little town, with a Thursday and Saturday market, and famous for its gingerbread
  • The support – whether that be from tutors, from the well being team, or the careers team! There’s support campus-wide at Edge Hill University, and there’s always someone to help you out if you need something.

 

Sport facilities and gym memberships

You may have heard that most people who go to university end up putting on weight. Whether this be an account of not always choosing the healthy food option, or no longer doing any compulsory exercise, I don’t know. But one way of making sure you stay, or get, healthy, is to join the gym on campus.

The new Sports Centre was opened in 2015 and it boasts an 80-station Fitness Suite with in-built entertainment technology; an 8-court Sports Hall with spectator gallery; an exercise studio and a 6-lane 25m swimming pool with sauna and steam room. All users need a membership, whether this is ‘pay as you go’ or a ‘premier peak’ membership; this can be obtained by completing a membership form at The Sports Centre Reception or completed online, by going to the Sports page on the website. 

As with most gyms, there are different memberships that you can get. If you’re not  a regular gym user, the ‘pay as you go’ may work out cheaper for you; at the moment, it’s £2 for swimming, £3.50 for a fitness class and £5 for use of the fitness suite. If you want to only swim, the ‘Get Active’ pass may be the one for you; at £30 for the whole year, you have free use of the swimming pool during public swim.

Of course, another question you want to ask yourself is at what time is the best for you to go to the gym, as this will help you decide whether to get the Peak or Off-Peak membership.

Off peak membership only allows access to activities and facilities from:

  • Monday to Friday: 7am-4.30pm
  • Saturday to Sunday: 9am-4.30pm

As I am a Primary Ed student, I will be getting a Peak membership, purely because I want to be able to do exercise everyday, whether that be swimming or use of the fitness suite (and, with the premier membership, I can also attend the fitness classes for free). Some of my days can be 9am-6pm, which would mean I wouldn’t get to use my membership all that much! So once you get your timetable, make sure to have a think about it!

Some questions, answered!

When will I get my timetable? You usually get your timetable on Welcome Sunday. When I got to campus, I had until 5pm to go and speak with a staff member on my course, talk through any worries, and get my timetable and seminar group. This may differ depending on your course. It’s worth noting that your first week timetable and your normal timetable may be different. I know that some people had maybe 2 lectures in that first week, whereas we had a full 10-5 day for all of that first week.

What if I get lost? The very first night I spent at Edge Hill, I remember wandering around campus trying to find an accommodation block with my flatmates. It was pouring with rain, it was dark, and we just had no clue where it was. The wandering round campus really helped us to become familiar with everything, even if it did look very different in daylight! In all honesty, this isn’t something to worry about. There are various maps and signs spotted around campus and if you’re really worried, you can download the Edge Hill app, which has a map on it too. As for finding classrooms on campus, it really just takes a bit of common sense; E is for Education, H is for Health and Social, CE is for Creative Edge, M is for Main building and so on.

Can my parents send me post? Absolutely! Make sure they include your name, room number and hall block on the envelope, as this makes it just a bit easier for the lovely guy in the Durning Centre who sorts our post.

What if I really need a book and I haven’t got it yet? First things first, check the library. However, this is where Amazon prime comes in handy. Once you get your university login and you can sign into your emails, make sure you get a free student prime trial. It’s free for 6 months, and then £36 a year and it is well worth it. Not only do you not have to pay postage, you can get next day delivery (either to the Durning Centre, or the Amazon locker in McColl’s). Additionally, you also get the Amazon Video, music and other benefits that come with Prime. This is especially good for some downtime, which is important!

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will answer as best as I can.

 

Stationery, folders and textbooks, oh my!

The best piece of advice I wished someone had given me when I started university was: Do not buy all of the textbooks on your course list!

To be fair, I maybe wouldn’t have listened to that person even if I had been told; I was so determined to be the best student ever when I got to uni (it was a combination of being very excited to study something I felt so passionate about, and feeling like I needed to make up for not doing so well in my A Levels).

So, if you’re like me, you’re probably going to go ahead and do this anyway. Not to worry; I’m just trying to save you a bit of cash, which is very important, as we’ve established.

The best bet is to buy your books and folders in the first couple of weeks of a new term, when you know exactly what it is you’re going to be needing. I spent over £200 buying all of the textbooks on my list, even at second hand prices, and I don’t think I’ve even opened some. Some of the them, I have used only briefly, and they’re even available as an e-book on the portal, or in the library!

If you live in halls with people that are on the same course as you – or even if you don’t, once you make friends – one idea is to split the costs of buying books. Get one person to buy one book and you buy another so that you can share these. It’s easy to think ‘I can get all of these from the library,’ but if you’re on a large course like mine (Primary Ed has 360 students in a year group), it may be that everybody is trying to get the same books at once, so sharing the costs with your new friends will help a lot!

If you are going to get lots of textbooks, make sure you shop around and get the best deal, even if that means they’re second hand. Amazon and ebay are particularly good sites.

It is also worth mentioning that the library do a book giveaway a couple of times a year, where you can go and collect books that past students have donated. Even if you don’t get the most common ones from here, it may be that you get a book nobody else has, and can make your assignment really stand out. Additional reading is what gets you those higher marks, after all.

My top student meals

If you’re thinking about going to uni, probably one of the biggest worries on your mind is cooking for yourself. Below, with the help of my friends, I have compiled some suggestions for what you can eat next year!

It’s also best to be aware that we have quite a few places to shop from in Ormskirk. Aldi and Morrison’s are the two biggest supermarkets, located about a 15 minute walk from halls. However, you can also get a delivery from Tesco, who now do a specific delivery for Edge Hill students one day a week; they come on to campus. You can also get an Asda delivery, if you’re willing to pick it up from the main gate. If you have a car, you’re in an even better position, as you can drive to the nearest Asda, if you prefer.

Don’t forget the little shops either! Places like Home Bargains, Poundland and B&M do also sell cheap food, although it’s perhaps better to get your tins and packets from these places.

Low cost

  • Pasta and mayo
  • Super Noodles (Cheapest in Home Bargains)
  • Pasta n sauce (Cheapest in Home Bargains)
  • Tuna pasta (tuna; choice of mayo, salad cream or seafood sauce; pasta of choice)
  • Pasta bake (pasta of choice; sieved tomatoes or jar of pasta sauce; choice of meat and vegetables)
  • Jacket potato (potato; choice of filling)
  • Chicken nuggets

Medium cost

  • Chilli con carne (quorn or beef mince; passata sauce or sieved tomatoes; chilli mix; choice of pasta, rice or potatoes)
  • Burgers (mince; egg; garlic; onions; choice of bread or salad)
  • Curry (chicken; choice of sauce; choice of rice or chips)
  • Camembert and garlic bread (cheap in Aldi!)

High(er) cost

  • Salmon, cous cous and salad
  • Hunter’s chicken (Aldi)
  • Pepper and goat’s cheese pizza (Morrison’s)
  • Takeaway
    • I am a big fan of:
      • Wan’s
      • Scoozi’s
      • Dominoes
      • Little Italy
      • Brewsterz
  • Restaurants
    • Shake Shack does really nice breakfast dishes, and can be found on JustEat
    • Morrison’s breakfast is particularly good after a night out
    • Cobble is good for lunch or afternoon tea
    • Love to Eat is fast becoming my favourite little coffee shop, although I have also eaten breakfast here, which was yummy!

Remember, you don’t have to completely rule out the more expensive foods; it is important to treat yourself every now and again!

Saying goodbye and keeping in touch

I’m feeling rather nostalgic this evening, most likely because I only have one more week left on placement – my old primary school – and I’m getting ready to say goodbye. So today, I’m here to talk about staying in touch with people from school.

Despite leaving my secondary school to start at a new sixth form, it still came as a bit of a shock to the system when it dawned upon me that I would soon be leaving all of my friends behind to start a new phase of my life. Naturally, I had mixed feelings about it; my sixth form friends had been there with me throughout a really intense, important two years of my life. I couldn’t imagine surviving university without them.

And in many ways, I haven’t had to. The group chat that was started way back at the end of 2013 is still there, a constant reminder than even when I feel rubbish, I have my friends from sixth form to help me through it. I’m a Primary Ed student and there is so many of us, that sometimes it feels like you just cannot escape the subject. Knowing that I have my friends from sixth form (studying a vast range of degrees: Computing, Zoology, Geography, Maths etc) that have absolutely no idea what goes on at Edge Hill or on my degree, helps me when I just need some space from it all.

So my message to you is this: Leaving school does not have to mean leaving your friends behind.

And if we look at it cynically, moving on at least helps you to figure out who your real friends are, rather than those you were simply with out of convenience.

It makes the time that you do spend with them even more special, because let me tell you, trying to organise meeting up with any more than 2 people at a time can be absolutely disastrous! People have different holidays and different course demands, which makes things challenging – but definitely worth it.

So swap telephone numbers, add each other on snapchat and whatsapp and whatever it is you use, and make sure to stay in touch. I 100% promise you that it will be worth it.