That interview question… where do you want to be in 5 years time?

Many of us have been in an interview where we are asked ‘where do you want to be in three or five or even ten years time?’ and so often it catches us off guard. Deciding to study at Edge Hill was part of my goal for where I see myself in five years time.

However, this is much more than an interview question. By asking yourself this question throughout your degree or as make your degree choices you can make sure that you stay on track. It helps you to focus on what is important to you and enables you to chase after the opportunities that surround you.

I knew from walking around at my first Open Day that Edge Hill could help to get me to where I wanted to be. There are many opportunities to study different languages, people from across the country and many international students too and the educational opportunities available are fantastic.

Here are three quick questions to ask yourself about your university experience if you are considering your degree choices:

  1. What would you like to get from your university experience? What clubs and societies would suit your needs or personality and are these available? If a particular society isn’t available at Edge Hill you can get together with a group of people with the same interest and set up a new society!
  2. What extra skills do you have that you could write about on your application form or talk about at an interview? What skills could you bring to the university/job/volunteer opportunity? These don’t have to be academic skills, it could be anything you enjoy. This is a fantastic question to ask yourself whatever the interview or application is for and applies to more than just university applications.
  3. What memories would you like to create over the next few years? What is important to you? Is it being close to your family or being able to explore a new area? These questions can help you to decide on a location and also help you to think about what it is you’re looking for around campus if you attend an open day.

What questions do you think you should consider before starting uni or throughout your degree? Please share in the comments, would love to hear your ideas 🙂

Best places to study around the Ormskirk campus

If you’re joining Edge Hill in September, here’s a few of the best places to study around campus to give you a little head start. If you’ve not visited the campus yet, I would highly recommend attending the June open day as they provide a fantastic insight into what goes on around campus.

The Library – soon to be moved to the Catalyst Building

During my first year at Edge Hill, I’ve spent many hours studying in the library and just know when it moves over to the Catalyst then I will enjoy studying there too. It is more than just a library, the different levels of quiet were great for different types of work and it is home to so many wonderful resources that will make your university life so much easier.

 

The Hub

The upstairs of the Hub is a great place to study, especially if you prefer to learn surrounded by your friends. The pods are a fantastic space to work in, especially if you are working on a group presentation. You’re never far away from that all important mid-study snack too, with various food outlets available downstairs and even a Starbucks too!! Downstairs, the comfy sofas are great to wind down and relax or catch up with friends too.

Front reception to the Ormskirk Campus

Outside around campus

During the warmer months there are many very pretty places to go and study outside or to unwind and de-stress after a long day of working. From Edge Hill’s own little beach area to the trim trail up by the sports centre, there is something to suit many interests. There is a beautiful area just outside the Hub to study which seems to be a little sun trap, especially in the warmer months. If you’re looking to combine studying and eating then why not try out Waters Edge, where you can grab a bite to eat, watch the ducks as they swim past and study outside or inside, all at the same time!

 

If you’re already at Edge Hill, where are your favourite places to study? Drop a comment below to let me know 🙂

Budgeting as a student

Being able to budget and plan your money is incredibly important as a student. It may be your first time receiving money where you have specific things you’ve got to pay for such as rent, food, sports memberships as well as the extras such as going out with friends wherever that may be to.

You should start by working out how much money you have coming in. This could be through Student Finance or from a part-time job that you are currently working. You should then make a list of all essential outgoings such as rent, bills, travel costs, course materials, food, toiletries, clothes and insurance as well as any extra study expenses which are expected for your course.

The next step is to work out how much you can afford to spend on each of these areas. Remember to save some money for optional extras such as entertainment as well as unexpected expenses and future savings. There are also often bigger occasions to save for such as holidays, Christmas and birthdays.

You should then look for ways to make savings. This could include buying your food from a cheaper supermarket or bulk buying certain items with the other people you are living with. You could also try having no spend days which can help keep your costs down considerably. If you are paying bills, take a look to see if there is a cheaper provider for the services you are receiving. Student discounts such as student rail cards, bus passes and the NUS card can also help you to save a little extra.

Finally, you should always keep track of what you are spending and review this regularly. This will help you to know whether you can afford to make certain luxury purchases or whether you should wait. You could keep a list or use an app or programme such as Blackbullion.

If you aren’t currently working but need a little extra money, you should consider a part-time job. The careers centre at Edge Hill are incredibly friendly and helpful and can check over your application or CV to help you get a job which is suited to the skills and experience you already have. Working whilst at university helps to improve your skills such as time management and communication and can also be a great way to network with other professionals in the area you hope to study in after you graduate. The money advice team at Edge Hill are always happy to help with any questions you may have about budgeting or funding.

Five things I wish I’d known before coming to Edge Hill

Starting university can be a time filled with a mix of emotions. Hopefully these few tips will help calm any nerves and be a reminder of all of the amazing things you will be able to do at Edge Hill.

Firstly, it is important to know you will find your way around campus VERY quickly! You’ll find landmarks such as the Hub and Creative Edge and will be able to use these to plan y our way around this beautiful campus.

Then there are the people at Edge Hill. So many different people – different ages, backgrounds and experiences all together that within a short amount of time you will have made friends. You’ll find people with similar interests but also more excitingly, you will meet lots of people who have different hobbies and interests to you and you’ll learn so much from these people.

Thirdly, it is perfectly okay to be totally yourself. This may be the first time you’ve lived away from home or with friends. You may be feeling worried about what to wear or how you will ever learn to cook or even if you’re interests are interesting enough! These are all common worries however they really don’t need to be. The best bit of advice I can give is to just be yourself. This will help you to settle in and will make you feel more comfortable. You will very quickly enjoy the excitement of all of these new experiences.

Perhaps one of the things I’ve learnt most this year is that university is about so much more than getting a degree. There are so many opportunities, from joining a sports club or society to spending time learning a new language or increasing your academic skills. There is also lots to do in and around Ormskirk and you are only a train ride away from all that there is to see and do in Liverpool too 🙂 Employers will see your commitment to improving your skills and knowledge and this will help with future employment.

Finally, work out what is important to you before you start and make a plan. Whether it is going to the SU Bar during Freshers week to meet new friends, talking to other students on your course to get to know them better or simply going for a walk around campus. Always remember to enjoy your time at Edge Hill as it goes so quickly!

Seven top tips for assignments

It’s that time of year where students can be found busily working around campus, especially in the library, ahead of assignment deadlines. Here’s a few tips to help you to stay on top of your work throughout the year so that you can avoid any last minute rushes to the library for books!

  1. Find out your deadlines as early into the semester as possible, along with your learning objectives. You can find many countdown apps to help you to remember these deadlines.
  2. Create a plan and leave plenty of time for reading, getting feedback if possible and drafting your work. Reading around the topic can help to increase your knowledge of the subject and often helps to give you the wider context of your module. Setting structured time can help you to stay focused and don’t be afraid to reward yourself afterwards for your good work.
  3. Create a plan for your assignment and work out what you want to include. Mind-maps can help with this as they can be used to help you to find links between your ideas, helping your assignment to flow. Always keep the question in mind!
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If the lecturers or seminar tutors are able to provide feedback make sure you take them up on their offer.
  5. Check over your work thoroughly – little mistakes such as poor spelling and grammar and not using the correct font, font size or line spacing can lose you easy marks. Always check if a header and footer is needed too.
  6. Once you’ve completed your assignment, put it away for a short while then check back over it with fresh eyes. This can be useful for ensuring there are no mistakes and that each sentence says what you intended it to say.
  7. Allow time to submit your assignment early, don’t leave it until a few minutes before it is due in. This can help you avoid any last minute problems, whether these are technical difficulties or personal problems such as ill-health.

What are some of your top tips? Please share them in the comments below 🙂

 

Life as a Mature Student

Are you currently considering studying at Edge Hill University as a mature student? Deciding to go to university as a mature student was a decision willed with excitement and nerves for me. Part of me was worried what it would be like studying after years of being out of formal education, but I was also incredibly excited to start a new chapter of my life. I firmly believe that studying as a mature student is different than studying straight out of school/sixth form/college but it is possible and such an amazing experience!

Juggling your time:

As a mature student it is likely that you will have many responsibilities outside of university. From caring from a family, running your home, taking part in clubs or activities that you currently enjoy to having to work. Your time will inevitably be filled to the max! But this doesn’t have to mean it isn’t possible. I have fund using a diary, both on my phone and a paper version, as well as creating lists of what needs doing and when to be very helpful. It enables you to fit more into your days than you ever thought possible.

You will make new friends:

People of all ages study a multitude of courses at Edge Hill. You will make friends of all ages and find people who share your interests as well as others who will inspire you to try something new. There is so much to do and so many places to go both around campus and in Ormskirk too.

The environment is inspiring:

Edge Hill campus is a wonderful place. From my very first visit during an Open Day it felt welcoming, inviting and safe. There are many places to study around campus from the library to the Hub as well as specialist rooms such as those in Creative Edge. Then when it is time to relax there are loads of places to eat and spend time with friends, including a Subway! Being in an environment which is supportive and encouranging can be incredibly motivating too.

You’ll have a different perspective in lectures:

Having real life, often hands on, experience will mean you will be able to apply what you have learnt in the lectures to your real life experiences. This can give you a different perspective especially when completing assignments. As an Early Childhood Studies student, one of my first year module assignments was a reflective booklet. I found it very interesting being able to reflect on what I had learnt in my workplace and relate this to the skills I would need for future practice.

Social Science London First Year Trip

Last week I took part in a fantastic educational trip to London with 30 first year social science students. It was an amazing experience and something which I would highly recommend to anyone. Although the trips can’t be guaranteed to run each year, any educational visit of this type would always come highly recommended.

On Wednesday we set off from a snowy campus, stopping on our way down before checking into our hotel room for a quick turn around before our first visit. This was to the Foundling Museum where we were greeted by a very friendly and informative tour guide. It was such an interesting visit, from learning about the history of the Foundling Hospital to the tokens the mothers would hand over as a way of identifying their child. The fundraising methods they used in the past still live on today which I thought was a lovely touch. In the evening we had some free time and this was the perfect opportunity to get to know others on the trip.

Thursday morning started perfectly with a big breakfast before heading out to the Natural History Museum. The afternoon we did a mock court trial in the Royal Courts of Justice which was an experience I thought I would never have and it was fascinating to learn more about the legal justice system in the UK. It was also an opportunity to work with other students who I’d not yet spoken to on my course and learn more about them.

In the evening we were treated to Wicked at the Apollo Victoria which was amazing! It was an opportunity to think back over the day and everything we had all achieved too.

On the Friday we visited Harrow School before heading back to uni. The campus looked stunning covered in a layer of thick white snow, with possibly the coldest wind I’ve ever felt! Hearing about the education delivered there was very interesting, from how it was founded in 1572 and how it grew from a school just for boys in the Harrow area to the well-known school that it is today.

I would highly recommend any student to take part in as many opportunities of this kind as they can. Not only was it a good opportunity to meet others on my course but I learned so much more about each of the places we visited than I ever would have without this trip.

Looking over a snowy London from the top of Harrow Hill

What’s happening at Edge Hill?

There is always something new and different going on around campus and I think this is one of the special things about the Edge Hill Ormskirk campus. Every time I arrive at uni I notice something small which makes me smile, whether it is the flowers that are growing, the smell of the food from the various food halls or the beautiful lights I noticed on the way home whilst waiting for the EdgeLink bus a few weeks ago. Then last week the campus was beautifully surrounded by snow!

The new Catalyst building which will be home to the new Library, Careers and Student Services is forever changing and developing and I am lucky enough to have lectures and seminars in Creative Edge overlooking all of the work. Check out this video for more information on what is coming soon:

Another place on campus which I would love to visit more often is the Arts Centre. There are lots of shows over the next few months and with an EHU Student Membership which is free to get you are entitled to watch 8 free shows every year! Check out the What’s on page for more information of current shows and performances.

There is lots going on within the Students’ Union too, from the SU elections, vintage clothing sale and various nature walks. Be sure to check out their page to find out more about what you can get involved in.

What’s your favourite part of campus? Comment below to share, I look forward to hearing your best parts & trying them out myself!

Planning for an amazing summer!

With snow settled on the ground outside it feels like summer should be a million miles away but I know it’s never to early to start looking into what is available. Whether you are excitedly looking forward to September to begin your degree or if you’re a first or second year student thinking beyond your deadlines this blog is for you. I am a sun-lover and with second semester almost half way through and I’m already making plans for my summer break. There are so many amazing opportunities available during the break, here’s a quick look at what you could get up to!

1 – Volunteer

There are so many amazing volunteer opportunities out there that can provide so much more than just experience to put on your CV. Volunteering is a personal favourite of mine and I love supporting children and young people with a disability to access activity holidays over the summer. But there are volunteering opportunities from one day a week, daily and even residential available in a huge range of areas. Speak to someone at the careers centre or check out one of the national volunteering websites for more information.

2 – Try some part time paid work

Part time work can be a great way of getting some extra money before starting university or to get ahead for your next academic year. My advice would always be to find something you think you will enjoy and do your research first. Locally there are lots of jobs available which can be found on the careers website and the staff also provide a fantastic service when it comes to providing feedback on CV’s and application forms.

3 – Relax and spend time with your family and friends

Summer is also a time for you to catch up with friends and family members, relax and enjoy doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Whether that is days out shopping or going to the beach, relaxing in your room watching movies or playing games or going out with friends. This is the perfect time to de-stress and get yourself ready for the new year.

Remember – the best opportunities tend to get snapped up quickly so it is always a good idea to get in early with your application form or ask for feedback/references in advance of the deadlines so that you aren’t rushing.

What is your favourite thing to do in the summer? Please leave a comment as I’d love to hear all of your ideas!

My university journey so far

Time has absolutely flown by over the past few months and somehow we are already at the end of January! With Christmas and the New Year feeling like forever ago I have found myself reflecting on the past few months and how much has changed since my first few days at Edge Hill. It seems like the perfect opportunity to share with you some of the things I’ve learnt in my first few months as an Early Childhood Studies student.

1. The nerves of first week quickly turn into excitement

Before starting at Edge Hill I was very nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect as a mature student. Getting my timetable for the first time helped to settle me, as did meeting lots of new people on my first day, many of which have become close friends already! There are so many events during Welcome Week, Freshers and again at the start of Semester 2 that you’ll always have opportunities to meet new people and find new interests to explore.

2. Deadlines and time management are nothing to worry about

There are so many people available to offer support and guidance about your assignments or exams that there is no need to stress or feel like you are all alone. Student Services offer a lot of advice to students around issues such as time management, stress, physical and mental health and can even help if you’re feeling a little homesick. By finding a routine which works for you it is easier to manage your time and stay on top of your workload.

3. The campus always feels safe and welcoming

Even on the darkest and coldest nights (or early mornings!) the campus always felt safe and welcoming when I’ve arrived. The lights around campus help you to feel safe and easily navigate your way to where you want to be. The library has a wonderful feeling about it in the early hours, knowing the world is sleeping around you whilst you are learning about something which interests you is an experience I would definitely recommend.

Well that’s all for now from me, if you’ve got a spare few moments why not check out the dates for the Open Days in 2018? Here’s a short video below of what happens. As always, if you’ve got any questions just pop them in the comments section below and I will get back to you 🙂