What to start thinking about

So it may seem a bit early to be thinking about starting University in September with it being almost 7 months away. However I know from my experience that I started getting very nervous that I didn’t know anyone and that I wasn’t ready. Things such as cooking for yourself and doing your own washing is something that most people are not used to, so I have a few tips of things that I did or wish I did before coming to University.

  1. Join facebook groups- I know that there is already a group that is set up to help 2019 freshers meet their course friends. For me the first girl that I met doing my course is now one of my best friends and it was really helpful to go in on the first day and have someone that I kind of knew. I was able to speak to her before coming and get to know her a bit which really helped when first meeting. Once I got to University I felt like I had already known her for years.
  2. Start cooking once a week- Leading up to going to University, my friend and I took it in turns to cook for one another. It wasn’t that we couldn’t cook but it was good for us to try out simple and cheap recipes in preparation for coming to University. This was very useful and actually really fun, we tried out a range of different things from stuffed peppers, to chickpea curry. 
  3. Start doing your own washing- This is something that I actually started doing in the summer but I wish I had started earlier. It is not the fact of how you use the washing machine because the ones at University are probably different, its more of the fact of getting into a routine and personally to know that just because I have worm something once, doesn’t mean that it needs a wash. It was good for me to be able to get into a routine of washing my own clothes and a set to being more independent.
  4. Go with whoever does thefood shop- Doing this can be helpful as it means you can have practice with budgeting. Knowing what to pick and trying to go with cheaper options rather than the highest brand, which you really don’t need. It may be really simple and maybe you already join whoever does the food shop, however try and take an active part, particularly if you are going to be cooking in the week because then you can take charge of what you need.

Although these may seem like very small and silly things, they can actually help with settling into University, but also means you can probably help others with things like their washing or cooking, if they need you to check something is definitely cooked.

What can you use with your gym membership?

When coming to university, one of the main things I wanted to do was join the gym. I have been fairly active since I was young and have been going to the gym on and off since I was 14. Personally I really enjoy the gym as a way to keep fit and healthy but also to have a bit of time to myself and not be thinking about school work or anything else. I was very impressed by all the facilities that were available at Edge Hill’s Sport Centre and I was very excited to get my membership.

In September I payed £80 for a years membership, due to living on campus (however this may change), and the amount of things that are included within the package I was astonished. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the things I get and use within my membership so that others have a rough idea for when they come to Edge Hill.

  1. Full use of the gym- this is a given but the gym is open 7am till 10pm Monday through Thursday, then on a Friday it is open 7am-9pm, and finally on a weekend the gym is open 9am-5pm. These opening times are very inclusive and seem to work well for everyone, because if you want to go to the gym before a lecture it is possible or if you want to go later in the evening after you have done your work for the day, then again that is possible.
  2. Full use of the classes- this is subject to availability, but there are a wide range of classes that go on throughout the week. You can book them from week to week very easily online. And again this is all included in the membership. I have been to classes such as Zumba, Spinning, HIIT, and abs express, all of which the instructors have been very helpful but they also try and push you to the best of your ability.
  3. Personal training sessions- Each week I have the opportunity to have a 30 minute personal training session, again subject to availability. I love these sessions as I am able to different things in my workouts other than just what I normally do and also I am definitely pushed to the best of my ability. Each week I can chose what I want to focus on in my workout, and it is always a good challenge. 
  4. A workout plan- with my membership I was able to get a plan made for me. I had a meeting with my personal trainer and I was able to tell him my goals and then a few days later I had a number of different workouts on my app, which is also very useful because it tells you how many reps and the weight and also a rest time. 

Finally there are other things included in the membership that I have, such as use of the pool when it is open, you can also use the sauna and steam room. However these are things that I have not got round to using yet. But this just shows that there are such a wide range of opportunities and facilities the Sports Centre to fit whatever you would like to get involved with. There is something for everyone.

Starting a society and planning an event!

Recently a group of us from psychology were encouraged to create a psychology society, to not only bring psychology students together but also other people that are interested in psychology. It was a rather lengthy yet simple process to become a new society, and I thought it would be good to share my experience with you, along with the event that has just taken place.

Firstly, starting up the society was pretty fun, we had to be creative and come up with a name and a logo but we also had to think about what we wanted to stand for and what the society would do. As a group we completed a short application form, where we had to decide who would be in what roles and what we wanted to do, we also set up a number of different social media accounts so that when the society was approved we could share it and get people involved. Once we had completed that it was then just a waiting game as to when the SU confirmed we could be a society and we could get started.

However in the mean time we wanted to get an event sorted as a big opening and start to the society. We were lucky enough to have lots of tutors willing to support us in any way that they could, which made it a little less stressful. We were lucky enough to be able to organise Alan Baddeley to come and give us a talk on “Working memory: Ambling and Stumbling towards the multicomponent model”, which was very interesting I must say.

It wasn’t always easy when planning the event and starting the society, due to not being an official society for a while it was difficult for us to market the society and the talk. However this was resolved due to having the support from tutors as they were able to mention it in their lectures but we were also lucky enough to have lots of support from the SU who were able to help us put posters around and on the screens around campus. Everything was quite well planned until the day came along and unfortunately it had snowed and so trains were cancelled, and so we did face some delays and worries that Professor Alan wasn’t going to be able to make it. However he made it just in time and we were able to start. So although some things didn’t go to plan along the way, it was sorted and the event went well. 5

 

Edge Hill where’s that?

Due to coming from a fair distance away, I am always asked about Edge Hill, where it is, what its like and so on… I am highly surprised that there aren’t many people from where I come from that know about Edge Hill, at the end of the day it is such an amazing place. So I thought that I would compile a list of things that I say when I get asked about Edge Hill.

  1. Where is Edge Hill?– I would generally say, Edge Hill is in a small town called Ormskirk about half an hour away from Liverpool. The town is very quant and cute, which is one of the things I love about Edge Hill and the town it is based. It is so easy to get a train into Liverpool if you wanted a bit of city life but also if you don’t want the hussle and bussle of a big city then you don’t have to. In my opinion Edge Hill is the best of both worlds because you have the option to have either city or small town life.
  2. What is Edge Hill like?– Absolutely beautiful. In my opinion the campus and accommodation is one of the best I have seen . A combination of the beautiful lakes across campus and the amazing wildlife alongside it, really makes Edge Hill a calming and picturesque place to be. There is so much to do, from all the different sports and societies to all the activities that are laid on by the SU there is never time to get bored.
  3. What is your favourite thing about Edge Hill? This is such a difficult question, there are so many amazing things about Edge Hill that I love. One of my favourite things, that I have recently had the pleasure of taking in, is the paths around the back of campus that looks onto the rest of the campus. It is absolutely beautiful up there and so peaceful as well, something that I would definitely recommend seeing when visiting Edge Hill. I also love the Catalyst, it is such a large space with some amazing study areas on each level. My favourite time to go is on a Saturday or Sunday morning when it is very calm and peaceful. Not many people go in early on the weekends but in my opinion it is the best time to go.

To wrap up, I absolutely love Edge Hill and all that it has to offer and would recommend it to anyone, even just for a visit, you will not be disappointed.

Tips for revision

I am definitely not the best one for revision, I struggle with knowing how to revise a lot of the time and end up exploring lots of different ways. However recently I have found some really helpful ways to revise and some key things that I think help me concentrate when revising and thought it would be helpful to share with people hopefully starting their revision for a-levels but also with it being exam season at university.

  1. Teaching/ talking about your revision- whether this is by yourself in your room, or with someone else. I find it really helpful talking about my revision or teaching someone else, I have heard it is one of the best ways to learn something, and I truly say that I agree. I always find that I understand things more when I describe it to someone else so this is a good way to revise. You could also test a friend and then they could test you as it will also help you learn what you need to, and doing it with a friend makes revising a bit more fun. 
  2. Take breaks and go out- I love going for walks or going to the gym to get out and away from the revision. I generally revise in my uni room, as that is where I find I work best, so every so often I will go out and go for a walk around campus as it gets me out in the fresh air and clears my head a bit if the revision is getting too much. 
  3. What environment is best for you- It’s really important that you find where you work best, you may find that it depends on on what kind of work or revision you are doing, as to where you work best. You may find your room is the best, or the kitchen, the library, or even a coffee shop. Whatever works best for you. 
  4. Drinking lots of water- I don’t want to sound like your mum but drinking enough water whilst you’re revising is really important. I know that I always forget to drink whilst I’m revising and when I don’t drink as much I can tell towards the end of the day as I start getting a headache and start feeling really tired. So I would highly advise staying hydrated. 

Good luck if you do have any exams coming up, and try and get started as soon as you can, as it will give you more time to remember things. With starting early it will also give you time to do practice papers so you know what kind of questions will be coming. So good luck, and all the best.

Applicants Visit Day!!

Hi, I attended an Applicant Visit Day for Educational Psychology. I come from Guernsey in the Channel Islands and so coming to Edge Hill, very far away, was such a great opportunity as the Applicant Visit Day really put my mind at ease that I felt comfortable where I was going to studying for the next 3 years.

When coming to the Applicant Visit Day, my initial feelings were nerves and anxiety, but just know that if you feel like that you are not the only one!

On arrival at Edge Hill, I was greeted with a warm welcome and lots of signs of where I needed to go, there is also usually lots of information and freebies for you to pick up, which came in handy. Every person that I met had a smile on their face and wanted to help in any which way that they could.

A key piece of advice I would give for the Applicant Visit Day, is to not be afraid to get involved and ask questions. At the end of the day if you have a question, you’re probably not the only one wanting to know the answer, and it is important to know as much as you can before making your final decision. Take full advantage of the tours that go on throughout the day as these are generally led by students who can tell you more about student life including societies, socials, and most importantly the campus cats.

The subject specific talks are very informative but also really fun, the lecturers always make them as engaging as possible. Make sure to ask any questions that you have, as its your future and the potential course you could be studying for the next three years, so it’s important you find the right one. For my course we had a fun activity to help us get to know each other and to learn more about the course in an informal way. We had to build a tower out of marshmallows and dry spaghetti- it was a real challenge but also such a laugh and everyone got stuck in. The session was so fun and very engaging. Again, the student mentors will be at these sessions to help with any extra questions you may have about your course which they can answer in a less formal manner.

On my Applicant Visit Day I also got to meet some of the people that were going to potentially be on my course. Another tip I would give is that it’s really important to make conversation with people as they could end up being your coursemates. For me I was lucky enough to meet some of the people that are actually on my course now, and it was really nice to see familiar faces on my first day.

All in all, I would highly recommend attending the Applicant Visit Day, as it really put my mind at ease, which I needed because I was coming so far away from home, and therefore confirmed that Edge Hill University was going to be my firm choice. 

New Year, New Goals!

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Happy New Year! It is now 2019, how crazy is that. Generally in the new year people make new years resolutions, some people stick to them and others simply don’t. I do usually make new years resolutions but find that I forget about them a couple weeks in. I actually wrote down my resolutions for 2018, and found them the other day in a random notebook. And surprisingly enough I think I completed 3 out of 5, which isn’t bad for me. However I do want to change the way I set my resolutions this year as they are usually so vague that I don’t know where to start or even if I have been able to do it. I think it is important for you to set goals, however they need to be achievable and realistic so there is a clear light at the end of the tunnel.

So my first resolution is to eat more plant based food, since becoming vegetarian at the end of 2018, a lot of the time I ended up buying meat alternatives that are all well and good but I have had a few cookbooks for birthday and Christmas with lots of great things to make, so I have no excuse that I didn’t know what to make. This will predominantly be in my evening meals but also at lunch times (to be more specific I am going to try and cut it down to 1 meat alternative meal a week whether that be sausages or chilli non carne), which follows onto my next resolution. I would like to cut down on my bread consumption, I have already done this massively as I don’t very often have sandwiches etc. But my goal is to have little to no bread, I would generally have toasted bagel for breakfast however I am going to change that and have more porridge and smoothies. Alongside this I hope to cut down my snacking on chocolate and biscuits, and if I am wanting to snack have dried fruits or nuts. These resolutions will also help me as a student as it makes it a bit cheaper buying fresh vegetables, rather than vegetarian alternatives.

On the fitness side of things I have signed up to the park runs that start at the sports centre across from my accommodation, and would like to try and do one, once a month. Running is not something I generally am very good at however I think is going to be a good way for me to get outside and also explore more of Ormskirk that I haven’t seen. Side note I am also currently signing up to a 5k run around the Aintree race course, which something I would have never thought about doing before. Furthermore I hope to continuously improve at the gym and aim to do exercise at least 4 times a week if not more.

Now if you know me at all I am really not a reader, I just really struggle to get into them. However one of my resolutions is going to be to try and complete a book every month or every 2 months depending on workload. Now this isn’t going to be a book for uni, it will just be a book for pleasure. I don’t know how this will go however it is a goal I am going to set and see how it goes.

I am going to try and keep track of these goals but also try and actually achieve at least a few. So Happy New Year everyone, try and make this the best one yet, persevere, do things you wouldn’t usually do, and stay positive.Screen-Shot-2018-12-27-at-19.11.04.png

The importance of reflection!!

We are fast approaching 2019, January exams and our 2nd semester, which is scary to think I am almost half way through my first year. However it is really nice to reflect on all the things that has happened in 2018 but particularly my first semester of University. Something that I would really advise anyone and everyone to do is reflect on anything whether that be school, fitness, or any experiences you encounter. I am going to be brave and share my 1st semester reflection.

My first semester started out being a bit of a struggle as I was unsure I was doing the right course, which I partly think is due to having such a change in my routine and environment. Being away from home was difficult but I’m proud of myself for getting through it. There are still times where I miss home but I get through because of the friends that I have made.

Making friends was something that worried me, due to coming from a small island I never really had to make friends as everyone just knew everyone. Even though it was difficult at the start, I can now say that I have some really great friends at University, and I can’t wait to see them again to make pancakes together again.

Something that has changed quite a bit for me is my eating habits and general healthy lifestyle. Since September I have been decreasing my meat intake and am now a vegetarian, which I have really enjoyed trying new and different things, but I also look forward to trying even more new things in the New Year. I have found becoming a vegetarian has in ways made my shopping cheaper particularly if I am cooking lots of fresh vegetables. But I have also got into the habit of going to the gym or a class about 4 times a week which I have been loving.

And finally a highlight for me was the mini Christmas I was able to do with my friends on a budget. We set a limit of how much we could spend on each other then we gathered at my flat to exchange gifts and also spend time with each other to watch television. My flat also got decorated to get us in the Christmassy mood.

So all in all it has been a great semester and I am excited to start the second semester, with lots of exciting things coming up.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”

 

Not living in the UK before Uni- My experience!

As probably said previously, I come from Guernsey in the Channel Islands (don’t worry if you don’t know where that is), and so moving to the UK in September was a massive step for me. Its nerve wracking for one but as time has gone on there have been things that I needed that I didn’t have due to living elsewhere. I’m sure their are others of you that are thinking of coming to Edge Hill, and maybe you live elsewhere, or maybe even from the Channel Islands like me?! There are a few things that I did that I think would be helpful for people to know before to coming to university, and also things that I didn’t know and have learnt as I have gone along.

So firstly, for me it was much cheaper to buy all the essentials in the UK but also a lot easier as I had to fly to Manchester to get there, so therefore had limited luggage space and weight on the plane. My parents and I stayed in Liverpool for a few days previous to move in day to get the essentials. One thing I would say is don’t go too crazy as if you think after a couple weeks there is something else you might need, then there is places to grab that in Ormskirk, but also your flatmates may have something that you need and you could possibly borrow it until you are able to get your own. Try and pack things in bags that are easily transported as I know for me I came in a taxi and so couldn’t park close to my accommodation. 

Secondly, something that I didn’t think about was being signed up to the doctors. For me, at home we don’t have the NHS so I needed to get an NHS number. However the University are very helpful with this and generally on move in day they have people there from the local doctors so I was able to sign up pretty quickly, and the people on the stall were really helpful.

The final thing that I didn’t know or think about when moving to the UK was if I wanted to work, you need a National Insurance Number. It is quite easily sorted however I would advise that you try and sort it within the first few weeks as an interview is needed and generally takes 3-6 weeks to come down. For this when you arrive in the UK you can apply, by ringing them up and just following what is being asked of you. After that generally a letter is sent to you with a date of an interview to confirm who you are where you also need to take some forms of ID however they will be clear about that in your phone call, it is not scary at all and really easy to do. Coming from Ormskirk this interview is generally done in Liverpool.

I hope this is helpful for some people, and I hope everyone has a good Christmas!

“My idea of Christmas, whether old fashioned or modern is very simple: Loving others”- Bob Hope

Karaoke Fridays, and the SU bar

Generally every Friday, at the SU bar there is a Karaoke night, which is always absolutely thriving and full of life. Lots of people go to karaoke and it is always a good laugh. A mixture of songs are available for you to sing from Disney such as Moana, Musicals on the West End such as Matilda and even some classics such as Queen and Abba. Even if you are not up on the stage singing your heart out, most people sing from the audience and are really encouraging whoever is on stage. Generally karaoke Friday has a real closeness about it with everyone socialising and having fun.  The bar is open and usually very busy, however the bar tenders always work as quick as they can to get you served.

During the week, the SU has other events available such as a quiz which is on every Monday and the social every Wednesday, generally for all the sports teams to get together. The SU bar isn’t just open in the evenings, it is also open in the day, where it is a nice place to chill out with friends. They usually have some music playing or have the T.V. on which creates a nice relaxing atmosphere for everyone.

The SU also open for special events, for example when there is a big football match or boxing match, they generally have this on the big screen for everyone to see and watch. During Welcome week, the SU sometimes opens up into the Venue which has more of a club feel to it. They are also opening up the venue this week for the Christmas Ball they are running.

The SU is a great place to go day or night and always have things planned for students to do. Image result for karaoke

“Be selective in your battles sometimes peace is better than being right.”