Getting things done during reading week!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re well and have had a good week! For today’s blog I thought I would give you an insight into what reading week is like a bit about what I am getting up to during this week!So depending on your course, you have a week to reflect on your lectures and seminars, to catch up on assignments and to you know-read! In my Education and English course, I get a reading week and am on it at the moment. Alot of people go home during this week as it is a good opportunity to spend this time with family and friends and get work done at home. I am staying at uni this week, but am definitely guilty of procrastinating and getting distracted when I know I have things to be getting on with! In this blog I am going to give you some tips on how to get things done!

To do lists!

I think if you’ve read some of my other blogs, or other Edge Hill student bloggers, you will know, we love a good to do list! There is something so satisfying about setting out, as detailed as you like, everything you want to get done and then ticking it off when you’ve done it! On your list can be even the smallest of things like to do your laundry or walk to Aldi to get some milk, but that sense of achievement and knowing you’ve done what you set one to do is such a great feeling! For me, today on my to do list is working on my presentation for my Critical Theories module, pack my bag for visiting my friend in Nottingham tomorrow, go to swim team at 7 and write this blog post! Each day, I try to write a new list and change it up depending on what I got done yesterday and how I feel on the day!

Different settings!

I find that, say if I stay in my room and try to get work done there, I will get distracted! As, In my head I associate my room with relaxing and napping so that’s what I will want to do! Like today, I have set up shop in a little pod on second floor in the catalyst, but I like to change it up to the kitchen table, or the Hub or a coffee shop in town! But everyone is different, I know a lot of people work best at their desk in their room. I am going to see my friend to break the week up a little bit for me and I know that on the train on the way there and back, I will have time to get some work done!

Be realistic with yourself.

This is a big one! When setting out everything you want to achieve in the week, think realistically. If you are going home for the week, take into account spending time with friends and family.  For me, when I’m planning each day I take into account exercising, meals, spending time with people, perhaps a walk into town and phoning friends and family! Like I said, i’m a massive procrastinator but have found that I’m so much more likely to do work if i also plan doing the things I like doing and not just forcing myself to work for ours at a time!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog, it is so important to be fair on yourself and realistic- don’t force it, do what you’re comfortable and happy to do. Have a great week,

Alice! 🙂

Realistic daily meal routines at uni.

Hi everyone, I hope you are well! For today’s blog I am going to talk a bit about easy meals I like to make at university.

As I have spoken about in my blog, ‘ Meal Planning and budgeting!’, I like to plan at the end of each week what meals I am going to have each day in order to eat healthily, save money and stay on top of what I am eating. To carry on with the theme of that blog, for this week I thought it would be fun to give you some ideas of meals and snacks that I have realistically on a day to day basis! I am going to give you an example of what I would usually have for breakfast, lunch, tea and snacks, and variations to suit you!

Breakfast!

The most important meal of the day, which I usually either skip or forget to have! But recently I have been trying to make an effort with breakfast ( when I have the time!) as I have found that it gives me more energy and stops me snacking later on.

For breakfast this morning I had:

Scrambled egg on toast with a banana and a cup of coffee!

This is a standard breakfast for me, I  like to have scrambled egg with toast, but I like to switch it up to Marmite ( I’m a lover!), raspberry jam or peanut butter! I like to have at least one piece of fruit with breakfast and it is usually a banana or an apple, which I will normally have chopped up in my cornflakes with some green milk if I’m having cereal.

Lunch!

As I mentioned in my blog about meal planning, I am vegetarian, so I try to include as fruit and veg in my diet and make sure I have lots of protein, carbohydrates, iron and healthy fats so I have a well balanced diet.

For lunch today I am having:

A bowl of veg soup with a wholemeal part bake baguette and salad.

Again, this is quite a standard lunch for me, I like to switch it up so might have beans on toast with veg or a veggie sandwich! It can be so easy just to grab a Subway or a  McDonalds  ( which I definitely do from time to time!) But this really adds up, and I always think that that money can be spent on so many other things and taking that time to make a packed lunch really is worth it! I like to have a piece of fruit or something like a cereal bar too!

Tea!  

Tea is by far my favourite meal of the day, I find that I never have a set dinner time as when I have different exercise classes I don’t want to eat before so sometimes it’s about 8/9pm by the time I have tea but it is still my favourite meal to prepare and eat!

For tea tonight I am having:

Quorn chicken nuggets, roast potatoes and veg.

I like to have a nice hearty, comforting meal for tea, especially in the winter months. As you can tell, I like to have simple meals that are very easy to make but are nice and filling. I like to think I eat quite healthily and as I am just cooking for one I find it good to adapt my meals depending on what I’m doing/ how I feel on the day! If I get hungry between meals, I will usually have a banana or cereal bar.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and it has given you an insight into what a uni student eats on a day to day basis, trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet as well as exercising! Please comment below if you have any questions, have a great week!

Alice 🙂

 

Organisation and routine at University.

Hi everyone and I hope you’re doing well and have had a great week! For today’s blog I am going to talk about getting into a routine while at university and simple ways you can add order and routine into your day to day life at uni.

1.)  Working around your timetable.

In order to plan and organise your life, it is very important to know what you’re planning around! So, it may be a good idea to make a revision or lesson timetable to breakdown what work you need to do. For me, at the end of each week I go through all the work I need to do and what lessons I have for the next week. As sometimes, one week can be different to another with my English and Education degree, I find it best to go onto Learning Edge and checking my emails everyday in order to know all the changes! In addition to this, as the week goes on, I jot in my diary  little things I need to do. For example, I write down what food I need to buy, exercise classes I need to book,  certain readings I need to do, any shows at the Edge Hill art centre I want to go to… ( The list goes on!). I like to at the weekend, go through the list and tick off everything I’ve already done and re-write it out, prioritising certain things! 

Getting into a weekly routine.

As the way life is, some days and weeks can be more interesting than others! But, as I’ve been at uni nearly 5 months ( so crazy!) I have found things and routines that work best for me. For example, I’ve been going to as many exercise classes a week as I can cram in with my friend, Jessamy and going to swim team meets on a Monday and land training on a Thursday. As well as doing my weekly meal plans, cleaning my flat, doing the food shop and preparing my meals, doing the laundry, writing my blog  and doing all my work. I know it seems like a lot but I really find that If I organise, it seems so much less daunting! I also try to do something new each week, like going to a new coffee shop with a friend or having a film night ( It’s the small things!).

Looking after yourself!

At the root of it all, it is so important to look after yourself and do what makes you happy. I know that some weeks I won’t achieve everything I’ve set out to do on my to do list! I find that changing things up at the weekend really helps, and I see it as treating myself! So, I will then be more likely to get everything done before the weekend! Planning things to look forward to and putting it in my diary really adds a sense of purpose to the week, like going to see my boyfriend or going back home for the weekend!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog, please comment below if you have any questions! Have a good week, and remember- do what makes you happy!

Thank you for reading,

Alice 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long distance relationships and friendships at Uni.

Hi everyone, Hope you’re well! 

For today’s post I thought I would write about long distance relationships and friendships at university. It can be hard with someone you care about and being apart from them for a long amount of time. For todays blog, I am going to give you some hints and tips to make it easier.

1. Facetime, facetime, facetime.                                                                                                      Taking the time to phone and facetime the people that you love and care about is so important and to tell them all about your day and what you’re up to! It can be really nice after a long day of doing uni work to ring your boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend and get everything everything of your chest and have a good catch up. Communication is the most important thing in any relationship and f you ever feel a bit down or off, it is great to tell them. For me, whenever I’m doing a food shop or on a walk, I like to call my boyfriend or best friend and catch up with them.

2. Make the time to see each other.                                                                                                 With me and my boyfriend, before i started at Edge Hill, I was worried that the distance would be too hard to make it work, but making the time to see each other every 3-4 weeks either at each other’s university or half way inbetween. Planning to go to favourite restaurant together or go on a surprise visit can be a great thing to do to change things up a bit. Doing the things together that you used to do all the time when you actually get to see each other makes it feel like thing’s haven’t massively changed.  It can be hard with deadlines and uni work, but it is important to prioritise, so make that time to call the people you love and care about after you’ve done your work, perhaps while you are doing you food shop or laundry!

3. Talk to friends about it.                                                                                                                    Talking to friends at university and people around you is a great way with dealing with the distance and being away from the people you love. Friends might be in the exact same boat as you and just talking can make it easier, getting things off your chest. Keeping yourself busy with hobbies and interests, like for me, I like going to exercise classes and being part of the swim team as well as putting my phone away for a few hours everyday in order to have that distance!

Thank you for reading, if you have any questions please comment! See you soon,

Alice 🙂

 

 

 

 

Meal planning and budgeting!

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all doing well.

For today’s blog, I’m going to talk about meal planning and budgeting while at uni!
Planning out your meals is an easy and very helpful way of on staying on top of what you are eating when cooking for yourself. There are a number of reasons why you would like to do this but I do it because:

1.) It means I am more likely to eat healthily! I am vegetarian so I have to make sure that i eat the right things to get the nutrients I need! If I spend the time to plan each meal I will have, and while doing this know that I am going to get those nutrients and try to include as much fruit and vegetables as I can in my diet then I am much more likely to stick to eating healthy than if I just made a meal and didn’t have a plan. I like to freeze chopped up bananas and fresh fruit as well as vegetables and pasta sauces. Taking a few hours each week to do a little bit of preparation has been a complete game changer and I have noticed how easier it is, how much healthier I have been eating and how much money I have saved from doing this!

2.) I find that after I’ve done the food shop for the next week, if i write down everything I have in and then devise different meals from everything, it means I have no waste! I clean out my cupboard each week before doing the weekly shop and write down everything I need. This means I just buy the things I need and not be fooled in the supermarket into special offers and unhealthy snacks I don’t need! It can be hard to have this self control and there have 100% been times I have gone on a bit of a chocolate binge but i know that its alright, everyone slips up sometimes. I really do feel so much better from doing this and feel alot more healthy, as well as exercising each day.

3.) It has saved me alot of money! I have been buying wonky veg, which is cheaper and I like to get vegetables that you buy individually so it saves waste and money. If I buy exactly what I know I will use and like to eat and the right amount just for me, it saves money! I find it very helpful to buy a meal planner which has the days of the week divided out for you and a section for notes and a shopping list! I try to drink about 1.5 litres of water a day and I’ve found having a refillable water bottle is alot easier to stick to this as I can just refill it when I need it and take it to the gym and to lectures with me!

I hope that this has been helpful for you and given you an insight into how I budget my money for food and plan each of my meals to try to save time and live a healthy life style!

Please comment if you have any questions,
Alice 🙂 x

New year, New me!

Hi everyone, I hope you’re well and Happy New year!

Every year, as we all do, I come up with resolutions for myself and think of ways I can improve myself and try to be better as I go into a another year with new opportunities. But again, I think we all feel exactly the same, you set yourself unrealistic resolutions to lose weight, to be on top of all your work, to make more time for your family and friends and to eat well. This is all well and good to think like that, to try to be a better and newer version of yourself but i have found a better mindset to have:

– It is important to reflect on the past year, to look back upon the mistakes you’ve made, the regrets and the things you plan to change within the next year! For me I have reflected on how badly I have eaten and the lack of exercise I have done, especially since coming home and how I don’t feel as healthy as I would like to! As you will find yourself, when moving out and going to uni, it is your responsibility to make meals for yourself, to eat when you want and buy whatever you want! But I really have found that I have eaten a lot worse since going home and I think it has been the temptations of all the food in the big fridge at home and all the sweets and chocolates I’ve been given for Christmas!

– In regards to trying to exercise more and make more time for uni work, it is good to push yourself but not too far! Doing too much exercise and work can be damaging as you can isolate yourself from others and it can effect your mental health. Do what you are comfortable with! It is great as well to do work and exercise with other people, perhaps with people in your flat or people on your course, in order to do what you can do and have fun while doing it, and that is the most important thing!

– For me, for 2019 I am going to drink more water, laugh and smile more, spend more time with the people I love, doing the things I love and putting myself first! And it’s going to be great, I hope you decide to do the same!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, please comment any questions if you have any!

Best wishes,
Alice! 🙂

Returning home for the Christmas Holidays!

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a lovely Christmas holiday and enjoying spending time with your family and friends! For today’s blog I thought it would be nice to talk about coming home for Christmas from uni and a bit about what it’s like!

So I came home for the holidays on the 14th of December and am home for 3 weeks. It is the first time I’ve been home since September, and I have to say it really is quite odd coming home after so long! I’m sure you will feel exactly the same as me if is your first time moving out like me!

Prioritise

It is important to continue to do uni work while going home, while balancing spending time with friends and family. For me, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to get done in the three weeks I am at home, so specifically certain uni work, the friends and family I want to spend time with and certain places I wanted to go within that time! Therefore it means that I get everything done, for me I found that when I came back there was alot of things to do when I got home that I didn’t think about!

Work over the Holidays

As you will come to know, it can be very hard to budget while at uni, which I will write a blog post all about that! It is a good idea to earn some extra money by working, for example I write these blogs, I also model for the uni’s prospectus and I worked in Next over the holidays in the Christmas sale. There have been times during this time I’ve spent at home that I have missed being at uni and having the structure for lectures and constantly things to do so with work and it creates more of a plan for me!

Get ahead of work and exercise!

As Jordan spoke about in his recent blog about navigating the limbo between Christmas and New years, this time can easily get lost and no one is completely sure of what day it is! So adding structure of exercise and trying to motivate yourself to get a bit of uni work done really helps as its something you don’t have to worry about later! It can be hard to motivate yourself, especially with alot of different distractions at home but I’ve found it best to break it down do these things in parts. For example planning your essay and starting o the introduction in one day opposed to trying to write the whole thing in one go!

Hope you’ve enjoyed and please comment if you have any questions! See you soon,

Alice 🙂 x

 

 

 

 

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re well!

So in my last blog post I spoke about ways to get ready for Christmas while at university, and I mentioned that in my next blog I would do cheap, homemade gift and decorations ideas to make for your flat.  I am back home now for Christmas,  but while I was at uni getting ready for my favourite time of year, I really enjoyed making decorations and gifts for my family and friends and for the flat to save myself some money! And I also found  it very therapeutic and nice to do when having a break from uni work and doing it with your flatmates to make your flat look a little more Christmassy!

Paper Chains:

Paper chains are really easy to make and hardly cost anything at all. All it involves is taking strips of patterned or coloured paper and cut them the same lengths, approximately 20cm. To make the strips link, loop one and secure the loop with pritt stick and feed a strip a different colour or pattern through the first loop and secure that with glue. Continue for all of the strips, changing with each pattern. I made mine using a pack of patterned Christmas paper from a charity shop for £2 and doubled up each strip so that the pattern was on the inside and out. These always look great and are lovely to hang in your room to decorate!

Paper bird:

This bird again is very easy to make and is also very versatile in the way you choose to make it.  You simply cut the shape want to do, other ideas are more Christmassy animals such as a reindeer or a dove! Again I doubled up the patterned paper and placed card inbetween and cut a slit in the middle. Next you fold another piece of patterned paper in a  concertina and put this in the slit, then decorate with eyes and use a looped piece of ribbon so you can hang it perhaps off a mini Christmas tree!

Wreath:

This is my favourite decoration to make because it is so easy but always looks good every time you make it! This is also a lovely gift for family and friends or simply, like me to keep for yourself!                                                                                                

 

To make one of these wreaths you need a circular wire to act as the base for your wreath, you can get these really cheap or make your own by bending a wire coat hanger. Next you need small strips of fabric or ribbon and you simply knot each piece around the wire frame! I like to make the pieces long and filling it up well and sticking to a colour scheme, when you are happy with it, simply add a loop of ribbon to hang up, maybe on your flat door or in your room!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog and it has given you some helpful ideas for decorating your flat and getting into the Christmas spirit!

Alice 🙂

Getting ready for Christmas at Uni.

Hi Everyone!

Hope you’re well and feeling ready and excited for Christmas- we finish this week for the holidays! It is my favourite time of year and I really don’t think anything beats that feeling of having friends and family around you at Christmas. That’s why i can be quite difficult before you go home, to feel in the spirit while being at uni, especially when you have deadlines, are budgeting and are away from those you love at home! So  in today’s blog, I thought it would be appropriate to give you some ideas on how to get into the Christmas spirit while at Edge Hill!

Make a Christmas dinner with friends

 

For some of my friends and I, we thought it would be a lovely idea to make a Christmas dinner. In order to keep costs down, each of us prepared a different part of the meal and simply reheated it when it was time for the dinner! This was a great idea, as because I ended up being quite cheap we had money left over to buy Baileys, Christmas

hats and a colour your own table

cloth!

Why not decorate your flat and get involved!

I understand that we are all on a budget, and that when you don’t have a lot of money left, you’d rather spend that money on essentials, but I was surprised with how cheap it can be to buy Christmas decorations. From Poundland, Aldi and B&M, you can get all sorts from tinsel, to mini Christmas trees and even Christmas projectors! And if you split the price with friends and flatmates it would end up being a few pounds each! Also a nice idea is to make decorations, again I understand that at this time of year, we have to prioritise deadlines and work. But as a break it can be therapeutic and fun to do some arts and crafts, for example making paper snowflakes and garlands! Getting involved with activities and things going on around you- for example the Edge Hill Christmas fair or the Ormskirk light switch on!

Keep in touch with Family and Friends!

As I’ve said, Christmas time is all about spending time with those you love so, stay involved! Maybe Facetime your family as they are putting up the Christmas tree or decorations at home and maybe buy some Christmas presents for your friends or make your own! Next week I will be making a blog on cheap, homemade Christmas gift ideas!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and it has got you in the spirit! Thank you for reading, please comment any questions if you have any- would love to hear from you!

Alice! : )

 

 

 

Looking after yourself at Edge Hill!

Hi Guys!

I hope you are well, and congratulations to everyone who has been offered a place to study here. I hope you are all excited for the journey that lies ahead of you, I remember that feeling well!

For today’s blog, I thought it would be appropriate to write about ways in which you can take care of yourself at uni, and making sure you can be the best you can be mentally, physically, emotionally and in your studying.  My tutor told us that around this time of year he notices a lot of students missing lectures, therefore vital information and teaching, so I am going to give you some tips to make you feel the best you can and therefore prevent you from missing lectures and going out!


Treat yourself!

I remember, a few weeks into uni I phoned my Dad and told him how I was struggling as I was missing home and feeling down and he told me to treat myself. So whether this be with something like a nice lipstick or some home comfort food, but obviously I do this in moderation! But for me, it really helps to cheer me up and remind myself that I am worth it, just taking that time to watch a film on a Saturday night with a face mask and chocolate never fails to make me feel better.


Exercise

I know, this one is quite subjective, but for me I always feel so much better after doing a bit of exercise! I really enjoy going to the gym on campus, only a two minute walk from my accommodation and going to yoga or zumba and going for a swim! Or going on a walk or jog into Ormskirk and around Coronation park. This doesn’t have to be alone either, it might be nice to invite someone from your flat or course or join a sports team where you can meet like minded people!


Plan things to look forward to!

This one is definitely a big one for me and I know friends who feel exactly the same! This could be anything from planning on having my boyfriend, friends or family from home to visit, going on a night out, or like me and some friends from my course are doing- making a Christmas dinner before we all going back home for Christmas! It’s always nice to plan fun things to do when you have a bit of free time.


I hope this has helped you in getting an idea of what uni life is like and ways you can look after yourself in order to make sure you are happy and well. Always remember that there are people here to help, whether that be your lecturers, fellow students or campus life, everyone will be there for you! Please ask any questions you’ve got!

Alice : )