Home Visits – Can they be hard?

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having an amazing summer so far! I thought I would talk a little more about how I find visiting home both comforting but also a source of discomfort as this is something I quickly realised while in my first year of university. 

Coming from a very family orientated family, I have always loved the thought of going back to Ireland to see everyone and spend some good, quality time with them (and to be fed). However, while this was exciting and relaxing, I found that when it came to coming back to university, I would become a little upset and find it hard to settle back into the routine of living away from my family. 


I found it particularly hard after the Christmas break because I was so used to being at home again and being around my family and so, when it came to moving back over to uni and back to the flat, I suddenly realised that I didn’t want to. This only lasted for a couple of weeks until I settled back again but during that time, I really needed help to make me feel comfortable with being away from my family again. 

Image result for crying gif

 

I realise that flying over every weekend or every two weekends isn’t very student budget friendly but, I found that when I had a trip planned to go home for a couple of days I didn’t feel as sad or anxious because I knew that I would be seeing my family and that kept me going until that time arrived. In my first year, I made the mistake of only visiting home if I had a prolonged period of time off university and so as I was home for longer, I was getting too comfortable with being away from university, making it harder to transition back. 

As much as my mum hated this, I made sure to text her or FaceTime her every day while I was away so that I was keeping in contact with her as much as I could while keeping updated with the rest of my family. However, I will say that I may have been a bit smothering about Face-timing back home and texting whenever I could but, at the end of the day, it made me feel better and kept the homesickness at bay.Image result for facetime

It can also be fun to try and plan trips to visit family members who live close by or friends from home that have moved to England for University. This may be quite pricey but, in my opinion, your feelings and mental health come first. If you feel that visiting someone close to you while you are in need of comfort will help you, do it. I was lucky enough to have my cousins live in Liverpool and so, I could visit them when I wanted to or needed to be with family. I also made a couple of trips down to Bath to visit my sister who lives there. Yes, it was pricey but it made me happy. 


I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it helped my fellow Irish students coming to Edge Hill University. I can say truthfully that moving away was the best thing I did for my independence and it really made me appreciate my family more. 

Thank you for reading, Lauren 

 “Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

-Stitch-

University – Expectation VS Reality

Hey everyone! I hope you are having an amazing week whatever you are doing. I thought I would write a blog talking about people’s expectations of university versus the reality of what that expectation is like. I know I am not the only one who binged watched so many ‘moving into uni!’ videos and vlogs on YouTube and somehow built up a somewhat unrealistic image of what life as a university student would be like. 

So, here are a few that I have thought about and I will hopefully be able to do more of these in the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Freshers Flu!

 

Expectation – By the end of your freshers week you will not be able to get out of bed and you will have to buy approximately 16 boxes of tissues and live off headache, cold and flu relief. 

Reality – Not EVERYONE manages to catch this dreaded disease and this is not because they have the immune system of a robot. These people look after themselves on a night out by resting, drinking lots of fluids and eating well eg fruits and wholesome foods. I am one of the many who managed to dodge this expectation and if you are also one of the lucky ones maybe try not to rub it in sufferers faces. 

But seriously, look after yourself during freshers and you should be fine.

Image result for sick monica friends gif

Being Broke 24/7!

 

Expectation – you will only live on pot noodles from Aldi, bread and if you are really lucky you could possibly afford to treat yourself to actual Heinz Ketchup. You will also never have the money to enjoy yourself and if you do, it will only last you a day so spend very wisely.

Reality – Okay, I will admit that life as a student can be really really hard and yes, there will have to be a certain level of budgeting if you want to make life easier for yourself and there will be sacrifices to make but, you will most likely manage just fine if you try and save up before entering student life and spread the costs more evenly. This means you can go out and enjoy yourself with friends and order yourself that pizza after a long night out.

Image result for money budget

 

Constant Partying!

 

Expectation – Monday night after class, flat party. Tuesday night maybe into Wednesday morning before lectures, night out. Thursday, another flat party. Friday, big night out and the weekend? More partying and going out all the time. 

Reality – Yes, you may have more than one night out during the week, especially towards the start and end of your year at university but, all the time? No way. Some nights you may just want to have a simple movie night with your pals, you may also just want to hang out in your room and there is also the chance you will have several game nights that involves playing  the board game that destroys families and relationships but, you will most likely not be constantly partying or surrounded by those who do.

Image result for partying

 

That is all the expectations versus reality situations for this blog. I would just like to say that these are purely based off of my experiences with university and I am aware that others and your own experiences could be very different. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, Lauren. 

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

-Alexander Pope-

First Year – An Overview

Okay, I am not going to bore you with the whole ‘it’s true what they say, first years goes by in a blink of an eye.’ because, you will soon find out that this is very true.

I hope you enjoy this blog of my first year at Edge Hill University in three sections that I felt were the most prominent in my year and what I thought would be the most challenging. However, looking back at my first year, I have realised that these sections of my life were much more simple and less stressful than I thought they would be.


At first, I thought that I would never, EVER make any new friends because it felt that all my friends had come naturally to me and I never had to go out of my way to make friends. However, looking back at my year, I realised that all my friends I have made at university have come naturally without me even knowing it. I want to make this point first because I know how scary the prospect can be. The best advice I can give you is to BE YOURSELF! You will attract the right people into your life like I did.

I even realised this year as a ‘newbie’ to university, my independence has grown so much. For example, I can cook! Who would have guessed that I was able to keep myself alive with the meals I make? There is obviously more to becoming independent like; washing your own clothes, shopping for food and getting yourself up in the morning but, I am so happy that I learned what I did about living away from my mum and dad because, I can already tell that it will/has benefit me in the future.Image result for independence

Assignments! They sounded scary to me at first and, truth be told, I did give myself a headache on the day I was getting my first results back but that is just me being dramatic. I quickly realised that if I really organised myself, assignments and deadlines would not be an issue and that is exactly what I did.

I don’t mean to boast but I did meet my deadlines often long before they were due and I still achieved great results…I’m just saying. Organisation in first year  is key.Image result for i'm just saying gif

 


I hope that this helped calm your nerves about starting first year. I found that looking back on my time at university, I definitely over-thought these things and I should have been more relaxed about making new friends, living on my own and completing assignments. However, I also found that being myself and not trying to fit in with the crowd really benefited me and I hope it will for you to.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

-Oscar Wilde-

Why Did I Chose Edge Hill?

Some of you may be aware that I moved over to Edge Hill University from Northern Ireland which is similar for a lot of people in my course and at Edge Hill in general.

 

So, why did I choose to move all the way over for my course in primary teaching when I could have stayed in the comfort of my own home where all my surroundings and people were comforting and familiar? We will take that as my first point;

For the longest time, I was very much a creature of habit. I took great comfort in knowing where I was and the fact that everything in my life stayed exactly the same was very satisfying. It wasn’t until I was completing my A-Levels, did I realise that I needed a change in my life that would push me to become more independent and, in fear of sounding corny, to ‘find myself.’ I think that moving away from home to somewhere completely new to me was the best thing for me and Edge Hill was the best place to start.

The second reason why I chose Edge Hill was because, not going to lie, the campus was beautiful. As you might have gathered, I need to be comfortable in my surroundings and so Edge Hill was the perfect spot for me in terms of environment and location. It was big, but not so big that it was overwhelming and it was located right next to a small town which was so important to me as I am not a city girl in the slightest. Image result for edge hill university

The final reason why I chose Edge Hill was because of the course it offered me. My original first choice was Bath Spa University but I realised that the course that was offered there may not be best suited for me. The Primary Teaching course at Edge Hill University allowed me to finish the course within 3 years and offered me so much opportunity to expand my practice in the profession which in the long run, would benefit me so much! And I am so glad that I did choose this course as it has provided me with so much knowledge and opportunities that I did not know that I needed.


There you go! That was 3 reasons why I chose to study at Edge Hill University rather than be in my lovely Ireland. The experience of moving has been crazy and filled with so many memories that I will never forget and I can say truthfully that I have no regrets about moving so far away!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

-Walt Disney-

Day Off? No Problem

Hey everyone! I thought I would dedicate a blog to the things that you can do in Ormskirk or on campus of Edge Hill University when you find yourself with a day off or in need of a break from assignment writing etc. 


Treat Yourself

Sometimes when I have a day off from University, I like to think of it as a ‘treat yourself’ kind of day. Whether you have been writing assignments, studying for an exam or just wanting a break from university life, why not take yourself into Ormskirk and treat yourself to something nice?Image result for treat yourself gif

Go out for lunch with friends

Food fixes everything, am I right? There are some really nice places to visit in town if you and your flatmates are tired of cooking for yourselves and are also really student friendly. Some of my favourite places would be;

  • Cobble
  • Love to Eat
  • Wetherspoons (classic)
  • The Bagel Deli

Student Union

You may be surprised to find yourself in the student union bar on a day off from university but, sometimes it is nice just to sit and have a few drinks with some friends, have a laugh and sometimes there is some entertainment on the television such as football. You don’t have to go too far as this is located right on campus!Related image

Have a flat movie day/board game day

You don’t even have to leave the flat on your day off from classes so this would be the best opportunity to gather any of your other friends from your course or in your flat and have a cosy movie day with lots of snacks or, have a board game night. Let me share some advice, if you chose to play monopoly…make yourself comfortable, you’re in for a long night.


Thank you for reading. I have to say, my favourite thing to do out of this list is to watch a movie with my flat mates as it is such a great way to bond and chill out after a hard couple of days work.

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”

-Ralph Marston-

How to get to Edge Hill University from John Lennon Airport!

Hey everyone! Since our first open day is happening this month (15th June), I thought that it would be useful to tell you how I get from John Lennon Airport in Liverpool to Edge Hill University the most budget friendly way. As I know some people will be flying in to Liverpool for the open days, I hope that this will help reduce the stress of travelling.


Since starting at Edge Hill University, I have gotten used to the travelling it takes to actually get from the university to the airport and vice versa in the most money efficient way rather than spending £30+ on a taxi.

This is how I personally get to Edge Hill University;

  • Locate a bus that takes me to Liverpool South Parkway – this can be via the Liverpool One bus or if you are still unsure, there should be someone around to direct you to the correct bus, do not be afraid to ask!
  • Once I get to Liverpool South Parkway, I ask for a ticket to Ormskirk (where Edge Hill University is located).
  • I can then either change at Liverpool Central or Sandhills to get on a train that is going directly to Ormskirk. I would preferably get a train from Sandhills as when I change there to get the train to Ormskirk, I am already halfway there.
  • Once I arrive at Ormskirk train station, I either walk up to the campus or take the Edge Link bus at the bus station which, normally has a charge for non Edge Hill Students but, on some open days it is free.Image result for john lennon airport

 

I know that this may sound quite scary especially if you are like me and not very confident with train changes but it is the cheapest way of getting to Edge Hill University. And always remember that if you are unsure about where to go or what train to get/change to, do not hesitate to ask someone.

Alternatively, you can book a taxi from John Lennon Airport to the University or hire a car for the day but, like I said, this can be quite expensive.


I hope that some of you find this useful. I wish someone had told me how to get to the University from the airport when I first flew over as it would have saved a lot of confusion and detours…

Thanks for reading, Lauren x

“Dare to ask questions. There are answers to any question.”

-Lailah Gifty Akita-

When the sun comes out!

Hey everyone, since the sun has finally come out here in Ormskirk, I thought I would dedicate a blog about what I recommend you and your friends do when it is a lovely spring/summers day.

Enjoy!


Ruff Woods

This is located on Ruff Lane and can easily be found across the road from the fitness trail around the back of the Sports Centre. Since the weather started to get nice, my flatmates and I have come here for a walk whilst taking a break from assignments and studying for exams. I also come here every morning for a walk before breakfast and it is great way to start the day!

Victoria Park and Garden

When walking down from Edge Hill University into town, you can see this park on Ruff Lane. During the spring and summer months, the flowers bloom and there are so many colours. It is not very big, but it still is a really lovely spot to sit with a coffee or a take away drink and bask in the sunlight.

Edge Hill Gardens

If you don’t want to venture too far from the campus, why not take a walk down to the gardens next to the Health and Social Care Building? There is a scenic path through the plants, flowers and a wide patch of green that is perfect for outside study sessions or perhaps a picnic?

Man-Made beach

Okay, so this isn’t Southport Beach, but it’s the next best thing when you just want to relax on a sandy beach and not have to travel too much. Recently, this spot has been THE spot for students to come and sit on the grass, the sand and picnic table during exam season or just to catch up with friends.

Fitness Trail

You might just fancy a nice peaceful walk to break up the day and so this scenic walk is perfect for the occasion. It has a wonderful view of some of the campus and the playing fields and also a great place to sit on the grass and chat with friends.


I hope you enjoyed this little post on what you and your friends could get up to at Edge Hill University or Ormskirk, when the sun comes out. Remember, if you do picnic outside enjoying the sunshine, please keep our campus and surrounding green spaces clean and pick up your rubbish!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”

-Unknown-

Open Day at Edge Hill University!

If you’re like me and you like to know what you’re getting yourself into, then I highly advise registering for an Open Day at the universities you’re applying to. They can be very important when coming to decide what university is right for you and where you see yourself studying.

In today’s blog, I will be talking about how you can find the information you need about Open Days, planning ahead and where I think you should visit when you come to an Edge Hill Open Day!

Hope you enjoy!


Information is Key!

Finding out as much as you can about your university can be essential, especially if you need to plan out your day. You can find useful information about the Open Day on the university website as well as looking on their social media platforms where most universities are quite active.

These platforms will give you the information needed before coming to an Open Day such as when it is, what times and where you should visit. What I liked most about the Edge Hill University Instagram is that it often records places on campus so that you can have an idea of what you’re coming to see. They also keep me updated as to what is happening on campus, such as events during Open Day.

Plan Ahead!

I am the kind of person who likes to know what they are doing and when they are doing it. It makes life a whole lot smoother, trust me. Open Days can be rather overwhelming and exciting because of all the opportunities around you and the buzz in the atmosphere as you explore your new environment, and this is why planning ahead on your Open Day should be a major consideration. For example;

  • Arrive as early as you can – this will allow you to see as much as you can and get the best experience of the day.
  • Make a plan of what you really want to see first to avoid disappointment. However, our helpful guides will make sure that doesn’t happen.
  • If you are travelling as a group, it may be better to split up into a smaller group so you can cover more ground. I found that this was helpful as it meant that if there were two people who wanted to visit a certain spot on the campus and the other two wanted to visit somewhere else, we didn’t waste time walking around somewhere that was not related to the course.
  • Organise a tour guide as soon as you register. This will ensure that you are again, not wandering around aimlessly when you could be attending important information sessions or events. However, it is quite easy to lose track on our scenic campus…
  • Campus map! This is very self-explanatory but collecting one of these at the Open Day saved me from a lot of arguments about who turned the wrong direction. Trust me on this…use a map.

Additionally, if you are like me and have had to fly in to attend an Open Day, make sure that you arrive early enough at the beginning of the Open Day to avail of the events and have enough time to catch your flight if you are leaving the same day. This was what I was most concerned about when attending university Open Days across the water, not being able to have the time to see everything. However, in my experience, if you let the leaders or an organiser know your situation, they will try to ensure that you are able to visit all the places on campus that you want to.

Places to See!

  • Catalyst – I may be biased because I attend Edge Hill University and spend a great deal of time here, but I highly recommend visiting our shiny new catalyst building. Its modern feel makes studying and essay writing a much more relaxed experience with snacks and drinks available at the café, which will be open for Open Day!
  • Sports Centre – this is one of my favourite places on campus. It’s amazing facilities and classes makes exercise fun and inclusive. While you are there, why not take a walk around the track and field?
  • Accommodation blocks – I am really glad that I came to the Open Day, especially to have a closer look at the accommodation. It is not only important to see where you will be studying but to also see and feel where you could potentially be living. Select rooms at the accommodation blocks will be open for visitors to have a look around which is really vital when considering applying for the accommodation on campus.
  • The Hub – the name says it all. The Hub at Edge Hill University is the centre of the campus where you will see a lot of events and buzz about. We have our local convenient shop, eatery, Starbucks and places to meet up with friends. Also, it is a great base place on Open Day if you ever get separated from your family or friends.

My Experience of an Open Day!

When I first arrived at my Open Day at Edge Hill University, I was really surprised as to how many people were there to help you. As soon as I walked on to the campus, there was someone directing me to where I should go. This definitely calmed my nerves and helped me to focus more on what I wanted to see on campus and not about what would happen if I got lost…

I also made sure to attend as many talks as I could during Open Day, particularly if it was about my course that I had applied to do. This allowed me to have a much more in-depth understanding of what my course entailed. Hearing from other students on the course really helped my decision as I was able to listen to their own personal experiences of being on the course. Make sure you ask any questions or queries you have about the course!

I would also recommend that if you are travelling like me, bring an extra bag. You would be surprised how many information booklets you will collect that you didn’t even know you needed. You may even find that you pick up some other freebies along the way.

Extra Information You Will Need!

To book your place for an open day here, at Edge Hill University, follow this link to complete your online booking form and you will be ready to go! – https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/visit-us/open-days/

If you want to find out any further information like, where to find Edge Hill, visit our website! – https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/location/


I hope that you enjoyed this post and found it helps you for your future Open Day. Make sure to book your place and don’t hesitate to ask any questions!

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

 -Malcolm x-

Things You Thought You Wouldn’t Need at University…

Hey everyone, in today’s blog, I thought I would dedicate it to all the things people do not tell you to bring to university but you will really need.

I got these ideas from my friend who is the kind of person who, if you asked her for something that you didn’t  have, she will most likely have it and so, I hope that you find something on this list that makes you think, “I would have never thought to bring that.”


  1. Screwdriver – I know, you may not think that you need this in the flat but there have been occasions that this has come in really handy. For example, trying to open a remote to put new batteries in, which leads me nicely into my next point…
  2. Spare Batteries – there is nothing worse than trying to switch on the television for movie night and finding that the batteries need replaced but, now thanks to this list, you can be the saviour of the flat.
  3. Whisk – before coming to university and living in accommodation, I never picked up a whisk in my life. However, as they say, university is full of first experiences. Additionally, whisks can come in very handy on pancake Tuesday or very impromptu baking which, happens more often than you think especially during The Great British Bake-Off.
  4. Whiteboard – these are a really great thing to have in the flat for keeping score on game nights, planning out meals for the week and to write out a chore list…
  5. Cards – never forget to buy a card for your loved ones again. Buy yourself a box of cards for many occasions and keep them in your room.
  6. Burn cream – I think that this one is self-explanatory…always cook safely guys.
  7. Blow up bed – these came in so handy when we wanted to have a movie night in the flat and wanted to sit altogether. Get one with a pump so that you can put it away and put it back up again when you need to use it.
  8. Sewing Kit – this is one of those things that you really think you won’t need but you just never know.
  9. Blanket – again, taking this out on a movie night in the common room can really make the difference to a night in.
  10. Cough syrup – all I need to say about this is…freshers week.

 


And there it is, the ten things that people think they do not need to bring to university but you really should.

I hope you enjoyed, see ya next time.

Lauren x

“I will prepare and some day, my chance will come.”

-Abraham Lincoln-

 

One Down, Two To Go!

Hey everyone! As you may all know, I am studying BA (HONS) Primary education with QTS here, at Edge Hill University and  I am fast approaching my final 2 weeks of the course, I thought that it would be nice to go through what I thought about certain aspects of the course.

You can read my previous blog that I did in in February, telling you all about the course – https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/02/10/what-is-the-primary-education-course-all-about/. However, as I said, this blog will be more about what I personally think about my course, to give a deeper insight.

Hope you enjoy!


Assignments…

Okay, lets get this one out of the way first. Throughout the whole of my first year, I had 8 written assignments, ranging from abut 750 words to 2,500 words. This may seem like a lot but in the Primary Education course, there are currently no examinations at the end of the year which, I think is a blessing in disguise.

Personally, I prefer to work on things in my own time and so, working on assignments periodically works better for me as I can have the time to properly plan them out and not stress about time limits. However, what I will say is that assignments can be stressful because of the deadlines and often the word counts are hard to abide by. I have luckily never had an issue with deadlines and this is because I start my assignments at least 3 weeks before they are due which is my BIGGEST advice. This means, I start reading around the subject and plan out what kind of structure I want my essay to follow.

 

Lectures

Not to sound like a geek but, I really do enjoy my lectures. I feel that in this course, because the content can be quite hard to follow, the lecturers try their best to make the lectures more engaging and easy to listen to. For example, we had a lecture on Maths Mastery and, I am not going to lie to you, Maths is not my favourite thing in the world however, I really really enjoyed the lecture because it was fun, it was engaging and it didn’t involve reading reams and reams of notes and calculating numbers! 

You could say this made history as it was the first maths lesson, in my life, that I smiled in.Image result for maths

Seminars

How are they different from lectures? Well, it does not include the entire course sitting in the one lecture hall. You are split into groups of at least 25-30 and have the same timetable. For example, my class have Computing, Science, Maths, English, Foundation and APD together and so this means we all have the same teacher and have our own small group chat online where we can ask each other questions and ask for advice. Image result for university lecture

In a way, I prefer seminars to lectures because they are a smaller group of people and you can connect and communicate better with teachers and with each other rather than feeling nervous about asking a question in front of 300+ people in a lecture hall.

However, that being said, I do enjoy the APD lectures we have on a Friday morning because, they are like a small introduction to what we will be learning about in the follow up APD seminar that afternoon.

My goals going into 2nd year…

I have had such a good experience with my first year on the Primary Education course with QTS and I hope that I can bring this into my following two years. I have been thinking about what goals I want to set myself for my second year so that I can get the best out of my course;

  • be more confident and answer questions in class – this will really help with speaking in front of people and communicating.
  • identify the areas I need to work on in professional practice
  • keep on top of my assignments and continue to meet deadlines in good time
  • enjoy my time!

So, that was just a small run-down of what I personally think of some of the main aspects of my course. Of course, a huge aspect of the course is the professional practice but I know that will require a more in depth post at some point. In the mean time, take a look at my post about my first professional practice! https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/03/17/my-experience-of-my-first-professional-practice/

I really hope that you enjoyed this post and found it useful, thank you for reading, Lauren x

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”

– Phil Collins