Flying Home for Christmas…

Hey everyone and Happy December! With the Christmas holidays coming up and people flying back home to Northern Ireland like me, the Isle of Man or other places, I thought I would give some advice on how I make the flying process much easier and stress free.

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My first piece of advice would be to BOOK EARLY! I cannot stress this enough. Booking your flights early will not only save you money but also save you from panicking about trying to get tickets for a flight that is fully booked. I try to book all my flights early so that I am saving money and am more relaxed knowing that I am going home.

My next point is also very pivotal to a stress free journey home and that is to ARRIVE EARLY! My family and friends always make fun of me for arriving far too early at the airport (5 hours early…) but I’ll be the one laughing when they show up to a flight and miss it because they get stuck in security. Arriving at least 3 hours before a flight cuts out so much stress because you can find somewhere comfortable to sit, grab a coffee and listen to Christmas music until you’re flight is called. 

Particularly at this time of the year, airports can be so so busy and so it is always better not to underestimate the craziness of them and show up to your flight early.

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My final piece of advice when flying home this Christmas is to try and find someone to travel with. The reason I say this is because, if you book a flight that is early in the morning or late in the night, taking public transport to the airport can be hard and you might have to take a taxi. My flight home for Christmas last year was very early because it was the cheapest but it meant that no trains or buses were running so I had to book a taxi which cost me around £33. Flying with someone that you could share a taxi with will make this cheaper and it is also a lot more fun travelling with a friend.

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I hope that you have found this advice useful for when you are travelling home for Christmas and I hope that you have safe travels wherever you are going!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

-Maya Angelou-

Halls Vs Student Houses – my experience

Hey everyone, as I know from last year that this is the time that people living in halls of residence in their first year start looking for a place to live in their second year, I thought I would share my experience with student houses and how they compare to accommodation on campus at Edge Hill University.

In my first year of university I lived in Chancellors Court with 7 other people. I loved living in halls especially because I got on so well with my flat-mates and can say that I have made friends for life. 

The accommodation that I lived in also had en suite bathrooms which was nice because it meant that you could have a shower anytime you wanted and didn’t have to wait until someone else was finished using it.

Other aspects of halls that I liked; 

  • Close to lectures 
  • Close to the library 
  • There are more people in the flat than there is in a typical house and so there is less chance to feel lonely. 
  • 24 hour security 
  • More social (in my opinion)
Lake on the eastern side of campus lined by Chancellors Court and Chancellors South.

For my second year, me and three other girls found a house in town about a 5 minute drive from the university and quite close to the town centre. I really love the idea of living in a house because it feels very homely and you don’t feel as though you are constantly on university grounds. It is nice to feel as though you are not always in university when you go back to your living space. 

Living in a house also has made me a little more independent. It’s strange because I feel like more of an adult since living in an actual house as you have to handle the rent, bills, cleaning it and making sure that the bins have been taken out. I got used to this when living in halls of residence as we had lovely cleaners that took them out everyday.

Other aspects I like about living in a house;

  • Close to town 
  • Less confined 
  • No circuit laundry (if you know, you know)
  • No one living above or below you 
  • More freedom
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So, when it comes to choosing which one I prefer, I lean more towards halls because it is more social and I like being closer to lectures and the library. However, living in the house has given me a lot more freedom to do things and I don’t feel the same pressure to always have to be productive and go to the library. I am more relaxed and can ‘chill’ better in the house better than I ever could in halls.

I really hope that you like this post. I really do like living off campus and having even more independence but, I also really miss living on campus because of how close it was to everything that I needed and because I miss living as a big flat and making memories. 

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.”

Jim Henson

What University Has Taught Me…So Far…

Hey everyone! My friends and I were talking about what we were like before starting university and I was really surprised to find how much I have learned since starting university in 2018. I thought I would write a few things that I have picked up over the year to show you how much I didn’t know before starting…

1. Separating your colour wash and white wash is not a myth…

I may be the only one that thought this was never true because at home, I never did this nor did my mum and so, I was led to believe that this was just a marketing technique to get people to buy colour catchers and colour separators etc. I laugh at my old, naïve self.

The myth was busted when I went to collect my washing and found that I had a new pair of bright pink socks, but my white socks had went missing. Luckily it was only my socks that had been ruined but I have definitely learnt from my mistakes. Always separate your washing kids!

2. How to portion size pasta…

Gone are the days when my mum would make spaghetti bolognaise and magically be able to plate the perfect portion size of pasta and have non left over for seconds. Everyone would get their pasta and be fulfilled after dinner. Good job mum, why didn’t you pass this skill on to me?

I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have made pasta that could literally feed the 5,000 or not enough that it wouldn’t even fill a hole in my tooth. Luckily, my lovely flat mate came to the rescue and told me that if you measure out 100g of pasta before cooking it, it should be the perfect amount for one person.

3. How to socialise…

This is probably one of the biggest lessons that university has taught me. Before moving over to university, you would not see me talking to ANYONE outside of my friend group. I couldn’t even hold a conversation with the woman working on the till in Asda. However, now, let’s just say she probably wishes that I never came back from university…

On a serious note, university thrusts you into a world where you have to talk to people to get through it. This does mean getting pushed out of your comfort zone but, trust me this is for the better. I feel so much more comfortable talking to strangers, I can even ask the waiter for more ketchup! That’s a milestone for anyone.

You will also meet so many amazing people when you just relax yourself and talk to people you have never spoken to. I have an amazing group of friends that I wouldn’t be as close to if I hadn’t spoken to them and allow myself to engage in conversations.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! You will obviously learn so much more in university and it is the best experience of your life you just need to let it happen and don’t hold back.



The Catalyst – a safe space

Hey everyone, as I am in the middle of writing an assignment for Academic Personal Development (a very long process), I have become even more attached to the Catalyst at Edge Hill University than I was last year.

Last year I wrote a blog post on why I love the catalyst and since then I have found more reasons to take full advantage of the Catalyst and thought that I would write a more updated post.

There are three floors to the Catalyst. The ground floor is the buzz of the place, you have the main reception desk, group pods, book collections and book returns station, computers and my personal favourite, the café. This comes in very handy when you rock up to the library at half 8 in the morning thinking you can start reading journal articles straight away without coffee and so, you pop down to the café for a little pick me up.

The first and second floor has computers, printers, books, reading sofas, independent desks and group study rooms. I found the group study rooms have come in very useful especially because in the Primary Education course, we have a few group activities and presentations to work on. This makes it easier to get everyone into one room outside of class, before people go home for the day and work on the group task. All you need to do is to ensure that you BOOK a room as you cannot use it if you haven’t booked it.

My favourite place in the entire catalyst hasn’t changed since last year. The third floor. I am the kind of the person who gets really distracted quite easily and this does not help when trying to write assignments. Trust me.

I go up the third floor, sit myself down in one of the single desks and work without any distractions. The third floor is called the silent study for a reason and I am really grateful for it because it means I can do work without getting distracted and feel very productive!

I really am thankful for the Catalyst because it has everything you need in the one building and even though I no longer live on campus, I still find myself trekking 20 minutes to get to it and use its resources no matter what the weather is.

I hope that you love the catalyst as much as I do, and always respect the staff and people that work there and that use it as I am sure I am not the only who depends on it to complete their work.

“Every time you enter a library you might say to yourself, ‘The world is quiet here,’ as a sort of pledge proclaiming reading to be the greater good.”

-Lemony Snicket-

“What are Primary Education seminars like?”

Hey everyone, since I wrote a post on what my lectures were like, I thought I would do something similar for my seminars which are quite different. 


In a week, I have around 6/7 seminars depending on my timetable; 

  • Monday – Academic Personal Development and English 
  • Tuesday – Maths, Science and Computing 
  • Thursday – Major Specialism 
  • Friday – Foundation Subjects

Like I said, seminars are rather different from lectures. Instead of the entire course sitting in one room, the course is split into groups of around 20+ and given different timetables. Seminars are a lot more interactive and discussion based, giving you the chance to talk about your experience with primary school and professional practice.

I really enjoy the seminars as the teachers make them interesting and ensure that everyone has the chance to voice their opinions. In fact, we are encouraged to and I find it a lot easier to talk in the seminars because you get to know your group better and feel more comfortable more and more each seminar.

I like that you get the chance to talk about your experiences of primary teaching and hear your group talk about theirs. It’s a great way to get to know your peers and get new ideas for teaching practice! Seminars also give you a much clearer insight on what you need to teach in school and many ways on how to teach it in many creative ways.

In terms of ‘homework,’ we would usually get independent reading to support assignments that we have coming up. It’s really helpful to get these readings in class as it gives you a starting point for looking for other readings to help you.

I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of what happens in seminars in the Primary Education course. They are very informative, providing you with a wealth of knowledge and experiences to take with you on professional practice which is why I really enjoy them. Even at 9am in the morning!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” 

-Fran Lebowitz-

Take a Step Back …

Hey everyone, and Happy Halloween! I hope you all enjoy your celebrations and stay safe! I thought that I would write a blog on what to do when your course starts to get a little too much. Being on the Primary Education course, it can get a little overwhelming especially with the different subjects and professional practice. But worry not, I am here to tell you it will all be okay.

First of all, I just want to say that you are not the only one who is feeling overwhelmed about the course. I can assure you now that if you talk to people in your course you will find that many are feeling the same way. I know from experience that talking about your worries with other people from the course really help with the stress as you know that you are not the only one.

My advice to you when you are feeling overwhelmed is to stop. I know this may contradict everything that you have been taught. You might feel you need to keep going with the assignment that you are stuck on but, in my own experience, it is not the best idea. Taking the time to step back and evaluate what it is that you need to can be really important.

When I find myself in this situation I like to take myself away from the work area and go for a walk outside, listening to music or a podcast or go and talk to one of my friends (NOT about work). Separating myself from the stress of the course and the work I have to do for half an hour and not thinking about it can really help go back to work with a fresh mind set. Do not feel as though you have to sit at the desk and tear your hair until you understand, it will not make it better.

I hope that some of you find this useful and are reminded to not put pressure on yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed by your course. Talk to the people around you and your course tutors, they are there to help you succeed! 

Thank you, Lauren.

“The challenge is to stay cool enough to handle the pressure in the moment so that you can succeed in the future.” 

-Jurgen Klopp-

How I organise my Pen Drive for Primary Education

Hey everyone, I thought I would talk about how I organise my work on my pen drive particularly for Primary Education as there is a lot of subjects to keep organised. I find that when my pen drive is organised, I feel a lot less stressed because I know where everything is.

When I first started, we were given this pen drive to keep all of our work on. I really recommend using this only for your course work and keeping other projects outside of your course on another pen so as to save confusion.

Like I said before, in the Primary Education course, there are a lot of subjects that we have to study and so that comes with different kinds of work for each subject and then different assignments and reading along with that. It’s so important that you keep these in their own individual folders so that you can find what you are looking for quicker and work that you have done will not get confused with other pieces work.

This how I liked to organise my folder for my first year of the course. As you can see, all the subjects have their own folders so that nothing gets mixed up and within them folders there are more folders that have my assignments in them and that have reading in them.

I know that when I have to look for an assignment I have done that is ready to submit, I can look in its exact folder and know that I have not confused it with another assignment I have done.

It is the same with reading, when I have found a journal article that will help my assignment I will put it in the folder with the rest of the reading I have found for that assignment. This way I will not be spending more time looking for that specific journal article as I know that it is in the subject folder containing the rest of my reading.

I hope that this is helpful for people starting the course and for those applying for the course. Organising your pen drive makes university a lot easier especially when you don’t have to panic over something that you think you have lost but, in reality, you just cannot seem to find it in the pen drive. Trust me, I have been there.

Thank you for reading!

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

“What are the lectures like in Primary Education?”

Hey everyone, as I am well into my second year of Primary Education I thought I would tell you about how the lectures work in this course. My family and friends always ask me this question as they know the primary eduction is a little different to other courses.

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When I first started the Primary Education course last September, I had the idea in my head that all I had was lectures. This idea probably came from watching too many YouTube videos on ‘university day in my life.”

I was really surprised to find out that most of my timetable consists of seminars and classes and only a couple of lectures during the week.

So, here is how lectures in Primary Education work;

APD – Academic Personal Development

This year, we have these lectures on a Monday morning from 9am to 10am which includes the entire course sitting in the one lecture hall. We cover all kinds of topics such as; behaviour, inclusion, academic writing and education theories.

After these lectures, we have a follow on 2 hour seminar in which we all have our own class groups of about 20 or so people. For example, last year I was 1D and this year I am 2D. The APD seminars go into more detail about what was covered in the lecture and this is how it works every week.

Foundation Subject Lectures

The APD lectures are the only lectures we have that are consistently once a week unless it is cancelled. Occasionally, we have foundation subject lectures every couple of weeks. This year, these are on a Friday morning and then followed on with 4 hour foundation classes on one subject. For example, last Friday (11th October) I had religious studies and have already had a class on Physical Education and Languages.

The first foundation lecture that I had was called Policy and the Foundation Subjects which I really enjoyed and found quite interesting. I can also check when my next Foundation subject lecture will be scheduled on the timetable on blackboard!

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And that is how my lectures work for Primary Education! In terms of taking notes during these sessions, I don’t beat myself up too much if I cannot write everything down as I can find the powerpoint on Blackboard after the session or the lectures are recorded and also put on Blackboard.

Thank you for reading!

“A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.”

Benjamin Disraeli

Creating a Routine for University!

Hey everyone! I have just completed my first week back at Edge Hill University from my three month summer holidays and I thought I would do a post on how to get back to routine after a long break.

I know that Christmas and Easter holidays can be long and returning back to the grind of university can be somewhat daunting but I have found that these tips help me get myself back to routine.

Get Up Early!

I’m not saying that you have to get up at the crack of dawn but, setting your alarm slightly earlier than you normally would and getting your day started earlier can really help to begin your day right. I like getting up earlier because it means I don’t have to rush around in the morning but rather I can take my time and make sure that I have everything prepared for the day ahead.

Make Yourself and Timetable!

Alongside the timetable that I had for university lectures and seminars, I also had my own timetable for everything that I needed to do outside of classes such as; the gym, assignment reading, me time and homework that needs to be completed. This allows me to see when I have free time and what deadlines I have coming up so that I can stick to a regular study routine.

Schedule in Your Breaks

Take this piece of advice from a person who did not schedule in breaks and burnt herself out immediately. Believe me, taking breaks when trying to get back into routine is just as important as scheduling in your working time. If you don’t take time to give yourself a break you will lose the motivation to start any work and continue with the same routine.

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Those are my three quick tips to getting back into routine after coming back from a long break! Also, check out the uniskills website through Edge Hill Student page to get some extra help and support to get you back to routine. I have been to one of the ‘one to one’ appointments at the catalyst which I booked through Uniskills and it really helped get my head around a new routine to help me meet my deadlines for assignments.

Hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading!

My routine is there to serve as the building blocks for a successful day. It’s a tool. I try not to get bogged down if I can’t do it all.” 

Carly Stein

Your First Assignment!

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog and for all the first years, I hope you have enjoyed your first at Edge Hill and ready to start your course! When I first started university I was slightly confused as to how I write an academic assignment because of how different they were from my high school.

So here are a few tips from me to you on how to look for support on your first assignment.

Reading is such an important step to writing your first assignment. I know that sometimes you just want to get straight into writing the assignment but it makes the whole process a lot easier when you read, read, read all the information you can on the subject. Make sure you highlight all the quotes that could be useful for supporting any points you make and write down the references.

Support classes are also very useful when writing your first assignment especially when getting used to Harvard Referencing. We had people come in and talk us through how to use and where to find the Harvard Referencing Guide which I found really useful and informative.

When I found that I was having a hard time with one of my assignments, I booked a one to one appointment through Uni Skills. I was able to meet someone and talk to them about what my assignment was about and they give me advice on how they think would be the best way to structure it. I found this really helpful and it gave me the motivation I needed to complete the work. Follow this link!

I hope that this helps someone starting their assignments and good luck in your first year!

“It is nobody’s responsibility but yours to discover your assignment and to execute that very assignment.”

D.S. Mashego