Student Finance

Student finance is normally something daunting to us. But, this loan does help students from all over to go to university and get a degree to further their career.

This is something to think about whether you’re in a financially stable family or not, as it could make a difference to your university experience. You will have to complete an online application for student finance, and this will determine how much you get for the year you will be at university.

Firstly, you will need a few bits of information, including the university and degree course you are applying for as this will also be a factor in how much money you will get, in addition to proof of ID (if needed) and possibly household income (if needed), however, your parents/guardian(s) will be asked to confirm this.

You will be asked to apply to 2 sections. The first section is the annual tuition fees which is currently £9,250 a year. In order to do a full time course of 3 years, this is the amount you will need and you can apply for this through the student finance website on GOV. The second section will ask for more personal information, such as full name, address, date of birth, the university you’re applying to and parent/guardian(s) names and emails. Within this section of the student finance website, it will ask about a lower and a higher maintenance loan. From my experience, I would recommend applying for both of them, as this will allow you the highest chance to gain the maximum maintenance loan.  This process is fairly easy in the way the online form asks you questions.

After you’ve completed both the tuition fees and maintenance loan sections, an email will be sent to your parent or guardian.  They will get a notification from student finance and will have to fill out an online form as well. This will need to be completed ASAP before you start university, so that your money will come in after you have completed enrolment (usually 3-5 working days after).

Maintenance loan situations may differ between individuals. For example, if you have a health condition or disability, you will be able to apply for another allowance however, you will have to give evidence. Also, if you’re an EU student, you will have to put this into the application and possibly get a bit more support.

I hope this has helped. The process overall is very easy to understand and if you need some more information on student finance see the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/get-undergraduate-student-loan

https://www.savethestudent.org/student-finance/the-big-fat-guide-to-student-finance-2012.html

Ellis x

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Relationships and How to Cope

Hey everyone,

Since I found someone at Uni, I realised that we’ve got quite a bit of distance between us when we both go home for the summer. Obviously this is what’s happened but we’re still together and we’re coping. Not only is my boyfriend quite far away from me (250 miles to be exact), but i’m also away from the majority of my friends from Uni. This is because  I moved to Edge Hill from Milton Keynes, and the people i’ve made friends with are mostly from the northern side of the UK but one that is down in Kent. So, if you’re also struggling with this situation or have done in the past, keep on reading – my tips on relationships and how to cope. Some of them will be related to couples and the others are more friendship based.

Group Chats 

If you don’t already have a chat with all of your mates, definitely make one! Probably the simplest way to keep in touch with everyone and possibly even make plans (like i’m trying to at the moment).

Find Something You Can do Together 

Maybe all or both of you can try and find a new TV show on Netflix and watch it together whilst being apart. This will make for lengthy discussions and something else to talk about rather than just ‘how’s your day been?’.

Face Time 

This is for both friendships and couples. If you face time each other it feels different to over message and gives more of a conversation vibe: ‘I want to talk to you’ rather than keeping a ‘snap streak’ or something like that. If you’re in a long distance relationship, this will be your savour. Don’t face time excessively though as it can become a habit and an expectance. Sometimes you need your own space.

Put in the time 

When you’re away from people for so long, you can get out of touch. As long as you put in the effort and the other person does the same, there’s no way you guys can get out of contact.

 

These are only a few tips on how to cope with long distance relationships. Use it as an opportunity rather than seeing distance as a negative. I hope this has blog has helped and like all my other blogs, leave a comment down below if you have any questions.

Ellis x

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Edge Hill Open Day

Hey guys,

Some of you may still want to visit the University before coming in September or possibly, for the start of 2020. So, this post is about what will be available to you during an Open Day at Edge Hill.

First things first, you need to have an idea of the course or courses you are interested in and would like to study.  Then you can know what talks are on throughout the day about it.

During the open day, there are many of signs and people around to help you figure out what buildings you would like to go to. My advice is to go to a talk for your course, see the accommodation round campus and to see the catalyst.

There are many more buildings within Edge Hill accommodated for different subjects so, try and go to the building you have your talk in as that is where your classes will most likely be. It would also be a good idea to have a look at the accommodation to see what the halls are like and whether you would prefer a particular one such as: Main Halls which are shared bathrooms, compared to, Chancellors Court which have en-suites. Also, the catalyst is one of the most recent buildings and you’ll probably find you will be spending a lot of time there using the study rooms, so I highly recommend seeing this too.

You can also go on tours throughout the day by visiting the Hub and checking in to get a space on it. These tours are very good if you want to know your bearings for the campus in particular.

Throughout the day, there are food and drink supplied which are free, so you don’t need to worry about eating and they cater for people with intolerances and allergies as well.

These are only a few things that I suggest you do whilst being at the Open Days at Edge Hill. The campus is quite big, so I would make sure to come early. You can find the Open Day dates by clicking on the link below. And if you need anymore advice, just drop a comment down below.

Open Days

Ellis x

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Societies

Hey Guys,

If you’re planning on coming to Edge Hill, there is so much more than just your course you can do, such as: going on the trips the university has planned, going to Liverpool for a day out and more importantly, societies that Edge Hill offers. You can join different societies that are related to your personal interests. At Edge Hill, there is around 60 societies that you can choose from ranging from Cheerleading to Anime.

When you first come to the University during Freshers week, all of the societies will be in the Hub, trying to recruit new students to get involved. If you already have a couple of societies in mind, that’s great! If you don’t, that’s not a problem. You can just wander about the place looking at the societies that you think may interest you and I’m sure that at least one will peak your interest.

If you do manage to sign up to one or even a few societies, some of them may hold open auditions such as Cheerleading tryouts. Others will just give you an email to say when their first session is and to see whether you would want to come along. If you don’t hear anything, try to contact them if you can, just enter in Edge Hill societies on the internet, and contact details should come up for each society.

Within my first few weeks of freshers, I signed up to around 5 societies, but haven’t managed to do any as I didn’t get any emails and I regret not contacting them however, I’ve still had a great first year. So, in my second year, I’ve decided that i’m going to join Trampolining as I did do it for the first few weeks at University and want to go back and rejoin.

If you would like to know more about the societies that run at Edge Hill, just click on this link down below and it will direct you to the page with a list of the societies that Edge Hill offers.

Clubs and Societies

If you need anymore help or want advice, don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below..

Ellis x

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Advice: Move in Day

Hey guys,

As the majority of you already know which university you’re going to, I thought it may be best to talk about move in day and what you do.

Firstly,  you’ll get given a specific slot of what time you should come to the University. This is staggered and majority of the time it will correspond with your surname and go alphabetically like so. After you find out your time, I would try to arrive around 15 minutes before because you’ll need to find where you get your keys. If you’re coming to Edge Hill, there are loads of sign posts and people around to help you when you move in, in September.

Once you get to the University, you’ll need to be enrolled and then given your keys, in addition to your ID card. Prior to this, in a form online, you’ll most likely get an option to take a picture online or just do it when you get there. Because there’s so many students enrolling, I recommend that you complete it online.

Once you have everything to be enrolled with, you can then go and collect your belongings and start moving into the halls of residence you’ve been allocated to. From this time, you’re allocated around 2 hours maximum to remove all your belongings and move in so that the car park doesn’t overflow. However, don’t panic too much as this doesn’t usually happen, just take your time and try not to rush as you’re basically moving away from home, which can be hard.

Depending on what your surname is, you won’t necessarily know whether you’ll be the first, second or last person into your flat. But, at this point in time,  I recommend just trying to move everything out of your car/van first before unpacking it. I remember on my move in day, I brought everything to my flat, left my door open, and unpacked most of my things the next day so that I could interact with my flatmates.

Once you’ve settled in, it will come to a time to say ‘bye’ to your parent(s). If you’re like me and live far away from home, it will be hard, but just try and keep yourself busy for the first few days and hopefully the home sickness will go down.

I hope this advice on what happens on move in day has helped. If you need any more advice or have ay questions, just drop them down below.

Ellis x

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What to Expect – Uni Life

Hey everyone,

The majority of you now will be in exam season, prepping hard wanting to get into the University of your choice. Within this time, it may be difficult wondering what to expect at University and how to cope. From my personal experience completing first year, this will be what is in store for you when you move to a University.

Firstly, depending on whether you’ve chosen halls of residence for accommodation, you’ll move in straight away in September. This will be blocked out and staggered so you could be the first or last person to move into your flat. My advice is when you move in, to keep your door open so it will be more inviting not only for you but also your new flat mates.

When going to a new place its always good to try and figure out your bearings. This means trying to find the buildings you’ll be going to for lectures and seminars and also any hang out spots that you think would be perfect for you and your friends. Also, try to go into town and get used to transport. Luckily, at Edge Hill we have the Edge Link Bus to help us get into town which takes 5 minutes.

You’ll also be introduced to new things you haven’t necessarily experienced before. As an example, you can go and explore a variety of societies. There’s bound to be a few that catch your eye as there are over 60 societies available to students. This can range anything from Go Karting to Dance. Also there are so many trips to go on throughout the year so try to sign up to as many as possible. This will get you outside and give you a break from lectures and possibly make more friends too. You can find a list of the societies here:

Clubs and Societies

This is only a short list of what to expect when you move to University, but there are more things too. If you would like to know more, just drop me a comment down below and I would be more than happy to answer your questions.

I hope this has helped!

Ellis x

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Living Away From Home

Coming to Edge Hill was one of the best decisions I’ve made as I knew I wanted to go to University to study a degree in media. However, this meant I had to come and live away from home, much like most students. But it can be more stressful for me personally, as my home is 4 hours away whereas most students here are only 1-hour max. This was probably the most difficult situation I have been in since starting university, although, I have gotten used to being more independent and coping from living away.

I do realise some of you hoping to come to Edge Hill for Uni may be living quite a long way from home too, so here are some helpful tips for coping with living away.

Make Time

Making time to talk to your friends and family over face time, phone calls or even just texting can help you cope with being away. I try to ring my family twice a week and I message my friends quite a bit since my time at Uni begun.

Weekends Back at Home

If you’re lucky enough that your timetable falls for a long weekend (Friday-Monday) try and book some train tickets to go home. If you’re like me, make sure to buy your tickets in advance as they’ll be quite cheap. Also, try and buy yourself a train card or coach card, this will mean you can get 1/3 off your travel.

Bring Home Comforts

Making your new room at Uni uniquely you by bringing a few home comforts such as: photos of friends and family, pillows, blankets etc. Also, this gives you a chance to make the space as colourful as you’d like.

Home Traditions

When you come to University, you’ll make lots of new friends and probably stick to certain people you get along with. With these people make some traditions you would normally do at home such as a film night, fajita night etc. One that me and my friends do is go to Wetherspoons in the town centre for a meal out every week. If we fail to do that, we all come together and cook and watch a film which is quite nice.

Overall, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with coming to Uni, just remember everyone goes through the stress of living away from parents and being independent, but, it will help with coming into your own person.

I hope this has helped many of you, and if you have any questions please drop a comment down below.

Ellis x

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Budgeting at Uni

When coming to University, one of the many things we think about is money. Of course, if you apply for Student Finance, you will get tuition fees and a maintenance loan after going through an application process. However, because the maintenance loan is based off what your parents/guardians earn annually, it can result in the amount not being as high as quite you hoped, meaning you might need a little bit of help every so often. So, here are a few tips to help you out if you have little money.

  • Know Your Dates!

Know when your maintenance loan is coming in. This will help you so much as you know when your money is expected to come in and probably help you figure out how much you can spend a week to get by before getting the next lot of money.

  • Calculate Maximum Budget!

One of the things I did before coming to University was to roughly estimate how much I would have weekly once I knew my maintenance loan amount for the year ahead. Firstly, you need to have applied for Student Finance so they can calculate your loan and then the university can figure out how much you will pay for your accommodation (once they’ve put you in one). You take away that amount from the maintenance loan and then divide that amount by how many weeks until your next loan date. Then that number left is your weekly budget.

  • Food Costs

Luckily in Ormskirk, we have an Aldi which is one of the cheapest supermarkets, normally costing me between £10-£15 per week depending on what I get from there. With food, I would try and buy fresh ingredients as sometimes this can be more cost effective for you. Also, cook in big batches: you’ll have loads left over which will probably do you dinner/lunch maybe 2 more times.

  • Student Discount

Since coming to Uni, I’m always on the lookout to make things cheaper for myself. Whether that means going on voucher codes, downloading Unidays or inviting your mates over for a dominoes and splitting it so it’s only £5 each. This is a definite hack you need to keep in mind🍕.

I hope this has helped for those of you with money worries. If you would like some more advice, please drop comments down below. Also if you need to look into student finance just click on the link down below:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login

Ellis x

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Exam Tips

Hey guys,

I hope you have all had a fab Easter and indulged yourself with loads of chocolate (much like myself). As most of you know already, it’s getting to that time of year we all dread: deadlines and exam season. So, here’s some few tips for exam preparation. Hope this helps!

  • Study schedule

Make yourself a little timetable surrounding the subjects you’re doing and break this into days of the week. Doing too much on one subject can cause you to stress out a lot more. Split it up so you give yourself 20/30-minute bursts of studying so you keep yourself focused.

  • Old exam papers

This will help you to get to know what sort of exam questions you could expect from the paper you’re about to sit. By practising these types of papers, it should help you to relax when it comes to actually sitting the examination.

  • Study Groups

When I was in college/6th form, I remember organising a few study sessions with a few friends and we would all help each other through our strengths and weaknesses. Also, this helps if you have revision cards and need someone just to read them out to you.

  • Hydrate yourself!

Drinking water throughout the day will help stimulate your brain and provides energy. If you suffer from headaches etc. this also prevents it. P.S. Bring water into the exams with you (as long as it’s a clear bottle with no label). This will give you a break from writing and keep you focused.

  • Whatever happens, happens

Don’t be so hard on yourself when exams come around. Just remember that whatever happens, happens because, you can never know exactly what is going to be on the paper so just try your hardest and that’s honestly the best piece of advice that you will hear 10 times or more from so many different people (including this post).

I hope this helps for all of you doing exams in the coming months. If you want any more tips or just want some advice, please drop a comment down below and I’d be more than happy to help. Good luck!

Ellis x

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Easter

Hey guys,

So Easter is just around the corner, with only around 3 weeks to go to indulge yourself in all the chocolate you want. So many shops have got shelves stacked but, there is a way to get Easter eggs without having to pay a penny…an Easter Egg Hunt on Campus. 

Thursday 4th April from 10 am till 4 pm is an Easter egg hunt on the Edge Hill Campus. All you have to do is search around the whole Campus for tokens hidden by their very own Easter bunnies, and return the token to SU at the Welcome Fair. Hopefully not many of you will have lectures during this time because, who doesn’t like free chocolate!

Unfortunately, you can’t have more than one token per person, but, on the upside there are vegan options available which is amazing!

If you don’t have time to hunt round campus for a token for a free Easter egg, then you can do your very own DIY Easter egg Hunt with your mates at University, if they’re up for it. Yes, it will mean all of you pitching in some money to get some Easter eggs but, if you go to Aldi or B&M, you can get some for really cheap, around £1 each.

Or, wait until you go home and hopefully there will be some Easter eggs waiting for you there during your 2-3 weeks off.

If you have some memories of what an Easter egg hunt was like to you when you were younger, i’d be more than happy to hear about it in the comments down below.

I hope you all have a great Easter!

Ellis  x

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