Backpack Essentials

When you start at a new place such as University, you may find it a bit tricky to get a sense of what you actually need during lectures and seminars. So here’s what I have as an everyday essential ready for my lectures.

Laptop

If you haven’t one already, I would highly recommend getting one. If you’re in a lecture and your tutor is going to fast, a laptop is the only way to help you. However, if you can’t afford one, the catalyst also provides laptops but on a borrowing and returning basis. All you have to do is bring your ID card and get one out and return it when you’re done. If you’re needing one for a full week, you can get an emergency laptop which allows you to take it off campus as well. Just go onto the library catalogue to see whether there’s any available.

Notebook and a pen

You’ll find that during your seminars, your notebook will come in handy. Not only that, but if a register is going round, you’ll need a pen to sign your name. More often than not, that pen will actually go round the whole class because no one else has thought of bringing one.

Diary

As you may be doing multiple modules during the semester, having a diary can keep track of all the deadlines and work that needs to be completed. Having it in your bag everyday also makes you use it and its a definite need in my case.

Water

Stay hydrated! Honestly, have a water bottle constantly that you can fill up throughout the day is a good way to keep healthy. Not only this, but it keeps you more awake and focused during lectures and seminars.

Money

Try to make sure you have a bit on money on you. If you get tempted to have a snack during a break from a lecture then get one! Don’t deprive yourself of it as you may need the energy to carry on. For me, I always make sure I have a little bit of money for a coffee (a latte in particular) as this keeps me awake and gets my energy levels back up again.

These are only a few essentials. You may not need all of these but, all of these items are what i have in my bag everyday.

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Ellis x

Budget Tips

Freshers week has come and gone and you might be looking at your bank account and think ‘oh god’. I know the feeling and my friends do too. So here’s a few tips and tricks to try and keep you afloat, at least until the next semester 😉.

Keep track of your money

Try and figure out your weekly budget and then any money you spend during the week, make a note of it. By the end of the week you should be able to total it up and hopefully, you’ll find that you save a little bit of money every week from this.

Overdrafts will be a saviour

Although I don’t have an overdraft myself, i know from my friends at Uni that their overdraft has basically saved them until the next semester. This almost acts as a safety line that if you go into it, it won’t affect your social life. However, try not to go deep into your overdraft as you will have to pay the money back.

Use cash

This is something myself and one of my friends have discovered. Using cash instead of your card makes you know what money you have in your purse. Also, if you’re like me and like to save a little bit of money, get a money jar and any spare change at the end of the week, you can put it in there.

Communal Meals

When I was in halls of residence, my flatmates and I ate some communal meals. This not only helped us all out with a bit of money but, it gave us a chance to sit down together and enjoy each other’s company. I definitely recommend doing this, even if its with your friends that you’ve made.

These are only a few tips on how to budget, but if you have any questions, drop them down below in the comments.

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Ellis x

2nd Year – My Goals

As of now, I am a 2nd year student at Edge Hill. I had an amazing first year at this University and my expectations are higher for this year. I’m looking forward to starting my degree again and getting my brain active after it being unproductive throughout the summer. But also, I’m looking forward to moving into my house with 5 of my friends I made throughout first year. However, I have also set myself some goals for this year too.

Firstly, I’ve decided to join trampolining at team Edge Hill. I did want to do it last year, but I figured that I didn’t really know what University would actually be like, so I decided in the end not to do it. Looking back at it, I wish I did start doing trampolining but sometimes you just need to get used to the surroundings rather than trying to do absolutely everything.

I’ve also been considering starting a language at Edge Hill too. When you’re a student, you can choose to do a language as an extra thing outside of your studies. However, with some degree’s you can opt to do a language which will go towards your overall grade. I feel like doing a language will get you better opportunities as its ‘another strong to your bow’ as some people say.

Lastly, I’ve decided to try and get ahead of work more so this year as 2nd year goes towards my overall grade once I’ve completed the degree. Last year, I tried to keep up with the reading but that didn’t really last very long. I know most people don’t like the readings due to them being academic. However, I know the readings are always useful because if you don’t understand it, you can talk to your lecturer and ask them to simplify it for you. Plus, it’s always good to make a few quotes from the readings as you never know what essays are always going to be about.

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Ellis x

Personal Statements

Another year which means another UCAS application for all of you who have decided to go to University. One of the most important things about this application is the personal statement.

Your personal statement is important as this section allows you to express yourself not only as a student, but as an individual. It gives the University a chance to see why you would want to be there studying that particular degree. However, writing about yourself in a positive way can be quite difficult as you sometimes may not see where your strengths lie. But, as you start to write the first couple of sentences, you’ll begin to find a flow and find it easier to write.

Writing down a structure may help. When I was writing my application, I broke my statement down into different categories: explaining who I am and why I want to study that subject/degree course, writing my strengths and finally, any work experience I have done. The work experience can include anything that will enhance your application, such as a part time job alongside your studies at 6th form/college. Also, this is a good time to write down any skills you have gained from work experience. This can include communication skills, organisation, time management etc.

Once you’ve built some kind of structure, you need to try and make it your own and stand out from the rest of the people you’re up against. One of the ways to do this is to create a good opening to your personal statement. For mine, I wrote a quote from Steven Spielberg who is an inspiration of mine to start of my application. Also, if you have any hobbies that you think could relate to your degree, write it! As an example, I wrote about how I do scriptwriting in my own time and go out and do photography too (I’m doing a tv and film production course). This is best to put this information at the end of your personal statement.

Lastly, you need to remember that even though you may have your heart set on one specific university, you will be required to put in an application for 5 Universities. So, you need to write your personal statement accommodating to all of the Uni’s you’ve selected.

Like all my blogs, if you have any comments, just drop them down below!

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Ellis x

Welcome Week at Edge Hill!

From your Welcome Sunday on the 15th September, there is a whole week ahead of fun things for you to do! These events will get you to socialise with new people and hopefully make new friends too!

15th September

Welcome Sunday AND launch party! This is primarily for new students but anyone can come along! Only £5 to get in – definitely not one to miss!

16th September

  • Make your own plant! – Make your own plant and take it away for free! From 2-4pm in the HUB.
  • Tour of Ormskirk – Guides will take you around Ormskirk to show you how to get into town through the free shuttle bus as well as showing you what is around in the town centre. From 5-6pm on the 16th and is free! Meet by couches in the HUB on the ground floor.
  • Milk – LGBTQ night! – Starting from 9pm, the LGBTQ night is for everyone! Only £5 entry on the door and held at Venue.

17th September

  • Bracelet making – The first crafter-noon held from 2-4pm in the HUB upstairs.
  • Bubble football – 12-3pm. To be able to book all you have to do is email: campus-sport@edgehill.ac.uk.
  • Mature students meet and greet – Held from 6:30-8:30 in the SUBar! Chilled out atmosphere and everyone can get social!
  • Free film screening – Held in the Arts Centre on Edge Hill’s campus. From 7pm and is Free!
  • Quiz night! – A special welcome week quiz special. Starting at 9pm in the SU bar.
  • Level takeover! – 10pm – 4am. Edge Hill have teamed up with nightclub Level in Liverpool. Available to get wristbands on welcome Sunday which is only £7.

18th September

  • Welcome fair – 10:30 am till 3pm in the HUB. This a where all of the societies and sport clubs come together so you can join and sign up to any one you like!
  • Vintage Sale pop up – 10am -5pm held in the Venue.
  • Board game night – Held upstairs in the hub from 6-8pm.
  • Foam Party – Another great night held in the Venue on Campus. Starting from 9pm and only £4 entry.

19th September

  • The Dye – Another crafter-noon on Edge Hill campus. Held between 2-4pm. Outside SU Bar.
  • Roller Disco – 6-8pm in the Wilson Gym. Book through campus-sport@edgehill.ac.uk.
  • Tropical Party – 9pm in the SU Bar and Venue. Only £5 entry on the door.

20th September

  • Friday night karaoke – held in the SU bar from 9pm and it is free entry! One of the best nights we do and is a laugh.

These are only some of the events Edge Hill are doing throughout the week. You can find out more by clicking this website below:

https://www.edgehillsu.org.uk/welcomeweek19

Ellis x

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Uni Essentials

Seeing as a lot of you guys are now preparing for University, I thought this would be a great time to suggest essentials for University life when you move in. So, these are my essentials!

Firstly the Bedroom: this is what I took with me:

  • Bedding – 2 duvet sets, 2 pillows, mattress protector and a duvet.
  • Storage – A couple f=of baskets and laundry bag (go to Primark!).
  • Pictures and lighting – fairy lights, a lamp and loads of pictures of friends and family.
  • Clothing – There is quite a bit of storage for clothing in the accommodation buildings. You’ll figure out what you like to wear most within the first few weeks at Uni.
  • Decoration – Anything you want to show off your personality or just for comfort. For me I bought a grey blanket, extra pillows, fake plants (or real ones if you prefer), and some other small decorative pieces. There is a fair in the HUB at Edge Hill that sells posters, I highly recommend going here as it will bring colour to your room.
  • Hangers – Both clothing hangers and over the door hangers. This is very much a space saver in your room.

Next, the bathroom:

This is the exact storage box I used for my bathroom at Edge Hill.
  • Bath/shower matt – so you don’t slip in the shower.
  • A set of small draws or box – so you can put any spare shower gel or other essentials in there to keep your bathroom tidy.
  • Towels – I recommend bringing 2 sets with you, so you still have one if the other needs washing. I had 2 big towels, 2 hand towels and 2 hair towels.
  • Holders – toothbrush and hand wash holders to be exact.
  • Cleaning products – toilet bleach, antibacterial wipes.

Lastly, the kitchen:

  • Utensils – Spatula, wooden spoon, tongs, scissors, garlic crusher etc. You can normally get a pack of all of this from Ikea or a homeware store.
  • Crockery – Get a mixture of everything, but keep numbers to a minimum: 2 plates, 2 small plates, 2 bowls, 2 mugs, 2 glasses, knives, forks and spoons, plus anything else you would like.
  • Cleaning products – disinfectant, antibacterial wipes.
  • Storage – a few freezable containers, sandwich bags and tinfoil.
  • Extra’s – I realised when you’re at Uni, a staple is cheese toasties, so I got a toastie maker which also makes waffles and panini’s too. Definitely one of my favourite buys.

Ellis x

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Welcome Sunday!

Hey guys, so as all of you who have now been accepted into Edge Hill Uni, your move in date is most likely the 15th September. This is also known as Welcome Sunday. This day is all to do with moving your things in so you can get settled before starting your studies at Edge Hill!

When you first pull into the carpark (or walk in if you came by train), you will go straight to enrolment so that academic registry can give you your pass card and keys to your flat. This is a very straight forward process and there are many individuals round campus to help you out so you know where you’re going.

Once you’ve finished with enrolment, you will then start moving all of your belongings from your car/van and take them to your accommodation. Or, as i like to say it, your home for the next year! Again, there will be loads of people round campus there to give you a helping hand. Not only that, but they offer trollies to unload all of your stuff onto as well as a little car which has a cage attached. Although that would be the ideal and easier option, there will be a queue for it so you may have to wait a little while.

As soon as you’ve moved your things into your room, I recommend to start making your bed and putting things in place just so that you don’t have to think about it that much later. This is because you’ll probably want to be around people when your parents go. That’s how I felt anyway as I’m quite far away from home when I go to Edge Hill. However, if you want to spend a little bit more quality time with your parents, there are a few restaurants nearby so you can have some food: The Sandpiper and The Stanley Gate are good choices but, there is also a Wetherspoons in Ormskirk town too for the cheaper option.

I hope this has given you some sort of idea to what Welcome Sunday will be like. If you have any questions, just drop them down below in the comments.

Ellis x

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Discount Hacks

As starting University is fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to go through hacks at University. Specifically, discounts. Everyone loves a discount especially students as you get to not spend as much money. These are just a few of the ones I use on a regular basis.

NUS Card – With this card, it gives you a vast majority of discounts when you go out. You are able to apply for the card for 1, 2 or 3 years. If you chose to get it only for one year, it will cost £20 a year, but the idea is that if you get it for 3 years, it is cheaper overall.

UNIDays – This is a great app that has a variety of discounts for students. Whether you want to eat out, shop or go on a day out with your friends. The app constantly updates with new discounts available and if you sign up to their email, you get alerts about this too. All you have to do is download the app and put in your University email address and you’re a member.

Student Beans – Similar to Unidays, but it does have a different selection of discounts available. Again, all you have to do is download the app and enter in your details.

Amazon Prime – As a student, you can get an amazon prime account for only £3.99 a month or for £40 a year. This allows you to get free one day delivery on all the stuff on the website that states ‘prime’. Also, you can use it to stream and download all the videos and tv shows you want to watch. Trust me, you’ll be doing a lot of binge watching tv-series at University.

Spotify – With Spotify, you can get premium music for just £4.99 a month. This means you have unlimited skips on your songs, and you can download as many as you would like.

These are just a few of the discounts I’ve used regularly. They will help you throughout your University life trust me. Even if it’s just 10% here and there.

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Ellis x

Student Application Tips

Writing a Student application for UCAS can be difficult, especially when you don’t really know what to write. These are some of the things I looked out for when I wrote my application to get into Edge Hill University.

Grade Boundaries:

You will need to prepare yourself for the grades that the University of your choice wants for students to get in order to even be considered for their course. Try and aim to get these grades if you can. However, in specific circumstances, if the grades aren’t necessarily there, the University will still consider your application based on who you are as a person and your commitment to that particular subject.

References

Have references you know you can rely on. This can be anyone from teachers to work experience placement (if you had one). These references will not only back you up as a person but, they will give the University an insight into your work ethic.

Personal Statement

This is the quote I used at the start of my application. Spielberg is one of my inspirations.

Did you know it takes around 10 seconds for the person reading your personal statement to decide whether they should consider you? This is probably the most important bit of information as you can add in your interests, passion and commitment to the study you want to go into. As well as explaining your interest to study at that University. The only thing you should be mindful of is that your personal statement will go to all of your top 5 Universities on your UCAS application. So try not to tale it to one specific Uni (even though you may have one in mind).

Commitment

This ties into your personal statement but, show your commitment to the course. Whether that’s creating a portfolio of your work or doing something outside of school/college related to the subject. This will work in your favour to get your top 1 University. When I applied for Edge Hill, I had a portfolio on hand and showreel of all of the films and scripts I had previously worked on.

I hope some of these tips have helped those of you that may be struggling with your application. Majority of people have been through this before so if you need anymore advice, I’d be more than happy to help! Just drop a comment down below ☺️.

Ellis x

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Is University Worth the Debt?

One of the many comments made about University is about the debt students come away with once they’ve completed the degree. On top of the actual amount itself, you also have interest and that could calculate to £60,000. However, this amount of money shouldn’t scare you or put you off of going to University, especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to do. Here are a few reasons why University is worth the debt!

 Make friends for life

You’ve probably heard this one before, but honestly, it true. I know so many people that have come away from University, and they still keep in contact with the friends they made at University. I think it’s because you go through so much together such as: moving into a house, going on nights out etc.

Employment

Once you’ve got a degree out of University, you are more likely to be accepted for a job – sometimes it doesn’t even matter which subject your degree is (this doesn’t always happen). If you want to find out more about the statistics with the University you’re going to, look at the degree subject you’re wanting to study on the Uni website itself, or UniStats.

Career Opportunities

Work experience is a massive part of university life. You’ll get opportunities coming to you left, right and centre – yes you will probably need to apply for it by putting in an application, but it’s what it will be like in the future. I would recommend trying to go for as many opportunities you can as you never know if going for one could lead you to another.

Life Skills

You will gain so many life skills, many of which will be transferable throughout your days at University. Whether it’s getting better at presentations, or writing, these skills are always going to valuable to you, and will make you a stronger candidate for jobs going forward.

I hope this has helped if you’re still a bit undecided about University. Student Debt should always be considered, but it shouldn’t stop you from going to University, especially if that’s what you really want to do.

Ellis x

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