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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Making the Most of Summer!

It’s the middle of summer now and most of you are probably getting ready for University. With all this preparation in mind, you need to take time out to relax and enjoy your summer before the lectures and seminars come around. I thought I’d share want I’ve been currently doing this summer.

As soon as I came back from University, I did my rounds visiting my family and friends, meeting up with them in coffee shops, going out for meals etc. I have non-stop been spending time with my friends as the majority of them are also at University too. So it’s hard to meet up in person, but we definitely try our best. One of our favourite things to do is to go on a drive and pick up a Starbucks along the way. Cliché I know…

I’ve been travelling quite a bit to see my boyfriend who is up near Edge Hill. As I live in MK, we made a plan that we would visit each other for a few days every 2 weeks, and the rest of the time, we keep in contact and face time when we can. Yes, it means 3 hours of train travel, which can be a bit of a pain, however, its definitely worth it going up to see him as we love the time we do spend together.

I also work part-time at a museum back in MK when I come home. It’s a good idea to try and get a seasonal job so that you are able to earn some money whilst you’re not studying at University. In my case, its money to put towards fuel and train tickets, in addition to the odd mugs of coffee I get when I see my friends.

Unfortunately, going on holiday isn’t on the cards for me this year during the summer. Although I would love to, the people that I would want to go with are all busy but, I am going to Cornwall just before I head back to Edge Hill in September. It will be nice to be able to get away and chill out for a few days, even though it isn’t abroad.

Let me know what you’ve got up to this summer!

Ellis x

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It’s Time to Celebrate!

CONGRATULATIONS! To all of you who have been accepted and been offered a place at Edge Hill! I bet you’re all so excited to start a new chapter of your life – just like I was when I received the email after receiving my grades. At this time, you’re probably thinking about starting uni and stressing about being prepared. The one big piece of advice I would give you now is to just celebrate your grades! This is an amazing achievement and you should be so proud of what you have done, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and celebrating – you totally deserve it! So here are a few things you could do…

1: Plan to go out with your friends

Me and my mates from college all decided that if we got into the university of our choosing, we would all go out for a drink and celebrate. This was a very chilled and relaxed atmosphere and it was with the few people that I got along with really well.

2: Try something new

Maybe there has always been something you’ve wanted to do. Now that all that hard work has paid off, go out and try it! Kind of like a reward in your mind as if to say ‘I deserve this’, which you most definitely do. This could be trying a new hobby, joining a class etc.

3: Shopping Spree

Now, this one kind of ties in with university preparation as well as I’m sure most of you will want a few new clothes to upgrade your wardrobe before going to university. Go with your friends and make a day of it!

4: Go on Holiday

Book a long weekend away somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go to, or, do a road trip with some of your mates visiting the universities you’ll be starting at in the September.

5: Meal out with the Family

This was one I also did. My family wanted to celebrate my grades and my place at Edge Hill just as much as I did, so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Go to a nice pub or a fancy restaurant and take lots of photos! You can pin these on your wall when you move in to halls and you will not regret capturing this incredible moment.

Once again, congratulations and I look forward to seeing you on campus in September!

Ellis x

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Things I Wish I Knew About First Year

When starting at Edge Hill, i had no clue on what University would be like as a whole. I went in with an open mind but, looking back on my first year, I’ve realised there are some things I wished I had known before going to University.

You will pack more than you need

From clothes to kitchen utensils, there will always be stuff that you don’t use or even need at University. Try toImage result for suitcase overpacked student not bring as many clothes when you move in as the likely hood is that you will buy some when you’re at University. Also, the kitchen supplies will probably be shared between flat mates, so try not to over bring the stuff that you think other people might have. Top Tip: If there are some things you want to keep away from everyone else, keep them in your room or in a locked cupboard. 

Freshers Flu is real…

I honestly thought that this was just a University ‘myth’ but in all honesty, this is a real thing. Freshers Flu goes around so quickly and you may think you won’t get it but, trust me, you will. Be prepared! Bring paracetamol, cough medicine/sweets, and a coffee mug for all those times you go into lectures and need a hot drink to keep you warm.

You will probably pick up an accent, even if its a small one.

Being from Milton Keynes and having a southern accent, to going to University on the outskirts of Liverpool, mean’t being surrounded by people with either northern or Scouse accents. The majority of my friendship group are from up North so I did start to get a bit of a twang with certain words however, my southern accent is still in me, especially when I go back home.

Budget 

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Its an amazing feeling when you get your maintenance loan but, it doesn’t last long. Your accommodation will come out of it, then food and possibly other expenses so try to keep track of it all. I use a little notepad and make note of what I spend everyday and keep a weekly budget to keep me on track. 

Enjoy it!

The first year at University has been amazing! I’ve met a great group of friends who hopefully, I will keep in touch with for many years to come, and, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time being in halls. It is a great experience so just, ‘Live in the moment’ whilst you can.

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Ellis x

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Student Bank Accounts

When it comes to finances during the time you spend at University, one of the things you will need to look at is opening a student bank account. The majority of the banks within the UK will give you an overdraft but, there are other incentives too depending on what bank you go with. These are my top 5 bank accounts for students that I think would be suitable for all your University needs.

Santander 

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With Santander, you not only get up to a £2000 overdraft but, there is also an incentive for a 4 year railcard and up to 3% in-credit interest rate. If you’re like me and are living far away from home but would like the opportunity to go home quite a bit, this would be a perfect option for you, allowing you a 1/3 of your train travel. 

HSBC 

If you apply for a student account with HSBC,  you can get an £80 amazon gift card as well as 1 year student prime. This is a great deal and on top of this, the overdraft is up to £3000 as well. Starting with a guaranteed £1000 in the 1st year and up to £3000 in your 3rd year.

NatWest 

NatWest offers students up to a £2000 overdraft and a choice of 1 out of these 3 options:

  • 1 year of student amazon membership and £10 amazon gift card.
  • 1 year national express coach card.
  • OR a 1 year taste card.

All of these options are amazing however, you do have to deposit £750 into your bank account every 6 months and you need to make 3 monthly transactions in order to keep your overdraft.

Lloyds Bank

Image result for student bank accountLloyds Bank is one of the lower overdrafts out there only offering up to £1500. Tiering to £500 for the first 6 months, £1000 from 7-9 months and £1500 after that. Even though they don’t offer the highest amount, they do have the incentive of the NUS student extra card.

Barclays 

Although Barclays don’t offer any incentives for students, they do offer up to a £3000 overdraft which is one of the best deals to go for. Upon opening the account, you will get £500 and ask for it to be increased over time. This will then go up to £2000 in 2nd year and £3000 in 3rd year. Also, Barclays do offer cash-back with a few retailers so its good to keep an eye on their offers through their website or app.

There are so many more UK banks out there that offer other incentives, so all you have to do is go in to your local and ask about student accounts prior to coming to University. I should specify that even though you shouldn’t rely on overdrafts as ‘money to spend’, it’s always a comfort to know that you have something to fall back on in times of need.

Ellis x

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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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