Laundry at EHU: Some Lifesaving Tips!

My blog this week is for those readers who live on campus or are going to be living on campus at the start of the next academic year. Prepare yourselves for a dive into the laundry system at EHU, from how it works to a few tips I’ve picked up along the way.

My laundry routine was weekly when on campus. Saturday or Sunday I’d wake up early, pack my washing into my suitcase, and haul it from Chancellors Court, Binns, down to the laundrette. Those of you who end up in Binns will realise that journey can be quite something during the winter. The washing machines take around 30 minutes, dryers 40-50 if my memory serves correct. During those waiting times, I always made use of the Hub or Catalyst, getting a coffee or something to eat. Generally, I’d save the coffee for the long wait so I have more time to enjoy it.

The reason I’ve told you my routine is because a lot of the tips I’m going to make are nestled within it!

Firstly, use your suitcase to transport your washing to the laundrette on campus, it’s a lot easier to move it and if it rains none of your clothes get wet again after being in the dryer.

Regarding the wait time, the Circuit app has timers but its always wise to set a timer of your own so you get a notification when its time to go back to your clothes.

If you’re a bit of a walk away from your accommodation, use the Hub or other facilities and treat yourself. If you time it around the weekend like I did, I always viewed that coffee and maybe cake as a reward for getting through another week at uni.

Moving past those tips now however, the Circuit app is essential for doing your laundry. The app is pretty simple to grasp and there are signs in the laundrette on how to use it, so I won’t go into that. Instead, I’m going to talk about how much money I put on my account per week and why. Each week before I went down to put my clothes in the wash, I’d put £5 in my Circuit account. £5 each week was a little over the required amount for a wash and clean if my memory serves correct, so I was leaving a little in my account each week. Over the weeks you’ll build up the amount in your account until you get a ‘free’ wash, and you can use that £5 on something else!

A screenshot from my Circuit Laundry app.

Laundry isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s one I wished I knew more about before going to EHU. I hope if anyone is in the same boat I was, my blog this week can work to alleviate any concerns you may have had!

Alice.

Kitchen Packing: Tricks and Tips.

Everyone talks about what you should be packing for your bedroom at university. Whether on-campus accommodation or off-campus accommodation. I’m guilty of this too. However, one of the important topics that gets glazed over is what you pack for your kitchen. Therefore, this week my blog is going to revolve around that all-important kitchen packing list.

The best way to give credible recommendations is to explore the mistakes I made when packing.

All my kitchen stuff on the day I moved into my Chancellors Court at EHU.

In EHU accommodation, more often than not you’ll get one cupboard in the kitchen for all your stuff, which is tiered into two sections by a shelf. Therefore, do not make the mistake I made and pack a colander, it will take up too much space in your cupboard. I’d recommend a sieve for all your drainage needs, because then you also have something for baking! Also, it’s likely to be a lot cheaper of a purchase.

Another mistake I made was taking too many plates and dishes, realistically I’d say you’d only need two of each if you’re on top of your washing up like I was during first-year.

Onto recommendations rather than mistakes! Buy some kitchen foil and keep stocked up on your kitchen foil. You can use the foil to wrap up leftover food like pizza for your fridge, but also put it on your baking trays to save on washing up. For £3 every few weeks, you can save a lot of time, leftover food, and space in your fridge since wrapping something in foil is more space effective than putting it in plastic boxes (Something I often did).

Even if you’re apprehensive on if you’d use them or not, I suggest packing a measuring jug, mixing bowl, some kind of tin to bake with. Anything you don’t use can just be stored beneath your bed. I didn’t have the desire to bake until Christmas came around, so I was thankful I had a mixing bowl and a nice little square baking tin to use. Besides, baking is a good way to score brownie points with your flatmates (The pun there is very intentional).

Overall it’s better to pack light on your kitchen utensils and so on, you’ll most likely want the extra space in your car for clothes when moving to uni if you’re anything like me!

Alice.

Textbooks – A Business School Guide.

Textbooks are essential if you’re a business student. More often than not, they are the key to completing your assignments due to the content being what the essay, or other assessment, is modelled around. Each module has a reading list with a plentiful array of books, some will be essential reading, some recommended reading. My blog this week is going to discuss my approach to acquiring textbooks as a Business School student at Edge Hill.

First and foremost, you will find your module reading lists on Blackboard. In these lists, by clicking on a book, it will tell you where that book is in the library, and if it is in stock. This tool is essential for being savvy about what you loan out or possibly buy yourself.

Snapshot of one of my reading lists for a module I completed in first year.

When presented with a new reading list for a new module, I would ALWAYS check Amazon for the essential book, then check the price of used or new copies. If the book isn’t expensive, I would always buy it. I am the type of learner who prefers to own all their materials rather than loan them out, so I can put tons of sticky notes in the book. If a book was not cheap enough to buy, some I saw racked up to almost £50 on Amazon, then I would loan the book out the library or look at an ebook option with my kindle.

My strategy for loaning books was always to get one out at the start of a module, then loan it out again when I was writing an assignment for those important references. Doing this system for a few modules saved me money, so I certainly recommend it.

My messy bookshelf from my room on campus. These were all the books I owned, which were either purchased or acquire when the library was getting rid of old stock for FREE.

Of course, an assignment can’t contain only one book in the references. So, to get around this, I would write some of the assignment in the library and grab a couple of books from the reading list that were in stock according to the Blackboard app. I would never loan these out, only using them while I was in the library at that time. This was a great way to build up my references and knowledge of the subject in a short period to complete the assignment.

This method and approach served me well in first-year and hopefully will do so again in second-year. Buying all your books might not be possible on other courses due to the amount needed to be read each semester, so bear that in mind and remember that my approach is tailored to the Business School reading list system. I hope this blog helps you either change your ways for the better or give you a snapshot of what it will be like when you start Edge Hill.

Alice.

The Do’s and Don’t’s of your first week at Edge Hill.

Your first week at Edge Hill will be crazy. Freshers activities, meeting people you live with, meeting people on your course, trying to figure out where a certain room is; it’s an exciting but tiring week. Therefore my blog this week intends to look at that first week and tell you what you should do and perhaps shouldn’t do from my experiences. Everyone’s freshers is different so don’t take my word as gospel! 

Do; buy a desk fan if you think you need one. I know this sounds like an odd recommendation, but when I moved in my room on campus was an absolute sauna. During that first day, I had to reapply makeup twice because the heat destroyed it, so I invested preemptively in a desk fan to make my life a little easier. I used that fan almost all year long, even during winter when I’d have the heating on overnight. Of course, some rooms may be cooler than others so leave it a few days from moving in before you go on Amazon or pop into Ormskirk to buy one. 

My celebratory desk fan photo I sent to my parents after managing to put it together.

Don’t; go out and do a food shop during your first week, you will probably overspend. For myself, I went shopping the Saturday for food with my parents at home, then moved in on the Sunday, but I made the mistake of doing a mid-week shopping trip during freshers which I didn’t need to make. Following this suggestion should save you a bit of money, and force you to get a bit creative with whatever food you bought with your parents. Of course, if you completely run out of food during freshers, absolutely go buy some more from Aldi, Morrisons or M&S in town. 

Do; visit Ormskirk. During your first week, I would strongly recommend going into town with either people from your accommodation or your course to look around Ormskirk and get a feel for the town. Knowing where to go to get to supermarkets will make your first food shop a lot easier and will work as a nice bonding experience for whoever you go with. You could take the free student bus, or do what I did and walk it. 

To consolidate my three do’s and don’t’s;

  • DO buy a desk fan if you think your room will need one!
  • DON’T waste money on food that you don’t need, save it for the SU or a takeaway!
  • DO visit Ormskirk with friends!

There’s going to be a lot of suggestions I haven’t been able to touch upon in my blog today, but I’ve hit the most important three based upon my own experience during my first year. Your do’s and don’t’s will be very different from mine I expect!

Alice.

Why I’m Excited To Go Back To Uni.

I’m enjoying my summer away from my studies. For the past few months, other than a few small bits and pieces left to tie up for a PPD module due at the end of August, I’ve been enjoying doing effectively nothing. I’m still reading books and trying to learn photo editing software as mentioned in my other blogs, but beyond that.. It’s just been a lot of nothing. However, that amount of nothing has certainly made me excited to go back to university in a few months. Therefore, today’s blog is going to into a few of the reasons I’m excited to start second-year.

First and most importantly, I am so excited to see the friends I had during first-year again. We’ve kept in touch since we all left uni, and I think collectively we’re all pretty excited to catch up over lunch. It’ll be fun to fall back into the routines we had, where we’d see each other pretty much every day either in someone’s flat, the catalyst, or going for something to eat in Ormskirk (Usually McDonald’s or Starbucks).

On the more academic side of things, I’m looking forward to beginning my new modules. I’m excited for all the ones I picked personally, but also the ones the Business School have made mandatory, as they all sound very interesting. The PPD module I mentioned earlier is very basic, so I don’t count doing any of that currently as part of my core studies, therefore by the time I get back to uni I’ll have had a five-ish month break. In other words, I’ll be raring to go.

The modules I will be studying in second-year.

Finally, I’m just looking forward to being on campus again. I’m going to living in on-campus accommodation again, so I have the joy of trying to remember where I live during the first week or so of being there. It’s going to be fun to use all the facilities again such as the Red Bar, or getting my coffee from whichever coffee place on campus I may choose.

Founders West, where I shall be living in second-year.

After a nice break, the excitement I have to go back to Edge Hill is immense.

Alice.

My Early Lecture Morning Routine

All of my lectures during first-year started at 9 AM, so naturally, I had to wake up early to make it to them. This week my blog is going to break down my usual morning routine during semester one and two with semi-specific timings. In an ideal world, I’d have a plethora of photos to share of my morning process, but given I’m writing this out of term time and sadly did not think far enough ahead, this will be a mostly written experience. Let your imagination guide you on what the routine may look like, it’s more exciting that way.

When I woke up is the part of my routine that would tend to shock my friends, so prepare yourself. On days I had a lecture, I would wake up between 6 and 6:30 AM. I am aware that’s ridiculously early, but every morning I would shower, put on full makeup, do my hair, and so on. I needed the time.

Following the shower, I’d do anything else I had to in the bathroom such as clean my teeth, then let my shower room dry out. If you’re living in on-campus accommodation this coming academic year, you’ll understand what I’m saying. I’d put on some music (I frequented between Grimes, Clairo, and 100 Gecs for anyone interested), dry my hair, and put on my outfit for that day.

By this point it was usually 7 AM, or maybe just a tad beyond that. I wore makeup to almost every lecture, a full face, so the following hour was always dedicated to putting that on. My makeup took between forty minutes to an hour depending on the look I was doing that day, usually it took forty minutes since my makeup style is effectively a blueprint I could carry out in my sleep at this point.

With makeup on, clothes on, hair done, and myself dowsed in perfume, I’d emerge into the kitchen to make a coffee and sometimes have breakfast. I usually had thirty minutes or so then of drinking my coffee, watching something in my room, getting my bag ready, and anything else before I went to go meet my friends at the Catalyst before we headed to the lecture.

I think my morning routine is probably a bit extra compared to that of an average university student, but that’s why I found it worth sharing! If you’re planning to attend Edge Hill in the next academic year, I hope my blog today might inspire you on how your routine may look.

Alice.

University Exams – A First-Year Reflection.

Exams are stressful, I think most people can agree with that. The build-up to them, the sleepless nights of revising, and then when you realise you’ve technically paid to sit your first university exam, there’s a whole layer of pressure. I sat my first exam at Edge Hill in January 2020, and today my blog is going to recount how I prepared for it. As always, your exam experience, timing, and so on, will be different as the schedule for exams changes each year, do not use what I am going to discuss as an exact rundown of what you may experience during your time at Edge Hill.

I began revising for my exam around three weeks before the date of it, in reflection, I could have done with starting maybe four or five weeks before. I luckily only had one exam in the January exam period so I could put all my time and energy into that one exam. As a business student, a lot of my degree is based upon theories and such, so to prepare I went through a revision list my friends and I had prepared, then made a google document with all the essential information relating to each topic. In total, I have a twenty-nine-page document that I’d completely retyped, no copy and pasting. I found retyping the information, the printing the whole thing off, reaffirmed what I already knew from studying the module earlier in the year. I will certainly use this method again.

A screenshot of the google document I prepared as my revision.

Moving onto the actual day, I woke up around six, and went about my normal routine of showering, putting makeup on, I made sure I looked good for my exam. When doing this, I had the mindset if I look good, I’ll be able to do good, a confidence kind of thing I suppose. The exam took place on January 6th, the first day of exams, at nine, so I didn’t have time to overthink anything and just got stuck in there. The exam went quick, at least I found it did, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re nervous about it dragging on or anything related to that. I left before the end as I finished my paper and read it over several times, I was pretty confident in doing so, but you should make sure you are too before you consider hopping up out that seat.

University exams on the surface are stressful, but when you get down to taking them, I found they aren’t. The most stressful thing was awaiting my results as they had to be moderated, but considering I got a 2:1, I was happy to wait. My parting advice would be to revise as much as you can, and ensure you are proud of what you have written when you leave that exam hall.

Alice.

Revisiting My Packing List.

A few weeks ago my blog post talked about moving out of university accommodation, now as I sit here a few weeks later, it’s time to begin thinking about my packing list for second-year. This blog will hopefully serve to inform upcoming first-years of what I took to university, and also an inspiration for any other readers to consider what their lists might look like for when we go back to university in October.

First and foremost, my packing list for first-year featured a lot of leisure reading books, which on paper is great, but in practice, I probably only needed one book, not my entire Gillian Flynn collection and my entire Vogue collection (My reading is very diverse as you can see). Pick a book you know is easy to read or one you’ve been dying to read and add that to your packing list, at Christmas, you can swap it out, or if you haven’t touched it at all, there’s no harm in taking it home and not replacing it. For myself, I barely touched my books, but read a lot of my Vogue magazines, so for second-year, I’m most likely going to pack those again.

My excessive bookshelf.

Another thing I took too much of was kitchenware. Having doubles of your plates, and cutlery is a good idea, but you don’t need three, or even four, of each like I did. The cupboards in the kitchens are generously sized, but you will fill them up quickly. In place of excessive kitchenware, I recommend Tupperware or other plastic boxes to store excess food, it’ll help you portion control, but also means you don’t need to cook daily. For second-year, I’m planning to only take doubles of my basic kitchenware items to free up space.

In a previous blog I’ve discussed video game consoles, but to add onto that I strongly also recommend a firestick or other streaming device in your packing list, I bought one during my second week of uni, though if you take a PS4 or Xbox One, both those consoles have the streaming capabilities of a firestick so you may find you’re better picking one or the other. I plan to take my PS4 to uni’ in October, so may end up leaving my firestick at home.

Beyond those suggestions, the basics still apply. You’ll want to make sure you pack toiletries, stationery, a few notepads, very basic items you would’ve used at home daily or in your studies at college or sixth form. Your packing list will look very different to other’s in some areas, and that’s ok. The point of a packing list for university is to ensure you take items you need, but also take items that provide your comforts. Your new friends might be avid readers, while you only took one book, so its wise to never use one list you see online as gospel. For second, or even third-years, it’s important to reflect on what you took the year prior and realise what you didn’t use a lot, you’ll thank me for that suggestion when you need to move out again at the end of the academic year.

Alice.

A Business Student’s Guide To The Catalyst.

The Catalyst will be the second or third most important building on campus for yourself most likely. The toss-up between the two comes down to how much you love your bed or not, or perhaps how much time you spend at the Student Union bar. Those two locations are blogs for another time. Today, this blog will be about the Catalyst building and how I used it as a student of the Business School. Each course will use the building differently, for example, I didn’t have to use the computer systems as I have a laptop, and did not need bespoke software.

The Catalyst.

Aside from the coffee shop, I used the group workspace areas downstairs in the Catalyst the most out of the whole building within my first year. Some modules in my course were comprised of a lot of group tasks, assignments, activities that had to be done in a group to succeed. Using our accommodation, which would’ve been more homely, was not an option most of the time, so often my groups and I found ourselves in a pod or at a table in the Catalyst. It can be a loud environment so if you’re getting on with some work down there, I recommend earphones. I think every new student reading my blog should consider using the Catalyst to write one assignment in its entirety once over your time at Edge Hill, it’s usually open all hours as long as you have your student card.

Moving on from workspaces, the Catalyst will be where you need to get books from if you are not purchasing them yourself. Whenever you go to take a book out ensure you have your student card handy, or else you won’t be able to take it back to your accommodation or home that day. Blackboard will allow you to check the code and floor of the book you’re looking for which makes locating texts infinitely easier. For example, a lot of my books, for my course, live on the second floor.

An example of Blackboard’s book location capabilities, taken from one of my module reading lists.

Many different students are going to have many different uses for the Catalyst, but the two I have discussed are the two most prominent for myself as a Business School student, but also myself in terms of what resources are on offer. An important thing to add about the Catalyst is that you can loan out laptops, allowing you to work anywhere. I hope if you are a new student, attending this coming October, this blog has excited you about the Catalyst building and what it may offer yourself as a student at Edge Hill University.

Alice.

Managing Money – Food Shopping.

Managing Money is an essential part of university life. Whether you’re living off savings, making income through a part-time job, or you’re one of the lucky ones with a rather hefty student loan, you will have to manage this money accordingly to ‘survive’. My blog this week is going to focus in on food shopping at Edge Hill, something you can keep quite cheap if you’re intelligent.

My first few weeks at uni I did a weekly food shop, which wasn’t very smart. I was spending £10-£20 a week on food which majorly ate into my savings. If you set a budget for food before you go, and only go once every, maybe two weeks, like I did in the second semester, you save yourself a lot of money. Another thing I did wrong, I was buying a lot of snacks during my food shops, rather than actual food like bags of Pasta, Rice, stuff to go with those. I strongly recommend not buying snacks during your weekly food shop, and instead of saving that money for McColls’ £1 item aisle which longterm will be more financially manageable. Around Christmas, I was silly with my money and bought lots of chocolate, my diet and bank account were both very unhappy with me for those purchases.

Your essential map to supermarkets in Ormskirk.

I’ve spoke about tips regarding your actual shopping list, but where can you buy food in Ormskirk? You’ve got three main options! The largest supermarket is the Morrisons, I often used it to buy treat items like syrups for my coffee, or nice cheeses. Aldi is another option that most people tend to use, I know I certainly did. I used Aldi for stuff like breakfast items, pasta, rice, general things you need in your food cupboard to put together a satisfying meal that doesn’t break the bank. If you want to treat yourself, beyond what Morrisons can offer, there’s an M&S in Ormskirk. I often bought cookies from M&S during heavy coursework periods to get me through.

My snack draw for coursework survival.

Of course, I will always prefer the method of getting my parents to do my food shop for me when they come to visit, or I go home for a weekend.

Alice.