Healthy and Happy

Hey everyone! I hope you’re January is going well. I thought I would do a little post on how you can stay healthy in university during the month of January both physically and mentally. 


January can leave some people feeling a little blue and so I hope that this helps even one person.

1. Get Outside!

I have lost count of the amount of times that I have praised the medicine of the outdoors on this blog. To me, going outside and being in nature is the best way to help me feel like myself again and I still to this day swear by it as an instant mood booster. 

Next time you are feeling blue or a little out of sorts with yourself, take yourself away from whatever you are doing and go for a walk outdoors and feel the benefits start. I often take assignment writing breaks every hour or two when I am in the library by walking around the sports track and sometimes through Ruff Woods. By the time I return, I am refreshed and ready to start my work again!

An early brain break!

2. Meal Plans

When I say meals plans, I don’t mean downloading some rip off one from the internet or instagram that will make your life even more miserable. Try making your own meals plans with the food that you enjoy and that you will actually want to eat. I create a new meal plan every week now that I am on professional practice so that I know what I am making that night for dinner and what I can make for the rest of the week. 

I look forward to my meals everyday and don’t stress cook something that may not be the most nutritious for me and therefore am happier because of the quality of my food and meals.

3. Friends

The people who have in your life will have a direct impact on your mood and how you feel. The biggest lesson I learnt in 2019 was to surround myself with people that make me happy and allow me to be happy as I knew that that they would make the sad days a little brighter.

My advice to everyone is to have people in your life that make you feel good about yourself who won’t impact your mental health or deteriorate it. Doing this will make your university experience so much better and your health so much better, trust me.

I hope that some people find this useful and that the advice here can help someone. Always remember that your emotional and mental health is just as important as your physical health.

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”

-Glenn Close-

Beating the January Blues

Hey everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas or break and are ready to start 2020 off! For this month, as it is the first month of 2020, I thought I would centre these blogs around the theme of New Years and the month of January as I know this month can be hard for people. Hope you enjoy!

I am sure everyone here has heard or even felt the ‘January Blues’ as I most defiantly have. However, it wasn’t until I started university that I felt it hit hard and it was a shock to the system. I had just started my first placement and two other people that I lived with had also started placement and had moved out from the flat making it feel very lonely all of a sudden.

I knew there were other people in the flat but I just remember not being able to make myself sit in the kitchen with them and so I brought myself over to the gym foyer to do work and then fit a workout in, isolating myself even further. I then started not being able to sleep at night which took a lot of energy out me the next day going into school and it was then when I knew I had to do something about this.

Firstly, I made an appointment to see someone in the catalyst who could help me with this, and I was put in contact with someone very quickly. We had a chat about how I was feeling, and it was so good to talk to someone and let everything out. She offered me some advice on how I could help myself feel better which I appreciated because self-help is something, I’m a huge advocate for.

The weeks following this, I took into consideration some of the things I could do to help myself such as; making time to hang out with friends, facetime my family (I took this one too seriously, sorry mum), rest more and spend time doing something I loved which was walking.

After a few weeks I did start to feel better and more like myself again which was such a relief. All it took was talking to someone to help me realise that I didn’t have to sit in my room or go to the gym every single night to distract myself from the January Blues, all I needed was some self-care and love and I can’t thank the Catalyst well-being team enough for helping me see this.

If you ever feel like this, which I know a lot of people do, know that Edge Hill University’s catalyst is there to help and offer you any help or advice that you need. Follow this link for further information! https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/the-health-well-being-centre/

I hope this helps and I hope that you enjoyed reading, Lauren x

Focus on what you can control: your actions. How you react to negative feelings will be the key to your success.

– Blake Mycoskie-

Why study Primary Education at Edge Hill University?

Hey everyone, I thought I would write a blog about why I think you should study Primary Education at Edge Hill University in three simple points. I hope you enjoy!

  1. The Campus

If you haven’t already googled Edge Hill University, then you won’t know that the university is known for its stunning campus. With its water fountains, man-made beach and brand-new Catalyst building, it’s not hard to walk to lectures every day. 

On the Primary Education course, we often get to explore the university campus in all of its glory. For example, in science classes, the tutors often use the greenery around the campus for learning outside the classroom experiences and in other subjects there are opportunities to complete a campus trail. The campus is definitely not wasted on this course.

2. Opportunities

Another thing I love so much about studying the Primary Education course at Edge Hill University is that it offers so many opportunities to expand your learning! We get notified of any workshops that are happening that will benefit us as future teachers or to help us with any lesson ideas for when we go on placement.

Recently I attended a workshop that allowed me to develop my knowledge in engineering, a topic that I would have never been interested in or included in my lessons until I attended. I came out of the workshop with a bank of knowledge and inspiration to push myself out of my comfort zone.

3. The Tutors

First year at university is not easy. At all. The assignments, the timetable, the coursework and Harvard referencing…

I was lucky that I had a lot of support from the education team who helped me prep my first assignment to make it to a university standard and who bridged the gap between high school to university. They really are very helpful, and I never feel nervous to ask them for help as I know I will get it.

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I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading. Now time for an old, personal favourite quote;

“Help will always be given at Hogwarts, Harry, to those who ask for it.”

Albus Dumbledore

Packing Tips and Tricks!

Hey everyone! With Welcome Sunday just around the corner and some of you finishing off some packing and getting ready for your travels, I thought I would do a little post on some of the tips and tricks I picked up over my first year on how to pack more effectively. I am currently in the process of packing to move back over to university and I am using every single one of these tips. I hope you enjoy!

Quick Tip – do a quick wash before you pack, it helps to fold clothes smoother.
  1. Vacuum Bags – these were a life-saver for my suitcase when it came to moving back over to Ireland. I was able to condense all my clothes into smaller packages so I could fit more in my case!
  2. Rolling – rolling your clothes and socks etc saves so much room in your bag as they are in tighter little bundles. This does take slightly longer to pack but I promise it saves you having to sit on top of your suitcase to get it to close or worse…busting the zip.
  3. Packing within packing – by this I mean, if you have a handbag you need to take over with you, packing things in that before putting it in your suitcase. This way, the things inside your handbag are not taking up extra room in your case. 
  4. Pack only what you need – when I first moved over to university, I packed everything! And some of it, I didn’t even wear or use. Before you start to put things in your case, really think about whether you need it or are just packing it because you have to. If you find that you have clothes that you don’t wear, donate them to a charity shop where you know someone will love them.  
  5. Buy things when you arrive – I made the mistake of buying everything I needed for the flat over here in Ireland such as; pots and pans, plates, cutlery, bedding etc. What I should have done was just pack all my clothes and duvet covers and bought the rest of what I needed over in Ormskirk. This would have saved me a lot more room.
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My final tip caters more for my fellow Irish pals or anyone who has to fly or take the boat over: 

This year I used UniBaggage to help me move over my things which was way more convenient than I thought it would be. All I had to do was get a box, pack all the things that I needed into the box (including my vacuum bags), measure the dimensions of the box and then weigh it. A delivery man then just comes around to the house and sends it off. I was able to choose a date in which I wanted it collected and when I wanted it delivered to my new house in Ormskirk so that it is waiting for me when I arrive!

I hope you enjoy this quick little post and that it helps you in your future packing!

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

Making Friends 101

It’s getting closer to the day you all move in and start your university experience! i hope you are all enjoying binge watching what do bring with you to university videos on YouTube (please tell me I was not the only one!)

As a girl who moved from Ireland to Edge Hill University, I thought that making friends would be the hardest part about university but low and behold I was very surprised…doing your own washing is the hardest part. However, although it is not the hardest part about starting university and I had a very good friend that I knew from home, it can be quite nerve-wracking especially if you are introverted like I was so, here are some of my tips on how I managed to get people to be in my company voluntarily.

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BE YOUR BEST SELF!

I’m sorry for how cliche this is but it is seriously so true. People have this weird ability to sense if people are being fake and this only heightens when you get to university. I will admit that I was very scared to be myself in front of my fellow classmates and flat mates but once I got comfortable, let’s just say that we are now very close and they know why I am not myself around everyone I meet…

Societies will be your first best friend!

I have heard that joining these at the very start of the year can be so useful when wanting to make friends in an environment that you are comfortable in. For example, there are musical theatre groups, dance groups, Doctor Who groups and many more that you would never think of. Don’t make the mistake I made and not join one of these!

Go on nights out!

This is another classic case of do as I say and not as I do. I made the mistake of not going out much with my flat mates and not being able to meet new people outside of my course. I now have learnt that while being an introvert is not a bad thing, it can be damaging when you want to meet new people. Take my advice and push yourself to socialise outside the confines of your flat because, while it might be hard and scary you won’t regret it!

Now that I read this blog again, I really should have titled it, ‘Mistakes I made whilst trying to make friends.’ I really hope that you find the friends you deserve because they really do make the difference to your university experience.

“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you”

Rasheed Ogunlaru

Dealing with the Nerves!

Hey everyone and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who have been accepted into Edge Hill University! I am sure you are going to love every minute of it. However, I bet some of you are feeling slightly more anxious than excited to start this new journey particularly if you are travelling a long distance to attend like me. I thought I would share some things that I told myself to calm my nerves about starting university.

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First….

You are not the only one that is going through this! As you are all aware, there is thousands of people starting university for the first time and are probably feeling exactly the way you are right now. I don’t know how many times I told myself this on the weeks leading up to moving and how much my family told me this but, it really did help settle my nerves when I really thought about it. You are never really alone in anything.

Second…

This is not a life altering decision. Once you have accepted the course you are doing it does not mean that you are tied down to that decision for the rest of your life. The great thing about university and Edge Hill, is that it opens up so many windows of opportunities for you to explore. Take these opportunities and explore them!

Third…

This will be the best thing that will happen to you. I know this seems a little dramatic but, for me, starting university was a big deal because I never thought that it would happen to me. Telling myself that going to university would be the best thing I would do really helped with my nerves because I then really started to believe it and to be honest, it really has helped me in so many ways and I can guarantee it will do the same for you.

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Thank you for reading and I hope that this has helped at least someone who is starting to feel the nerves. Again, well done on getting into University, you deserve this!

Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.

Dalai Lama

Receiving a Halls Offer from Edge Hill

As some of you who are looking to come to Edge Hill get closer to Results day, you may also be waiting to learn of what accommodation you are offered and what to do next. So here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know leading up to moving in date.

Receiving your offer

I can’t say for certain but you will probably receive your offer via email on results day, but you could receive it after this date as well I imagine so don’t worry if it’s a bit later. This email will provide you with the details of your offer such as the room you have been given and the cost of said room. Once you have your offer and if you choose to accept it, you can sign your license agreement online. You will also have to pay your damage deposit for the room and set up how you are going to pay for your room, which for most people will be in installments from your student loan.

Changed your mind?

If you decide you no longer want to live in halls at all then this is best communicated to the university as soon as possible so they can offer the room to someone else. If you still want to live in halls but are unhappy with what room you have been given, you should contact the accommodation team directly to discuss.

Final steps

Once you are happy with your living arrangements, all that’s left to do is pick up your keys on Welcome Sunday which is also when you will be given your student Unicard! You might also want to check out the halls handbook because there’s loads of information in those that people always ask me. Hope this helped clear up any questions you may have had, thanks for reading!

Jordan

Organisation for Your Course!

Hey everyone! Not long now until you find out if you have made it into Edge Hill University! I know the feeling of awaiting results all too well and trust me, try not to overthink it, what is for you won’t go by you!

If you have applied to study Primary Teaching at Edge Hill University, I thought I would write a post on how I organised myself before starting the course so that I would be prepared!


Pre-Course Tasks!

Before I started my course at Edge Hill, a couple of weeks after I was accepted into the course, the students were emailed a pre-course booklet that told us about the course, the teaching standards and some tasks for us to engage with before starting.

These tasks included; reading children’s novels, engaging with course reading, updating your subject knowledge and familiarising yourself with the curriculum. It really is not that much work if you start when you get it and just chip away at it each day. My favourite part was reading children’s books because what better excuse do you need to relive your childhood than for your future career?

Text Books!

You will usually have a list of required texts to have before starting the course and you don’t HAVE to buy them but, in my opinion, I found it a lot less stressful to have my own text books for assignments as I didn’t have to fight my way through the library to try and get a copy!

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Campus Society and Facebook Groups

The best thing that I did before starting the course in September was join Campus Society. It is an app that allows you to find people on your course and who live in your accommodations. This helped me feel more relaxed about starting the course as I was already talking to people who were also studying Primary Teaching and knew how I felt.

After being accepted on to the course, I was added into Facebook groups with other people from Primary Teaching. We then made an online group chat and were able to talk to each other about the pre-course task and any worries that we had. I really recommend joining these online platforms if you are worried about starting your course, it helped me a great deal.

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Experience!

This goes without saying that you need to have some sort of experience of primary teaching before starting the course. I was lucky that my mum is a Primary School teacher and I had loads of time in the classroom before starting which made me feel more prepared about starting practice in first year. I even was able to squeeze in a little more experience before starting the course which is never a bad idea!

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I hope that you enjoyed this blog and found it useful! Being more organised and prepared before starting my course really did settle my nerves and lesson the blow of starting university. Just remember that you are doing what you really want to do with your life and so you should enjoy this experience!

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

-Abraham Lincoln-

Being Vegan or Vegetarian at Edge Hill University!

Hey everyone! With the rise in veganism, vegetarianism and just the general rise in people eating less meat in their daily lives, I thought that I would put a simple post together on how this can be done at Edge Hill and in Ormskirk as it is a small area with a much more limited choice than you would get in a city. I myself don’t consider myself vegan or vegetarian as I still eat fish and eggs but no dairy, red meat, chicken, etc. When I moved into university and was living on my own, I began to make more plant based and vegetarian meals which were quite easy. I know that this lifestyle can be quite tricky for people but hopefully this post will help some of you!


Shopping!

This was what I found the easiest when I first started eating more plant based. I shop in Aldi and Iceland because they are cheap and I can get everything I need for a week for under £20! Iceland have a whole section of plant based foods such as pizza, sausages, meatballs, burgers, pies and chicken strips! Aldi have the most amazing beetroot burgers and sweet potato burgers that go amazing with some frozen and roasted veg and potatoes! I also bulk buy the cans of chickpeas and butter beans because these can be so amazing in a curry or in a salad. Leading a more plant-based lifestyle does not have to be expensive!

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I would also shop a little in Holland and Barrett for things I might not be able to get in the main food shops such as tofu, tempeh and Linda McCartney items (if you know, you know) and these items would usually last me a couple of weeks as they can be frozen. Morrisons is also a good place for vegan, vegetarian and free from options but if you want to stick to a cheaper option, I would opt for Aldi or Iceland.

Eating Out!

I thought that when I moved to Ormskirk I would never be able to find anywhere with vegan or dairy free options but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was way easier than it was in my own home town. I will compile a little list of all the places that have a vegan menu or that I find are really accommodating to this type of lifestyle;

  • The Fat Italian – has a full vegan menu
  • Cobble – really good carrot and hummus bagel, just saying
  • Nordico Lounge – vegan-friendly
  • The Bagel Deli – vegan bagels, need I say more?
  • Wetherspoons – vegan meals on a budget? Perfect.

You can also treat yourself to going into Liverpool if you want even more options but for Ormskirk being so small, it is amazing what you can get.

Take Outs!

This is what I have found to be the hardest part about living this lifestyle because there is cheese or milk in A LOT of takeaway places however, I did manage to get a vegetarian dominoes pizza delivered to my flat with the rest of my flat mates which was really really nice but not vegan. Also, in terms of getting a Chinese takeaway, there is no harm in asking what they have that you could eat. I got a black bean dish from a local Chinese takeaway which was dairy free and full of veggies!

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Ordering food to the flat and getting a takeaway is a lot harder on this lifestyle but if you know that your flat mates will be having food like this, be prepared and have a frozen pizza in the freezer just incase so that you don’t feel like you are being left out.


I hope that some of you found this useful and are not so worried about having difficulty with continuing your amazing vegan/vegetarian/dairy free lifestyle. It was only when I started university that I cut out a lot of meat products and started cooking plant based meals and I would not have been able to do that if Ormskirk had not made it as accessible as it has.

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

-Albert Einstein-

Living off Campus

Hi guys, since we are coming to the start of a new year a lot of you may be living off campus for the first time. So here’s a few things that in my experience are different from on campus accommodation both good and bad.

Having your own washing machine/drier

I don’t know about you but the circuit machines in the SU were always messing me around one way or another especially with their broken app, so moving off campus and just being able to use a machine without having to carry clothes anywhere or ring up circuit for the FIFTH time to get a refund is a very welcome change.

Being closer to the town

The title speaks for itself but most people live in or around Ormskirk, which is both a good and a bad thing as your closer to shops and bars but it also means getting up earlier than 8.45 to get to uni classes, you also have to contend with the Edge Link bus free for all just before 9 in the morning. Unless you happen to live in a location equidistant between the town and the uni in which case, nice one.

Varying broadband quality

I lived in Chancellors Court in first year and the WiFi and wired internet connections available were both a dream to use, I hardly ever had any issues and could download as much stuff as I wanted with little fuss. Moving into off campus living my broadband is more basic, it still does the job. But, be wary that if your someone who relies heavily on good speeds you may not always be able to get them, this depends on a variety of factors but especially if your moving in with other people this can be something to keep in mind. Although you might end up having much better internet so it varies.

No Fire Drills

Living on campus means on occasion the fire alarm will go off for drills, which can be ever so slightly annoying but understandable. It’s not so fun though when someone accidentally sets it off early or late at night. At least when you live off campus there’s usually less people to set off an alarm and you don’t usually have to do fire drills, unless you want to for um fun?

So there are a few things I noticed most after making the switch, any questions feel free to ask and thanks for reading!

Jordan