What is Uni Going to Look Like in 2020?

LDOE releases 2020-2021 school reopening guidelines

What is University going to look like this academic year? The honest answer is no one really knows just yet. Whether you’re a new or current student at Edge Hill, I think it’s safe to say that student life is going to be a little bit different.

At the moment, we’ve been given a brief description of what the Campus may be like in September. One way systems and sign posts might be the life we have to live by for the next semester or so, but at least it’s going to keep us safe. Edge Hill has also opted to go cashless. So whether you want to get some food in the HUB or a drink at the SU, you’ll have to pay by card. There’s also a UPAY app which allows you to collect points in order to get free food or a free hot drink on campus. This is a definite must, whilst saving a bit of money too.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/services/upay/

Lectures and seminars will probably be different, with having a mix between in person and online learning. This is to limit contact between staff and students. Edge Hill are also trying to timetable in different year groups within the year so there are not many clashes, and less people to deal with on campus at any one time.

Overall, I think Edge Hill is doing a good job with putting things in place to keep staff and students as safe as possible through the pandemic. If you have any questions about this, I would contact the University directly, as they will know more about what systems will be in place etc.

Hope you all have a good rest of your summer, and see you in September!

Ellis x

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Advice I would give my first year self

Hey everyone, I thought I would share some advice that I would have given my past first-year self! Hope you enjoy and that some find this helpful.

Library Restrictions

When I was completing my A-levels, all I knew for about 7 months was studying, writing notes, reading and learning notes over and over again. I took this mentality to university and continued to spend most of my free time in the library for all hours of the day which obviously meant that I missed out on some really good times with my friends.

So, what I would tell my past-self now is to set aside time to hang out at the flat and be around your flatmates more often, play monopoly until one in the morning and watch scary movies with them. Make a library schedule as to when you are going work and stick to it and if something comes up with your friends, don’t feel guilty about missing a studying session.

How to Make a Monthly Work Schedule Template | Wrike

Be Yourself and HAVE FUN

This is probably the most cliche piece of advice I can give but it is very important and can make your uni experience far better. Being yourself around the new people that you meet will make things a lot easier for getting to know them and it you won’t get tired of trying to be this whole other person.

Make the most of the places around you!

Edge Hill University is a perfect location for exploring new places such as Liverpool city and Southport etc. They can be great places to do day trips with your friends and to take your family when they visit you. Even Ormskirk is a great place to spend the with parks and cute cafes to try.

Make the most out these places while you have the chance at uni!

I hope that you enjoyed this post and hopefully took something away from it. University is a time to enjoy and have new experiences. It is also a time to learn and work hard but one word that I wished I knew in first year was BALANCE and how to juggle both sides of university.

“Live a life that is well balanced; don’t do things in excess.” 

-Daniel Smith-

Motivation 101

7 Key-Steps to Motivate and Inspire Your Team - Invista

Trying to keep motivated throughout your studies can be difficult and stressful. Especially during this time, most students were told to go home from March because of the pandemic and let’s be honest, it threw everyone. Specific assignments couldn’t be done, coursework had to be changed. It was just a panicked mess, but we coped with it. I know I struggled with keeping myself motivated to do work at Uni and at home. So I’ve researched into a few tips on how to keep on top of everything, whilst still enjoying your Uni life!

Create a Schedule

Whatever you’re trying to keep motivated with, whether that’s the working out or studying, keeping to a schedule is a great way to stick to it. I would suggest creating a weekly schedule with specific days and times in place to keep to those things. Whilst I was at Uni, I tried to keep a specific day and time for extra studying for a particular module. I also tried creating a plan for going to the gym, although that quickly failed.

Your Goals

Remembering why you’ve gone to University in the first place is a good way to keep yourself motivated. For most people it’s to better their future and get a career in something they’re really passionate about.

Healthy Balance is Key

The Motivating Power of Progress

Trying to find a balance between everything you do at Uni is key to keeping yourself motivated. This is so that you don’t burn yourself out too much concentrating on one thing. As an example, if you concentrate too much on studying you can find that you don’t put any free time in for yourself, which will just make you more stressed about the work.

Remember, everyone is going through the same thing when they start University. It may take just a little bit of time to adjust. But try to keep yourself motivated and you can achieve whatever you want to.

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Ellis x

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.

WFH: Working From Home.

The world is a crazy place at the moment. However there’s humor to be found, especially in how it affects our university life. Across the country Edge Hill students are logging into Blackboard collaborate, Microsoft Teams and possibly even Zoom, and asking the most important questions…

“Can you hear me?” A few seconds pause. “Can you see me?”

A realistic Teams experience.

Homeworking is upon us and in my blog today I plan to discuss how I’ve been adapting to this over the past three weeks, I think it’s three, everything has somewhat blurred into one. Week one I remember being quite on the ball, remoting into my Monday morning lecture through teams as I drank my coffee, I must admit it was a lot more relaxed than a regular lecture. That’s where the emphasis on this blog is going to lie, viewing home working as a relaxing method of study rather than something stressful.

Books I purchased myself

So far I’ve successfully written and uploaded one assignment out of three. Using journal articles and online textbooks, alongside those I bought myself, gathering my references wasn’t overly difficult. Writing my reflection for the assignment on my home setup was also quite relaxing. I was able to put music on as loud as I pleased or have complete silence, I could take a break whenever and nothing was looming over me like a timetabled activity later that day or a university exclusive chore. Homeworking has greatly changed my uni life as I’ve said, and while it is temporary, I’m quite enjoying it. All of the current circumstances are, for me as a first-year student, an exercise in working almost completely independently. However, I do have regular contact with my lecturers if I need help or have a question.

Another relaxing aspect to home working is, no flatmates causing noise. Sure, I have the sound of my family but three people are a lot quieter than seven. I’m finding without the background noise of the kitchen or people walking around in the hall, or even the halls below me as I was on the second floor, I can work for longer periods uninterrupted. Overall, I much more of a flow in my work.

There is still a month and a half left of my academic year, and seeing we’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, my opinions over the learning method may change, but for now I’m enjoying it. Working from home is much more challenging as I don’t have the catalyst, but it’s something extremely useful to experience for my chosen subject area of business.

Alice.

Staying Mentally Healthy!

Hey everyone! I hope you are all well during this time. As we go through this difficult period in the UK and all over the world, I want to share some advice that I have learnt over the years about staying mentally healthy at university and at home from university.

I know I may sound like a broken record at this stage but by biggest piece of advice for staying mentally healthy is to GO OUTSIDE! Having a separation from the place you feel stressed or overwhelmed is so important for your well-being.

My house-mates know that when I say I am going for a walk that it is code for “time for me time,” and I let them know when I will be back and keep my phone on me at all times. I find that when I am outside, I can try and forget about how I felt within the four walls of the house and let my mind relax. Honestly, try it next time you get stressed over an assignment and come back to it with a fresher mind.

Another piece of advice that I would give you is to TALK to someone. This could be anyone from your friends, family, personal tutor or even your dog. Just as long as you are communicating your thoughts and feelings to someone who will know how to help, give advice or provide some form of comfort.

Last year when I got overwhelmed I went to talk to someone at the Catalyst help-desk and they were able to set up an appointment with a member of the team who had a chat with me and was able to set me up with an online help-course. This really helped but mostly because I had the chance to talk to someone about my feelings at the time.

I know that university can get lonely at times especially when self-isolation and social distancing is a must at the minute. Edge Hill University really helped me last year when I was feeling overwhelmed and lonely and so, do not hesitate to reach out to them and ask for help because at the end of the day, that is all we need to do to get to the next step in being mentally healthy.

look here for more information. https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/location/catalyst/

I hope that this is useful for people who may be struggling around these times. Just know that Edge Hill always has the means to help you if you reach out and ask for help, I am really glad I did.

Thanks for reading, Lauren Fitzsimons.

“The more you talk about them, the more important they will feel. The more you listen to them, the more important you will make them feel.”

Roy T. Bennett

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.
Image result for unibaggage

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-

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!

Image result for aldi

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!

Image result for pizza delivery gifs

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-

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 

Image result for budget

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.

Image result for live in the moment

Ellis x

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Why Did I Chose Edge Hill?

Some of you may be aware that I moved over to Edge Hill University from Northern Ireland which is similar for a lot of people in my course and at Edge Hill in general.

 

So, why did I choose to move all the way over for my course in primary teaching when I could have stayed in the comfort of my own home where all my surroundings and people were comforting and familiar? We will take that as my first point;

For the longest time, I was very much a creature of habit. I took great comfort in knowing where I was and the fact that everything in my life stayed exactly the same was very satisfying. It wasn’t until I was completing my A-Levels, did I realise that I needed a change in my life that would push me to become more independent and, in fear of sounding corny, to ‘find myself.’ I think that moving away from home to somewhere completely new to me was the best thing for me and Edge Hill was the best place to start.

The second reason why I chose Edge Hill was because, not going to lie, the campus was beautiful. As you might have gathered, I need to be comfortable in my surroundings and so Edge Hill was the perfect spot for me in terms of environment and location. It was big, but not so big that it was overwhelming and it was located right next to a small town which was so important to me as I am not a city girl in the slightest. Image result for edge hill university

The final reason why I chose Edge Hill was because of the course it offered me. My original first choice was Bath Spa University but I realised that the course that was offered there may not be best suited for me. The Primary Teaching course at Edge Hill University allowed me to finish the course within 3 years and offered me so much opportunity to expand my practice in the profession which in the long run, would benefit me so much! And I am so glad that I did choose this course as it has provided me with so much knowledge and opportunities that I did not know that I needed.


There you go! That was 3 reasons why I chose to study at Edge Hill University rather than be in my lovely Ireland. The experience of moving has been crazy and filled with so many memories that I will never forget and I can say truthfully that I have no regrets about moving so far away!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

-Walt Disney-