Flying Home for Christmas…

Hey everyone and Happy December! With the Christmas holidays coming up and people flying back home to Northern Ireland like me, the Isle of Man or other places, I thought I would give some advice on how I make the flying process much easier and stress free.

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My first piece of advice would be to BOOK EARLY! I cannot stress this enough. Booking your flights early will not only save you money but also save you from panicking about trying to get tickets for a flight that is fully booked. I try to book all my flights early so that I am saving money and am more relaxed knowing that I am going home.

My next point is also very pivotal to a stress free journey home and that is to ARRIVE EARLY! My family and friends always make fun of me for arriving far too early at the airport (5 hours early…) but I’ll be the one laughing when they show up to a flight and miss it because they get stuck in security. Arriving at least 3 hours before a flight cuts out so much stress because you can find somewhere comfortable to sit, grab a coffee and listen to Christmas music until you’re flight is called. 

Particularly at this time of the year, airports can be so so busy and so it is always better not to underestimate the craziness of them and show up to your flight early.


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My final piece of advice when flying home this Christmas is to try and find someone to travel with. The reason I say this is because, if you book a flight that is early in the morning or late in the night, taking public transport to the airport can be hard and you might have to take a taxi. My flight home for Christmas last year was very early because it was the cheapest but it meant that no trains or buses were running so I had to book a taxi which cost me around £33. Flying with someone that you could share a taxi with will make this cheaper and it is also a lot more fun travelling with a friend.

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I hope that you have found this advice useful for when you are travelling home for Christmas and I hope that you have safe travels wherever you are going!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

-Maya Angelou-

The Catalyst – a safe space

Hey everyone, as I am in the middle of writing an assignment for Academic Personal Development (a very long process), I have become even more attached to the Catalyst at Edge Hill University than I was last year.

Last year I wrote a blog post on why I love the catalyst and since then I have found more reasons to take full advantage of the Catalyst and thought that I would write a more updated post.

There are three floors to the Catalyst. The ground floor is the buzz of the place, you have the main reception desk, group pods, book collections and book returns station, computers and my personal favourite, the café. This comes in very handy when you rock up to the library at half 8 in the morning thinking you can start reading journal articles straight away without coffee and so, you pop down to the café for a little pick me up.

The first and second floor has computers, printers, books, reading sofas, independent desks and group study rooms. I found the group study rooms have come in very useful especially because in the Primary Education course, we have a few group activities and presentations to work on. This makes it easier to get everyone into one room outside of class, before people go home for the day and work on the group task. All you need to do is to ensure that you BOOK a room as you cannot use it if you haven’t booked it.

My favourite place in the entire catalyst hasn’t changed since last year. The third floor. I am the kind of the person who gets really distracted quite easily and this does not help when trying to write assignments. Trust me.

I go up the third floor, sit myself down in one of the single desks and work without any distractions. The third floor is called the silent study for a reason and I am really grateful for it because it means I can do work without getting distracted and feel very productive!

I really am thankful for the Catalyst because it has everything you need in the one building and even though I no longer live on campus, I still find myself trekking 20 minutes to get to it and use its resources no matter what the weather is.

I hope that you love the catalyst as much as I do, and always respect the staff and people that work there and that use it as I am sure I am not the only who depends on it to complete their work.

“Every time you enter a library you might say to yourself, ‘The world is quiet here,’ as a sort of pledge proclaiming reading to be the greater good.”

-Lemony Snicket-

Your First Assignment!

Hey everyone, welcome back to the blog and for all the first years, I hope you have enjoyed your first at Edge Hill and ready to start your course! When I first started university I was slightly confused as to how I write an academic assignment because of how different they were from my high school.

So here are a few tips from me to you on how to look for support on your first assignment.


Reading is such an important step to writing your first assignment. I know that sometimes you just want to get straight into writing the assignment but it makes the whole process a lot easier when you read, read, read all the information you can on the subject. Make sure you highlight all the quotes that could be useful for supporting any points you make and write down the references.

Support classes are also very useful when writing your first assignment especially when getting used to Harvard Referencing. We had people come in and talk us through how to use and where to find the Harvard Referencing Guide which I found really useful and informative.

When I found that I was having a hard time with one of my assignments, I booked a one to one appointment through Uni Skills. I was able to meet someone and talk to them about what my assignment was about and they give me advice on how they think would be the best way to structure it. I found this really helpful and it gave me the motivation I needed to complete the work. Follow this link! https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/uni-skills/

I hope that this helps someone starting their assignments and good luck in your first year!

“It is nobody’s responsibility but yours to discover your assignment and to execute that very assignment.”

D.S. Mashego

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-

What to Watch?

Hi everyone! As we get closer to welcome week and the return of students to Edge Hill, there’s a lot of focus on welcome week, fresher’s activities and getting settled in. Since all of this has been covered already I thought for what looks to be my last blog I would do something a bit different and make a list of upcoming TV over the next few months which might be suitable for binge watching once the university quietens down and you find yourself with more free time.

The Witcher (Netflix) – TBC (2019)

As someone who is a big fan of the games, the show has a lot to live up to, but with a generous budget and Henry Cavill starring, this could be a show worth watching especially if your looking for something after Game of Thrones.

Big Mouth (Netflix) – Oct 4

Not for the faint of heart but definitely funny and could be perfect for watching with your mates. Season 3 is out later this year.

Mr Robot (Amazon Prime) – Oct 6

Starring Rami Malek who you might know as Freddie Mercury from Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr Robot seems to have been overlooked by most but it’s a tense thriller that deserves more peoples attention Season 4 is out this October.

His Dark Materials (BBC) – TBC (2019)

I don’t know a lot about this but it’s a co- venture between BBC and HBO so it must have a good budget, and is based on a series of highly regarded books. The show stars the likes of James McAvoy and is set to air on BBC one sometime later this year so might be one worth looking out for.

Top Boy (Netflix) – September 13

The first series originally aired on Channel 4 back in 2011 with only one follow up series in 2013. I caught it on Netflix a year or so back and have been waiting for the return ever since. Top Boy is a crime drama set in London so expect some violence. it’s minimal episode numbers mean every episode barely has a dull moment. Definitely one to watch.

The Crown (Netflix) – November 17

My girlfriend first got me to watching this back a few months ago, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since, the production value is insanely good and with series 3 seeing a new older cast featuring Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, it’s definitely on my watch list.

So that’s the TV shows I’ll be watching over the coming months, I think it’s good to have a good variety. I hope at least one interests you if so that would be great!

This looks to be my last blog so thank you for reading if you have read any of my blogs over the past nine months and see you later!

Jordan

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

Taking the pressure off…

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all getting excited about starting your course at Edge Hill University! Be sure to check out the social media sites so you can keep up to date on Q&A conversations, campus activities and fresher updates.

Take this blog as a piece of advice from a now second year university student where I talk about why it is important not to let your course dominate your whole university experience and why you should keep up with your hobbies and not abandon them to focus solely on your course.


When I first started university, I was so ready to dive straight in to work and be on top of my assignments, homework and reading. While I did do this through-out my first year, I now realised how much of the experience of university I missed out on. For example, having last minute, middle of the day movies with my flat, going shopping with my flat-mates, having dinner and lunch together and just missing out on moments because I was always in the library trying to be on top of everything.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing because you do end up being way ahead of everyone in terms of work and you should still try to do this but just remember that this can be done in a way that doesn’t mean you will miss out on a bunch of memories like I did. This is a classic case of do as I say and not as I do…

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My Advice for not letting your course consume you!

I don’t mean that you should completely abandon your lectures and never do your assignments just in case you thought that was what I was saying. If I were to give my first year self some advice I would tell her to go to lectures and do your assignments in a nice relaxed pace and don’t try and get things done and dusted as quickly as possible!

I would tell myself to hang out with my flat more rather than go to library for most of the day because you’re going to miss out on some really good times.

I would tell myself to put time and effort into my course and make sure that I am performing and achieving to the best of my ability but don’t let it take away from your overall experience.

I would finally tell myself to keep up with my hobbies! Luckily I still went to the gym and went for walks which was something I really loved but I also wished I kept doing photography and used my free time to play around with this hobby. This was the most important advice I could have given myself because I got a sense of freedom when I did take a break from my course and focused on my hobby.

My hobby, Photography!

I hope this helps someone who like me, likes to stay on top of work and feels the need to constantly work! Trust me, this quality is a great thing to have when work needs to be done but, when it doesn’t need to be done right away, live your university experience.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

Meal Ideas for Uni

Hi guys and gals as we get closer to the start of another year, It got me thinking about what new stuff I want to try/cook while away from home, which also made me think about some of the main things I cook at the moment. I decided to make this blog just in case it gives anyone unsure of what to cook while on their own some inspiration.

Chicken and Noodles

At uni sometimes meals just need to be cheap and nutritious without being overly elaborate and this is one of my go to favourites. Cook off some chicken breast, I usually buy large frozen bags since they are more cost friendly, when the chicken is nearly done, boil and simmer some egg fried noodles, dice the cooked chicken and add back into the saucepan used to boil the now drained noodles. Then finally you want to add a stir fry sauce sachet, you can get these in most food shops, recommended flavours include: Hoisin and Garlic and Sweet Chilli. The sachets usually say serves 2 but I find one sachet per person is more generous and your done. Simple and full of nutritional value.

All Day Breakfast Wrap

This one has been my go two plenty of times, more comfort food than healthy meal but sometimes you need that come mid January, fry or grill off your breakfast items of choice. I usually go with bacon sausage and fried eggs (I eat a lot) Then add it all into a wrap, you can also add some grated cheese for extra taste.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Sometimes looks complicated but is actually pretty simple. Add mince to a saucepan and cook till browned, then I would usually just add a jar of bolognese sauce, Dolmio is always a good bet to add to the mince and simmer for however long the jar says. While it’s simmering boil some pasta of your choice, drain and add to the mince and sauce, simple. If your a bit more adventurous I usually fry off onions and mushrooms and mix them in to the bolognese at the end. You can also make extra extra bolognese and chuck it in the fridge, then next day just microwave it off and all you have to cook is pasta.

So there’s a few of the things I would make when i’m at uni. You’ve probably heard the whole ‘living off pot noodles’ thing but honestly if you want proper meals there easy to make, trust me. Thanks for reading!

Jordan

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