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-

New Years Resolutions

Hey everyone! Sticking with the theme of News Years, here are my reasons why I am not making any resolutions and why I won’t put myself under the pressure.

New Year, Same Me

I don’t see the reason why I should put myself under the pressure to change the way I am to ‘better myself.’ I think that adding that stress at the start of the year and a start to a new term is not a good idea as I will already be under a lot of pressure to get back into my old routine.

However, if you have the willpower to stick to resolutions and not buckle under the pressure, I applaud you.

Baby Steps

I’m not saying that I have never made new year resolutions, I have and that’s why I have stopped making them. I found that making a big change at the start year was a shock to the system and I never stuck to it. For example, if you make a resolution to study for two hours every day when you are only used to studying two hours four days a week, it will most likely not work out the way you want to because it is something you aren’t used to.

My advice for changing your habits for the new year to improve your study at university is to take it in small steps. Maybe only add one extra study day instead of every day just to ease yourself in and to not shock the system and give up sooner than you would like.

The catalyst is the best place to start. Take yourself up to the silent study and stick at the studying for an hour, don’t force it anymore if you think you won’t take anything in.

I hope that you enjoyed this little post about resolutions. By all means, make resolutions that will help you succeed on your course but don’t but yourself under pressure to completely change yourself.

Instead of trying to change your entire life in January, the simpler strategy is to adopt a 12-month plan where you’re making constant improvements.


S. J. Scott

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-

Expectations VS Reality – Part 2

Hey everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your December at Edge Hill University! I thought I would do a part 2 of expectations vs reality at university because I enjoy reading them and writing them. If you want to read the first part, follow the link; https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/07/07/university-expectation-vs-reality/

Dress Code: A constant catwalk

Expectation

I am going to show up to my lectures with my best clothes on everyday. I will have a fresh new look everyday and and get up a little early to do my hair/makeup.

Reality

You rock up to lectures in the same jeans you’ve worn the past three days and an oversized hoodie (I personally see nothing wrong with this) and it’s a good day if you even remember to brush your hair before putting it in a bun or throwing a hat on.

I fell victim to this expectation before I started uni and even went as far as to say that I wanted to change my entire wardrobe…all lies. I thought I cared about looking put together when going to lectures but in reality, I wanted to be comfortable. If you are one of them people who actually look nice and decent going to lectures everyday, please teach me your ways.

Motivation will be at it’s peak everyday!

Expectation

I will get up early everyday and have a perfect study timetable that will never be interrupted or changed.

Reality

Some days you literally cannot. You just simply cannot do today. You got out of bed and did the first paragraph of your assignment and that is okay.

Take it from someone who studied nearly every single hour of the day for her A Levels, that when it comes to university, you are going to have off days, you are going to have burn outs. If you can’t follow your study timetable some day, take the day off and do not force yourself, it won’t benefit you at all. The next day will be better after a well deserved rest.

Cooking

Expectation

You will have meals prepared every night, a meal plan ready for each week and maybe cook for the flat on a Sunday. Jamie Oliver would be proud

Reality

I had porridge for my dinner last night.

Again, this is from someone who loves cooking and often thinks of themselves as a culinary expert but sometimes the thought of boiling the water for pasta is just too much. Just like the studying, you will have your off days and this is okay too. You can be Jamie Oliver tomorrow.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I had a lot of fun writing it and hope to do a few more in the future.

Thanks for reading, Lauren x

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

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.

Image result for christmas page separators

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.


Image result for friends airport gif

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.

Image result for christmas page separators

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.
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-

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.

Image result for let's be friends gif

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