Textbooks – A Business School Guide.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alice.

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.

Signature for my posts. I end every post with a love heart

Ellis x

#FriendshipDay

Happy Friendship Day 2020: Wishes, Messages, Images, Quotes ...

The 30th July is also known as Friendship Day! This is classed as a holiday and is celebrated in several countries.

Whilst you’re at University, you’ll meet so many different people. Some you may even keep in contact with for the rest of your life. If you’re worried or anxious about making friends at University, here’s a few things you can do to overcome those worries.

Join Societies

By joining different societies, you’ll end up meeting loads of new people. There’s a list of societies on the Edge Hill’s website which you can look into. From Cheerleading to Tabletop society, there’s something for everyone! Edge Hill also offers extra classes for learning languages if this is something you’re interested in.

Click on this link to find out what societies and clubs Edge Hill offers.

Online Group Chats/Pages

Joining these online chats and pages is a good way of introducing yourself. When I joined the Edge Hill Freshers page, I posted what Halls I was in. Within the first hour, I got added into the flat group chat, and this made me feel much more settled when I moved onto Campus.

Organise an Outing Together

Jigsaw Bury - Looking forward to Pizza & Games Night tonight ...

If you’ve joined a group chat for University, asking to see whether they want to go out is a good way of making friends. There’s a few independent cafes, pubs and restaurants in Ormskirk that you could go to. When I first joined a group chat with people in my accommodation, we planned to have a night in together, playing games with pizza to get to know each other.

Remember, you have a whole 3 years of making friends at University. You could end up joining a society in your second or third year, and meet people you’ve never met before. Making friends doesn’t just happen overnight, but making an effort trying goes a long way.

Signature for my posts. I end every post with a love heart

Ellis x

Why I’m Excited To Go Back To Uni.

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

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

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

The modules I will be studying in second-year.

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

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

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

Alice.

Freshers – Flu, Fun, and Friendships

Freshers, formally known as ‘Welcome Week’, is a great time to settle into Uni. I had a fantastic experience, and as someone living on campus and becoming a Fresher again in the next academic year, I thought it might be fun (and helpful!) to share my experience with Freshers.

Fun

With a lot of parties and societies, Freshers can feel like American films set in college (although there’s so much more for those who don’t drink/like big groups of people). I recommend you sign up to events/societies! (My first society experience was the Marvel Society on the second night. They ran an escape room, which was great! Societies always have interesting and unique activities.) Besides, you’ll want to visit the fair for the free competitions and food.

Note: none of the above are confirmed to go ahead due to lockdown. I’ll update this blog if/when they’re announced, but Edge Hill and the SU’s social media will also update us!

My flatmates and I stayed in for the week. I can’t drink, but playing card games on the first night was a fun way to break the ice.

Friendships

As well as flatmates, I also had course Induction. They introduced us to our personal academic tutors, staff, and I met my coursemates. We all got along straight away! When I moved in on the Sunday, I was dreading having a‘ lesson’ the next day; I just wanted non-stop fun! However, the two days of induction made me so excited to get stuck in, so oddly the one part of Freshers I was against the most became one of my favourite parts! I made so many friends in Freshers, and more as time passed.

Flu

It’s true; Freshers Flu is a thing. Many students, like me, felt poorly for 3 weeks. I got messages off my flatmates at 3am asking if I needed water because they heard my coughing, which was sweet of them. I had so much fun in Freshers, despite feeling unwell.

Closing Words

While my/our Freshers experience will be different due to lockdown, I’m looking forward to it. I’m very much a ‘home’ person but all the excitement helped me settle nearly straight away!

-Tony

The Path Less Travelled

In one of my first blog posts for Inside Edge, ‘Am I too old to go to uni?’, I wrote a little about my decision to come to uni at the age of 23 in an attempt to reassure everyone that it is never too late (and you are never too old) to pursue your dreams. Today, I want to really drive that point home and shed some light on the rather twisty, hilly path I took from sixth form to university. I guess, compared to the majority, it’s the path less traveled.

For most of my time in sixth form, I was preparing to go to university. I didn’t particularly want to and I didn’t feel remotely excited like my peers did, but it seemed like the right and most obvious thing to do. I didn’t even question it. As the application process came to an end and I stared at a UCAS Track inbox full of offers from brilliant universities…I realised that I didn’t want to accept a single one of them. I yearned to be out in the world working and I was desperate to start a creative career. I knew from the research I had done for my personal statement that I didn’t actually need a degree for my chosen career if I could get a solid portfolio so I had a blog throughout college and eventually secured an incredibly prestigious and competitive apprenticeship in social media and digital marketing for businesses. I worked for a fabulous agency in Manchester and was kept on to look after some big household brands after qualifying, living the good life, and drinking free cocktails in fancy bars after work!

Fast forward slightly and my Dad passed away suddenly, leaving me feeling lost and desperate to be with my family more to support them. I gave up my role in digital marketing and spent nearly two years working in foreign currency retail so that I had flexible shifts and never had to take work home with me so that my time with my Mum was undistracted. After 18 months of this, I felt more like ‘me’, and that yearn to be creative was biting at my heels once more. I returned to digital marketing and was delighted to be creating once more, but something was missing.

I had been struggling with my own mental health for years and struggled to find any support in my local area due to huge waiting lists and funding issues. One day, after a truly life-changing phone call with an NHS Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, I Googled his job title and added ‘how to qualify’. Straight away I came across my degree, Counselling and Psychotherapy, and fell in love with how Edge Hill in particular cover the subject in a person-centred way with a huge focus on professional practice and work experience. Throughout my first year and half of my second year, I continued working in my digital marketing role part-time to support myself before deciding to work as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities early in 2020.

As you can see, I’ve moved backwards and forwards through my digital marketing career with breaks to work in retail/foreign exchange in between before deciding to retrain as a psychotherapist by returning to full-time education as an adult. Even whilst studying I have moved jobs in order to better align with my long term goals and feel more fulfilled in my work. I came to Edge Hill aged 23 and will leave next summer at the age of 26 with a CV that would be about 5 pages long if I included everything! The message? Once again…it is NEVER too late and you are NEVER too old.

Sam xo

Easy and Cheap Vegan Meals – for students

Hey everyone! It is possibly getting closer the time when we will be on our own independent journey as students again and that means cooking for yourself if you do not do so already. I thought I would share some quick, easy and healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that anyone can make and cook to their own preference!

  1. Breakfast – Banana and Oat Pancakes!
Excuse the presentation please!

What you will need;

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 100ml of dairy alternative milk (or water)
  • 1 banana
  • 1tsp chia seeds – add 2/3 tsp of water with seeds to make a chia egg

Instructions;

  • pour the milk into a blender (I used a nutri-bullet – you can get cheaper alternatives)
  • add oats
  • add the chopped banana
  • after the chia seeds have soaked up the water for about 5 minutes add this to the mixture (this will work as the binding ingredient instead of an egg)
  • blend it all together and make sure the mixture is thick rather than watery.
  • if the mixture is too watery add more oats and if it is too thick, add more milk or water

2. Lunch – Roasted Chickpea Rice Salad with Sweet chilli

What you will need;

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • spices of choice (salt and pepper, cumin etc)
  • salad leaves
  • tomato
  • rice of choice
  • sweet chilli sauce or hummus

Instructions;

  • pre-heat oven to 210c, fan – place the drained and rinsed chickpeas to a baking tray and add spices with a tbsp of oil – bake for 20 mins
  • roughly chop salad leaves and tomatoes and add to a bowl
  • cook rice of choice – this can be a microwave pack but buying a bag of rice is cheaper
  • place the salad leaves and veg to a bowl, adding the rice and roasted chickpeas
  • add sweet chilli sauce or some hummus

3. Dinner – Rice Noodles Veg Broth

What you will need;

  • vegetable stock
  • rice noodles/noodle of choice
  • spring onion
  • red onion
  • courgette
  • salt and pepper

Instructions;

  • chop the vegetables and place them on a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil
  • fry the vegetables (courgette and red onion) until the onion is cooked – don’t add the spring onion just yet!
  • boil water and add 350 ml to a jug with the veg stock – mix well and set aside
  • add the rice noodles to frying pan – if not rice noodles cook the noodles before adding to the frying pan
  • add the vegetable stock mixture to the frying pan and stir well
  • let the meal simmer on a low heat for at least 8 minutes and stir every so often
  • once the meal is plated add the chopped spring onion

These are only some of the meals that I would make when at home and at uni. The ingredients are quite cheap if you are smart about what you buy e.g try to buy a shops own brand food and when buying vegetables, try and buy them loose as they will be cheaper and you’re not buying more plastic!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy, Lauren x

“One to change a few. A few to change many. Many to change the world. Starts with one.”

-Anonymous

Ace Your Assignments: Tips for Presentations

I am back with another mini-series! Much like my money-saving tips series earlier this year, I have created a series of posts that will cover a range of tips to ‘Ace Your Assignments’. Many of you will be prospective students; these posts can be applied to your sixth form assignments or used as a handy guide to reassure you that university will be FINE! When I was choosing a course it was important to me that exams weren’t the only assessment method, but the thought of doing presentations did fill me with dread.

Whether you are already at university or currently finishing your qualifications in order to secure a place, you’re likely to find that presentations will come up at some point in your assignment or interview process. Without further ado, here are my top tips…

  1. Consider your timings

    At sixth form level, you may be given some lenience on the length of your presentation. However, if your presentation is for an interview or even a graded university assignment, you will be penalised for going under or over your allotted time. A lot of people make the mistake of guessing or basing their timing on how long it takes to read their presentation script…big mistake.

    You will read in your head at a different speed to reading aloud and you may also READREALLYFAST or stumble over words a lot if you are nervous! These factors will impact your time so at every stage of the writing process, stop, and time how long each section takes to actually present out loud. If possible, record yourself on your phone and play it back.
  2. Practice REALLY makes perfect!

    Properly timing and recording your presentation will serve as a wonderful opportunity to practice your presentation too. It is so important to practice your presentation out loud consistently! You will find certain sentences cause you to stumble and lose your flow, which will make you flustered and stressed when you are presenting. Save yourself the embarrassment and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Reading it a few times will not cut it.
  3. Pick the right prompts

    You’ve prepared, preened and practiced your presentation…you’re ready, right? Not so fast! If you feel confident going into your presentation with no notes/prompts, go for it. However, most people like some kind of cue card or notes sheet to prevent them from experiencing a total mind blank or being tempted to stare at the presentation slides and read off the screen. Make sure your notes are easily read (size 8 font is a no go) and well organised (no time for “one second…sorry…wrong page”).
  4. Keep the slides interesting where possible

    If you have practiced enough and your notes are well prepared, there is no need for your slides to be text-heavy. This will bore your audience and can make it look like you haven’t put much thought into your slides. Aim for a mixture of key points from what you are saying/reading, photos and relevant graphics such as charts and quotes.
  5. Have some water with you whilst you present

    Presentation rooms are often hot and bright and you are talking with no interruptions for a lot longer than the average day. Add to that a dose of nerves and you often get a very dry mouth that makes talking clearly difficult! Have a glass or bottle of water with you and don’t be afraid to pause and take a sip, it is often a good way to compose yourself if you can feel yourself becoming flustered.

That’s a wrap! Feel free to ask questions or share your own tips in the comments below, guys.

Sam x

My Early Lecture Morning Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alice.