What University Has Taught Me…So Far…

Hey everyone! My friends and I were talking about what we were like before starting university and I was really surprised to find how much I have learned since starting university in 2018. I thought I would write a few things that I have picked up over the year to show you how much I didn’t know before starting…

1. Separating your colour wash and white wash is not a myth…

I may be the only one that thought this was never true because at home, I never did this nor did my mum and so, I was led to believe that this was just a marketing technique to get people to buy colour catchers and colour separators etc. I laugh at my old, naïve self.

The myth was busted when I went to collect my washing and found that I had a new pair of bright pink socks, but my white socks had went missing. Luckily it was only my socks that had been ruined but I have definitely learnt from my mistakes. Always separate your washing kids!

2. How to portion size pasta…

Gone are the days when my mum would make spaghetti bolognaise and magically be able to plate the perfect portion size of pasta and have non left over for seconds. Everyone would get their pasta and be fulfilled after dinner. Good job mum, why didn’t you pass this skill on to me?

I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have made pasta that could literally feed the 5,000 or not enough that it wouldn’t even fill a hole in my tooth. Luckily, my lovely flat mate came to the rescue and told me that if you measure out 100g of pasta before cooking it, it should be the perfect amount for one person.

3. How to socialise…

This is probably one of the biggest lessons that university has taught me. Before moving over to university, you would not see me talking to ANYONE outside of my friend group. I couldn’t even hold a conversation with the woman working on the till in Asda. However, now, let’s just say she probably wishes that I never came back from university…

On a serious note, university thrusts you into a world where you have to talk to people to get through it. This does mean getting pushed out of your comfort zone but, trust me this is for the better. I feel so much more comfortable talking to strangers, I can even ask the waiter for more ketchup! That’s a milestone for anyone.

You will also meet so many amazing people when you just relax yourself and talk to people you have never spoken to. I have an amazing group of friends that I wouldn’t be as close to if I hadn’t spoken to them and allow myself to engage in conversations.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it! You will obviously learn so much more in university and it is the best experience of your life you just need to let it happen and don’t hold back.

“LEARNING IS NOT ATTAINED BY CHANCE, IT MUST BE SOUGHT FOR WITH ARDOR AND ATTENDED TO WITH DILIGENCE.”

-ABIGAIL ADAMS-

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

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

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…

Image result for studying

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-

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.

Image result for nervous gif

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.

Image result for edge hill university logo

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

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

Dalai Lama

Receiving a Halls Offer from Edge Hill

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

Receiving your offer

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

Changed your mind?

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

Final steps

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

Jordan

Organisation for Your Course!

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

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


Pre-Course Tasks!

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

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

Text Books!

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

Image result for okay it's happening gif

Campus Society and Facebook Groups

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

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

Image result for campus society

Experience!

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

Image result for work experience

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

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

-Abraham Lincoln-

Being Vegan or Vegetarian at Edge Hill University!

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


Shopping!

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

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-

It’s Time to Celebrate!

CONGRATULATIONS! To all of you who have been accepted and been offered a place at Edge Hill! I bet you’re all so excited to start a new chapter of your life – just like I was when I received the email after receiving my grades. At this time, you’re probably thinking about starting uni and stressing about being prepared. The one big piece of advice I would give you now is to just celebrate your grades! This is an amazing achievement and you should be so proud of what you have done, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing and celebrating – you totally deserve it! So here are a few things you could do…

1: Plan to go out with your friends

Me and my mates from college all decided that if we got into the university of our choosing, we would all go out for a drink and celebrate. This was a very chilled and relaxed atmosphere and it was with the few people that I got along with really well.

2: Try something new

Maybe there has always been something you’ve wanted to do. Now that all that hard work has paid off, go out and try it! Kind of like a reward in your mind as if to say ‘I deserve this’, which you most definitely do. This could be trying a new hobby, joining a class etc.

3: Shopping Spree

Now, this one kind of ties in with university preparation as well as I’m sure most of you will want a few new clothes to upgrade your wardrobe before going to university. Go with your friends and make a day of it!

4: Go on Holiday

Book a long weekend away somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go to, or, do a road trip with some of your mates visiting the universities you’ll be starting at in the September.

5: Meal out with the Family

This was one I also did. My family wanted to celebrate my grades and my place at Edge Hill just as much as I did, so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Go to a nice pub or a fancy restaurant and take lots of photos! You can pin these on your wall when you move in to halls and you will not regret capturing this incredible moment.

Once again, congratulations and I look forward to seeing you on campus in September!

Ellis x

Image result for results night

Love heart signature