Last Week Before Xmas!!

So it’s the last week before the Christmas break and I’m really looking forward to going home this Friday, but I am really going to miss all of my new uni friends! Our flat had a Christmas dinner last Saturday before everyone started to leave for home this week – it was really nice and has certainly put me in the mood for Christmas! It feels like it around the campus too, with the tree in the hub and all the flats around the campus with their trees and lights.

Last week I went shopping in Liverpool for presents – it’s a great place! It was so cool to see all of the Christmas stalls and lights around – especially the massive tree in the city centre! I didn’t realise how close Liverpool actually was to the university – it only takes 30 minutes on a direct train from Ormskirk to Liverpool Central.

I also saw the Ormskirk Light switch-on, which was done by Bruce Jones who was in I’m A Celeb. The atmosphere was great, while the small kids were meeting Santa and going on the rides – I just enjoyed the hot chocolate in the cold! WP_20131129_001 WP_20131129_002 WP_20131129_008 WP_20131129_009 WP_20131207_013 WP_20131207_019 WP_20131214_002 WP_20131214_010 WP_20131215_002

Life in Campus and Off Campus Accommodation

Due to the fact I am now in my second year at Edge Hill University, I have now experienced living in both campus based and off campus based accommodation. Like most fresher’s last year I lived in on campus accommodation. At Edge Hill University the halls of residence are divided into:

  1. Main Halls
  2. Back Halls
  3. Forest Court
  4. Chancellors Court
  5. Founders and Graduates Court.

Some of these are catered, some are self-catered, some have en-suite bathrooms attached to the bedrooms and some have shared bathroom facilities. When I lived in halls of residence last year I lived in the Stanley which is part of the main (and much older) halls of residence. One of the best things about living in these halls was that I was on a catered package. This was when my university ID card allowed me to buy food and drink at the on campus catering outlets such as Sages in the Hub and the Rose Theater Bar in the Performing Arts Building (which became a favorite haunt of me and my friends in the evenings). Another great thing about my hall was that my bedroom was a lot bigger than I imagined it to be. Below is a video which shows you what the main halls are like inside. Also below is a photo of me in my room on Welcome Sunday (the day when all students living in halls of residence move in).

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That was last year, I am now currently living in a flat in Ormskirk with three of my friends (two girls and a guy). My room this year comes with an en-suite bathroom (consisting of a shower, toilet and sink) which I am definitely enjoying having as last year I had to share with the thirteen other people who were on my corridor in my halls of residence. 🙂

Half way through my degree…

Next week marks the half way point of my degree, and yes everything has moved sort of quickly for me – I’m using this week to finish my post university plans, as I don’t want to leave anything to the last minute!

One thing that stuck in my mind from my old further education days is my lecturer teaching us about using Career Portfolios; A practice which I have taken on board, hence I thought I’d take you on a tour of my own Career Portfolio which I started before my first year.

My Career Portfolio detailing my employability status (such a which jobs are in demand, what skills do I still need to gain ect).
My Career Portfolio folder detailing my employability development (such as which jobs are in demand, what skills do I still need to gain ect). I probably should make an online version to make life easier…

Within it are five sections:

  • Introductory papers – This is an overview of where I am now and how to get to where I want to be; there’s annotated drafts of CVs / personal statements, job application history (notes on where I went wrong or right), and strengths / weaknesses.
  • Careers – These are notes of the numerous jobs that I would like to have, how in demand they actually are, and how to realistically get them. I sometimes read books showing career profiles, and some profiles have really shocked me!
  • Professional Development – This part focusses on gaining work experience (paid, unpaid, self employed) to add to the skills gained from University. Here I have detailed how I’m getting myself out there (such as getting a blog, networking progress ect), what skills I have, and what skills I still need / how to get them.
  • Academic Development – A very useful part especially since my own degree is very research based. Here I detail various research resources (books, journals, websites ect), coursework feedback, and what potential postgraduate courses (course content relevance, fees I must pay upfront) I may pursue.
  • Spare Time Activities – All the extra stuff such as side projects (like commissions, business projects) and societies joined.

This is just here to show one way of how I’m aiding my attempt to find work in the apparently ultra competitive graduate job market.

I guess Career Portfolios aren’t for everyone, but it’s really helped me so far!

A New Life, A New Route… Nearly a New Year

Hello! Welcome! Konnichiwa! Salve! Hola! Hallo! Ni Hao! nunqneH! Vendui! 

…. Yeah I think that will do

So, After these many welcomes, I wish to introduce you to my very first Blog post for this prestigious University. It is my hope to keep you updated with the life and adventure of this simple, humble student and the experiences he faces in this new world that is Edge Hill University.

Of course, a little bit about myself.

I don't look at all tired in this picture...
I don’t look at all tired in this picture…

I’m from Essex, on the outskirts of Chelmsford in a little town called Witham. For years I slumbered and went about my daily tasks,
battling through school, and being a carer for my mother. At the same time, I had (and still do) to battle with Tourettes (Don’t worry, it’s just random movement, no swearing… unless I’ve  hit something during a spasm… then I swear a bit)
and dealing with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Autism.

I’m also an Actor, and spend a lot of time Cosplaying (dressing up and running around as characters from Films/TV/Books/Video Games etc) and singing, as well as Voice Acting
I’ve done a fair share of stuff

I also do Youtube…. This is my most Popular Video…

Then, I finished College. I was done. I had a full set of GCSE’s and A-Levels. So, what to do with my life. Well, University certainly seemed like an option, but surely I wanted a mini gap year first, right?

Well, I did just that but still the questions lingered: Where would I GO for university?
I looked around everywhere, then finally! I saw where I could go. Edge Hill.

250 ish miles up north seemed a lot, but after a taster week here, I was hooked.

I HAD to come HERE
So I have. It was hard to leave home, make no mistake. But right now, It’s worth it.
Every single penny.
So, I look forward to speaking more, and shall post more soon.
I will post regularly on Thursdays, so today is a one off for now!

Toodles!

 

Christmas at Edge Hill

This weekend was a busy one in my house, as my housemates and I donned our silly Christmas jumpers, made our own Christmas dinner (from scratch!) and swapped presents  as we celebrated an early Christmas before we all head home for the holidays. I feel like there’s something special about Ormskirk during the Christmas period and I always seem to find tons of Christmas-related things to do.

At the beginning of the month, I went into town for the Christmas light switch on. This is always a great event as it really brings the community together. There were food stalls, a couple of rides and a stage that housed a series of choirs, entertainers and even Father Christmas himself. This year, Bruce Jones (Les Battersby from Coronation Street) turned on our Christmas lights and even sang us a song. It was a really cheesy, but very enjoyable, evening.

Edge Hill has its own celebrations too. Every year a huge tree is decorated in the Hub. Here’s a picture of it this year.

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There is always a Christmas market on campus too. There are loads of stalls selling Christmassy items, perfect for buying any Christmas presents or just treating yourself. I’ve put a video below where you can listen to the choir singing a Christmas carol in the Hub at this year’s Christmas fair.

If Ormskirk hasn’t got everything you need for Christmas presents, it’s really easy to visit Liverpool and look at the shops there (it’s only half an hour away on the train and doesn’t cost much).  Liverpool has every shop you could ever want, plus its own Christmas market which sells some lovely food.

It’s hard being away from family during the lead up to Christmas, but I’ve found that the friends I’ve made here at university are really like a second family. We do all the same things as I would at home, like putting decorations up, listening to Christmas music and making Christmas dinner (see the picture below!). And at the end of term, I know I get to go home and do it all over again.

First Blog Guysss!

Hi guys,

This is my first time at writing my student blog for you all to see! Hopefully this will help all of you prospective uni students to give you an insight of my time at university so far, as well as giving you an idea of university life!

I started EHU in September and it was a crazy journey to get here! I wasn’t sure that I was going to be accepted – I was studying A-Level Maths, German and ICT as well as taking the EPQ (which is the same as an AS-Level). My subjects were pretty tough – not gonna lie! However, that feeling I got on 15th August when I checked UCAS on my phone (whilst at work!) and seeing that Edge Hill had accepted my application was unbelievable! Just thinking about this makes me feel very lucky to have been accepted – which I am sure that you guys will be!

I found out about EHU when I went to a university fair to look at my prospective choices – I hadn’t heard of this university before then! After looking through the courses I fell in love with the look of the university, the whole campus, the course I wanted to study – literally everything! The first time I visited was amazing – I saw the university as we drove past and it looked even better than the pictures in the book. I then spoke to the tutors about my course and they were very friendly and welcoming, while also demonstrating areas of the course. One of the current students was showing how programming would later lead to coding robots to perform tricks or actions that were entered by a user.

As I started university, I was worried about my course. I studied ICT at sixth form, and I hadn’t covered anything like coding or programming before. I shouldn’t have worried, because the tutors made us all feel very comfortable and welcome – we started with the basics and have worked our way up quickly (but not too quick!). All of my tutors are very approachable if we have any problems – whether they are related to my course or not!

I’m so glad I picked EHU to study at, and I hope you all consider your choices very carefully – make sure your course is right, as well as the location! Good luck everyone!

21

Next week I turn twenty one, and I can’t help thinking about how much has changed since this time last year, when I was shut in my room refusing point blank to accept that I was about to turn twenty.

I won’t pretend that I was happy with my life last year. While all my friends were midway through their second years at university I was working fifty hours a week in a minimum wage job, unsure of what to do with myself.

Naturally I took my job very seriously...
Naturally I took my job very seriously…

The year before that, when I was grudgingly waiting to turn nineteen, I was living six hours away from home in Wales, incredibly unhappy with my choice of university.

Choosing to leave university and brand myself a ‘drop-out’ was incredibly tough, but looking back now I have no regrets. After that, as much as I may have complained about my time working in fast food I think that the year and a half of full-time work did me good, and I’m grateful that I gained that extra time to decide what I wanted to do with myself.

I’m now happier than ever studying a course that I’m really enjoying. Having had a bad experience at university I can really appreciate how good this experience is turning out to be. I’m only at the end of my first semester, but I’ve powered my way through a lot of work, made friends, got a part-time job and joined a society. The year’s flying by and, while I’m already finding myself feeling a little stressed at times over the work-load, I know that it’s completely normal and I’ll be sad when it’s all over.

For now though, I have my 21st birthday night out to look forward to. It will be a great chance to let loose a bit and to get into the Christmas spirit. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for me.

Getting into the Christmas spirit... because, no matter how much work I may have, there is always time to edit Christmas hats onto pictures of my cats.
Getting into the Christmas spirit… because, no matter how much work I may have, there is always time to edit Christmas hats onto pictures of my cats.

My first blog post

I’d like to begin by welcoming all of you who are reading this to my blog. Anyway so I’m a second year psychology student at Edge Hill University and I have to say overall I love my course. I chose to do psychology because I wanted to further my growing knowledge of Psychology having studied it at A-level (which it was 2-3 years ago now!). As a subject Psychology is very diverse in its topics and areas, I have to say I find learning about abnormalities and eating behaviors the most interesting. After graduation I would like to go into research, a career possibility inspired by one of my lecturers who I volunteered for as a research assistant over summer. For this I transcribed video clips of interviews done by psychology students at the University of Lancaster on one another, and then sent them to her so she could analyse them for her research project. This was a beneficial exercise for me because not only does voluntary work look fantastic on my CV, but also because transcribing interviews is a research methods technique which is covered by my course when it comes to qualitative research. This is when the data that is gathered from a research study (like the one I assisted with) is in words rather than numbers, so typing up the video interviews allowed me to practice this technique.

Now you know a bit about what I did over summer and what course I do, I leave you with two videos. One is about my course and the other an insight into what Edge Hill University is all about. Neither are mine but they are worth a watch 🙂

Charlotte’s Blog- Next Steps…

Last time I wrote a blog I was about to jet off to New York and I had the most amazing time, I will make sure I upload some pictures in my next blog! But for this blog I have been thinking about my next steps. Since getting back off holiday I have been thinking about what I want to do next and I am now thinking about going on to do a PGCE, and of course Edge Hill is on the top of the list to go on to do this! I am very excited about the next journey I am hopefully going to depart on. Most of you will be getting all prepared to move to University and I’m sure you are going to love every second of it! I know I wish I was going back in September 🙁 Just remember it is a big change and there are loads of people around the university on hand to support you in whatever way you need but I’m sure you will have the most brilliant time!

Elisha’s blog- Freshers week

A-Level results day has been and gone and most students will now have their place at university confirmed. As it’s only a few weeks away before freshers week, I thought i’d write about my experience of the first week at university and hopefully offer some useful info on what to expect !

Once your place at university is confirmed you’ll receive a welcome pack explaining everything you need to know, and you’ll also get a timetable of what to expect in your first week. From my experience, the first week at university is great and is certainly not something that you need to worry about. In terms of what to expect from your course, although it will vary depending on what degree your doing you’ll mainly just get an overall introduction of everything you need to know- all the academic stuff won’t begin until the following week ! After enrolment, on my first day I had an introduction into the degree programme and the department and got a chance to meet all the staff. We were told everything we needed to know regarding timetables, module choices, reading lists, assessments, degree classifications etc. we then had a finance talk that afternoon. On the second day, the department arranged a day out to Liverpool- we had a trip on the ferry and then had lunch together in a Chinese restaurant. It was a great idea because we all got to know each other quite well and for those who didn’t live in the north west- they got to see some of the local sights and attractions. Later on in the week, the department staff arranged some light hearted quizzes and ice- breaker games- again a great way to get to know each other a bit better !

In terms of what to expect from the social side of things, there are lots of things to get involved with. As a mature student, I didn’t get too much involved with this side of things- mainly because of my work schedule at the time, I was unable to. However, I know that the student union arranged loads of different things. On the Wednesday during my first week, the university set up the student union fare- this is when students get the chance to sign up to a range of activities, clubs and societies.

After the first week, I really felt like i’d settled in and any concerns i’d had about university had gone. I’d already made lots of new friends and I felt ready and raring to go ! The way that the first week is arranged, is to do just that, and the university do a great job of making sure it happens. Good luck to everyone starting this September, you will love it 🙂 I wish I could do it all again !