Alex’s Blog – Birthday celebrations + dissertation = not good!

Yesterday I turned 21 (already feeling too old!) and, although I celebrated last weekend by renting a renovated mill in Wrexham for the whole weekend and catching up with friends from camp, I decided to go out in town with a few friends last night. The last thing on my mind was uni work but then.. the word ‘dissertation’ popped into my head today and left me feeling rather demotivated (to say the least!).

On top of this, I had managed to get a good few hours of work done on my diss on the day before my birthday, before my laptop then went onto crash and lose about 3 hours worth of work! Devastated would be an understatement…

So now I am sat trying desperately to focus on doing this work (which has to be finished before friday) whilst running on about 3 hours sleep and way too much water in an attempt to battle dehydration! Wish me luck…

Alex ūüôā

Charlotte’s Blog- Where have all the weeks gone?

Since starting back at Edge Hill after Christmas, the weeks seem to be flying in with it being March already!!! I cannot believe that I have got less than two months till my student life has finished ūüôĀ I have loved my time at Edge Hill and have met some lovely people along the way. I have loved the student life and I am¬†definitely¬†glad I chose to come to University. it is¬†definitely¬†something that I would not change, but I would say be 100% that University is something that you would like to do! Even though I have got lots and lots of deadlines to get through within that time it is going way way to fast!! Next week our drafts for our dissertations have to be in which is another scary thought! But I have to admit this is something that I have enjoyed doing as it was around a topic area that I was interested in which was children with autism.

I will keep you all updated with how the deadlines go!

Faye’s Blog – Middle of Semester Deadlines Completed!

So I managed to get all of my assignments done and dusted in time.
Now that they’re done some of the pressure is definitely off and now it is time to focus on preparing for my PGCE interview, which is on 25th March!! And to spend a lot of time focusing on my dissertation. Definitely need to get that done now!!
So that is what I am going to do in the next couple of weeks!
A lot of library hours are going to be done. I seem to get a good amount of work done in the library in an evening!
Last week I was in the library from 12.30pm to 9pm! Which became a bit of a struggle towards 9pm because my back was being to really hurt and I began to lose some concentration and my eyes were hurting but I managed to get a really decent amount of work done!! Which I was very happy about, so I am thinking of doing the same on Tuesday after my afternoon lecture!

Elisha’s blog- Dissertation week

It’s the time of year where the 3rd year biology undergrads have to submit their dissertations… The module is compulsory and it’s widely regarded as the pinnacle of undergraduate academic acheivement by which the thesis is a corpus of work that students can use as clear evidence of their skills and training to prospective employers… no pressure then !

Our dissertations are due this Friday and although I started it almost a year ago (and planned to have it finished by Christmas), I am still working on it. As it’s been getting increasing closer to the submission date, my stress levels to rise have increasingly rose !!!

My dissertation is a study on ‘Self- incompatibility and seed viability in ruderal species” (I think I have mentioned this in a previous blog), and has involved carrying out extensive research in the field. Although I am pleased with the work I have produced so far, I did come across a lot of problems with the fieldwork, which has resulted in it taking a lot longer to complete.

Although it has been difficult, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now ! It’s been a great learning experience for me and I have developed extensive research and field work skills as a result; and I have actually enjoyed doing it (most of the time!)! I am also really glad that I started it so early because it gave me the time to overcome the problems that I faced… oh the joys of scientific research ūüôā

Charlotte’s Blog- Top Ten Tips To Student Saving!

One of the biggest challenges for me when starting University was learning how to budget my student loan, as the first time it arrives you feel like you have got all this “free money” which really isn’t the case, as I soon found out! I thought I would give you some tips I have found useful to help me budget over my three years at University!

1. Cook in groups with the rest of your housemates and take it turns to buy the essentials such as milk, bread etc. 

2. Always take a list when food shopping as this helps to stay focused on what you really need and you don’t become distracted with things you may not need.¬†

3. If you do cook by yourself, cook in bulk and freeze the leftovers for another day saves any food going to waste. 

4.¬†Definitely¬†purchase an NUS card this is great and can be used in most places for a 10% discount & make the most of the discount ask everywhere you go if they do a student discount even if they don’t have signs everywhere. If you don’t ask you will never know!¬†

5. Buy a railcard! This has been a lifesaver and saved me a lot of money over the past three years, especially for any trips home. 

6. Set yourself an allowance each week and keep a record of everything that is going out and coming in, in that week. This way you don’t get a shock when you come to check the bank balance.¬†

7. Buy any key text books second hand from other students or check to see if they are available in the Library or online. Also check if you definitely need all the books before going out and buying them in the first week, as you may only look at a page in some of the books once therefore it is pointless buying it.

8. When you go for a night out only take the amount of money that you have allowed yourself (no more, no less) and¬†definitely¬†don’t take bank cards out with you as could wake up with a nasty surprise in the morning!

9. Buy a cheap printer that has cheap ink cartridges! This has definitely been a lifesaver to me!

10. Have pre drinks before a night out. This is cheaper than buying drinks from early on which can work out quite expensive.   

These are just a few tips I have learnt, everyone is different and may find that some of these tips don’t work for them but hopefully it has helped you think about budgeting as a student ūüėÄ

Faye’s Blog – Money, Money, Money… Where’s the Money Gone?

Something that I have struggled with throughout my 3 years at university is BUDGETING!

So a little overview:
Year 1:
Semester 1: “This is great, yay, money, I have loads…” Christmas: “I can buy awesome presents for everyone!!”
Semester 2: “Okay, try and save some money. Food, food food.” “Oh, I have no money left at all, better use my savings.”
Year 2:
Semester 1:¬†“Right Faye, budget better this year”, “I’ve budget really well, I deserve a treat. SHOPPING SPREE!!”
Semester 2:¬†“Oh, we have to pay our own bills this year… Okay… I have no money left.”
Year 3:
Semester 1:¬†“Right, cheaper room this year, but less people in the house… BUDGET!”
Semester 2:¬†“Budgeting really well, but the bills are double what they were last year :'(”

Okay, so first 2 years did not go well at all, but this year is going okay.

My Advice:
1) Set reasonable weekly expenses! (Bills, Food, Clothes, Phone, Internet, Nights Out)
2) If you don’t really need something, DON’T BUY IT! Save the money. Trust me, when you have no money in your bank it is horrible.
3) Look for the bargains, but only buy what you need!
4) Think of cheap & easy meals to cook & plan them out for the week!

I have set myself a £30 a week budget for food, but when I go shopping I try and spend less if possible & I NEVER over spend any more.

 

Controlling the Spending… (Stephanie’s Blog)

If you have a shopping addiction like myself, controlling the spending is never the easiest thing to do… However it is something students are well known for – being money conscious and surviving on baked beans. (Not ideal if you don’t like baked beans!!)

However, although there is a lot of cost involved in going to University, it should never put you off going to University. No matter what University you choose I am sure there is financial help on offer. I can only talk from my experience at Edge Hill but I know there is a finance office and department that are on hand to help you all the time. You can apply for short-term grants and loans as well as there being grants and bursaries to help you through you studies.

Another great thing about Edge Hill is recently we have had Nation Student Money Week which has been hosted by Students, Lecturers and Companies. This week was full of fun and FREE activities, lots of competitions, shopping to be won and advise on how and where to save. We even got given a leaflet on how to make Pasta for ¬£1 with onions and tomatoes – that’s better than living on beans.

On the Edge Hill Website there is more information about how to apply for

scholarships, bursaries and there are always people on hand to help you here at Edge Hill.  And there are other websites such as Student Beans and the NUS Website which also offer advice.

 

If you’re worried that you will spend too much money when studying; at least Ormskirk isn’t an inner-city and over-priced University… You can have a good night out for ¬£10 (maximum!!) And there are always drinks deals and cheap nights out. The Rose Theatre at University offer Student Prices for theatre productions and cinema nights and there’s always free Pub Quizzes in the SU or around Town! Lots of cheap (and sometimes free) entertainment to get you through your Uni Years – even on a budget!

Elisha’s blog- Managing your money

As a mature student, one of the main things that I had to consider before coming to university was my finances. I had gotten used to earning a full time wage every month for a number of years and over time I had committed to various financial agreements (including a mortgage) that relied on this wage coming in; so I knew that giving this up would be hard. I had no idea how student finance worked so the whole process terrified me! I didn’t let this put me off though and after looking into it I realised that things weren’t so bad and it was doable.

Anyone, regardless of their financial situation is able to borrow their tuition fees from the government which you do not have to pay back until your are working and earning ¬£21,000 or above per annum; and it’s a relatively small amount which you pay back each month (at a salary of ¬£21,000 a year, you would pay ¬£39 each month!).

Depending on your household income, you may also be entitled to a maintenance grant of up to ¬£3,354 and/ or a maintenance loan of up to ¬£6,535 (¬£7,675 in London) each year to help towards living costs. Both the grant and the loan gets paid into your bank account at the beginning of each term and the amount is (near enough) equally split; so for Edge Hill university students on full time, undergraduate degree programmes you get paid around the beginning of September, the beginning of January and the beginning of April (on the assumption that you’ll support yourself during the summer).

You can also be awarded a scholarship from the university and there’s plenty of research and field study grants out there; you just need to know where to find them ! I have been awarded a ¬£1000 plant study grant and a ¬£200 fee towards a conference (as talked about in my previous blog!) whilst completing my degree.

Edge Hill also offers financial advice and support to students who require it. They can offer advice on budgeting, help you find part time work and also help to make sure that you are aware of the financial support available to you. Also, each year the government provides the university with an allocated amount of money called the Access to Learning fund. This enables the university to support students who are struggling financially; I was awarded this in my first and second year because my income did not cover my outgoings (although I did have to prove this of course).

There is the option to work part time too, which is what the majority of students tend to do. I have worked several jobs throughout my time at university and although it can be difficult to manage this around full time study sometimes, it is doable ! I have always worked on a casual basis as a Student Guide and Blogger for Edge Hill and I have also had a cleaning job, carried out volunteer work and worked full time during the summer too. ¬†Although this has meant that i’ve been extremely busy, it’s allowed me to keep up with my bills and i’ve actually developed lots of transferable skills that I can now use after I graduate!

Of course, a bit of common sense and budgeting skills also helps a lot ! I’ve cut down on a lot of things that I don’t really need (for example clothes shopping, expensive holidays and getting my nails done!), and just being organised and keeping on top of things really helps. I’ve found that because i’ve kept myself so busy, I don’t really miss out on some of the things I used to spend my money on because I now focus my energy on assignments and succeeding in my degree ūüôā Theres some very useful information out there as well such as¬†Martin Lewis’ money saving expert website¬†which I have found very useful !

Alex’s Blog – Where’s my money gone??

Probably the most often asked question when it comes to Open/Applicant Days has to be about finance… It’s something that, at the moment, can’t be brushed under the carpet and loads of potential students are worrying about it, even up to the point where they are deciding not to go to university!

But not to worry, there are lots of different ways of managing your finances without worrying about student debts.. after all you do only have to start repaying loans once you are earning over ¬£21,000. You can also apply for scholarships (which will be covered in next month’s theme) and non-repayable grants. To find out about grant and loan entitlement, click on the following link:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/loangrantentitlement

You can also go to these links to find out more about help with finance at Edge Hill:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/feesbursaries

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/fulltimeguide

It might be easy for me to say, but if I was applying to university again, my number one focus wouldn’t be the finances involved. Yes it is important but I would urge anyone thinking of applying to university not to let it be your overriding factor when it comes to making a choice! There are loads of ways you can save money and many different job opportunities both on and around the campus, including being a Student Guide or a Blogger! The majority of people I know manage perfectly… but I guess there are always the odd one or two who think they are rich when it comes to student loan day!

Alex ūüôā

 

Charlotte’s Blog – Job Hunting!

As the end of my final year is approaching way too quickly and my time at Edge Hill is nearly coming to an end ūüôĀ I have finally decided I have put it off for long enough and started ¬†on the job hunt! This is a question I get asked regularly as in what would I like to do after university but the scary thing is really do not know!!! I have loved studying Psychology for the past three years and would¬†definitely¬†like to carry on in an area of that as I have a specific interest in Educational or Forensic Psychology. Obviously I know its not as easy as that and if I wanted to carry on into one of these professions I would need to complete a masters. So at the minute I am just looking into Graduate jobs, as I have also loved Liverpool and would like to live there over the next few years! I will keep you updated on how the job hunt is going and if I finally decide what career path I want to take!!