“Secrets” of the Library…

This year I have discovered 3 hidden gems (2 of which I discovered by talking to my tutors and 1 by accident) which have been rather useful to me, and I hope my readers may benefit from these findings if they have not been found out before…

Me in the library – Three floors of learning materials and open access computers.

First of all, the inter library loan system is a service I have used quite recently. I have an interest in Japanese Music Industry and thankfully an academic book called “Japanese Music Culture” was released earlier this year – however, that book isn’t available in the EHU library and because it’s so new it’s insanely expensive to purchase it… But a few details such as the author and ISBN into the online form and it can get delivered to the library for a small fee. My essay is saved!

Another discovery is within the online library catalogue, as there a way which it makes research so much easier. Not only does it tell you where books are in the library, but it also gives access to many, many journal articles. Before I found out about the feature, I usually looked at journals themselves (ie I’m looking for a certain essay, it’s probably in the journal of X so I’ll look through its contents and hope something is there), but now I just type in keywords into the catalogue and it finds it all for me!

The last discovery is the DVD section, which I discovered when I went looking for books on identity studies. Until then, I totally forgot how much I liked watching films! I don’t get much chance to give up two hours in a working week in the name of entertainment, but when I do, I guess it’s nice to have a refreshing break and watch a film that takes my interest. More importantly, it has also been useful when I do coursework on media – my current essay deals with how certain horror films explore class and social anxiety.

On the whole, I find the library helpful. I can concentrate more when I work in there as the whole “academic environment” makes me focus on work and not get distracted. Of course there’s a wealth of information to get my teeth into in there (inside and outside my degree subject), so hopefully by the time I leave I will be a more “well rounded” individual?

I’ll definitely update you all should I find out more discoveries in EHU!

Going Home Soon

So, Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas grows nearer and nearer.
A time for giving, and time to spend with your loved ones.

I, for one, am definitely looking forward to going home. Since I live over 250 miles away from home, I don’t really have an option to visit home every weekend.
But I think it’s a good thing I don’t.
It makes the heart grow fonder of home, the longer you are away.

Obviously, since I live so far away, I had to live on campus.
When I went to make my decision, there were so many options available to me.
In the end, I put Forest Court as my first option.
Mainly because A) I got my own Personal room, B) it had an En-suite, C) it had a self catering kitchen and D) it was cheap.

It has all the essentials (although those in need of a TV, you may want to bring your own. Just remember to pay your TV licence!) and is a really comfy little room.

Of course, there are other places to live. If you check out the Lovely Sophie Proyer’s Blog,
it will tell you more about another area, Chancellors Court

http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2013/12/18/the-ins-and-outs-of-chancellors-court/

 

— — — — Thoughts this Week — — — —
It’s been  a busy week since I last posted.
Went to a murder mystery Party,
Trying to be serious, but.... poke gauntlet for Pokemon Murder Mystery Pokemon Tattoo for Pokemon Murder Mystery

I also took part in a Zombie Video Shoot, which was barrels of fun.
There seems to be no end of things to do here!

— Thought of the Week —

The circumstances of ones birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with your life that determines who you are.

The Ins and Outs of Chancellors Court

I lived in Chancellors Court last year and, as the newest accommodation on campus, it was really modern, clean and, most importantly, a pleasure to live in. It’s situated next to Creative Edge and Sporting Edge; fabulous if you’re based in those buildings, but even when I wasn’t, it was only a few minutes’ walk away from the Hub and the centre of campus. I can’t tell you how thankful I was for being able to roll out of bed for a 9am lecture and only be a few minutes away from where I needed to be.  It was also close to the laundrette so I didn’t need to haul my laundry too far.

In my kitchen, everyone was given their own lockable cupboard, and there were loads of other cupboards for storage. There was also two of everything (ovens, sinks, fridges, freezers, induction hobs [we needed special induction pans for these, although one set was supplied] ). Our kitchen also had a large dining table, an area that I found to be fantastic for socialising. Another great bonus was the cleaners. They came in every weekday to clean the common areas in the flat, and were the most lovely ladies ever.

The bedrooms themselves were ideal. There were 8 rooms in my flat, and they were all really well equipped. My room came with a desk and computer, which I found really useful during busy library hours. I brought a ton of stuff with me, but there were plenty of places to keep my things. As well as the wardrobe, there were three large drawers in the desk, a big shelf and under bed storage. Also, each room had its own ensuite wet room, which meant there was no need to fight my flatmates for the bathroom in the mornings – yay!

If you would like a better idea of what Chancellors Court is like, I’d recommend attending an open day. To book your place on an open day, you can click here. I’ve also put a video tour of Chancellors Court below to give you an idea of what to expect.

Chancellors Court is really a lovely place to live, but whichever halls you choose, make sure they are right for you and your budget and you’re bound to have the best time.

Living at Home

Living at home can be hard. Choosing to stay at home due to convenience, even when the opportunity to move out arises, can be harder.

I had just started learning to drive when I chose to attend Edge Hill, so financially I couldn’t justify paying to live in halls when I could just drive thirty minutes each day. Well, that’s the official excuse. While money was a factor in my decision it was also very important for me to consider my flaws. I’m messy, disorganised, terrible at time-keeping, and far too easily persuaded to go on nights out when I have important things to do, so living in halls may not have been the most sensible option for me to take. On the other hand, I realise that had I moved into halls I would have become practiced at overcoming these flaws and that I would be surrounded by other people in the same boat.

My transportation to uni. Her name's Lyla!
My transportation to uni. Her name’s Lyla!

Living in halls has a lot of advantages. Meeting new people this way can be great and many people stay friends with the people that they live with in their first year of university for the rest of their lives. My favourite thing about living in halls during my failed attempt at university was the crazy stories that we came away with. There was an automatic sense of flat unity, and a playful rivalry with neighbouring flats was always fun.

Universities have many great facilities, including Student Union bars, libraries, and small theatres, so living in halls is a great way to have optimum access to these spaces. Living at home, on the other hand, is an easier way to stay fully-focused on your studies.

If somebody asked me which is better- living in halls or staying at home- I wouldn’t be able to answer. Both have their own advantages and it’s really a personal choice. Hopefully soon I’ll be ready to move out, but for now I’m comfortable having my washing done for me and a well-stocked fridge.

What you have access to at university VS what you have access to at home
What you have access to at university VS what you have access to at home

 

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!