Faye’s Blog- Finding a New Home & a Second Family

I remember looking around Edge Hill at an open day.The main thing that I remembered when I was back at home was the accommodation. I wanted to live in some of the newer halls and that was my main focus. I loved them. The living space was really nice and easy to keep clean, the oven was nice and big, lots of surface space and cupboards  The bedrooms were a good size and they had the benefit of having an en suit; which I really really wanted, because it was my first time moving away from home and I didn’t know who I would end up living with.

The day came when we had to apply online for our accommodation and I was sat at my laptop ready. Because I am so unlucky though my laptop crashed as I pressed apply so I had to apply again!! I was worried that I would not get the halls I wanted! But in the end I did! And I was so excited.

Moving day quickly came and I remember introducing myself to my flat mates and finding out that two of them were from my home town! All my flat mates were nice which I was glad about and we all go on very well.

Living in halls was a lot better than I first thought, everyone was pretty clean and tidy which I was so thankful for as I am a bit of a clean freak!! It was also good that I cleaner would come in once a week (I think it was once I week, I can’t completely remember, I don’t think that it was once a day) to make sure that everything was nice!

The halls were also good because the security was very strong, only people who live in the halls can access them (other than the cleaners & security of course) and you were provided with a number for security in case you ever had any issues or problems.

Living on campus was like living in a small village, I really enjoyed it. Plus the Edge Hill campus is beautiful so it was really lovely. I was dreading having to move off campus for second year! When the time came to start looking for a place me, a friend from back home, one of her flat mates and a friend off my course began looking for a place to live. We managed to find a bungalow about a 15 minute walk away. It was good living with friends and they really do become a second family to you. The most important things when looking for a place off campus would be;

1) think about how far you want to move away? Do you want to stay in Ormskirk? How long a walk are you willing to take? Or do you want to move to a city like Liverpool? What time are the trains? etc.

2) Price… Be realistic, the cheaper the rent is it is more likely the house is not going to be as nice as you want. When I was in halls I paid £93 a week, which included my bills. Second year I paid £70 a week, not including my bills. This year I pay £57 per week, but that is because I am in the tiny box room! And that does not include bills. Also think about internet and tv costs etc.

3) Who do you want to live with? Friends from your home town? Friends from your course? Or strangers? Do you want to move away from you family home at all? Personally, if I could have commuted to uni I probably would have, but I am lazy and I didn’t want to have to get the bus at 6 am. So I chose to live with my friends from my home town and friends off my course. However, second year we found the place we wanted but someone else was going to be living with us who had lived there previously. To begin with that wasn’t an issue. But. We did end up disliking that person because he was very dirty. This year we also are living with another ‘random’ person but this time the person is nice.

It seems like a lot of work but there is a lot of help available at Edge Hill if you are struggling or do need any help.

“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” – Benjamin Franklin (Stephanie’s Blog)

I love this quote… And it isn’t more true than when thinking about the various ‘homes’ I have. When I go back to My Parents House that is going ‘home’, when I drive back to Uni I’m driving ‘home’ and my halls in first year and my house in second year have both been ‘homes.’ Food and fire are important, it is unlikely to find a real fire in Student Accommodation but food can either be found in catered halls or in the local supermarkets for self catering…

When moving from home to home it is hard to decide where and want you want from your new home. Obviously not all home comforts are transferable, family, home cooking, a level of cleanliness, Mum’s and Dad’s doing the washing and ironing! There is a time when you have to go it alone at University and embrace your new home.

For me, choosing halls was fairly easy as I had a few criteria in mind that made my decision simple. I wanted an en suite bathroom, self-catered because I loved cooking and somewhere fairly new and modern. It just so happened the year I was starting at Edge Hill University there was Graduates Court that was finished and ready for the September I began. So I managed to get the accommodation I wished for, but in hindsight I would have been happy wherever I was.

If you like being cooked for and can’t cook for yourself; look into main halls, if you like a large sense of community and common areas – back halls are great and less communal but with some shared facilities – forest court. If you want something a bit more modern and with private facilities Graduates Court, Founders Court and the new halls (apologies I don’t know the name) are the ones to go for!

Although you will meet people on your course, generally, from mine and my friends’ experiences – this takes longer. When you are thrown into halls and living with a group of strangers you have very little choice other than to talk to them and learn about each other. So for me, they were my first friends and to this day, they are still an integral piece of my friendship group.

 

Meeting friends tends to form your housing for the following years… After meeting my first friend in my halls cluster and then another great friend from my course, we decided to live together in second year, along with my halls friend’s course friend! We found a lovely house in Ormskirk on ‘the other side of town’ near the big church, it was a cosy four-bedroomed house which was the definition of ‘home’ to us. It was warm and friendly and we had such a lovely year…

 

For my third and final year, often people move into smaller houses to concentrate and work harder but I moved into a seven-bedroomed house which has four people from my course (including me) my friend from halls and two people I didn’t know but the others did. It is so nice having a large house now as it is modern and spacious (if a little bit cold) but there is never a dull moment and it’s never too quiet! It’s nice to have the option to be alone or be in a big group or even just with one or two of the housemates.

It is important to consider who you live with, where you live in terms or practicality (walking distance to Uni/Town etc) and where you can study to the best of your ability.

Good luck with any accommodation decisions 🙂 – but remember whatever you decide you will have a mix of people and a great start to making friends!

Charlotte’s Blog- Home Sweet Home :)

I know for anyone moving away from home is a major life event and one of the scariest things that you may have to do. But the only way I can describe my experience of coming to Edge Hill is as a “Home sweet home”  it is safe to say that my feelings have not changed one little bit over the past three years and I do not want to leave in the summer! In this week’s blog I’m going to tell you about my experiences of my time in the accommodation at Edge Hill.

When I first came to an open day, the first thing that attracted me to Edge Hill was the friendly accommodation that they had to offer around the campus. When it came to choosing I went for Founders Court as this had only been opened the year before and was very modern with an en suite. I was very pleased when this was the accommodation that I received and I have to say that living in halls has got to be the best university experience to date! I met so many new friends and everyone was so friendly. I loved my room, and it instantly felt like a second home for me. The kitchen facilities were great and we had everything we needed. I cannot fault a thing about living in halls and I would definitely recommend it to anyone! I was gutted when I had to move out at the end of first year and I can say that halls has given me some of the best memories ever!

In second year I moved into a house in Ormskirk with a few of the girls that I met in halls in the first year. This was a completely different experience again as we had  extra responsibilities such as paying the bills and sorting out things such as the internet. I am glad I moved into a house in second year however as it gave me some knowledge for when I will have my own house one day!

I would definitely recommend that you attend one of the open days to get a feeling of the accommodation yourself and see which one you feel most at home in as this is going to be the place you spend most of your time! Below is a link for more information – http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/accommodation

Hope my experiences have helped you 🙂

Alex’s Blog – Your home away from home!

This week’s theme for the blogs is based around accommodation at Edge Hill. Now, rather than tell you how brilliant it is, which of course, it is… I thought I would leave you with a link to all the information you may need about accommodation and instead tell you about my experiences of being away from home.

For me, this was  a particularly difficult blog to think about as I have never lived in accommodation at Edge Hill full-time. I have, however, spent many nights staying with friends in almost all the halls on campus as well as a number of houses off campus and all have been great. Although I would rather talk about being away from home for a long period of time…

My first, and still the longest, experience of being away from home for a long period of time was when I worked at Camp Carolina, a summer camp in North Carolina, for three months at the end of my first year. Before leaving, I was far too excited to think about missing home and it was literally only when I arrived and spent the first night there that I realised how long this experience was going to last. However after quickly getting over any thoughts of home, I focused on getting to know people and soon enough found that I felt right at home anyway. The friends that I made there are now some of my closest.

This was a similar experience when I travelled to Ghana for six weeks last summer but this time I was with a group of five other students who, obviously, helped to dismiss any feelings for me of missing home. This time I also found that I hardly ever thought of home as I was more used to being away for a long period of time and was having way too much fun meeting people and learning about a completely different culture.

Why am I saying this? Because I think that these experiences completely related to moving away from home and, after getting over those initial feelings of homesickness, and focusing your attention on meeting new people who will probably be feeling the same, you will quickly settle in and find that you couldn’t imagine not living alongside them. In a nutshell, throw yourself into life at university, yes you may miss friends and family, but the more you embrace your new home away from home, the more you will begin to appreciate and enjoy your time at university!

Alex 🙂

Elisha’s blog- Living away from Edge Hill…

Being a mature student and living away from campus, I often get asked by students how manageable this type of living arrangement is. This is certainly something that I worried about when I considered coming to University, and I have found it absolutely fine.

If you are limited to where you currently live, whether it’s for financial reasons or because of family commitments it’s important to consider how you are going to manage this before deciding what university to choose. I live in an area that’s limited in terms of public transport so I knew I would be traveling by car; it was therefore important for me to ensure that I had parking availability. I had to take into account traveling times and petrol costs, and I had to make sure that I could manage this as a full time student. It’s also worth finding out the timetable for your chosen course if possible because there was slighlty more emphasis on independent study than I had originally expected, and this cut down the traveling a little, and meant that I could study at home a lot.

Admittedly, I do sometimes envy some of the younger students who get to live in some of the wonderful accommodation at Edge Hill, but there are other times that I am glad that I can study away from some of the distractions of the student life! Every cloud…. 🙂

Faye’s Blog – The Future is Beginning to Happen. A Tiny bit Anyway.

Okay so last semester of third year. Things are starting to get a little bit real now and it is really really scary!

So I am, and have been for a while, thinking about the future and what I want. As I have already mentioned I have applied to do the years PGCE course to become an A Level teacher. I’ve applied to do it back in my home town though as I have struggled a bit with living away from all of my family and friends. I found out this week that I will be having a interview to get onto the course at the end of this month or the beginning of February! Which is really nerve wrecking! I also have continued to look for a job for over summer with no luck 🙁

My boyfriend graduated uni last year with a first in his degree and for the past few months he has been working as a freelance writer and filmmaker which has been going really well for him but he has gotten a bit fed up of not earning a normal wage. We really want to move in together etc. so this is a big feature as to why he has been looking for a job. He managed to find a company that help get graduates jobs. This is really difficult to get into though as they are really picky. But after a phone interview and a recruitment/interview day (Monday 4th Feb) he managed to get through! And they have found him a job to go and interview for today!! It is in Stockport though, so if he gets the  job it is going to be most likely that we will be moving there. Which will be good and exciting, but it kind of restricts me looking for a job until we know what is happening. Plus it kinda sucks that we will be so far away from family. But I think that once I start my PGCE (hopefully!) I will probably be moving back to Blackpool for a few days of the week depending on how many days I have to do my teaching placement over! And hopefully when I am eventually working as a teacher we will be able to afford to move a little bit closer to home!

So there is some hope after uni job wise! This is something that I have always been worried about! I want to work and I want my own home!! Desperately!!

Charlotte’s Blog – A Very Exciting Week :)

This week has been a very exciting one with three of my best friends turning 21 and their birthday celebrations have been spread out over the past few weeks. This is a great thing when every one moves to Uni as you get a variety of nights out mine included Manchester & Liverpool and I have to say these have been the best nights out I have had in a long time!   I also received my statistics exam result back from a few weeks ago and I am very pleased to say that I managed to get a first which I was very happy about as I wasn’t too sure how the exam had gone! If these events weren’t enough to make my week I have also finished all my interviews in my placement so now I just need to start transcribing them and writing up my dissertation! So all in all I can say I have had a very exciting week hope everyone else has had a good one too & lets hope there’s plenty more weeks like these to come over the next few months!

Elisha’s blog- Job application done!

I posted a blog some time ago about my preparation for the NHS Scientist Training Programme; well the application opened a few weeks ago and I have now submitted mine! It took me about 3 weeks to complete the application form, but in the end I was quite pleased with my completed version. I now have to complete the next part of the selection process which consists of a numeracy and logical reasoning online test. I’m quite nervous about this because I don’t want to mess it up… although I have had a chance at practising the tests so hopefully i’ll do ok! If i’m successful at this stage i’ll be invited to an interview which will be in March or April…. so fingers crossed for me 🙂

After having gone through this application process i’ve realised how valuable the skills, knowledge and experience i’ve gained throughout my time at university have been… theres been so much that i’ve done throughout my time at uni, and I didn’t quite realise this until I began listing everything in preparing for my application. I just can’t imagine how thrilled and proud i’m going to be when I graduate (and hopefully when I get my dream job)… on that note; congratulations to Alex on his successful P.G.C.E application, I can only imagine how he must be feeling… hard work really does pay off!!

 

Alex’s Blog – Great News!

Yesterday I was given probably the best news I’ve ever had.. I have been offered a place on the Secondary PE PGCE at Edge Hill. This is something I have been working towards for a long time and is the next step to becoming a fully qualified PE teacher, so needless to say I was absolutely over the moon! Especially considering how competitive it is to gain a place now, everyone who has got on should be really proud.

If anyone else was thinking of becoming a teacher after finishing their undergraduate degree, this would be the sort of route you could go down. However Schools Direct is becoming a more popular option with the current government. This involves working in a school for a year and training as a teacher that way rather than staying in full time education. With more places are being given to Schools Direct options and being taken away from PGCE’s, that may well overtake the PGCE route in the near future..

I am so pleased to be staying at Edge Hill for another year as I feel that I can reach my full potential here and the staff are truly second to none. Although a PGCE is much more time consuming, I am looking forward to getting stuck into it and developing even further as a teacher!

Alex 🙂

Faye’s Blog – Modules

So final semester of my final year.

My modules are; Text to Screen (continued from last semsester) Japanese Cinema and Future & Contemporary Cinemas. The last two are new to this semester.

At first I was really dreading doing the Japanese Cinema module because I was never really interested in foreign films. But I am going to try my best at it and really work hard. After the first lecture last week it does seem like it is going to be really interesting and it is assessed on two essays so no exams, yay! So I am kinda looking forward to the second lecture. The only thing that I am not so excited for is the films, which sounds stupid as I am a film student. But, I watched Humanity and Paper Balloons for this week and I hated it, I found it super boring. But it does take some time to adjust to a specific type of cinema. So I am going to keep trying to enjoy it more!

The Future Cinemas module is a bit different to all the others that I have done over the 3 years at Edge Hill as it isn’t looking at particular films. Last week focused on the more business side of cinema and we discussed Conglomeration. Which was actually a lot more enjoyable and easier to understand than I first thought!

And Text to Screen is just looking at the adaptation of novels etc. in to films. The same as last semester. I’ve already chosen what I want to do my 4000 word essay on. Scott Pilgrim vs the World and the comics that it was adapted from. I am hoping that it will be a lot easier than the last essay!

I still have my dissertation to do as well. But this week I have managed to round off a huge chunk of research so hopefully I am going to be able to sit down and write my first chapter a lot easier.