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…. 🙂
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!!
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!
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!!
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!
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.
The final months are settling in here at Edge Hill; some people are stressed because of deadlines, others have no idea what they will do or where they will go without Uni! But I am working hard on all my work, making the most of the social life in Ormskirk with all my Uni Friends before we all go our separate ways. The majority of 21st Birthdays are looming too, so shopping and present buying is also keeping me sane!
I’m still working on some briefs for my portfolio including: Smirnoff, Durex, A Government Weight-loss Campaign and Umbro.
We have had to write our own briefs and it has been and will continue to be an interesting module… For Umbro we are playing on the loss of the sponsorship for the England Football Team and trying to turn it into a positive thing. Smirnoff needs a launch party for their new cocktail range and Durex needs to target students! The Government Weight-loss is also a lot of fun as we are playing on brand mascots being obese and how some simple changes can be made in order to be healthier!
This week I started my new modules that I chose at the end of last year. The modules I chose were Clinical & Abnormal Psychology and Special Educational Needs these seem like they are going to be really interesting modules and I can’t wait to start them properly over the next few weeks! We also started our new compulsory module reflections and future directions this was a massive wake up call to me as we were told it was 12 weeks till third year was over and I am no longer a student 🙁 I will keep you updated on how the new modules go over the next few weeks! 🙂
I’m very privileged to have been invited to 2 different conferences over the next couple of months… the NUS National Course Rep conference next month and the 57th meeting of the Ecological Genetics Group in April.
As well as volunteering to be a Course Rep, I have recently been appointed as the Department Student Rep (DSR) for Biology also. This role is similar to that of a Course Rep, but I represent the views of the entire department on FAS (Faculty of Science) quarterly Board Meetings. The NUS National Course Rep conference is an event designed for HE representatives to provide skills and development workshops, campaign ideas and networking opportunities; and sessions on personal development, partnership, campaigns, systems and policy making are provided. It’s a great opportunity for students to get involved with NUS activities and I am very much looking forward to it… hopefully i’ll gain some extra skills that I can use within my DSR role !
NUS National Course Rep Conference link
Based on the recommendation from my Dissertation Supervisor and Department Head of Biology; i’ll also be attending the 57th meeting of the Ecological Genetics Group in Belfast. The Ecological Genetics Group is a special interest group of the British Ecological Society and the Genetics Society who meet annually and provide a forum for scientists working in population genetics and evolutionary ecology. I plan to present a poster based on the results of my Dissertation research on self- incompatibility in ruderal species. The scientific programme also includes a keynote speaker, student presentations, discussion topic and a field trip. Again; I think this will be a great way to gain some extra skills and also expand my knowledge of the subject… I just hope my poster is well received !
Ecological Genetics Group link
Okay so back in Ormskirk, battled against the snow and managed to survive through my first lecture! Just need to make it through the rest now!!
In all honesty after my first lecture back, I felt dead and ready for another four weeks off! It was truly horrible, hard work, confusing! But then the seminar after it went a hell of a lot better and I feel as if I managed to get my head around the lecture stuff. Thank goodness!!
So first lecture complete and lots more to go. And I am determined to be organised and not rushing work at the last minute.
I have decided what I am writing my next 4000 word essay on and final essay for my Text to Screen module. I am going to focus on Graphic Novels and Comic Books, so I have picked Scott Pilgrim vs the World. A) Because I loved the film! and B) I’m pretty interested in looking at the books. Also want to be a bit different, don’t think anyone else will think to do that!!
Today I have been buying my books for my Japanese cinema module, that I really am not looking forward to doing at all, but we get to watch the original Ring, which has been sat on my shelf for over 2 years waiting to be watched; I’ve just been too scared to though!! And Battle Royale which I have been wanting to see for a while!
Tomorrow I have my first Japanese cinema lecture and then after that I am spending the afternoon doing my dissertation in the library, because I need to get more of it done!