Hi Everyone! Hope you’re well and have had a good week.
I know right now alot of people have either finished their course or are right on the edge of finishing, just needing that final push towards the end. I handed in my final assignment last Thursday and can’t explain how good it feels to be done after all the slaving away for the past few months. When I first finished, I just slept the full Friday to celebrate! Since then I have been keeping myself busy and my plan was to stay on campus for a few weeks before I go back home for summer- but I have come back home for a couple of weeks before I return with my parents to fully move out- but more of that in my next post! In this blog I’m going to talk about finishing my first year and 3 mains things I have learnt when being at Edge Hill since September.
Independence! With the countless amount of responsibilities that comes with moving out and going to uni, you really do gain alot of maturity and independence! Many jobs including budgeting, cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping and keeping on top of all uni work- just to name a few! The responsibilities are endless! So when faced with all these responsibilities, it is an instinct to do what we need to do! It can be so difficult to get everything done- but something really important that I’ve learnt within this first year is just to try your best, that’s all you can do. I’ve learnt there are always people around you who are there to help and a phone call home or to friends really helps!
Productiveness and Motivation! I have always been a procrastinator, and when I know i have something I need to do, but don’t want to (like the laundry or washing up or an assignment that I don’t know how to start) I will do virtually everything else I can to put off doing it! Anything! Like going to an exercise class, having a nap , watching a film, going on a night out..! The list is never ending! But during this first year at Edge Hill, I’ve really learnt if I don’t do it, it just won’t get done! I have enjoyed writing to do lists and meal plans and put everything on the list. Even things like having meals or meeting friends or watching an episode of something as well as starting an assignment as it means I will be more likely to do it! I find that motivating myself by almost bribing myself with things I want to do, makes my goals more achievable.
Confidence and trust in yourself and others! During my first year, I have met friends that I know I will keep for life and meeting new people has required confidence and trust! Being confident to make the leap with meeting new people and being yourself is so important- and how you meet like minded friends. And having that trust in others is important too! You have to remember that everyone at uni is in the same boat, everyone is nervous and doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but by being friendly and being yourself- everyone will be happy! Your happiness is so important so making decisions and being safe in situations you are comfortable is key!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and it has given you an insight into three important life skills I have learnt in my first year at Edge Hill! Please comment if you have any questions, I hope to hear from you soon.
About 8 weeks into my first year at university, then studying straight biology and not genetics, the year-group attended a week long residential in Cyprus. This was part of the module ‘Biology In Practice’ and included two assessed oral presentations. Although first year didn’t count towards my final degree mark, it was a vital time to adjust to university life and the type of work and assessments that we would face in the years to come.
We stayed in the village of Kritou Terra, in the Paphos province, and actually visited Paphos (which has been named one of the European Capitals of Culture 2017) during one of the days – we had free reign to explore the ruins, seafront, restaurants and shops. I also took this time to flex my novice photography muscles.
We explored various aspects of the island’s ecology during the trip, primarily the variation between Cistus plants; as well as fire ecology – how forest fires influence the species composition of forests during years after a burn; invertebrate diversity (and how to use a key to identify them); and reptiles – particularly their thermoregulatory behaviour. The work we completed in assigned groups at Akamas Peninsula National Park on the Cistus genus was the topic of our first presentation and was our first rough look at what a scientific report should be composed of (we’d get a more detailed look later on in the module back home). The specific aspect of Cistus variation was also assigned to us.
After experiencing these topics, we then had the opportunity to choose our own groups and work on whichever topic we wished. This would be the subject of our second presentation, to be presented at the end of the trip. The group I was part of chose to head back to the mountainous slopes of Akamas Peninsula National Park and test the variation of Cistus some more.
Spending a week abroad, so soon after moving to uni and with a whole host of new people, was certainly daunting. But it was incredible. Not only did the experience give me insight into the years ahead, but what I think was more valuable was getting to know my coursemates (and lecturers). Working with them really helped cement friendships and put everyone at ease in the lab back in the UK. Overall, it was a wonderful trip; there was plenty of
partying working, but that didn’t stop us having a great time.
(End note: Do not go out to social the night before the trip. You’re gonna have a bad time on the flight.)
Life on campus during the night might start out a little daunting, living in a new place and in a new room can always be scary. But from my experience, Edge Hill campus is a very safe place to be. Also, it’s absolutely beautiful.
I’ve taken some photographs that I’m pretty fond of at night on campus. Around this time last year I took some snowy pictures of campus early one morning when it had just settled.
Yesterday, after spending the evening with a friend who lives on-campus, I went around the university again, this time with a DSLR camera instead of my phone. Excuse the blurry nature of some of the photos (although I think it does look nice with the bright blurry lights), as I’m not quite used to night photography and still don’t know the ins and outs of my camera.
We all know how early it gets dark in winter (despite it sneaking up and surprising us every year), and with the laundrette, McColls, library, and other facilities being open late, that means traversing through the cold, dark of night. Fortunately, Edge Hill University has many lamps to light your way through the night time adventures you may have. Whether it’s a late study session in the library, or a night out in the Quad, you’ll be able to find your way across campus with no trouble. Just remember where the tightrope walker sculpture is, I’ve forgotten about it far too many times and had a little jump when seeing it from the corner of my eye!
Also, if you haven’t seen these posts, they might be of use around this time of year, with final UCAS decisions and applicant days approaching. Although not relating the the first year of your studies in biological sciences, these entires are on my second year modules within the biology department: