Revisiting My Packing List.

A few weeks ago my blog post talked about moving out of university accommodation, now as I sit here a few weeks later, it’s time to begin thinking about my packing list for second-year. This blog will hopefully serve to inform upcoming first-years of what I took to university, and also an inspiration for any other readers to consider what their lists might look like for when we go back to university in October.

First and foremost, my packing list for first-year featured a lot of leisure reading books, which on paper is great, but in practice, I probably only needed one book, not my entire Gillian Flynn collection and my entire Vogue collection (My reading is very diverse as you can see). Pick a book you know is easy to read or one you’ve been dying to read and add that to your packing list, at Christmas, you can swap it out, or if you haven’t touched it at all, there’s no harm in taking it home and not replacing it. For myself, I barely touched my books, but read a lot of my Vogue magazines, so for second-year, I’m most likely going to pack those again.

My excessive bookshelf.

Another thing I took too much of was kitchenware. Having doubles of your plates, and cutlery is a good idea, but you don’t need three, or even four, of each like I did. The cupboards in the kitchens are generously sized, but you will fill them up quickly. In place of excessive kitchenware, I recommend Tupperware or other plastic boxes to store excess food, it’ll help you portion control, but also means you don’t need to cook daily. For second-year, I’m planning to only take doubles of my basic kitchenware items to free up space.

In a previous blog I’ve discussed video game consoles, but to add onto that I strongly also recommend a firestick or other streaming device in your packing list, I bought one during my second week of uni, though if you take a PS4 or Xbox One, both those consoles have the streaming capabilities of a firestick so you may find you’re better picking one or the other. I plan to take my PS4 to uni’ in October, so may end up leaving my firestick at home.

Beyond those suggestions, the basics still apply. You’ll want to make sure you pack toiletries, stationery, a few notepads, very basic items you would’ve used at home daily or in your studies at college or sixth form. Your packing list will look very different to other’s in some areas, and that’s ok. The point of a packing list for university is to ensure you take items you need, but also take items that provide your comforts. Your new friends might be avid readers, while you only took one book, so its wise to never use one list you see online as gospel. For second, or even third-years, it’s important to reflect on what you took the year prior and realise what you didn’t use a lot, you’ll thank me for that suggestion when you need to move out again at the end of the academic year.

Alice.

WFH: Working From Home.

The world is a crazy place at the moment. However there’s humor to be found, especially in how it affects our university life. Across the country Edge Hill students are logging into Blackboard collaborate, Microsoft Teams and possibly even Zoom, and asking the most important questions…

“Can you hear me?” A few seconds pause. “Can you see me?”

A realistic Teams experience.

Homeworking is upon us and in my blog today I plan to discuss how I’ve been adapting to this over the past three weeks, I think it’s three, everything has somewhat blurred into one. Week one I remember being quite on the ball, remoting into my Monday morning lecture through teams as I drank my coffee, I must admit it was a lot more relaxed than a regular lecture. That’s where the emphasis on this blog is going to lie, viewing home working as a relaxing method of study rather than something stressful.

Books I purchased myself

So far I’ve successfully written and uploaded one assignment out of three. Using journal articles and online textbooks, alongside those I bought myself, gathering my references wasn’t overly difficult. Writing my reflection for the assignment on my home setup was also quite relaxing. I was able to put music on as loud as I pleased or have complete silence, I could take a break whenever and nothing was looming over me like a timetabled activity later that day or a university exclusive chore. Homeworking has greatly changed my uni life as I’ve said, and while it is temporary, I’m quite enjoying it. All of the current circumstances are, for me as a first-year student, an exercise in working almost completely independently. However, I do have regular contact with my lecturers if I need help or have a question.

Another relaxing aspect to home working is, no flatmates causing noise. Sure, I have the sound of my family but three people are a lot quieter than seven. I’m finding without the background noise of the kitchen or people walking around in the hall, or even the halls below me as I was on the second floor, I can work for longer periods uninterrupted. Overall, I much more of a flow in my work.

There is still a month and a half left of my academic year, and seeing we’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, my opinions over the learning method may change, but for now I’m enjoying it. Working from home is much more challenging as I don’t have the catalyst, but it’s something extremely useful to experience for my chosen subject area of business.

Alice.

Returning to Uni after Christmas

If you are currently in your first year of study this Blog might be particularly relevant to you, although it could just as easily be important to anyone at University. It might be your first time back at home for the Christmas holiday’s, especially if you live in a different country to your study. So you have gotten back into your old life routine, your bedroom, friends and family and almost forgotten you ever moved out at all, but unfortunately the time comes when you have to go back up to your halls which while you might miss, may also leaving you feeling a bit apprehensive as you had just gotten used to staying at home again.


The first thing you can do to make things easier is bring any extra thing’s from home you may have not been able to bring the first time or had forgotten, pictures and posters or maybe things like books/DVD’s that you may now realise you actually wouldn’t mind having while chilling in halls.


Invite a friend or family member to visit, it is important to remember that as far as I know you are not allowed to have people overnight within halls accommodation (but that could change so I’ve provided a link to find more information) but it wouldn’t hurt to have them come up for the day or a few days depending on the distance, and stay in a hotel etc. This is a great way to bridge that gap between your university life and your home life and when you may possibly be feeling homesick after christmas, this ‘bridge’ so as to speak is a good way to slowly ease yourself back into independent life.


Plan out when you are next going to visit home and family or friends, putting in a date even if it’s a few months from the present can really help relax you in the long run. If you feel like you won’t see your family for ages it would definitely help to know that in fact you will actually see them in March or April.


Anyways hope you enjoyed reading, any questions ask away!

Jordan

EHU Human Book Chain

Hey all, I hope you’re doing well.

Edge Hill has been working its way to the opening of the newly built Catalyst building; the new home of the library resources and student services! If you want to read more about the Catalyst building, here is one of the pages which explains more about what the building has to offer Edge Hill students.

Now, onto an event that was really exciting for the University- the Human Book Chain! This was an event organised by the Catalyst and Student Services teams in which staff and students from local schools were invited to help create a chain of people from the old library to the new Catalyst building to pass the books across to be placed in the building when it is finished.

It was a really fun event, with the Performing Arts Students performing circus tricks and musical theatre classics. I even got to be a part of this, and got to do some circus tricks dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West!

The atmosphere and community spirit was incredible, and just goes to show what great events the Edge Hill University staff organise! Plus, it’s a wonderful start to a building that’s going to help so many students in the years to come.

The Human Book Chain even made the news! Check these videos out:

Those Important Things!

Well this is it, summer is almost over (a few weeks yet thankfully for you guys!) and it time to start getting ready to start your course at Edge Hill University!

Most of you will have already have a good idea of what you need for your new student digs… bedding, pots and pans (look at previous blogs if you want a comprehensive list!). There is a few things I recommend that you should have to make everything a lot easier! Ensuring you have the essentials will allow everything to flow smoothly so you can just deal with your uni work and nktbjng else!

One of the main items that helped me throughout my three years at Edge Hill is my countless trustee notepads. Now I know this might sounds a bit obvious, but you won’t believe how much of a help it is having notes jotted down, especially when it comes to revision! Similarly to College, uni works in the same way! You provide your own equipment and take ownership of your learning, if you’re not going to revise then nobody is forcing you (but do revise!!).

Another thing I found very useful is the Library on campus, there are a limitless supply of books that I have found very helpful throughout my entire course. The amount of books that I have taken out at anyone time has frequently maxed the amount you can borrow! Make sure you have your uni card when visiting the library as it makes it easier when taking out books and accessing the building in the later hours!

Another item that made my University life easier was my laptop. Sometimes you don’t fancy working in the library and there’s nothing better than getting snuggled in bed watching a film and doing your work! The University Wifi is accessible throughout the campus, so there’s no need to worry about being overcharged for your phones data!

Just remember you want to make sure that you have everything ready. There is nothing worse than being unprepared. If your prepared for the day then you’re off to a good start- so get going! Good luck!

So, what’s the library like?

Books, books and even more books.

Uni is all about reading. Well, to be honest it’s about a lot more, but you get the gist. I always knew that reading would be a huge factor to my course (Sociology), but I never knew just how much reading I would be doing.

In the first year I thought spending money on books was the right way to go. It allowed me to annotate whenever I wanted, highlight everywhere and mark key passages. However in second year I had limited funds and couldn’t splash out £60 on a book, so I opted to go to the library and investigate what they had. To my surprise (and annoyance at my stupidity) they had every book I used in my first year… and around 5 copies of each.

EHU library!


EHU’s library is fantastic! The ground floor allows you space to complete group work, along with catering facilities to grab some lunch. First and second floor are where the main body of books are situated, with single and group study rooms available to book. On each floor there is a help desk, so if you’re like me and can never seem to find a specific book, you always have a helping hand.

If you’re looking for more subject resources the online library has a full database of texts, such as journals, electronic books and articles for everyone to read. There is also the LINC building for students to have access to even more computers.

ADVICE: Read as much as you can whenever you can.The more you know about your course subjects, the better your grade will be!

Until next time…:)

New Year, New…Reading List?

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a lovely festive period and are feeling relaxed and ready for the year ahead.

These first few weeks of term are the assessment period for my course, which means if you have any January exams this is the time you’ll be taking them. Luckily for me, I don’t have any exams this semester but I do have a lot of assignments due in at the end of this week and early next week. I’ve put off doing my essays over Christmas which means I now have to catch up on work quickly. Can you blame me for not doing it all though? I’ve been so busy catching up with people from my hometown and doing Christmassy things I really haven’t had time! In order to make myself concentrate, I’ve come back up to Ormskirk where I find there are less distractions because most of my housemates aren’t back yet. I will also use these few weeks to get a head start on the reading for this semester as I have a ton of books to get through!

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but if you have a course that requires you to read a lot of books, like English Literature, it can get pretty expensive. But there are ways to keep your costs down. The library has a wide selection of books, however be wary that a lot of people have the same idea so if you plan on borrowing a book from there last minute it might not be available. I buy all of my books second-hand because it’s so much cheaper, and sites like Amazon are great for this.  Also, a lot of older books that are no longer in copyright can be read online or on an e-reader for free which saves a lot of money if you’re studying the classics.

Going Back

This is the last blog post that I’m going to write before I move back up to Ormskirk this weekend and I am beyond excited! I can’t wait to see all my friends again, and I just miss the town and campus so much.

I’ve been really busy recently with packing and generally getting ready to go back. The amount of stuff that I own is really unbelievable but I’m trying to cut it down. Whilst sorting through all my things, I stumbled across all my books from last year. I can’t quite believe I read all of these books in such a short space of time.

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The eagle-eyed among you may spot Twilight amongst those books – yes, it really was on my reading list! If you’re studying English Literature, there is an amazing range of texts that we get to study and it means that everyone finds at least one book (but often more) that they enjoy. And all of my class definitely enjoyed dissecting Twilight!

So on Sunday I will be doing the five or six hour drive with my parents from where I live in Kent to Ormskirk. I always worried before I moved how I would cope with travelling the long distance to get home when it came to the holidays, but once I’d figured the trains out it all became like second nature and it’s not daunting at all now. I also love the sense of independence that it gives me.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of train travel, I’d definitely recommend investing in a student railcard which gets you 1/3 off the price of your train fare. If you’re interested, you can read more about that here.

Books, Books, Books!

I think pretty much any university course will require you to use books, but this is especially true for English Literature. We are required to use not only textbooks, but also anthologies, novels and scripts. The book shop on campus, Blackwell’s, sells all of the books you will need, but buying everything  brand new can be ridiculously expensive. Luckily, there are a few other options.

If you want to have your own copies of the texts then second hand books are normally a lot cheaper than buying books new, but I often find that I am required to buy certain editions, which makes buying from charity shops really difficult. Instead, I’ve found sites like Amazon that sell books second hand to be perfect (as long as you don’t mind occasionally stumbling across other people’s highlighting and notes).

The university library is also really handy to use. They stock all of the books on the reading list, the only problem is that even with numerous copies available, I’ve found it can be difficult to get my hands on a text because everyone else has the same idea!

Those of you who have a Kindle probably already know that you can download a lot of books for free. In English Literature we study a lot of classics, and these are the books that are normally available for free, which is great if you already have a Kindle and you’re looking for a way to save money. These older texts are free because they are out of copyright, so even if you don’t have an e-reader you might be able to find them online.

If, for whatever reason, you’re struggling to get hold of a book (for example if you’ve ordered a copy but it hasn’t arrived in time, or you can’t find the right edition) it’s always best to talk to your tutor and let them know. That way they can give you advice on getting hold of the text, or if you’re really lucky some tutors might lend you a copy if they have any spare.

Reading Lists

Yesterday, as I was working out how much money I would have to spend next year, I remembered last minute to factor in money for books. Majority of universities send students reading lists in advance and it is the students responsibility to purchase the books. Edge Hill also has quite a big library so most of the books can be borrowed from there.

Whilst the Film Studies side of my course requires me to buy all non-fiction books the Creative Writing reading lists include non-fiction and fiction. I really like having a list of fiction to buy because it encourages me to read (and often enjoy!) books that I’d never usually notice. I’ve already received the list of plays that I need to buy for my Scriptwriting module next year and I’m excited to read them.

The list includes:

Jez Butterworth – Jerusalem (2012)

 Jim Cartwright – Road (1990)

 Shelagh Delaney – A Taste of Honey (1959)

 Brian Friel – Translations (1980)

Sarah Kane – Blasted (1996)

 David Mamet – Oleanna (1993)

 Laura Wade – Posh (2010)

 Timberlake Wertenbaker – Our Country’s Good (1995)

I’ve never heard of any of those plays, but I know that even if I don’t enjoy reading them I can always learn by expanding my horizons.

In my last Fiction seminar the lecturer had us all name a book that we thought that everyone else should read and then he compiled a list and sent it to all of us. I chose Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. Palahniuk is my favourite writer and I’d recommend his books to everyone. He also wrote the book that became my favourite film, Fight Club.

I’d advise anyone starting university to get their books as early as possible so as to have time to familiarise themselves with them. Some books can be quite expensive but can also be found second hand on Amazon and eBay.