Why I’m Excited To Go Back To Uni.

I’m enjoying my summer away from my studies. For the past few months, other than a few small bits and pieces left to tie up for a PPD module due at the end of August, I’ve been enjoying doing effectively nothing. I’m still reading books and trying to learn photo editing software as mentioned in my other blogs, but beyond that.. It’s just been a lot of nothing. However, that amount of nothing has certainly made me excited to go back to university in a few months. Therefore, today’s blog is going to into a few of the reasons I’m excited to start second-year.

First and most importantly, I am so excited to see the friends I had during first-year again. We’ve kept in touch since we all left uni, and I think collectively we’re all pretty excited to catch up over lunch. It’ll be fun to fall back into the routines we had, where we’d see each other pretty much every day either in someone’s flat, the catalyst, or going for something to eat in Ormskirk (Usually McDonald’s or Starbucks).

On the more academic side of things, I’m looking forward to beginning my new modules. I’m excited for all the ones I picked personally, but also the ones the Business School have made mandatory, as they all sound very interesting. The PPD module I mentioned earlier is very basic, so I don’t count doing any of that currently as part of my core studies, therefore by the time I get back to uni I’ll have had a five-ish month break. In other words, I’ll be raring to go.

The modules I will be studying in second-year.

Finally, I’m just looking forward to being on campus again. I’m going to living in on-campus accommodation again, so I have the joy of trying to remember where I live during the first week or so of being there. It’s going to be fun to use all the facilities again such as the Red Bar, or getting my coffee from whichever coffee place on campus I may choose.

Founders West, where I shall be living in second-year.

After a nice break, the excitement I have to go back to Edge Hill is immense.

Alice.

My 5 Favourite Things About Edge Hill

Spring is upon us and in three short months, my second year at Edge Hill will draw to a close, leaving me facing my third year and final year as an undergraduate. So, I’m feeling quite reflective. List time? List time.

My 5 Favourite Things About Edge Hill

1. The beach!

Studying full time and working in a demanding job, like I do, can get really overwhelming. So, I often take myself off for walks on campus on my breaks or choose the ‘scenic route’ back to my car to try and find some peace. Nestled by the water in Eastern Campus, ‘La Plage’ is a little slice of heaven that gives you the chance to sunbathe or feel sand under your feet and then be back inside for your 2pm lecture.

2. The Arts Centre

I’m a Counselling and Psychotherapy student and I have never lived on campus or even near campus, so I initially dismissed The Arts Centre as a place where art degrees must be taught and where students who lived on campus could watch films at night. Oh, how wrong I was! Everything from theatre to music can be found in The Arts Centre and there are regular live shows from comedians at bargain prices which would ordinarily cost £20-£70 per ticket on their arena tours.

3. Ormskirk

On my course we sometimes have gaps of up to three hours between sessions so, rather than commuting home to turn around and come back, my coursemates and I like to head into Ormskirk and grab brunch. Hopping on the free bus with our Unicards and heading to Wetherspoons if the student finance has run out or getting a delicious brunch and a milkshake at Cobble if we’re feeling a little more ‘flush’ is a great way to catch up and relax.

4. Catalyst

More than just a library, Edge Hill’s Catalyst is open 24/7 and boasts millions of pounds worth of books, computers and digital resources. However, for me, it’s the additional student support you can access via the helpdesk that makes the difference. Money advice clinics, study skills sessions, 1:1 advice on everything from debt and weight loss to essay writing and housing…I could go on.

5. 53.3 Degrees

We’re blessed with an abundance of restaurants, cafes and coffee spots at Edge Hill, including our very own Starbucks, but my favourite is 53.3 Degrees in the Catalyst building. Delicious, fresh coffee with natural light flowing through and gorgeous views of campus…this little coffee shop has everything I need to gather my thoughts and find some headspace.

Have you visited campus yet? Or maybe you’re a current student? What would be on your list?

Sam xo

Homesickness and how to tackle it!

Hey everyone!

As I come from Northern Ireland, the feeling of homesickness is very familiar and I especially felt it more when I returned to university after the holidays.

After feeling sorry for myself for a few days and texting my mum every 5 minutes throughout the day, I decided that I would try and do something about it. Read on to find out how I deal with homesickness!


What I Remind Myself…

I think that the first hurdle to overcome when you are feeling sad about being away from home is to remind yourself constantly that it is COMPLETELY normal. I sat in my room thinking that I was the only person that could be feeling like this at the moment but it wasn’t until I talked to a friend of mine that I realised, everyone goes through this. 

And so, after reminding myself of this everyday, the feeling started to ease as I knew that the feeling would come and go and when it does, it is okay to feel that way.

 

Talk to someone

As well as talking to your friends about what you are feeling, there are so many other people in the University that would be more than happy to talk to you and offer any advice.

When I was feeling the way I was about being away from home, I reached out to CampusLife with an email and they responded within minutes with so much advice on what I could do to help me overcome how I was feeling. They told me about ‘That Thursday Thing’ which is where a group of people meet up and just chat or take part in activities. They were so helpful and they will even offer to send out their student connectors to your halls to check up on you and to have a chat about how you are feeling.

 

Stay connected to family and friends from home

When I first felt homesick back in September, the last thing that I wanted to do was phone my mum, dad or anyone from home because I thought it would only make me feel worse. I even declined any pictures that my mum tried to send to me of my dog which, if anyone knows me, I would have NEVER done.

I quickly found that talking to my family and friends from home on a regular basis, whether that be through text or FaceTime, really helped me through the tougher times and made me appreciate them more. Till this day, I still ring, text and FaceTime home just for a catch up but, mostly for pictures of my dog…

Rosie really takes the whole ‘even my dog is prettier than I am’ statement to a whole new level…


I really hope that this post will remind people that feeling homesick is so normal and there are so many things that can be done to tackle it but these are the three main tips that I follow when I start to feel a million miles away from home.

“When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”

-The Goldfinch-

Five things I wish I’d known before coming to Edge Hill

Starting university can be a time filled with a mix of emotions. Hopefully these few tips will help calm any nerves and be a reminder of all of the amazing things you will be able to do at Edge Hill.

Firstly, it is important to know you will find your way around campus VERY quickly! You’ll find landmarks such as the Hub and Creative Edge and will be able to use these to plan y our way around this beautiful campus.

Then there are the people at Edge Hill. So many different people – different ages, backgrounds and experiences all together that within a short amount of time you will have made friends. You’ll find people with similar interests but also more excitingly, you will meet lots of people who have different hobbies and interests to you and you’ll learn so much from these people.

Thirdly, it is perfectly okay to be totally yourself. This may be the first time you’ve lived away from home or with friends. You may be feeling worried about what to wear or how you will ever learn to cook or even if you’re interests are interesting enough! These are all common worries however they really don’t need to be. The best bit of advice I can give is to just be yourself. This will help you to settle in and will make you feel more comfortable. You will very quickly enjoy the excitement of all of these new experiences.

Perhaps one of the things I’ve learnt most this year is that university is about so much more than getting a degree. There are so many opportunities, from joining a sports club or society to spending time learning a new language or increasing your academic skills. There is also lots to do in and around Ormskirk and you are only a train ride away from all that there is to see and do in Liverpool too 🙂 Employers will see your commitment to improving your skills and knowledge and this will help with future employment.

Finally, work out what is important to you before you start and make a plan. Whether it is going to the SU Bar during Freshers week to meet new friends, talking to other students on your course to get to know them better or simply going for a walk around campus. Always remember to enjoy your time at Edge Hill as it goes so quickly!

Fun things for students on campus!

Hey all, I hope you’re having a good week.

One of the main things that students look for when applying for a University is what they can do in their spare time, both on and off campus. Below is a link to a blog post by Eleanor Wilson about the night-life, but this post is going to be about what is specifically on campus and what you can do during the day on your days off!

Ormskirk night life

Sports

If you’re a fan of sports, Edge Hill’s sports centre is a fantastic place to spend your free time. If you fancied getting a group of friends together and renting out one of the courts to play badminton or football together there are spaces available, and you can even take part in the activities the centre organise for students, such as Yoga, Netball or Table Tennis. If this would be something you’d be interested in, I’ve linked the pages where the activity price list and the membership prices are explained:

Activities price list

Membership

As well as activities and such, if you wanted to simply use the gym facilities then they have some top-of-the-range equipment for your use!

Campus Life Activities

Campus Life are the campus team that makes sure students get the support they need whilst at University, but they also put on some really cool events!

Some of the past events that they’ve put on include Nature Walks to places such as the Formby Red Squirrel Reserve, Easter Egg hunts, and awareness events such as Food and Feminism. Below I’ve linked to the events page on the Campus Life Facebook page so that you can have a look at these events, both past and planned, for yourself!

https://www.facebook.com/pg/EHUCampusLife/events/?ref=page_internal

Theatre, Film, Dance and Music

The Arts Centre is personally one of my favourite places on campus, and I know that that might seem biased because I’m a Performing Arts student, but I’ll just let you in on a few reasons.

If you love theatre, the Arts Centre get some of the best shows around, they’ve had the likes of Reckless Sleepers, Elf Lyons and even screenings of the National Theatre’s latest productions. As well as Drama, there are also a lot of dance and music shows for you to check out if you enjoy them, and there are also the Open Mic Nights and Talent Shows that you can both watch or take part in!

As well as this, there are film screenings that you can go to, which I did a blog about recently:

https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2018/04/16/film-screenings-at-the-arts-centre/

So that was just a few things that you can do on campus for fun! If you wanted to know more or wanted to ask if something you enjoy is catered for, you can pop me a comment down below and I’ll reply as soon as I can!

Christmas!

Hey all, I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed a well-earned break from college/sixth form! I know I certainly have.

Around Christmas time, Edge Hill always has loads of exciting things to be a part of. Both the years I’ve been at Edge Hill, the Campus Life team put together a trip to the Manchester Christmas Markets. I’d never been to the markets before, and the fact they organised the transport for free helped out massively, as trains can always be a big expense if you’re running low on money!

If you can’t make it to the Christmas markets outside of town though, Edge Hill have their very own! Here you can see what the local businesses have to offer for presents and join in the general festivities!

This year there was also a Christmas crafternoon which was set up by the activities team within the Student Union, where you could sit with friends and make Christmas decorations for free! The Arts Centre have been showing films such as Home Alone too, and the Christian Union put on a carol service for students to attend, so you’re always spoilt for choice!

So if you’re worried you’ll miss out on that festive feeling if you go to Uni, don’t! Edge Hill make sure you’ve got lots of fun things to be a part of!

How to Adult- Part 2!

Hi guys! Hope you’ve had a great start to May and a great start to a new week.

I recently made a post about some of the things that are important once you come to Uni and become a more independent young adult (click here to see that post). There was a lot I could talk about, so I couldn’t fit it in one post, but here’s another post where I’ll focus on such things! I’ve chosen to discuss more personal issues you might come across at Uni in this post, but there will be further posts on this topic in the coming weeks!

Homesickness

Sadly this can happen at any moment at Uni, and was especially prominent in Freshers’ Week for me. I have never been away from my home and family (including my dogs and cats!) for more than a week, so upon moving in to my accommodation and spending more than a week living independently I got quite homesick. I still occasionally have times when I get homesick even now, 8 months on, but this is totally natural, especially if you have a close-knit family.

Although it’s not the most pleasant of feelings, there are many things you can do to combat homesickness:

  • Lean on your friends: once you’ve made friends with your flatmates, coursemates or anyone you meet in September (read my tips on making friends here), talk to them! If you’re feeling homesick, they probably know the same feeling. After all, you’re all in the same boat. They can hang out with you and help cheer you up. So don’t be afraid to say when you’re a little down about missing home! Strength comes in numbers.
  • Skype/phone your family: of course, when you’re homesick you’d rather have your family with you in person, but hearing their voices or seeing them really helps. You could make this a regular thing, maybe phone your parents every weekend or two if that helps you.
  • Speak to the support team at the Uni: the University has a great support system for students who are feeling homesick. The Health and Wellbeing team (click here to see their webpage) are located on campus and are there for any issues surrounding your wellbeing, so if you’re feeling especially bad, talking to them might help you. They might give you more tips on how you can feel less homesick too. If it gets really bad, there is also a counselling service which operates both on a requested appointment and drop-in basis (click here to see a webpage on the Milton House councilling team).

Dealing with living in Shared Accommodation

Although many Graduates talk about how living in University Halls was an experience they wouldn’t have wanted to miss, living in shared accommodation has it’s highs and lows. Firstly, it’s unlikely you’ll be in accommodation with someone you already know. On the one hand this is great, I’ve made some friends for life despite worrying about making any friends at all. However, on some occasions there are going to be people that you don’t click with as well. My biggest tip for situations with people in your accommodation that are maybe causing issues is to just keep your space from them. Of course, you’re living in the same building, but if you just keep to yourself and say hello when they’re in the communal areas with you and be polite you should both be able to come to a happy place within the accommodation. If this isn’t working, or if you are having further issues, maybe speak to them in person and discuss what it is that isn’t going right between you. As long as you stay polite and considerate of their situation then you shouldn’t have any major issues with the people in your flat.

Any other issues, more of the serious kind, within your accommodation can be solved by firstly speaking to your Student Assistant. Each type of accommodation has a Student Assistant, a 2nd or 3rd year student that works in co-ordination with the University support staff to ensure that any issues are dealt with appropriately and swiftly. SA’s are brilliant when you’re having issues within your flat, as they are in a similar position to you and can sometimes speak to you on maybe a more personal level than a member of staff, as they are someone you are living with/near too. If your issue is not resolved by your SA, you can speak to the Campus Life staff, who will usually take a more formal approach to solving the issue but are there for more serious issues if you need them. So there’s the support system there if you do come across any issues!

Victoria Loftus recently posted a great blog on Shared Accommodation which you can read here:

Sharing Accommodation

 

I hope you all find this information helpful! These are only 2 of the topics I could speak about, but I will be posting more on independent life in the coming weeks so keep your eye out! Hope you have a wonderful afternoon 🙂

Sculptures On The Edge

This week I thought I’d give a little visual guide to the sculptures on campus. Most of these are centred around Eastern Campus, with a few cropping up around Main Building in the centre. Some of these are right out in the open, such as “Eden” or “Bingo Bango”, whilst others are a bit more hidden away, like “For Those Afraid Of The Torch” or “Monoliths” – which I’d never actually seen until the day I took these photos! Sometimes all it takes is a sense of purpose, to see what was in front of you the whole time.

One of my personal favourites, is our very own “Bingo Bango”, made of welded steel by Robert Scriven – many times have I walked through campus at night and had to do a little double-take, forgetting they were there. I’m also very fond of “Grazing Sow” and “Goat”, who both reside near bio-sciences, so I see them on my walk in every day as well.

Having these pieces of artwork dotting mostly the green spaces of our university campus really adds charm to the place and makes it feel more homely. I may not be an artist myself, but I sure do appreciate their presence here.

(Click the links below for a larger view!)

You can also pick up a guide from the main reception that will take you on a trail to see all of these sculptures and MORE!

A Day in the Life

Now as much as I would like it to, I can’t lie and say that my day often begins with me springing out of bed, watching the sunrise and skipping off to a lecture. As a primary education student my timetable is pretty varied and some days my lectures begin at 9am and other days they begin at 2pm. But a typical day for me goes a little something like this:

8:00am – Is generally the time I set my alarm for if I am in for 9am, living on campus means I only have a 10 minute walk to get to the faculty of education so this leaves me plenty of time to get up and get ready for the day

9:00am – Most commonly when I am in at 9am it is for an APD lecture. APD is a core aspect of Primary Education and it stands for Academic and Professional Development. This area of the course focuses on areas such as learning theory and behaviour management. Lectures often have a bad reputation for being boring but ours are energetic and interactive especially this one

12:00pm – When in university for most of the day I often get lunch from McColls and sit with friends in the Hub. For me this is easier than remembering to make lunch and is also a fairly cheap option. As well as McColls there’s also hot food available from Sages and occasionally there are vendors in the Hub selling everything from cakes and crepes and smoothies and sweets.

2:00pm – Once I have finished for the day I usually call into the library on my way home, I find this is easier than making another trip later in the day and as most people are still in lectures or seminars it’s often a quieter time. During busier periods the library is open 24 hours which is convenient when you’re working late at night and suddenly realise there’s a book you urgently need.

3:00pm – When I get back to my flat I pretty much always have a nap. Halls are much quieter in the afternoons and I find this is the perfect slot for a little me time.

5:00pm – Following on from this I like to try and get some work done everyday even if it is only a small amount. I find that on my course organisation is key and filing notes and completing reading may seem small but really helps me to stay on top of the bigger tasks and prevents work from piling up.

7:00pm – As a flat we always have dinner together. This has taken many weeks of trial and error as it is not easy to co-ordinate 8 meals in 2 ovens at any one time, but we have almost perfected the art. Sitting together in an evening is a really important part of the day for me as it allows everyone to catch up and talk about their day.

9:00pm – Evenings at university aren’t that different to what most people experience at home. Following on from dinner we usually spend an hour doing work and then all get showered and watch a film or television together. As the night draws on we almost always spend an hour saying that we must go to bed soon followed by another hour of chatter. I think when living with other people that you enjoy being around it is hard to just go to bed as you don’t want to miss out on what is going on around you resulting in many, many late nights.

Home Sickness vs Uni Sickness

Uni sickness is something that I never thought I’d experience, having suffered so terribly with home sickness at the beginning of my first year. But as time has progressed I’ve found myself becoming increasingly fond of my lifestyle at Edge Hill and in many ways it has overtaken the home life that I used to favour. Luckily my home sickness was short lived and with help from Wellbeing team and their homesickness workshop (alongside a few last minute trips home in times of crisis) I am now experiencing the exact opposite.

Coming home for the Christmas holidays has made me realise all the little things about university that I am missing and resulted in what I am now referring to as ‘uni sickness’*. One of the main things to re-adjust to is the fact that often now I am home alone, living in halls this has been a very rare occurrence. I am used to the atmosphere that is associated with living with 7 other people, having people pop in and out at random times to see me and where waking up in the afternoon isn’t considered a bad thing. But I think the thing that I am missing most about being back at uni is that no matter what you do or how weird it may seem, no one really questions you about it. Fancying Coco Pops for dinner? Completely acceptable. Slippers in the library? Whatever makes you feel comfortable. For me it is this overall feeling of acceptance that makes university so enjoyable.

I think something that adds to my longing to be back in halls is the fact that I have made such close bonds with the people that I am living with. It is safe to say that living together really accelerates the relationship you have with other people and you quickly feel as though you have known one another for a lot longer than the few months you’ve spent together in halls. In many ways I think it is s strange feeling to be spending Christmas away from the people with whom you would normally spend every day. As a result of this we decided to have a flat family Christmas before breaking up for the holidays. This was compromised of everything a traditional dinner would be, dodgy jumpers, turkey and competitive after dinner games.

So luckily I’ve had one lovely university Christmas already and I am now looking forward to another.

* Uni Sickness adj. – to have a longing or desire to be back at university or living the university life style whilst living or staying at home.