IT Support and Student Services

In the two years I’ve been at Edge Hill University, I’ve had to use the various support systems a few times, and I’ve always had a positive response from them. The Student Services at EHU are well renowned and really are there for the benefit of the student.

During first year, I went to the IT Services in the Durning Centre for help setting up my PS4. I was staying in Chancellor’s Court, and no-one had managed to connect their consoles to the wifi or ethernet ports in their bedrooms. Soon, the problem was fixed for Microsoft consoles, but the issue still presided for the Sony counterparts. This was an issue with Sony servers – from the gist of it, Sony wasn’t realising that the halls of residence were multiple addresses and had assumed we were one address trying to connect huge numbers of consoles. After the off-site issue was resolved, I worked with IT Services to help them connect my PS4 to the network; it took a couple of tries over a few phone calls, but we soon had it working. As far as I know, I was one of the first, if not the first person in Chancellor’s Court to get their PS4 connected. Soon after, IT Services set up a system via email to get everyone online a lot easier.

I’ve also had to go to IT Services and Academic Registry to alter some personal details, these were also easily remedied and proved no hassle at all. The support systems in place for technical issues is quite robust.

Also during first year, I made some trips to Milton House, for a different kind of support. Although I only attended a few sessions there, it was a great facility and the people there were extremely supportive of me. The Counselling team at Milton House offer a wide range of support from bereavement to anxiety in one-on-one sessions as well as groups and workshops for uni stress.

Support at Edge Hill

I’ve found that the support available at Edge Hill has been incredibly useful, particularly in my second year. Last year, I didn’t find myself homesick at all; I enjoyed my newfound freedom and university was was a whole new experience. My second year is when I found myself missing home more often; I was with completely new people in a house and the stresses of the course were just… different.

Yet I wasn’t alone.

Edge Hill has a whole host of support networks to help you out when you’re feeling down.

First and foremost is your personal tutor. This is someone who oversees both your academic and personal progress, and can help you out with any worries you may be having. My personal tutor and head of year have both been absolutely fabulous this year in help me work through my stress, including granting extensions when necessary, and helping me prioritise the work that needs to be done, over work that can wait a little longer until I’m of better health – both physical and mental.

Secondly, there is the team in the Student Information Centre who can help you with Health and Wellbeing in general. They’re based on campus, and are there for you to talk to and give you advice on where to go to next, based upon your worries. For example, if it’s money troubles you’re having, there’s someone you can speak to about that. If you’re falling behind in work because you’re ill, there’s someone you can speak to. They’re sort of a first port of call for advice.

Another great source of support are the student workshops which Edge Hill offer both on campus and over at Milton House. These range from advice on dating, to overcoming homesickness, to avoiding procrastination. Check out the link for the full range of workshops Edge Hill offers.

Finally for this list, there is counselling at Milton House, which is just behind campus on Ruff Lane. Appointments here tend to last between 6-8 sessions, unless the counsellor believes there is a need for further sessions. These can be really useful if there is a further issue that needs to be addressed, and usually you’ll be able to see someone within a week of contacting them, unlike if you go to your GP surgery.

This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it highlights to you just how much support there is available here at Edge Hill and make you feel a little more comfortable about your choice to come here.

Coping With University Stress

Although I have found university to be a freeing and joyous experience overall, it can be a tad stressful from time to time. When you first experience stress at university varies (if you even experience it at all), it may come shortly after moving into halls; halfway through the first semester; or perhaps during one of your exam periods. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world. It’s very common to have some form of worry whether it be because of your course, the new environment, or new people, and Edge Hill University is equipped to deal with this scenario.

Student Services have a branch dedicated to the wellbeing of students: Counselling and Wellbeing Services. They offer free sessions and workshops on relaxation and stress management, as well as support groups for things such as bereavement or loss. Their dedicated page to relaxation can be found here.

There are also personal things that you can try to reduce your stress levels during times of worry. Here are my main three that help me keep calm in moments of panic:

Blogging

Specifically two forms – active and passive. My active blogging is similar to what I’m doing as I type this, and the result is similar to what you’re reading here right now. Simply writing down all the thoughts in your head – a brain dump – can alleviate a lot of stress, whether it’s posted on a public blog like this, or a private one more akin to a diary. Instead of having things constantly occupying your mind for attention, you can separate yourself from any troubles and take a fresh look at the world (and hopefully see it isn’t as bad as you thought).

What I mean by passive blogging on the hand (if you can even really call it that), is using sites like Tumblr. Whenever I scroll down my dashboard on a typical day, anything soothing, cute, reassuring or funny gets tagged by me, and sorted into categories on my blog. Then, whenever I’m having a rough day, I can scroll through all these lovely posts – be it pictures of cats, funny test posts, or calming art.

Meditation

Something else that helped me a lot though my years of sixth form, was meditation. Admittedly, I’ve fallen out of practise in recent times, but it’s worth mentioning – since it even helped with my anxiety at the time as well. I personally used an app called Headspace, which has an unlimited free trial but also a paid subscription for more directed sessions. Headspace essentially is like a podcast, in that you listen to it from your phone or computer and are spoken to (if you’ve ever listened to Welcome To Night Vale, think of Cecil’s soothing tone). They also run a Get Some / Give Some scheme, which is a lovely way of giving back and supporting those who have gone through a whole manner of hardships.

There are of course other permanent, free, meditation aids. Two more that I myself have not tried, but have downloaded at some point or another are, Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think.

Friends

Of course, there’s nothing like having friends to fall back on in times of stress. A close few who you can rely on to back you up when you’re feeling down are always nice. Plus, if the tables turn and they’re the ones who are stressed, there’s not much better than being able to make someone feel calm again.

Student Support

Edge Hill has a lot to offer in the way of a support network, but I always find that when in doubt it’s best to start at the Student Information Centre. The Student Information Centre is on campus, right next to the library, and it is a great place to get advice. I’ve actually been having council-tax-related-trouble this morning, so I rang up the Student Information Centre and they advised me over the phone. Here are some of the things they can help you with:

They can help you if: 

…you need to talk to a one-on-one counsellor- If you’re struggling and need somebody to talk to then a counselling session can be arranged. Read more HERE.

…you are struggling to find work- The Student Information Centre includes the Careers Centre. In the Careers Centre the advisors are on hand to assist students in getting jobs and to help students with their employability. They can look over your CV and arrange voluntary work. Read more HERE.

…you need financial advice- Today, after over an hour of calling various people at Liverpool council, googling things that I’d never understand and tearing my hair out I called the Student Information Centre. They advised me on how best to proceed and put my mind at rest. They can also help with budgeting and funding information. Read more HERE.

…you need childcare support- Edge Hill assist where they can in making it as easy as possible for parents to attend university. They can give information and advice on childcare and can also give information regarding financial support. Read more HERE.

Click HERE for more information on the support offered to students.