Creating a Routine for University!

Hey everyone! I have just completed my first week back at Edge Hill University from my three month summer holidays and I thought I would do a post on how to get back to routine after a long break.

I know that Christmas and Easter holidays can be long and returning back to the grind of university can be somewhat daunting but I have found that these tips help me get myself back to routine.


Get Up Early!

I’m not saying that you have to get up at the crack of dawn but, setting your alarm slightly earlier than you normally would and getting your day started earlier can really help to begin your day right. I like getting up earlier because it means I don’t have to rush around in the morning but rather I can take my time and make sure that I have everything prepared for the day ahead.

Make Yourself and Timetable!

Alongside the timetable that I had for university lectures and seminars, I also had my own timetable for everything that I needed to do outside of classes such as; the gym, assignment reading, me time and homework that needs to be completed. This allows me to see when I have free time and what deadlines I have coming up so that I can stick to a regular study routine.

Schedule in Your Breaks

Take this piece of advice from a person who did not schedule in breaks and burnt herself out immediately. Believe me, taking breaks when trying to get back into routine is just as important as scheduling in your working time. If you don’t take time to give yourself a break you will lose the motivation to start any work and continue with the same routine.

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Those are my three quick tips to getting back into routine after coming back from a long break! Also, check out the uniskills website through Edge Hill Student page to get some extra help and support to get you back to routine. I have been to one of the ‘one to one’ appointments at the catalyst which I booked through Uniskills and it really helped get my head around a new routine to help me meet my deadlines for assignments. https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/uni-skills/

Hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading!

My routine is there to serve as the building blocks for a successful day. It’s a tool. I try not to get bogged down if I can’t do it all.” 

Carly Stein

Tips for writing your personal statement 📝

I can remember, even now, the stress and panic that had built up inside me when writing my personal statement. Being five years out of school, I didn’t remember any of the advice they gave to me, probably because I wasn’t interested in university then and so didn’t exactly listen. I ended up scanning the internet, as I’m sure you’re doing now, looking for tips and tricks, dos and don’ts and basically how to get through it. Everything I read was complicated and wordy so I want to make this short and sweet, but as helpful as possible.

Structure:

My personal statement is sectioned into five paragraphs.

The first is where I briefly told the reader what I am currently doing and I made sure to link this to the course I am interested in and why I am wanting to apply for this particular course. The first line is always the hardest for me, even with assignments now it’s a big hurdle. Some say to start with a quote, others say don’t start with a quote. Personally, I think quotes are cheesy and it’s a waste of your words. Use your words, not somebody else’s. I began, simply, with ‘I am currently…’

In the second paragraph I went into more detail about the job I am doing, the responsibilities I have, the skills I am obtaining and the experiences I am collating. This is where you sell yourself and this is where the hardest part lies as you need to be confident but remain cautious of a boastful tone.

My third paragraph is similar to the second but here I talked about previous experiences/jobs/events/volunteering, anything that makes you stand out and look good. Remember that everything you say must be important and have reason to be there. For example, I discussed my acting experience and I did this because it allowed me to talk about being confident in speaking to crowds, how it enhanced my creativity and how it taught me a lot about teamwork, initiative and inventiveness.

The fourth paragraph is less work and schooling, but more interests and hobbies, but make them meaningful. ‘I like reading’ isn’t going to cut it. I had written about my love of travelling, where I’ve been and where I plan to go next. I talked about my interest in the Endometriosis charity and the Stroke Association and what I have done regarding this. I talked about my love of golf that I share with my father and a tournament we had coming up in Dubai and lastly I mentioned why I had taken several gap years and how this was the best decision for me. This may not be the case for you, but if it was, ensure you make it a positive reason. Keep the whole statement positive.

The final ‘paragraph’ (it’s only four lines) is a summary of what my next steps are and why I chose Edge hill. Try to mention something about the University you are applying for, showing you have researched them – it’s a nice, personal touch.

My biggest tip for you is to read as many personal statements as you can. Read around and you will find structures you like, you will be inspired by what others have included and you will feel more confident when you get around to writing it. It’s tough, but it’s worth it. The best of luck, I’m sure you’ll smash it. Thanks for reading, leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Amy

Packing Tips and Tricks!

Hey everyone! With Welcome Sunday just around the corner and some of you finishing off some packing and getting ready for your travels, I thought I would do a little post on some of the tips and tricks I picked up over my first year on how to pack more effectively. I am currently in the process of packing to move back over to university and I am using every single one of these tips. I hope you enjoy!

Quick Tip – do a quick wash before you pack, it helps to fold clothes smoother.
  1. Vacuum Bags – these were a life-saver for my suitcase when it came to moving back over to Ireland. I was able to condense all my clothes into smaller packages so I could fit more in my case!
  2. Rolling – rolling your clothes and socks etc saves so much room in your bag as they are in tighter little bundles. This does take slightly longer to pack but I promise it saves you having to sit on top of your suitcase to get it to close or worse…busting the zip.
  3. Packing within packing – by this I mean, if you have a handbag you need to take over with you, packing things in that before putting it in your suitcase. This way, the things inside your handbag are not taking up extra room in your case. 
  4. Pack only what you need – when I first moved over to university, I packed everything! And some of it, I didn’t even wear or use. Before you start to put things in your case, really think about whether you need it or are just packing it because you have to. If you find that you have clothes that you don’t wear, donate them to a charity shop where you know someone will love them.  
  5. Buy things when you arrive – I made the mistake of buying everything I needed for the flat over here in Ireland such as; pots and pans, plates, cutlery, bedding etc. What I should have done was just pack all my clothes and duvet covers and bought the rest of what I needed over in Ormskirk. This would have saved me a lot more room.
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My final tip caters more for my fellow Irish pals or anyone who has to fly or take the boat over: 

This year I used UniBaggage to help me move over my things which was way more convenient than I thought it would be. All I had to do was get a box, pack all the things that I needed into the box (including my vacuum bags), measure the dimensions of the box and then weigh it. A delivery man then just comes around to the house and sends it off. I was able to choose a date in which I wanted it collected and when I wanted it delivered to my new house in Ormskirk so that it is waiting for me when I arrive!

I hope you enjoy this quick little post and that it helps you in your future packing!

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

What to Watch?

Hi everyone! As we get closer to welcome week and the return of students to Edge Hill, there’s a lot of focus on welcome week, fresher’s activities and getting settled in. Since all of this has been covered already I thought for what looks to be my last blog I would do something a bit different and make a list of upcoming TV over the next few months which might be suitable for binge watching once the university quietens down and you find yourself with more free time.

The Witcher (Netflix) – TBC (2019)

As someone who is a big fan of the games, the show has a lot to live up to, but with a generous budget and Henry Cavill starring, this could be a show worth watching especially if your looking for something after Game of Thrones.

Big Mouth (Netflix) – Oct 4

Not for the faint of heart but definitely funny and could be perfect for watching with your mates. Season 3 is out later this year.

Mr Robot (Amazon Prime) – Oct 6

Starring Rami Malek who you might know as Freddie Mercury from Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr Robot seems to have been overlooked by most but it’s a tense thriller that deserves more peoples attention Season 4 is out this October.

His Dark Materials (BBC) – TBC (2019)

I don’t know a lot about this but it’s a co- venture between BBC and HBO so it must have a good budget, and is based on a series of highly regarded books. The show stars the likes of James McAvoy and is set to air on BBC one sometime later this year so might be one worth looking out for.

Top Boy (Netflix) – September 13

The first series originally aired on Channel 4 back in 2011 with only one follow up series in 2013. I caught it on Netflix a year or so back and have been waiting for the return ever since. Top Boy is a crime drama set in London so expect some violence. it’s minimal episode numbers mean every episode barely has a dull moment. Definitely one to watch.

The Crown (Netflix) – November 17

My girlfriend first got me to watching this back a few months ago, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since, the production value is insanely good and with series 3 seeing a new older cast featuring Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter, it’s definitely on my watch list.

So that’s the TV shows I’ll be watching over the coming months, I think it’s good to have a good variety. I hope at least one interests you if so that would be great!

This looks to be my last blog so thank you for reading if you have read any of my blogs over the past nine months and see you later!

Jordan

Making Friends 101

It’s getting closer to the day you all move in and start your university experience! i hope you are all enjoying binge watching what do bring with you to university videos on YouTube (please tell me I was not the only one!)

As a girl who moved from Ireland to Edge Hill University, I thought that making friends would be the hardest part about university but low and behold I was very surprised…doing your own washing is the hardest part. However, although it is not the hardest part about starting university and I had a very good friend that I knew from home, it can be quite nerve-wracking especially if you are introverted like I was so, here are some of my tips on how I managed to get people to be in my company voluntarily.

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BE YOUR BEST SELF!

I’m sorry for how cliche this is but it is seriously so true. People have this weird ability to sense if people are being fake and this only heightens when you get to university. I will admit that I was very scared to be myself in front of my fellow classmates and flat mates but once I got comfortable, let’s just say that we are now very close and they know why I am not myself around everyone I meet…

Societies will be your first best friend!

I have heard that joining these at the very start of the year can be so useful when wanting to make friends in an environment that you are comfortable in. For example, there are musical theatre groups, dance groups, Doctor Who groups and many more that you would never think of. Don’t make the mistake I made and not join one of these!

Go on nights out!

This is another classic case of do as I say and not as I do. I made the mistake of not going out much with my flat mates and not being able to meet new people outside of my course. I now have learnt that while being an introvert is not a bad thing, it can be damaging when you want to meet new people. Take my advice and push yourself to socialise outside the confines of your flat because, while it might be hard and scary you won’t regret it!

Now that I read this blog again, I really should have titled it, ‘Mistakes I made whilst trying to make friends.’ I really hope that you find the friends you deserve because they really do make the difference to your university experience.

“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you”

Rasheed Ogunlaru

Taking the pressure off…

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all getting excited about starting your course at Edge Hill University! Be sure to check out the social media sites so you can keep up to date on Q&A conversations, campus activities and fresher updates.

Take this blog as a piece of advice from a now second year university student where I talk about why it is important not to let your course dominate your whole university experience and why you should keep up with your hobbies and not abandon them to focus solely on your course.


When I first started university, I was so ready to dive straight in to work and be on top of my assignments, homework and reading. While I did do this through-out my first year, I now realised how much of the experience of university I missed out on. For example, having last minute, middle of the day movies with my flat, going shopping with my flat-mates, having dinner and lunch together and just missing out on moments because I was always in the library trying to be on top of everything.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing because you do end up being way ahead of everyone in terms of work and you should still try to do this but just remember that this can be done in a way that doesn’t mean you will miss out on a bunch of memories like I did. This is a classic case of do as I say and not as I do…

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My Advice for not letting your course consume you!

I don’t mean that you should completely abandon your lectures and never do your assignments just in case you thought that was what I was saying. If I were to give my first year self some advice I would tell her to go to lectures and do your assignments in a nice relaxed pace and don’t try and get things done and dusted as quickly as possible!

I would tell myself to hang out with my flat more rather than go to library for most of the day because you’re going to miss out on some really good times.

I would tell myself to put time and effort into my course and make sure that I am performing and achieving to the best of my ability but don’t let it take away from your overall experience.

I would finally tell myself to keep up with my hobbies! Luckily I still went to the gym and went for walks which was something I really loved but I also wished I kept doing photography and used my free time to play around with this hobby. This was the most important advice I could have given myself because I got a sense of freedom when I did take a break from my course and focused on my hobby.

My hobby, Photography!

I hope this helps someone who like me, likes to stay on top of work and feels the need to constantly work! Trust me, this quality is a great thing to have when work needs to be done but, when it doesn’t need to be done right away, live your university experience.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

Meal Ideas for Uni

Hi guys and gals as we get closer to the start of another year, It got me thinking about what new stuff I want to try/cook while away from home, which also made me think about some of the main things I cook at the moment. I decided to make this blog just in case it gives anyone unsure of what to cook while on their own some inspiration.

Chicken and Noodles

At uni sometimes meals just need to be cheap and nutritious without being overly elaborate and this is one of my go to favourites. Cook off some chicken breast, I usually buy large frozen bags since they are more cost friendly, when the chicken is nearly done, boil and simmer some egg fried noodles, dice the cooked chicken and add back into the saucepan used to boil the now drained noodles. Then finally you want to add a stir fry sauce sachet, you can get these in most food shops, recommended flavours include: Hoisin and Garlic and Sweet Chilli. The sachets usually say serves 2 but I find one sachet per person is more generous and your done. Simple and full of nutritional value.

All Day Breakfast Wrap

This one has been my go two plenty of times, more comfort food than healthy meal but sometimes you need that come mid January, fry or grill off your breakfast items of choice. I usually go with bacon sausage and fried eggs (I eat a lot) Then add it all into a wrap, you can also add some grated cheese for extra taste.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Sometimes looks complicated but is actually pretty simple. Add mince to a saucepan and cook till browned, then I would usually just add a jar of bolognese sauce, Dolmio is always a good bet to add to the mince and simmer for however long the jar says. While it’s simmering boil some pasta of your choice, drain and add to the mince and sauce, simple. If your a bit more adventurous I usually fry off onions and mushrooms and mix them in to the bolognese at the end. You can also make extra extra bolognese and chuck it in the fridge, then next day just microwave it off and all you have to cook is pasta.

So there’s a few of the things I would make when i’m at uni. You’ve probably heard the whole ‘living off pot noodles’ thing but honestly if you want proper meals there easy to make, trust me. Thanks for reading!

Jordan

Being Vegan or Vegetarian at Edge Hill University!

Hey everyone! With the rise in veganism, vegetarianism and just the general rise in people eating less meat in their daily lives, I thought that I would put a simple post together on how this can be done at Edge Hill and in Ormskirk as it is a small area with a much more limited choice than you would get in a city. I myself don’t consider myself vegan or vegetarian as I still eat fish and eggs but no dairy, red meat, chicken, etc. When I moved into university and was living on my own, I began to make more plant based and vegetarian meals which were quite easy. I know that this lifestyle can be quite tricky for people but hopefully this post will help some of you!


Shopping!

This was what I found the easiest when I first started eating more plant based. I shop in Aldi and Iceland because they are cheap and I can get everything I need for a week for under £20! Iceland have a whole section of plant based foods such as pizza, sausages, meatballs, burgers, pies and chicken strips! Aldi have the most amazing beetroot burgers and sweet potato burgers that go amazing with some frozen and roasted veg and potatoes! I also bulk buy the cans of chickpeas and butter beans because these can be so amazing in a curry or in a salad. Leading a more plant-based lifestyle does not have to be expensive!

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I would also shop a little in Holland and Barrett for things I might not be able to get in the main food shops such as tofu, tempeh and Linda McCartney items (if you know, you know) and these items would usually last me a couple of weeks as they can be frozen. Morrisons is also a good place for vegan, vegetarian and free from options but if you want to stick to a cheaper option, I would opt for Aldi or Iceland.

Eating Out!

I thought that when I moved to Ormskirk I would never be able to find anywhere with vegan or dairy free options but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was way easier than it was in my own home town. I will compile a little list of all the places that have a vegan menu or that I find are really accommodating to this type of lifestyle;

  • The Fat Italian – has a full vegan menu
  • Cobble – really good carrot and hummus bagel, just saying
  • Nordico Lounge – vegan-friendly
  • The Bagel Deli – vegan bagels, need I say more?
  • Wetherspoons – vegan meals on a budget? Perfect.

You can also treat yourself to going into Liverpool if you want even more options but for Ormskirk being so small, it is amazing what you can get.

Take Outs!

This is what I have found to be the hardest part about living this lifestyle because there is cheese or milk in A LOT of takeaway places however, I did manage to get a vegetarian dominoes pizza delivered to my flat with the rest of my flat mates which was really really nice but not vegan. Also, in terms of getting a Chinese takeaway, there is no harm in asking what they have that you could eat. I got a black bean dish from a local Chinese takeaway which was dairy free and full of veggies!

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Ordering food to the flat and getting a takeaway is a lot harder on this lifestyle but if you know that your flat mates will be having food like this, be prepared and have a frozen pizza in the freezer just incase so that you don’t feel like you are being left out.


I hope that some of you found this useful and are not so worried about having difficulty with continuing your amazing vegan/vegetarian/dairy free lifestyle. It was only when I started university that I cut out a lot of meat products and started cooking plant based meals and I would not have been able to do that if Ormskirk had not made it as accessible as it has.

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

-Albert Einstein-

Living off Campus

Hi guys, since we are coming to the start of a new year a lot of you may be living off campus for the first time. So here’s a few things that in my experience are different from on campus accommodation both good and bad.

Having your own washing machine/drier

I don’t know about you but the circuit machines in the SU were always messing me around one way or another especially with their broken app, so moving off campus and just being able to use a machine without having to carry clothes anywhere or ring up circuit for the FIFTH time to get a refund is a very welcome change.

Being closer to the town

The title speaks for itself but most people live in or around Ormskirk, which is both a good and a bad thing as your closer to shops and bars but it also means getting up earlier than 8.45 to get to uni classes, you also have to contend with the Edge Link bus free for all just before 9 in the morning. Unless you happen to live in a location equidistant between the town and the uni in which case, nice one.

Varying broadband quality

I lived in Chancellors Court in first year and the WiFi and wired internet connections available were both a dream to use, I hardly ever had any issues and could download as much stuff as I wanted with little fuss. Moving into off campus living my broadband is more basic, it still does the job. But, be wary that if your someone who relies heavily on good speeds you may not always be able to get them, this depends on a variety of factors but especially if your moving in with other people this can be something to keep in mind. Although you might end up having much better internet so it varies.

No Fire Drills

Living on campus means on occasion the fire alarm will go off for drills, which can be ever so slightly annoying but understandable. It’s not so fun though when someone accidentally sets it off early or late at night. At least when you live off campus there’s usually less people to set off an alarm and you don’t usually have to do fire drills, unless you want to for um fun?

So there are a few things I noticed most after making the switch, any questions feel free to ask and thanks for reading!

Jordan