My Edge Hill Experience So Far…

 

Hi, I’m Victoria Loftus – though I tend to go by Vicky most of the time. I’m currently in my third year at Edge Hill studying English literature and creative writing. Being in third year you’d think I’ve had a good couple of years to get used to the whole independent adult thing, but I’m still learning new things every day. That’s the great thing about uni, it gives you a safe, supportive place to learn how to adult, without being thrown into the deep end and ultimately being left to drown in all the crazy responsibilities. I thought for my first blog post I’d share with you the highlights of my Edge Hill experience so far…

I’ve become more independent.

Of course one the most important (non-academic) lessons I’ve learnt during my time at university came at the beginning of first year, and that was how to fend for myself; including getting over my fear of using an oven after living off pasta and takeaways for the first few months. I also learnt that bathrooms don’t clean themselves (sorry mum!) and often need cleaning a couple of times a week, typical.

As well as the obvious domestic things, I also learnt a lot about dealing with things like bills and finances. I can now confidently budget and organise bill payments with my flatmates, as well as being able to actually talk on the phone with internet and electricity companies without turning into a babbling mess. In terms of organisation, I have finally got my head around how to arrange my timetable and social life so I can enjoy myself without my work getting on top of me – if that’s not a win I don’t know what is!

I’ve made loads of friends from different backgrounds.

Edge Hill is such a diverse university and is so different to the small town I come from. Since I’ve started uni I’ve made so many friends from so many different backgrounds. Not only have I made friends from different regions of the UK, I’ve also met people from places such as China, America and France. I’ve learnt so many things from my friends, from slang (‘boss’ and ‘chunder’) to recipes – would you believe me if I said I’d never tried sprinkling crisps on top of a pasta bake until my flatmate showed me in first year? Meeting such a diverse group of people has really helped open my eyes to everything I’ve been missing in my little corner of Wales.

I’ve gotten involved in societies/student projects

Lastly, I’ve had so many chances to develop new skills and take part in loads of fun projects. I’ve been a part of Hillstart Dance Society and Edge Hill Musical Theatre Society during my time here and I enjoyed every minute of it. In my first year I even got to perform in a production of my all-time favourite musical (Rent) which of course I jumped at the chance to be a part of! I’ve even tried out a few new hobbies, including pole fitness – I recommend it, though it’s very hard work.

In my second year I performed in a student production called ‘Grim Repercussions’ organised by a group of creative writing students and I am now the production manager for their second production ‘Meat and Greet.’ It just goes to show how supportive Edge Hill is with fostering creativity. Seriously, if you have any good ideas speak to one of your tutors or another relevant staff member about it, they could point you in the right direction. University is probably the best place to begin making big ideas into something more, you have great facilities and tonnes of support to make it happen!

Until next time. 🙂

Hi Edge Hill!

Hey there, welcome to my first official Edge Hill blog post!
I’m so excited to start blogging here and giving you an insight of what my student experience is like here. A good idea however before I start would be an introduction, so here I go.
Hi, I’m Charley, a second year Film and Television Production Student who lives in a student home in Ormskirk. (Phew, that’s out of the way.)  

Edge Hill hosts a variety of courses and has the facilities to prove it. However, you’ll usually find me in Creative Edge (as that’s where my course is based), in one of the editing suites as I’m an aspiring editor.

The Hub on the other hand, is one of my favourite spots to go on campus, mostly because of the shop and the mini market they usually have on. But most importantly when events are held there such as freshers fair, the hub comes alive and there’s a buzzing atmosphere in the air, and a chance to grab freebies always helps.    

Speaking of freshers fair, that’s where you can sign up for a variety of societies, which Edge Hill has a lot of. I myself am President of Disney society, editor for Vibe Media, editor/ runner for the Label Recordings and part of the Raising and Giving society. However there’s a massive range of societies to choose from if those don’t take your fancy, from Anime to Rock Climbing, there’s a lot on offer. As well as having the ability to create a society, if acceptable, from one of your hobbies or interest, but that’s a blog post for a different time.

Inside the Art Centre

And finally there is the Arts Centre if you like open mic nights, live performers and pizza, this is the place for you. The reason I go there though is for ‘Free Film Friday’. As you can guess by the title the Art Centre most weeks screen new releases of films in their cinema, which is free for all students, which is great for all you media buffs out there and perfect for a free night out of the flat.

Thank you for reading my first post, I can’t wait to tell you more about Edge Hill and what it has to offer in future posts!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Black Mirror (2011-)

Watch the Time

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all having another good week, the sun has finally come out today so I’m enjoying the sunshine.

I know this week means Results Day for a lot of you, so again good luck!

Once you’ve got your results and your confirmed university place you’ll be eager to know what’s in-store for you once you start your degree.

One of the major differences between college and university will be the amount of time you spend being taught and the amount of independent study you’re expected to do.

The time you spend in lessons at college or sixth form can entirely depend on which college you attended. When I was at college I was in classes for 18 hours each week, and it was recommended that we did around 9 hours independent study per week.

In my first year of uni I took three modules, and had 4 hours contact time per module (that’s just a fancy way of saying the time you spend being taught.) That time was split up each week into a lecture, a lecture workshop and then a two hour seminar.

Although the contact time can vary between different courses and modules, it’s likely your timetable will consist of an equal balance between lectures and seminars. That means that each week you get given an opening lecture to introduce a  topic and later in the week will have a seminar to discuss ideas and delve a little deeper.

The main reason why a university timetable has so little contact time is to allow you to do the research you need for seminars and assignments. As there is a lot more freedom with university assignments than anything you’ve ever done before the library will probably become your best friend in the lead up to submission dates.

The main piece of advice I can give is to not waste the time you have outside of lectures and seminars.

The best way to do that is to maintain a balance between classes, your part-time job (if you have one), your social life, independent study and your free time.

Make sure to put in the time to get the best results you can, but don’t overwork yourself and make sure you go out and enjoy yourself every once in a while! You’ll have deserved it.

Quote for the day: “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” -Shelby Foote.

Hope you all have a fantastic week and to those awaiting results don’t worry, I am sure you will do amazingly!

-Becki 🙂

The Benefits of Volunteering

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all having another good week, and enjoying the break from college. As much as I’ve been missing uni lately it’s been nice to have a little time away to recharge and get ready for second year.

A couple of posts ago I mentioned some good ways of staying productive over the summer. One of those ways was volunteering. This week I’m going to focus on that a little bit more.

For the past few weeks I’ve been volunteering at the PDSA shop near where I live, which hasn’t only kept me from going insane with boredom but has helped me make new friends, make a positive difference and gain some new experience.

Thankfully my CV isn’t entirely blank, but having a few extra skills to put on there never does any harm.

According to some surveys 73% of employers would hire someone who has volunteering experience over an individual without.

That’s because volunteering shows you have motivation and determination to work for a cause that means a lot to you, and it’s surprising how many skills you can pick up along the way.

Volunteering with a local charity shop can give you retail experience, shows you are able to work in a team, gives you good cash handling skills and allows you to interact with a diverse range of customers. Who wouldn’t want to be able to gain all that experience for a few hours volunteering each week?
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And if volunteering in retail isn’t something that appeals to you there are a number of other ways you can get involved and help your community.

From spending a few hours each month with an elderly person and helping them with daily activities to volunteering to help out at festivals or races taking place near you, the opportunities are almost endless.

My favourite thing about volunteering though is the fact that you can fit it into your schedule, no matter what that schedule is.

Even during term time at uni you will probably have a few hours to spare, and volunteering during those few hours gives you the chance to do something you enjoy, gain valuable skills and stop mindlessly watching Netflix.

I’d really recommend volunteering to everyone, so if it’s not something you’ve looked into before then I suggest you give it a go!

I intend to carry on my volunteering when I return to uni, and who knows, maybe I’ll see some of you then!

Quote for the day: “We help because that is who we truly are.” -Joseph Rain

Have another amazing week!

Until next time 🙂

Help Is All Around Us

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all having a fantastic week (even if it may still be exam season for some of you!)

This week I’m going to be talking a little bit about Student Services, and the advice and support they offer to students.

If you’ve attended an Open Day, you’ve probably walked by the Student Services table or attended a talk that they’ve held on finance, accommodation or additional support throughout your degree. The truth is Student Services do this and so much more.

One of the great things about the Student Services team at Edge Hill is there is always a smiling, friendly face to help and advise you in any way they can. Every single time I’ve approached them with an issue or enquiry the staff have gone the extra mile to help out in any way possible, and the matter is always resolved efficiently, and confidentially if necessary.

One of my favourite things that the team at Edge Hill offer is the range of workshops they hold for students. Whether you want to beat your procrastination and make sure you finish all your essays with time to spare or feel the need to express your feelings through the medium of art then there is something on offer for you.

When I first came to Edge Hill there was a workshop on Overcoming Homesickness that I attended. Although I wasn’t living too far away from home moving away to uni was a huge lifestyle change, and it can be a bit scary. I was uncertain about a lot of things, but the workshop gave me a lot of great tips on how to deal with the change, and reminded me no matter where you come from home is only a phone call away!

There is so much on offer, and I would totally encourage you to give one of these workshops a try. They can help you in so many ways, and they could be that extra building block in developing a more confident, mindful and happy you.

If you want to see a full list of the workshops the Student Services team held this year then click here. Don’t hesitate to drop them an email if you have any questions/concerns, they will be more than happy to help out!

Quote for the day: Walked out this morning I don’t believe what I saw, a hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore. Seems I’m not alone in being alone” -The Police.

There’s help available everywhere, just don’t be too afraid to ask for it!

Hope you all have another fantastic week. Until next time 🙂

Open Days

Hi everyone!

It’s the middle of June, which means for a lot of people it is exam time. Some lucky people might already be finished with A Levels, and if you have then congratulations! If not then good luck with all your future exams and assignments 🙂

This week I’m going to talk to you a bit about Open Days and what you can expect to get out of them.

If you’ve applied for Edge Hill and are currently holding an offer then there’s a high chance you’ve already attended an Open Day or an Applicant Visit Day. But even if you haven’t there is still time to visit.

For everyone who is interested in applying to Edge Hill next year then there will be a number of Open Days throughout the academic year.

For dates and more information on how to book an Open Day click here.

I can’t stress how important attending an Open Day can be.

When you accept your university offer you’re committing three years of your life to that uni, so it’s important that it’s the right place for you.

Even if you live quite far away I would recommend trying to make it to an Open Day (some universities reimburse the travel costs – they know how important visiting the university is!)

Attending an Open Day at Edge Hill was one of the things that made me 100% certain I wanted to study there.

In the same way, I went to some Open Days that showed me that a particular university wasn’t quite right for me. Try before you commit. It’s a huge decision, and you don’t want to find yourself having made the wrong choice when you can easily prevent it!

So what can an Open Day do for you?

Here’s my list of everything it helped me with:

  • Learning about the different types of accommodation on campus and their costs
  • Meeting the tutors who would be teaching me throughout my degree
  • Learning about specific modules and assessments
  • Finding out more about Student Finance
  • Looking at all the facilities the university has to offer
  • Getting a feel for the campus and if it was the right place for me.

An Open Day visit is invaluable, so if you’re thinking of becoming an Edge Hillian book yourself on to one today!

Quote for the day: “I don’t even remember the season. I just remember walking between them and feeling for the first time that I belonged somewhere.” The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky.

Hope you all have another amazing week. Until next time!

-Becki 🙂

I Can’t Afford a Ferrari

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all having another good week and enjoying the little taste of summer we seem to be having at the moment.

This week I’m going to talk to you about student finance, money and budgeting. Scary as it all is, handling your own money is a huge part of the university experience.

This was probably the thing I freaked out about the most when I left for uni, but as long as you do a little preparation then there’s nothing to worry about.

Most of you have probably finished your student finance applications and received your confirmation letters, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to support yourself next year.

I’ve just reapplied for student finance this week too (it’s much easier the second time around I swear!) Since I’ll be moving from halls into a student house I’m going to have to re-plan my budget a little bit, and I thought I would give you all a few tips too.

As soon as I received my student finance letter I worked out how much money I would have for each week, and when I got to uni I made sure I never went over that amount. Depending on which halls you live in/ if you live at home then you might have more student finance left over after housing payments.

The main tip when it comes to budgeting is to remember everything you will need. Include money for books and academic resources, your weekly food shop, toiletries and travel money.

It’s also nice to put aside a little bit of your weekly allowance so that you can treat yourself every once in a while. I put aside a few pounds a week and then treat myself to Domino’s whenever I hand in a particularly tough assignment for example.

Another major tip is to not splurge your student loan as soon as it comes in. It may seem like a lot of money but it’s better to be careful. If you have a budget plan and stick to it then it gives you peace of mind.

I spend a lot of time searching for better deals too. My weekly shop might change depending on which supermarkets are doing special promotions. Hunting around on the web for cheaper course books is always a good idea too- you can pretty much always get them cheaper than you think.

Managing your money is nothing to worry about, as long as you manage it sensibly then everything will run super smoothly.

Quote for the day: There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means. -Calvin Coolidge.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day. Until next time!

Becki 🙂

It’s not long now… *cry*!

Hi guys,

It’s very quickly becoming the end of a lot of things.

I’ve finished my course, like it’s completely done. Goodbye seminars, lectures and dissertation and hello the waiting game. I’m not a worrier until the day of my results so I’m not going to stress until then, what will be, will be and all.

It’s weird that I’m finishing as you are probably starting. Exams are right around the corner and it’s now the time to get your head done and study like mad to get the grades you need for EHU. Planning is crucial for busy exam periods. Post-it-notes, spider-grams and colour coding does make a difference if that’s the type of learner you are. Films, short documentaries and YouTube clips are also good, I mean we all remember the Pythagoras song from maths, don’t we? Revision group sessions are also extremely helpful to bonus ideas off one another, but if you’re going to get distracted it’s probably not the best route.

KEY TIP: You MUST have some down time. There is literally no point in burning out before and exam. Obviously the lead up to an exam you should be putting more hours in, but 24/7 is not the way to go. Balance your schedule with chill time (go see friends, watch your favourite tv show, sleep) and revision time (create a timetable if that helps).

Don’t panic, take your time and please remember that it’s not all about the grade you get. YOU ARE NOT A GRADE!

GOOD LUCK!

Until next time…

 

 

Freshers year is coming!

Hey guys,

How are you all? I’m great.

Since I’m coming to the end of my university experience I’m starting to look back at my favourite things parts. I’ve enjoyed every year, but obviously the best year is your first. Being a fresher is amazing. Whether you’re commuting from home or moving into EHU halls there are somethings that only your first year will bring compared to the other two years. Independence, new friends and far too many drunken nights out are just a few of the fresher experiences you’ll get to enjoy.

In your fresher year you’ll probably experience a hurdle (or two). Budgeting  disasters, a level of stress to produce good work for your course and waves of feeling homesick… don’t worry it passes and if not you’re only a phone call away from home. Despite these small setbacks the pros definitely out way the cons. I’d give anything to go back to day one and redo it all again. It was probably the best year of my life (deep).

So, whether you’re moving out or commuting from home, freshers’ year will be unforgettable. Everyone is in the same boat as you; nervous, scared, excited. Just take a deep breath and enjoy every moment. Try anything and everything! Honesty, blink and it’s gone, so make sure it’s worth looking back on!

Until next time…

ORMSKIRK!

Hey guys,

Hope you’ve had a great week.

Last week I wrote a blog on your nearest city (Liverpool) and thought it would only be appropriate to sell you on your local town. So, hello Ormskirk.

Ormskirk is super cute and as a student living away, you will get to know this place like the back of your hand. the town is pretty small with everything a student needs from local supermarkets to essential pubs and bars.

So, let’s see what you can get up to:

1- EHU has to be my first one obviously. The uni puts on a range of events throughout the year to keep you hooked in. Our SU plans everything from paintball parties, cake sales, fancy dress events, charity based events to stand up comedy, theatre events and society events.

2- Hungry or thirsty? Ormskirk has a variety of pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants for you to enjoy! So get in a pint… or two.

3- I know it’s not exactly Ormskirk but a stone throw away is Farmer Ted’s (a family fun animal petting farm) which might not be your cup of tea normally, but when it comes to September and October it’s transformed into Farmageddon a scary 3 building walk through, surrounded by all your worst nightmares.

4- Gyms and libraries – for those dedicated enough, I envy you.

5- EHU cinema. Yes, we have a cinema, how cool?

Well, that’s just a sprinkle of what Ormskirk has to offer you and if it’s not enough Liverpool and Southport are only down the road. To be honest you’ll find that you and your friends think of better things to do anyway, so it’s not all about a little town.

Until next time…