First Year over! :)

 

 

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re well and have had a good week.

I know right now alot of people have either finished their course or are right on the edge of finishing, just needing that final push towards the end. I handed in my final assignment last Thursday and can’t explain how good it feels to be done after all the slaving away for the past few months. When I first finished, I just slept the full Friday to celebrate!                                                                                  Since then I have been keeping myself busy and my plan was to stay on campus for a few weeks before I go back home for summer- but I have come back home for a couple of weeks before I return with my parents to fully move out- but more of that in my next post!  In this blog I’m going to talk about finishing my first year and 3 mains things I have learnt when being at Edge Hill since September.

Independence!                                                                                                                                            With the countless amount of responsibilities that comes with moving out and going to uni, you really do gain alot of maturity and independence! Many jobs including budgeting, cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping and keeping on top of all uni work- just to name a few! The responsibilities are endless! So when faced with all these responsibilities, it is an instinct to do what we need to do! It can be so difficult to get everything done- but something really important that I’ve learnt within this first year is just to try your best, that’s all you can do. I’ve learnt there are always people around you who are there to help and a phone call home or to friends really helps!

Productiveness and Motivation!                                                                                                I have always been a procrastinator, and when I know i have something  I need to do, but don’t want to (like the laundry or washing up or an assignment that I don’t know how to start) I will do virtually everything else I can to put off doing it! Anything! Like going to an exercise class, having a nap , watching a film, going on a night out..! The list is never ending! But during this first year at Edge Hill, I’ve really learnt if I don’t do it, it just won’t get done! I have enjoyed writing to do lists and meal plans and put everything on the list. Even things like having meals or meeting friends or watching an episode of something as well as starting an assignment as it means I will be more likely to do it! I find that motivating myself by almost bribing myself with things I want to do, makes my goals more achievable.

Confidence and trust in yourself and others!                                                                      During my first year, I have met friends that I know I will keep for life and meeting new people has required confidence and trust! Being confident to make the leap with meeting new people and being yourself is so important- and how you meet like minded friends. And having that trust in others is important too! You have to remember that everyone at uni is in the same boat, everyone is nervous and doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but by being friendly and being yourself- everyone will be happy! Your happiness is so important so making decisions and being safe in situations you are comfortable is key!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and it has given you an insight into three important life skills I have learnt in my first year at Edge Hill! Please comment if you have any questions, I hope to hear from you soon.

Alice! 🙂

 

Edge Hill Is Chill

Most people experience pre-uni jitters, I know I did – a new place where I didn’t know anyone, living on my own and being the sole person responsible for myself. A step in the direction of adulthood! Something I know about myself is that I like feeling safe, and Edge Hill (and Ormskirk in general) definitely provide that feeling. The campus is a wonderful place with lights all around to keep the darkness at bay at night, as well as security that patrols and are reachable by phone as well.

In addition to actually being very safe, it feels safe too. Safe and comfortable. Once you get to know the campus, it’s small enough for you to be very familiar with the whole place. If you are a member of societies and clubs, you have a good chance of running into people from them or from your course when you pop down to McColl’s or SU Bar.

Living in halls may also bring about a sense of solidarity – almost like a second family. This becomes particularly apparent in second year, after you’ve chosen who to live with. The people who I’ve lived with throughout second year were a mixture of course mates, previous flatmates, and society members from the year above. Not everyone always saw eye to eye, but that’s to be expected when living with numerous people in close proximity. We always managed to resolve issues, however, and I think living in a student house is a very valuable experience.

In regards to the actual learning part of university (an important part), I can only speak of my experience with the biology department. All the lecturers are very approachable and provide an excellent environment to learn in – one that is very comfortable. We are treated as adults and as such are on first name basis, something I feel makes it a lot easier to speak to them when you have an issue or require assistance. Having a personal tutor who you can go to for support is also a wonderful thing that eases anxiety.

On the note of anxiety, the university provides excellent student support for numerous issues from anxiety to bereavement. All counselling services are provided at Milton House. I have used the services myself and can confirm how the staff make you feel at ease, despite it being a daunting experience for me.

I chose Edge Hill University as my first choice because it felt right. It felt comfortable and safe (as well as providing the course and teaching I required), and it has lived up to those feelings.

Saying goodbye and keeping in touch

I’m feeling rather nostalgic this evening, most likely because I only have one more week left on placement – my old primary school – and I’m getting ready to say goodbye. So today, I’m here to talk about staying in touch with people from school.

Despite leaving my secondary school to start at a new sixth form, it still came as a bit of a shock to the system when it dawned upon me that I would soon be leaving all of my friends behind to start a new phase of my life. Naturally, I had mixed feelings about it; my sixth form friends had been there with me throughout a really intense, important two years of my life. I couldn’t imagine surviving university without them.

And in many ways, I haven’t had to. The group chat that was started way back at the end of 2013 is still there, a constant reminder than even when I feel rubbish, I have my friends from sixth form to help me through it. I’m a Primary Ed student and there is so many of us, that sometimes it feels like you just cannot escape the subject. Knowing that I have my friends from sixth form (studying a vast range of degrees: Computing, Zoology, Geography, Maths etc) that have absolutely no idea what goes on at Edge Hill or on my degree, helps me when I just need some space from it all.

So my message to you is this: Leaving school does not have to mean leaving your friends behind.

And if we look at it cynically, moving on at least helps you to figure out who your real friends are, rather than those you were simply with out of convenience.

It makes the time that you do spend with them even more special, because let me tell you, trying to organise meeting up with any more than 2 people at a time can be absolutely disastrous! People have different holidays and different course demands, which makes things challenging – but definitely worth it.

So swap telephone numbers, add each other on snapchat and whatsapp and whatever it is you use, and make sure to stay in touch. I 100% promise you that it will be worth it.

Looking After Yourself at Uni

University tends to be where most people learn to become independent and start fending for themselves. However, this can be a shock to the system for some people and prove to be incredibly difficult. It is very important to keep yourself healthy and happy, especially at university as poor health can affect your participation and performance, so I’ve compiled a few tips that will hopefully help you look after yourself.

Register with a GP

Whether you are a relatively healthy person or have an on-going illness, it is important to register with a local GP when you start uni. This way you don’t have to keep going home whenever something happens and you can have all your prescriptions where they need to be. Information about registering with Edge Hill’s local surgery – Beacon Primary Care – can be found here. The health and wellbeing centre also offer a lot of health support, including mental and sexual health, this information can also be found on the health section of the Edge Hill website.

Seek emotional support when needed

Following on from the health side of things, it is also important to seek emotional support when you need it. University can be very stressful at times and being away from home doesn’t always help. Always make sure you have someone to talk to whether that’s a friend, family member or a counselling program. Edge Hill also offer a range of workshops, relaxation sessions, support group and one-to-one counselling if you’re struggling with personal problems, or any aspect of uni life. Further information can be found here.

Cook proper meals

Moving to uni means that you will have to cook for yourself. Come on, we all know take aways are not a sustainable way to live, as yummy as they are. If you’re nervous about what to cook why not get together with your friends and take it in turns to cook for each other? I did this with a friend throughout first year and I picked up so many new recipes that have now become the things I eat on a regular basis. It’s important to keep a balanced diet for physical health, as well as concentration reasons, Rhiannon Thomas has recently written a great blog post on this subject and I urge you to check it out. 

Keep things clean

Cleaning is, unfortunately another essential part of looking after yourself. Keeping your room tidy and dust-free can have so many health benefits from reducing allergic reactions to making you feel cleaner and happier. Leaving your bathroom to stew in its own filth for a month is not only disgusting but detrimental to your health. I recommend putting aside a couple of hours a week to do a full clean of the areas of your flat you’re responsible for, it won’t take all day and it will leave you feeling happier and more productive.

Until next time! 🙂