Sustainability 🌍 EHU

Last year I signed up to be a member of the Tree Charter’s student council – representing Edge Hill University – and since then I have gone to meetings and even ran a stall in the hub with a competition to support their efforts. In arranging this event, I got into discussion with people in the Students’ Union about setting up a society for matters involving environmentally friendly action. So myself, along with two friends, formed the Society of Sustainability.

To start a new society is pretty simple. You need only three initial members, to fill the roles of President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Then you need to fill in a form online that expects you to provide your societies aims, and the society will have a membership fee.

If you’ve been on campus lately, you may have seen some posters around advertising our new society. We just missed the re-fresher’s fair, so unfortunately missed a good opportunity for exposure, leading us to spread the word in other ways. We may only be small right now, but we hope to achieve some great things in conjunction with the SU.

The Society of Sustainability is soon due to have its first meeting, where we will gather the thoughts and ideas of the attending students to better see what it is that everyone wants to achieve through this society. Through collaboration, we can get things done!

Already, we have been in correspondence with the SU and have been able to spread word of Fairtrade Fortnight, which began on Monday 27th Feb and lasts until Sunday 12 March. On Tuesday 28th, there were free sample tasting of Fairtrade goodies sold on campus, in the Hub. This Tuesday – 7th March – The Hub, EHSU and The Fairtrade Store are selling a wide variety of Fairtrade goods. Also, there is the opportunity to win a hamper full of luxury Fairtrade food by answering the question of “how many Fairtrade coffee beans” Edge Hill uses on campus in a year!

Another great opportunity is an International Essay contest on the theme of “Learning from nature” organised by the Goi Peace Foundation. The deadline is the 15th June, and is open to children (<15) and youths (15-25). Here are the guidelines and details of prizes.

In the future, hopefully we can get the student allotment up and running, as well as any other campaigns that NUS or the students of EHU would like to put forward!

Essay Tips!

Yes, sadly Christmas is over. The turkey has been eaten, all the presents have been opened and the reality of all those essays you need to have completed for January has started to set in. But fear not as I have gathered plenty of tips to help you out!  

Readings. This is vital to your essays, hence why it’s at the top of the lists. Two sources I suggest are Google scholar and Edge Hill library.
Google scholar is a free search engine catered for academic texts and is a great source for texts that can be used in your academic assessments. This is extremely usefully especially if you’re far away from a library.
Of course, the Edge Hill Library is a brilliant source for readings and is made easier with the online catalogue. With the online catalogue you can look up books using keywords or authors, reserve books and in some cases find online copies, so overall it’s pretty great.

Now you have your readings it’s time to plan an outline. This is just simple notes that’ll really help you out in the long run. This is simply laying the foundations for your essay, so when you come to writing it you know what you’re doing and don’t go off topic for an example for introduction you can note down the topic/subject you’re writing about and texts you’ve used.

Which leads me onto my next tip: Peel. Okay, so for most of you who don’t know what I mean that must have sounded a bit weird but fear not I have not gone crazy as it’s an abbreviation which means:
Point – your main idea/concept.
Evidence and explanation – add quotes to support your point.
Evaluation – evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence.
Link – link back to your point.
This is just an example of how to form a paragraph if you’re struggling, can be added to your essay outline.  

So at this point you’re probably starting to write your essay and form sentences which is great, however, you’ve got to be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole of incorrect grammar and limited vocabulary. Don’t worry though, as someone who commonly does this I have found ways to combat this first being Thesaurus.
This should be familiar to you as it’s basically how most people got through GCSE, but if this has somehow fallen off your radar I just want to remind you how useful it can be, namely the website. The website works wonderfully if there is a word you feel you overuse and want to find a replacement and give you a richer vocabulary.

And my other tool is Grammarly. Grammarly is a google extension which can be downloaded for free and is a:
contextual spelling checker – can detect correctly spelt words used in the wrong context and correct misspelt words.
Grammar checker – can fix grammatical errors.
This can be switched on and off all your websites such as Facebook, Celtx, Gmail, etc. Additionally, Google Docs is a good place to write your essay on as it automatically saves and can be backed up!

And finally, some quick fire tips!

Stay motivated! Use sticky notes to stick around the place to remind you of topics and keep you engaged or if you feel like you need a greater understanding of a topic watch a relevant video.

Regular breaks have been proven the best way to write an essay as it gives you time to write the essay without being stressed out.

Which leads onto my next tip nicely: Give yourself enough time to write the essay. Start as early as you can getting readings and understanding the topic you’ve chosen or been given.  

Drink plenty of water. Writing and being dehydrated is not a good mix, it’s best to drink up as it helps your mind work better. 

And my last tip: Get someone to proofread. Which I know can be embarrassing, but honestly, it works magic, all you need is a trusted friend who you know won’t lie to you if you’ve gone off on a tangent, as a fresh pair of eyes can pick up mistakes you didn’t even notice! Even this blog post has been proofread. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to have a second opinion on your work!

Overall these are just suggestions, you don’t have to do anything I wrote above as everyone is different and different methods work for different people. However, I hope you learnt/got something from this post.

I had a pretty good Christmas season, saw my family, and dogs, plus got free food. So successful overall! And if anything I’m now recharged for the next year ahead. Speaking of new year, that’s the theme of my next post, as generic as that is, however, I hope to be able to add my own take on in which will hopefully help you out!

Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Scream Queens (2015-)


I was going to write a blog… but then I found a Facebook page called ‘Cats Wearing Tights’.

I often find myself discovering gems like this when I have work to do. Staying focused is something that I struggle with and throughout my years in education I’ve become a master of procrastination. I’ve had a lot of work to do over the Christmas Holidays, so I’ve had to be strict with my time management and exercising self-control when I can psychically sense notifications piling up on my Facebook has been difficult.

Often my work ends up looking like this...
Often my work ends up looking like this…

The biggest helper for me is rewarding myself breaks based on word count, as opposed to specific time slots. If I decide to take a break after an hour’s time I could easily only write about 20 words. If I decide to take a break once I’ve written 500 words I can usually have them done to a good standard in an hour.

Another common mistake that I’ve been known to make is taking three hours of break to every one hour of work that I do. Unfortunately, there are just not enough hours in the day, and before I know it the deadline’s looming and it’s not looking promising.

While my habit of procrastinating was quite bad in school and college, I have been a lot more disciplined since I’ve started at Edge Hill. I put this down to my realisation of the importance for me to do well and to, in a way, redeem myself of all the past low mark assignments that I should have done better at.

The work-load is a lot heavier at Uni, and I’m finding that the key to staying on top of it is stamina. I know it sounds obvious, but the more hours that I put in the easier it is to do well, and it helps me to bare that in mind when I have work to do.

And now it’s time for me to return to my stack of work. Wish me luck!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering...
Oh, and just in case you were wondering…

Faye’s Blogs – The Holiday’s are Over

So even though I don’t have lectures start until something like the 21st January I have 3 essays that need to be in on Monday.

I am stressing out over them so much! Even though I feel as if I have been working on them for months!!

I cannot wait to get them over and done with. I think that this last semester is going to be less stressful. HOPEFULLY!! I don’t think that I have as many assignments to do. I need to check though.

But I am going to start the new assignments straight away!! Maybe in my final semester ever of university I will stick to this?

Also this week I have applied for 2 part time jobs because I really want a car so the money will be helpful and I really want to move out when I leave uni!! So I’m wanting to try and build up my savings!

Faye’s Blog – Work Update & Preparation for Reading Week

So this week I began work on my Text to Screen assignment as I planned. I’ve started to read American Psycho and have found the corresponding chapter to the scene within the film that I am going to analyse for my 4000 word essay! And I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it because I think that it is going to be a really strong piece to look at. The scene of the film that I have chosen to analyse is one of the beginning scenes where we see Patrick Bateman preparing himself for the day with his beauty regime and he is discussing all of the various moisturisers and shower gels that he uses etc. This is the scene that officially introduces Patrick Bateman to the viewer.

Also today I have been packing ready to go back home for reading/independent study week. I have a suitcase full of clothes and I still need to fit in my laptop and some work books. Over the week I am hopefully going to finalise my Cult Cinema essay, begin writing my Text to Screen essay, continue reading The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers for Text to Screen too and write at least another 2000 words of my dissertation. I really need to keep focused and try and not get distracted at home! Hopefully I’ll be able to keep on track but I get distracted easily whilst I’m at uni too!

Faye’s Blog – A Very Productive Week

So this week has gone very well. I’m managing to get into a better work routine finally!

I have done even more research on my dissertation and managed to get up to 2000 words. Just 8000 more to go! I am also feeling a lot more confident about my dissertation now after I met up with one of my tutors Andrea. She thought that what I am doing is really strong and that the direction that my dissertation is heading is also really good. So, that has made me feel a lot less stressed because I was worrying about my idea. Andrea always helps boost your confidence too because she is really positive and enthusiastic when you are talking to her about your work which is always helpful!

This week I have also managed to write my first assignment that is due in on the 12th November for my Cult Cinema module! Next week is going to involve me re-drafting and re-drafting it! I chose to write my essay on A Clockwork Orangebecause it is one of my favourite cult films!

As well as doing that I have also started reading The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers for my Text to Screen module. I have given myself three weeks to read it because I know that it can be a pretty tough read but so far I am really enjoying it, a lot more that I originally thought I was going to.

I have also chosen a book and it’s film adaptation that I want to use for my Text to Screen module assignment one. I have chosen to do American Psycho again because it is one of my favourite films. I have also wanted to read the book for a while too and have just never gotten around to it, so this gives me a good excuse! I haven’t started reading it yet, I am going to check with my tutor that it is a good choice first!