Creating a study environment

Hi everyone,

Something that has taken me so long to get right is finding the right place to study and somewhere that I can really focus and get on with my work, as I am very easily distracted! Obviously these are things that work for me and everybody works differently but I really hope these tips help!

1. Find somewhere you won’t be disturbed.

One place I definitely make full use of are the private study rooms in the library which are located in the new catalyst building. All of the rooms contain a huge desk space along with a computer. Being on my own in a private space really helps me concentrate as I know that I won’t be disturbed.

2. Working with friends

I know this is the complete opposite to my previous tip, but sometimes working with your course mates can really help you with studying, as you can all help each other and ask them to read over your work if you feel the need to.

3. Turn your phone off

Going on your phone is 100% going to put your productivity to a halt. Set yourself a timer for 30 mins to an hour and you will be surprised at how much you get done!

4. Listen to calm music

I have a playlist dedicated for when I want to concentrate and it really is helpful, Spotify and YouTube also have lots of concentration playlists from the ocean to film scores! Someone I went to sixth form with used to listen to the Harry Potter films soundtrack when she was revising to help her concentration!!

Thankyou for reading!

Ellie 🙂

Computing at Edge Hill – Turning Education into Cash

education to cash


First year at university is great. You get to meet new people, do new things and have a real sense of freedom. But what if I told you, and brace yourself for this, that your education can make you some extra cash even if you’re only in first year. In this blog I will focus on my own course, computing. So here are 3 ways you can turn your 1st year at EHU into cold hard cash.


Website Design

In your first year of EHU computing you will be exposed to several modules. Everything from Networking to Security. But a module that you can take and turn into real world cash with little to no previous experience is Web Design. Everyone needs a website. If you have the ambition and drive you can very easily start designing websites for local companies and enterprises for cash. Not only will this make you richer but it will build on your knowledge. It’s like getting paid to study.


Server hosting

Servers run the internet and much more beside it that we use every day. In your first year of university you will learn how they are used and networked to provide services like file storage, websites and even game hosting. It may seem daunting but to get started you can use any computer and install some basic software. If you want to host a website check out Apache. If you want to try a file server google “FTP Server”. Before long you could be hosting servers for websites across the globe.


Admin and office work

Office work can be a pain but small businesses are always looking out for someone with a keen eye for detail and style. In my first year at university I have worked with many small companies who cannot find anyone to draft and create documents like invoices and receipts and even type out emails. It might be boring work but it usually pays well and anybody can do it. So get out there and do it.


That’s all for this weeks blog. If you want to find out more about EHU computing and more information on different courses you can check out here!

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Edge Hill University Exams – Checking 6+5 on a calculator just to be sure

Edge Hill Exams and Thoughts

Edge Hill Exams and Thoughts


Last Friday (12th of May 2018) I had the first and last of my exams for my year at University. I thought, even though its going to be far off for all you first years starting in September, it would be a good idea to share some facts and thoughts of mine regarding the exams.

The exam I undertook was for Computing and the 40 question multiple choice exam was underwhelming for me coming straight out of the Irish Education system where my entire grade was based on a set of written exams over one week, but the examination conditions themselves were still very daunting. So without rambling on here are they things that I.


The exam setup was straight forward. We were given a time and a place. Wilson Gym at 14:30. Turning up 10 minutes before was a good idea, and most of the other students had the same idea. We were given our seat numbers by means of a list suck to the wall outside the gym hall itself. Everybody was a bit nervous. It was our first exam of the year and for most the first exam we have ever taken at university.

 


The RulesFinally settled in and in our seats it was time to hear from our exam invigilators the rules of the exam. This helped, again many of us sitting our first university exam had us stressed. The rules were basic.

  • No phones or electronics
  • No talking or discussion
  • Stay for the first 30 mins
  • Stay for the last 30 mins
  • Jackets and bags at the back
  • Uni card on the desk

Simple as that really.


The examAnd finally the exam itself came around. We started slightly late but we were given access to a clock clearly displayed in the hall so keep track of our own time and ensure we managed it correctly.

My exam consisted of 40 multiple choice questions. We were given the exam sheet and a separate answer booklet to mark our answers into. The university also uses an anonymous marking system so our names were covered up when we finished.


All and all the exam went well. It was slightly stressful trying to study the material we were given for it and I recommend reading these blogs if you are worried about stress at University:

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

Exam time- how to have a stress free exam period

But we all made it through and finished our exams in good time but here are a few tips I can give you to make you look like an exam pro:

  • Read the booklet and exam carefully. Fill out everything
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if there is a problem
  • Get more paper if you need it. It’s free!
  • Bring your Uni card! Otherwise you will have to wait for the exam to be completely finished to be identified by someone from the academic registry.
  • Breath and chill out. The real exam is life.


That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about EHU exams, how they are run and even corrected you can check out this link for more info!

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Edge Hill Life Hacks – Everyone’s free (to wear sunscreen)

Everybody's free to wear sunscreen

Everybody's free to wear sunscreen


Coming to the end of my first year at Edge Hill University I thought it would be worth while writing a blog as a homage to one of my all time favourite songs and essays. The title of this blog might seem odd if you haven’t heard Baz Luhrmanns “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”, adapted from Mary Schmich’s column “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” – (You can listen here and read here) but here goes anyway.


If I could offer you only one tip for the future, studying would be it would be it. The long-term benefits of studying have been proved by professors, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own first year experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the experience and ease of first year. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the experience of first year until you graduate. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as far behind as you imagine.

Don’t worry about exams. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to write a dissertation by chewing bubble gum. The real exams in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 8 p.m. before social on Wednesday.

Give something a go every day that scares you.

Karaoke.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Invest in relationships.

Relax.

Don’t waste your time on social media. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s not on a mobile phone.

Remember firsts you receive. Forget the fails. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old essays. Throw away your old timetables.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what job you want from your course. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they were even studying. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds are still in classes.

Get plenty of sleep. Be kind to your ears. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Don’t expect anyone else to write your reports. Maybe you have a best friend. Maybe you’ll have a smart partner. But you never know when either one might not want to help.

Don’t mess too much with your looks or by the time you’re 40 your dyed blue hair will have fallen out.

Be careful whose classes you take, but be patient with those who teach them. Teaching is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the bin, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the studying.


 

Exam Tips

Hi everyone,

As I said in my last post, I’m sure we all so excited for summer to finally be upon us. But, before we should let the excitement settle in, the next couple of weeks are going to be busy ones for most of us as it is…assignment and exam season. I thought it would be helpful to share some tips with you all that I have learnt from over the years.

  1. Make time to revise.

Whilst this seems obvious, it is really useful if you get started with your revision as quickly as you can as it means that you are going to be giving yourself the best chance at doing well. Also, by doing this, the repeated revision means that you will take in the information much better.

2.  Find out which type of revision suits you best:

There are many different types of revision, whether you are a visual, verbal, aural or physical. If you find the one that is best for you, you will be more likely be successful as you will be more engaged with your revision.

3. Get someone to test you.

A good thing to do, maybe the day before your exam write a series of questions based on your topic with the answers on the other side of the paper or underneath. Then, give a friend or family member your revision and ask them to test you. This way you will get used to being quizzed, therefore being more prepared!

I hope these tips help and good luck!!!

Ellie 🙂

 

Sean’s Random Encounters – Ormskirk Bus Station and Deadlines

Seans Random Encounters Text


Fresh off my flight from Ireland back to Ormskirk I realized it had been a few weeks since I had made a blog post, let alone a random encounter article. On my way to catch the EL1 after a train journey from Liverpool Central I spotted a line of students. I decided to speak to one and ask them a simple question – ‘What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you started 1st year’. This is what 3rd year student Steven had to say.


Image result for studying edge hill‘Doing your work is important. Don’t leave anything until the last moment ever. As much as it seems like you can write that 500 word essay on the Friday that the task is due, you can’t. I learned the hard way that it’s best to get my stuff done about a week before’ said Steve. And I agree with him. You will never get the grade you want with quick write ups under stress.


Image result for timeWhen you are working against the clock you tend to make mistakes. Remember that when you start university you are still here to gain knowledge. Regardless of when you do the module it will still take roughly the same time so don’t try and cheat by leaving it as long as you can, it only pushes you to cut corners. That’s not good.


Image result for examEven myself as a first year, very much guilty of leaving things to the last moment, I have started to realise that it does not work. I hope that you do take what I have said in this article to heart when you start university in September. And trust me, if you do it will pay off. When everyone else is stressing you won’t be, and that’s important.


Here are some more blogs you might find useful about time management, stress and assessment.

Preparing for continuous assessment at Edge Hill – You won’t have to cram the night before!

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it


If you want to find out more about ways to deal with stress, time management and more at Edge Hill, check out the link here!

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!


 

Exam tips

Hey guys, I hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter and are feeling well rested!

As the Easter holidays come to a close, I’m sure you’ll all be gearing up for your assessments and exams. Some of you might be freaking out, but don’t worry, they’re a lot less dreadful than they seem beforehand! The key to success in the exam period is to make sure you have a good routine for studying, and in between your revision to look after your wellbeing. Below, to help you through this period, I thought I’d list some tips and tricks that help me:

  • Plan out your time- it seems like the most basic one that your teachers/parents/websites will tell you works, and some of you might roll your eyes at the idea of a study timetable, but it really does help! It helps you to keep an eye on your progress and get everything you want to do that day done without you having to go back over things and question what you’ve studied and what you haven’t. It also makes sure you leave time for breaks. Speaking of…
  • Take regular breaks- you need to allow yourself time to relax. A lot of people think that if you don’t take breaks and you power on through you’ll get more done, which, by logistics, is true… however, the stuff that you revise without breaking won’t sink in as well as if you were to take breaks as your brain will be stressed and won’t have had time to take in what you do study. Breaks also give you a chance to eat a snack to keep your body fuelled.
  • Snacking and water- make sure you have some snacks to keep yourself from being distracted by hunger, and also drink lots of water whilst studying to make sure you stay hydrated.
  • Make your studying work for you- I’m sure you’ve heard about the different types of learning before; Visual (Spatial), Aural (Auditory-Musical), Verbal (Linguistic) and Physical (Kinesthetic). Some ways of studying work better for some people for others, for example, I’m quite a visual learner, so if I can find any videos or make flowcharts etc. to help me study I benefit from it a lot, but I personally can’t read blocks and blocks of text, so I take a more visual approach to studying. More visual ways to help yourself study include using different colours and keys, pictures and charts, some aural ways to study include listening to learning podcasts or videos, and coming up with rhymes or songs to help you remember things, some verbal ways are to also use rhymes or songs to speak out loud whilst studying, and some kinesthetic ways are to combine studying with an activity or to use flashcards.

These are just a few of the tips that help me, and I hope they help you too. If you have any questions or have your own tips and tricks that you’d like to share with anyone reading this post, then feel free to comment below!

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it


Like the title says, stress is pretty much the common cold of psychology. Everyone usually gets it, its how you deal with it that makes the difference. For the past week I have been stressed out and it reminded me of a time when I wasn’t as able to cope with stress as well as I am now.

Therefore I want to share a few tips on how to deal with stress that is affecting you, and hopefully if you ever come to a point in your life where you feel like me you will remember what I am about to say.


1) The divers technique

  • Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.
  • Hold your breath to the count of “three.”
  • Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.

This breathing technique is a good way to get an immediate sense of relief as to whatever is bothering you at that time.

Following the instructions should take away the ‘sinking feeling’ in your stomach.


2) Making a list

Make a list of everything that is causing you stress. Most times you will end up with a to-do list. Making the list is the first step, once you have written everything down you can begin to work through them. Understand that each time you tick off an item you will feel a little better.

Remember, if you are working your way through a list, prioritize. You need to work through each of them in turn and not get distracted. Pick something and stick through it until the end.


3) Break the schedule

After you have finally finished up everything, take a break. If you are stuck in a rut it will make you stressed, doing the same thing over and over again. Take a break from the schedule. Maybe go see a movie, have a meal, go out with friends. Whatever you like take this time to do it.

Remember not to abuse this. It is a reward for doing things right and completing tasks that you have completed. Hopefully this three step detox will leave you feeling better than before and ready to move forward and be productive.


If you want to find out more about ways to deal with stress, and counselling services at Edge Hill, check out the link here!

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!


 

Preparing for continuous assessment at Edge Hill – You won’t have to cram the night before!


If you are a student of an education system that relies on exams for assessment you may have never even come across the term ‘Continuous Assessment’. This method of assessment is commonly used in courses throughout Edge Hill University so it is a good idea to get to know what it is and practice before you start under this type of education.


Continuous Assessment is the practice of giving you a grade based on your coursework that is submitted over the length of your course. For example you may be given an assignment every week for two months, each representing a certain percentage of your final grade. This means that you are already stacking up points towards your grade as soon as you submit work. Meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering everything at once on one particular day. If you are already prepared for this type of assessment you will slip right into the swing of things. However if you, like me, are from an education background where everything is based on exams it might take some time to adjust.


Clock with time on notepadTime management is a very important aspect of this method of study. If you don’t manage your time correctly you will miss deadlines. Unlike missing your homework, missing your deadline for coursework results in your grade being affected. You have to manage your time well in order to maximize your grade.


Notes on a4 paperKeeping notes simple and brief is also important. Unlike taking notes for something that you will not review for weeks, months or even years, continuous assessment is set on a much shorter time range. Your notes should be short but clear so that you get everything down and quickly refer to them later. Your brain will do most of the work remembering.


Concept lifestyle image of balance.Balance is possibly the most important. You need to make time and put the same amount of effort into all your coursework. You will like some more than others, and as such its easy to dismiss pieces you don’t want to complete. Work hard at it and keep your head down. Remember, it is your grade at stake.

 


Follow these steps and try to practice these skills in your every day life. A good example is taking homework as serious as your exams for a week or two to get used to putting your best into something on a weekly basis.

While not all courses at Edge Hill are fully coursework based most have elements of continuous assessment. Remember to prepare for any exams you might have also.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Assignment Writing Tips!

Happy new year!

Now I am back at university, I have a lot of coursework ahead of me…yey! Writing assignments can be a difficult task for everyone and it is often hard to know where to start. Here are a few handy tips I wish I knew as a fresher…

  1. Visit the library 
Edge Hill Library

After reading all of the notes provided by your tutors, you should have a clear picture of what the assignment question wants from you. Edge Hill’s library is stocked with thousands of books and journals for every course. By accessing the online library system, you can search for any specific books appropriate for your assignment question. The library codes provided will then allow you to easily find your book. They are automatically renewed every 2 weeks, unless it is reserved by other students. However, if you know a lot of students are also searching for similar topics, I advise you reserve them in advance! I really recommend referring to books or journals when writing assignments because websites are often unreliable. Although, Google Scholar is a useful tool to use.

2. Plan, plan, plan!

An obvious aspect which is important for writing assignments is the planning involved. I find it difficult to start writing without an initial outline. Even if it is a small or messy plan, it is necessary to have something to guide you and jot down your ideas. I usually take the time to gather any queries I may have to ask the appropriate tutor. However, there is usually all the information you need available on Black Board.

  1. Take breaks

Often, the most difficut part of writing an essay is thinking about how to start it. I find that once you get started, you begin to feel more confident. BUT, remember to have breaks. It depends on the person, but I personally cannot work hours straight without procrastinating! Grab a coffee, phone a friend or get some fresh air.

  1. Proof-read

I cannot stress enough how important it is to proof-read. A simple spelling mistake can affect your mark based on the grading criteria. It took me a long time after submission to realise I wrote ‘practioners’ instead of ‘practitioners’ 10 times in one essay. Try to proof-read when you’re not too tired because that is when mistakes can be easily looked over!

  1. Take advantage of Edge Hill’s resources

Edge Hill offer a wide range of student support including help with academia. Uni Skills hold regular workshops to advise on academic writing, as well as organising one-to-one support. These learning services are always there, so don’t panic and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I hope these few tips will be useful to you and I wish you the best of luck for your coursework and exams! Feel free to ask any questions, until next time! 🙂