First Year – An Overview

Okay, I am not going to bore you with the whole ‘it’s true what they say, first years goes by in a blink of an eye.’ because, you will soon find out that this is very true.

I hope you enjoy this blog of my first year at Edge Hill University in three sections that I felt were the most prominent in my year and what I thought would be the most challenging. However, looking back at my first year, I have realised that these sections of my life were much more simple and less stressful than I thought they would be.


At first, I thought that I would never, EVER make any new friends because it felt that all my friends had come naturally to me and I never had to go out of my way to make friends. However, looking back at my year, I realised that all my friends I have made at university have come naturally without me even knowing it. I want to make this point first because I know how scary the prospect can be. The best advice I can give you is to BE YOURSELF! You will attract the right people into your life like I did.

I even realised this year as a ‘newbie’ to university, my independence has grown so much. For example, I can cook! Who would have guessed that I was able to keep myself alive with the meals I make? There is obviously more to becoming independent like; washing your own clothes, shopping for food and getting yourself up in the morning but, I am so happy that I learned what I did about living away from my mum and dad because, I can already tell that it will/has benefit me in the future.Image result for independence

Assignments! They sounded scary to me at first and, truth be told, I did give myself a headache on the day I was getting my first results back but that is just me being dramatic. I quickly realised that if I really organised myself, assignments and deadlines would not be an issue and that is exactly what I did.

I don’t mean to boast but I did meet my deadlines often long before they were due and I still achieved great results…I’m just saying. Organisation in first year  is key.Image result for i'm just saying gif

 


I hope that this helped calm your nerves about starting first year. I found that looking back on my time at university, I definitely over-thought these things and I should have been more relaxed about making new friends, living on my own and completing assignments. However, I also found that being myself and not trying to fit in with the crowd really benefited me and I hope it will for you to.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

-Oscar Wilde-

How to prepare for Primary Education with QTS at Edge Hill 👩🏽‍🎓

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Hello!

September is edging closer and closer, and while I urge you to enjoy this time off as much as possible it is important to keep in mind that you are soon going to be a university student and organisation is absolutely paramount. If you are going into the Primary Ed course then look out for summer tasks as last year we had a pre-course summer booklet to work through. I am unsure if this is the case this year but do check. We did use them in our first few weeks – especially the reading.

Read read read:
Whether or not you have a pre-course booklet or whether or not it is included in any task you receive, you must read some children’s books over the summer.  It was part of our summer task but then ended up being part of a requirement for the English subject: to read 10 children’s books. If you can get a head start during the summer then do that, you will thank yourself later – trust me!
These are some great ones to start with:

Books

Get onto Pinterest and start looking at teaching ideas:
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest then I may be about to change your life. Pinterest is a sort of social network where you can find inspiration and ideas for hobbies and stuff, however, if you just type in ‘teaching’ you will be bombarded by hundreds and thousands of teaching ideas. It is important not to become a ‘Pinterest teacher’ where you can’t make anything up from your own creativity but it’s great to go on and find some inspiration.  I would have a look before you come on the course and before your first placement!

Click the image below to have a quick look at some ideas ☺️

Pinterest Screenshot

Social Media and EduTwitter:
When you arrive in September the tutors will talk to you about your social media presence and how it all needs to be privatised and carefully checked to ensure you aren’t being unprofessional. I can’t stress how important this is because teachers from your placement will absolutely check your social media before you arrive so making a good impression is important.

Tutors will also direct you to Twitter, EduTwitter to be precise. This is kind of like Pinterest but on a different format. It’s teachers helping other teachers. There is a lovely welcoming atmosphere to trainees, which to be honest with you I didn’t expect, but they all want to help. So set yourself up a new professional account and get involved in teacher twitter. Follow me on Twitter if you are interested and I will contact you with more advice in this area!
https://twitter.com/EHUMissWindross

Twitter Screenshot

Thanks for reading! Hope to see you in September ☺️

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Why Did I Chose Edge Hill?

Some of you may be aware that I moved over to Edge Hill University from Northern Ireland which is similar for a lot of people in my course and at Edge Hill in general.

 

So, why did I choose to move all the way over for my course in primary teaching when I could have stayed in the comfort of my own home where all my surroundings and people were comforting and familiar? We will take that as my first point;

For the longest time, I was very much a creature of habit. I took great comfort in knowing where I was and the fact that everything in my life stayed exactly the same was very satisfying. It wasn’t until I was completing my A-Levels, did I realise that I needed a change in my life that would push me to become more independent and, in fear of sounding corny, to ‘find myself.’ I think that moving away from home to somewhere completely new to me was the best thing for me and Edge Hill was the best place to start.

The second reason why I chose Edge Hill was because, not going to lie, the campus was beautiful. As you might have gathered, I need to be comfortable in my surroundings and so Edge Hill was the perfect spot for me in terms of environment and location. It was big, but not so big that it was overwhelming and it was located right next to a small town which was so important to me as I am not a city girl in the slightest. Image result for edge hill university

The final reason why I chose Edge Hill was because of the course it offered me. My original first choice was Bath Spa University but I realised that the course that was offered there may not be best suited for me. The Primary Teaching course at Edge Hill University allowed me to finish the course within 3 years and offered me so much opportunity to expand my practice in the profession which in the long run, would benefit me so much! And I am so glad that I did choose this course as it has provided me with so much knowledge and opportunities that I did not know that I needed.


There you go! That was 3 reasons why I chose to study at Edge Hill University rather than be in my lovely Ireland. The experience of moving has been crazy and filled with so many memories that I will never forget and I can say truthfully that I have no regrets about moving so far away!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

-Walt Disney-

Day Off? No Problem

Hey everyone! I thought I would dedicate a blog to the things that you can do in Ormskirk or on campus of Edge Hill University when you find yourself with a day off or in need of a break from assignment writing etc. 


Treat Yourself

Sometimes when I have a day off from University, I like to think of it as a ‘treat yourself’ kind of day. Whether you have been writing assignments, studying for an exam or just wanting a break from university life, why not take yourself into Ormskirk and treat yourself to something nice?Image result for treat yourself gif

Go out for lunch with friends

Food fixes everything, am I right? There are some really nice places to visit in town if you and your flatmates are tired of cooking for yourselves and are also really student friendly. Some of my favourite places would be;

  • Cobble
  • Love to Eat
  • Wetherspoons (classic)
  • The Bagel Deli

Student Union

You may be surprised to find yourself in the student union bar on a day off from university but, sometimes it is nice just to sit and have a few drinks with some friends, have a laugh and sometimes there is some entertainment on the television such as football. You don’t have to go too far as this is located right on campus!Related image

Have a flat movie day/board game day

You don’t even have to leave the flat on your day off from classes so this would be the best opportunity to gather any of your other friends from your course or in your flat and have a cosy movie day with lots of snacks or, have a board game night. Let me share some advice, if you chose to play monopoly…make yourself comfortable, you’re in for a long night.


Thank you for reading. I have to say, my favourite thing to do out of this list is to watch a movie with my flat mates as it is such a great way to bond and chill out after a hard couple of days work.

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”

-Ralph Marston-

Turning the Bad into Good – How to deal with being upset, sad or angry as a Student

Turning the bad into good.


Being a student is great. You get your freedom, you grow up and you meet interesting new people in a new and exciting place. With all of this going on you might be forgiven for thinking that there wont be a moment where you feel down, or something really gets on your nerves and makes you upset to the point where you really are unsure of what to do.  We’ve almost all been there, and today I want to talk about three ways that Edge Hill supports you, and how you can deal with these feelings.


Speak to someone

One of the best ways to overcome any problem is to share it. The reason that people say a problem shared is a problem halved is because there really is some truth behind it. Edge Hill offers counselling services on campus as well as teams of people ready to help with any specific issue such as learning, money, accommodation and your general well being.


Write it down

Having a pen and paper in hand is a great way to put those thoughts somewhere not inside your head. If you and write about it you have a better chance of thinking it through and finding a solution to your problem. But never keep it just to yourself. It can build up and cause yourself some serious problems.


Put it in context

The last, and hardest of my tips, is to put whatever is going on in your life into context. It is important to take everything into consideration where you are feeling down. Reminding yourself that its not the end of the world and putting it into the context of the rest of your life can remind you that its not all bad, and things will always get better.


That’s all for this blog but if you want more tips for dealing with stress at University check out my other blog here.

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

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!

Pre-university Plans!

Hello everyone! It’s that Friday feeling – friYAY.

As your exams will be finished soon, if not already, you might be wondering what there is to do before starting university. Depending on your course, you may be asked to do some research or begin to do some academic tasks. For primary education, I was asked to do different research and subject knowledge based tasks within the programme handbook. For example, there was a maths website provided where we could practise our skills within certain areas of the curriculum. For English, we were asked to read and record stories either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. These tasks were really useful when beginning the course.

The summer before university is also the time to ensure you have everything you need! Remember the essentials: bed linen, duvet, pillow, towels, cutlery, clothes hangers and toiletries. One of my favourite things about moving in was the decoration side of things! Fairy lights, pictures or a small rug can can make it a bit more homey! For pictures, I recommend the app ‘free prints’ if you do not have it downloaded already.

And of course… this summer is your chance to spend lots of time with your friends from college or sixth form. It can be hard when everyone from school moves to different parts of the country! Nights in with the girls, painting the town red and trips to the beach are just some ideas for summer plans!

Hope these few tips have been helpful! Have a fantastic weekend,

Advice for starting University in September 👩🏽‍🎓

I had now officially finished my first year and it’s so strange to me that I’m technically no longer a first-year student. I was reflecting on everything that has happened over the past year and I’d like to offer some advice if you are starting out this September…

Be prepared, but don’t burn yourself out:
I came to University as a 22-year-old, so the course and everything I was doing was something I was and am desperately passionate about. This meant that the run-up to Septemeber I was doing all  I could to make sure I had everything ready and even the freshers week I was in the library trying to get ahead. As conscientious as this was, you will burn out quickly. Pace yourself.

Get involved:
The wonderful thing about moving to university is that you basically get a fresh slate. All those things you said you’d do at the start of the year you can start again now! I started doing Yoga again and went to the gym and I got involved with a network of students looking to tackle sustainability in schools. There are so many amazing opportunities here at Edge Hill and I really urge you to get involved as much as you can at the start of the year. Your timetable may get busy and you may not be able to do everything you want but at least you can find what fits right with you.

Don’t bring too much:

I made this mistake. I brought so much with me to Uni, but it was unavoidable for me, if I had a choice I would have left half of it at home. It’s nice to bring some things from home to keep things cosy but too much just makes the room feel small and you may start to feel a little cramped. Also, in term of the communal area: get onto Facebook groups. They were so helpful before starting University. Our flat were communicating through Facebook Messenger before we started and we all talked about what we were going to bring. Nobody needs 8 bottles of Fairy Liquid in the first week, do they!

Lastly…
When people said to me: ‘You will have the time of your life and meet friends for life’ I always rolled my eyes but now, I can’t agree more. I definitely have met people that I’ll have for life and that first year, as fast as it was, will be once I cherish forever. My point here is to enjoy yourself as much as you can. Some days may be more stressful than others but those days just make you appreciate the good even more.

I hope, if you’re coming to Edge Hill in Septemeber, that you are as excited as I was because trust me, it is everything I imagined and more! Hope to see you soon!

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Welcome Sunday

Hello friends! How are you? I hope all of your revision and exams are going well.

I have  moved out of my university house but it’s not really sunk in. People tell you how wonderful it is to meet and get to know your flat mates, but no one tells you how hard it is to leave them. Moving out took a few trips because my whole life was in that house! It got me thinking of some handy tips that might help you when it comes to moving in your first year accommodation!

On Welcome Sunday, make sure you bring the essentials. Even if you won’t be going home until second term, when you return to university you can bring the other things that didn’t fit in your car the first time round!

For me, plastic boxes were a godsend. You can get cheap ones at places like ikea. I found them really useful to transport items such as crockery. When I first moved in, I brought 4 sets of crockery – I don’t know what I was thinking!! I would say 2 big plates, 1 small plate, 1 bowl, 2 glasses and 2 mugs are a good amount. I ended up using and washing the SAME pieces of crockery so barely any of it.

Student guides will be there to help you because it can be a struggle to get things up and down stairs a few times. The edge hill student guides who helped us were amazing, so definitely ask for help instead of breaking your backs.

That’s all for now… but I’m sure I have plenty more tips in my head if you have any more questions about Welcome Sunday! Have a great week,

Things for your room – Making Edge Hill feel like home

Things for your room, Making Edge Hill feel like home


Moving to a new room all by yourself can be difficult and even a scary experience. This place is going to be all yours, and making it feel like home is an important part of relaxing yourself. There are loads of things that you could bring with you, but incase you were looking for some suggestions here are three things that I think all students should take, to make their new room feel like home.


Bedding

Something that you touch and interact every day is going to be imporatnt. Your beeding is not only something that you have to touch, but look at. Having your bedding from home can make you room feel that bit more friendly. Also, just having the smell of the same fabric conditioner makes a big difference.


Posters

Having something to decorate your walls is great. You can have motivational posters, or even like myself a map of my home country. If you have some posters in your room at home it might be a good idea to take them with you and hang them in your new room.


Furniture

Taking small pieces of furniture from home is another way to make your room feel like home. A show rack, or coat rack. Radiator cover or table cover. Whatever it is, you will always know when you look at it that it came from home. So dont go buying all new furniture just yet.


Thats all for this weeks blog. Thanks for the read.

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!

When the sun comes out!

Hey everyone, since the sun has finally come out here in Ormskirk, I thought I would dedicate a blog about what I recommend you and your friends do when it is a lovely spring/summers day.

Enjoy!


Ruff Woods

This is located on Ruff Lane and can easily be found across the road from the fitness trail around the back of the Sports Centre. Since the weather started to get nice, my flatmates and I have come here for a walk whilst taking a break from assignments and studying for exams. I also come here every morning for a walk before breakfast and it is great way to start the day!

Victoria Park and Garden

When walking down from Edge Hill University into town, you can see this park on Ruff Lane. During the spring and summer months, the flowers bloom and there are so many colours. It is not very big, but it still is a really lovely spot to sit with a coffee or a take away drink and bask in the sunlight.

Edge Hill Gardens

If you don’t want to venture too far from the campus, why not take a walk down to the gardens next to the Health and Social Care Building? There is a scenic path through the plants, flowers and a wide patch of green that is perfect for outside study sessions or perhaps a picnic?

Man-Made beach

Okay, so this isn’t Southport Beach, but it’s the next best thing when you just want to relax on a sandy beach and not have to travel too much. Recently, this spot has been THE spot for students to come and sit on the grass, the sand and picnic table during exam season or just to catch up with friends.

Fitness Trail

You might just fancy a nice peaceful walk to break up the day and so this scenic walk is perfect for the occasion. It has a wonderful view of some of the campus and the playing fields and also a great place to sit on the grass and chat with friends.


I hope you enjoyed this little post on what you and your friends could get up to at Edge Hill University or Ormskirk, when the sun comes out. Remember, if you do picnic outside enjoying the sunshine, please keep our campus and surrounding green spaces clean and pick up your rubbish!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”

-Unknown-