With summer nearly here, it’s time to start thinking about next year. Whether you’re moving away from home or commuting, there will be some purchases that are necessary for your first year at EHU.
So, for all the commuters…
If you’re travelling by train I recommend investigating into a railcard or buying a specific ticket to keep your costs down. At first being hit with a huge amount (something I experienced in my first year- £185) can seem like a complete rip-off, but in the long run it will work out cheaper and you’ll be glad you did it.
If you’re coming by car or bus I’d check travel routes and timings to make sure you will be able to get here on time.
And, for all the new arrivals into halls (or the occasional house)…
Moving away from home is exciting, BUT there is going to be so much stuff that you’ll need. You’ll even need the stuff your parents insist you take but you turn down. My top things to take are: a five way plug, a small bin for your room, a desk lamp, a medical kit, stationary, extra bedding, tea towels, as many bin bags as you can get your hands on, key documents (passport/birth certificate, driving license), a docking station, a hot water bottle, a door wedge and pictures from home (deep, but necessary for bad days).
During freshers week you’ll be loving the freedom, meeting new people and eating what you want when you want. For most, cooking will be a new experience. For me, I was worried that I wouldn’t be ready, but after a few hours with my flatmates it became apparent that I had the most cooking knowledge (I was just as shocked as my mum when I told her).
Simple things like how to work the oven and to actually read the packet for temperatures and times seemed like common-sense to me, but I live with people who go for the stick it in and guess approach. How no one has suffered from food poisoning I’ll never know! At the beginning of the year I was adventurous, making lasagnes, trying my mums recipes and buying loads of ingredients. I wish I could be like that again, less money and healthier. Towards the end of the year it was more about having quick meals or anything to line the stomach for a night out. Ready meals, tinned soup and pot-noodles became popular favourites because they were easy to clean up and quick.
We tried flat meals, but apart from my lasagne, I couldn’t take more than a spoonful of someone’s food (sorry guys, but it’s the truth).
So yeah, learn how to do simple things like boil an egg and cook pasta. Get used to eating tinned food (beans, soup, anything Heinz), but most importantly learn to appreciate your family’s cooking before you come. After Christmas break, you’ll get what I mean!
When I left home I said goodbye to a lot of things that had previously been a constant in my life. Family, friends, home luxuries and the one that breaks my heart the most… SLEEP! Obviously the goodbye would only be for a short while, as I would be home during the Christmas, Easter and summer period. However I feel like I haven’t slept in forever.
I don’t want to put you off uni, but say goodbye to sleep. For 3 years you are going to be sleep walking around, wondering what it used to feel like to have sleep in your life. During my first year I think I averaged about 5 hours per night. I’d say you’re tired 30% from uni (attending lectures and seminars, along with the workload), 60% from your social life (you’re a fresher so enjoy year one as much as you can!) and 10% from, well, even I don’t know what I was doing with my life the rest of the time… but this will be my anything else category (gym, travelling, work, etc).
My first year consisted of cheap vodka, drinking games (it’s safe to say ‘never have I ever’ and ‘ring of fire’ were practically routine when it came to pre-drinking) and partying 24/7 (exaggerating of course, but you get the picture). Heading into year 2 I thought I’d get my sleeping pattern back, blaming drunk me for losing it last year… but this was a mistake. Last year I thought the drunken-antics/partying/’go hard or go home’ attitude was the reason I was missing sleep so much, but it wasn’t. This year a lot has changed when it comes to my social life. We still go out (not as often) but uni is definitely our main priority. I think this year, my sleeping has been ruined from studying and spending more hours in the library than in bed. I only hope that I find it again soon. Roll on summer 2015 so I can sleep it away.
Dreading year 3’s sleeping pattern… but it’ll be worth it in the end, right?
Year one of being a fresher can be a mix of emotions. On one hand you’re excited to move away; to make new friends, memories and to have your first real taste of freedom. However, on the other hand you face budgeting disasters, a level of stress to produce good work for your course and waves of feeling homesick… but despite these small setbacks I personally wouldn’t change my fresher’s year for anything.
During my first year I commuted from student accommodation based in Liverpool. I went from my mum’s fabulous cooking to ready meals and cheap vodka. From her washing all my clothes, to learning how to use the washing machine myself. From watching my mum fix all my problems, to having to sort them out for myself. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to look after myself. But thanks to uni life, I found my inner independence and learned more in my first year than my previous 18.
When it comes to being a fresher, I can’t speak highly enough of the support provided by the University. From form tutors all the way to student services, Edge Hill University puts every student first and solely concentrates on their well-being. The student union puts on amazing events throughout the year to make 1st -3rd year as memorable as possible. Societies, whether social, sports or alternative clubs, encourage freshers to get involved within the other areas of uni.
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.
For those of you moving into halls for your first year, it’s more than likely that you won’t know any of the people that you’ll be sharing a flat with. For me this idea was really daunting and before I moved in to halls I had a lot of concerns about how I would be able to feel comfortable and relax in a place where I didn’t really know anyone.
As usual I was worrying for nothing. I can only speak from my own experiences of course, but I found that the first few days were a bit weird because I was settling in to a new place, there were a bunch of people with accents I couldn’t quite understand and it was just overall a big adjustment. That said, I got to know my flatmates really quickly, and before the first week was up I felt utterly at ease in halls.
Something that made this transition easier was getting to know some of my flatmates before I moved in. When everyone was allocated their room over summer, a lot of people took to the Edge Hill social media pages to try and track down people living in the same halls as them. This way I found quite a few of my flatmates. Even just having one conversation beforehand let us get to know each other a bit, and gave me confidence because I knew that we’d have things to talk about when we did finally meet. That said, I got on just as well with the flatmates that I didn’t talk to previously, but if you’re nervous about meeting new people it can sometimes help to know what their interests are beforehand.
As much as I liked my flatmates, things weren’t always perfect. It’s very likely that the people you live with will all do things slightly differently to the way you do, ranging from how clean they like their kitchen to how loud they like to play their music. Good communication and compromise are key here.
I found living in halls to be great fun and, as intimidating as it seemed at first, I am so glad that I had that experience.
I can’t believe that my first year is over. It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was making my way to Edge Hill on my first day, worrying that I might not find a parking space and that I might feel out of my depth. Fortunately, I was made to feel at home from my first day and have never once struggled to find a parking space (the parking attendants are heroes), and from that point onwards the year began to fly by.
Not only have I enjoyed the year as a whole, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my writing and also feel confident that I’ll attain a good mark next year. I know that this year has gone so fast because I’ve been studying something that really interests me; in contrast, the time before Edge Hill when I was working full time seemed to drag, and drag, and drag…
Now that the year is over I can focus on enjoying summer. I’ll be attending Glastonbury Festival and Leeds Festival, I have tickets to several club nights, I have plenty of catching up to do with friends, and I might take a trip to London. I’ll also be moving to my new house in Liverpool at some point. I’m excited and nervous, and I think that a trip to Ikea is definitely in order! I also need to start getting ready for next year, but I’m sure that I can take a little time off first!
I’m excited about going into my second year, so I can’t imagine how all the people who are about to become first years at Edge Hill must feel! If I had to give advice to somebody who was starting I’d say go with an open mind, be ready to work hard, and remember that everyone else is in the same situation as you. I’m starting to get a little envious of the people starting; I’ve enjoyed my first year so much that I’d happily do it again!