Freshers Week – Reflecting back.

I have finished all my university work for my first year here at Edge Hill, and while that fact hasn’t completely dawned upon me yet, I’ve been doing some reflection on when I started Edge Hill, bringing me back to Freshers week.

I look back to Freshers week and wonder who that person was? I feel I have personally changed so much since that frantic week in September, to the point I felt empowered to write this blog today, to tell my past self some things she really should have known, or done.

First and foremost, please stop worrying about your finances, you have an interest free overdraft and plenty of security net! Every purchase I made in Freshers, I was extremely nervous about, from textbooks to cookies from M&S (Obviously I hadn’t relegated myself to just Aldi and Morrisons just yet). The reality of the situation was I had little reason to worry, I’ve been smart about money and undertaken the needed tasks to ensure that.

Another issue I faced quite often in Freshers week was spending time with my ‘course friends’, if you’re at Edge Hill now you’ll understand this, but for anyone reading this who isn’t yet, you will have two groups of friends. The people you live with in your halls or elsewhere will be ‘flat friends’ or something similar, the people on your degree and who you will spend more time with are your ‘course friends’. As of writing I am very close with my course friends so for me everything did turn out ok, but in Freshers week I should have been more flexible, spent time with more people, broadened my social circle in a sense. My key advice on this topic ultimately would be to accept every invitation to do something during Freshers week, but also create your own.

There’s so much more I could go on about for things I wish I had done differently or acted differently about during Freshers. These are my glaring two, however. Everyone’s takes on this will be different, as everyone experiences Freshers differently. For me, it was a good week that I should have done more with, for yourself it could be an amazing week that you should’ve really done less in.  

Alice.

How to get over your sickness fast!

Freshers flu is real. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. I didn’t go out very much during freshers week and I still managed to end up with the flu – it will catch you, so be prepared. If you are looking to enrol on an education course, you will no doubt come into some nasty coughs and colds during your time on placement. It luckily fell over a weekend and I managed to fight it and although I wasn’t feeling 100% on the Monday, I felt well enough to go in and teach.

Taking precautions
Make sure when you pack for university you hit up Home Bargains and stock up on paracetamol, cold and flu tabs, lemsips, cough medicine, lozenges and all that jazz. Do not overpay, supermarkets massively overcharge. The first sign of a tickly cough or a runny nose, I straight away start taking medicine – it acts fast and you will feel worse but only because the medicine is flushing it all away. I also start taking cold and flu tablets, eating fruit and drinking hot drinks straight away, don’t just wait until it becomes a problem, do it straight away.

What’s effective?
I always have cold water, orange juice and lots of cups of tea. Lemsips are also really soothing for the throat but they’re not necessary, and they’re quite pricey. Orange, bananas and any other fruit really are effective at boosting your vitamins. Day and night, cold and flu tablets are the best ones, for me personally, and an Olbas nasal stick is the best thing if you have a cold. It completely unblocks your sinus and relieves that stuffy feeling. Cough medicine works wonders, like I said before it will make you feel worse but you’ll get better faster. The most important thing you can do is rest. Sleep. I spent the Saturday in bed, in and out of sleep and when I woke up on Sunday I felt miles better. Stay hydrated and fed, but sleep as much as you can.

Thanks for reading, keep those bugs away!

Amy

Dealing with the Nerves!

Hey everyone and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who have been accepted into Edge Hill University! I am sure you are going to love every minute of it. However, I bet some of you are feeling slightly more anxious than excited to start this new journey particularly if you are travelling a long distance to attend like me. I thought I would share some things that I told myself to calm my nerves about starting university.

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First….

You are not the only one that is going through this! As you are all aware, there is thousands of people starting university for the first time and are probably feeling exactly the way you are right now. I don’t know how many times I told myself this on the weeks leading up to moving and how much my family told me this but, it really did help settle my nerves when I really thought about it. You are never really alone in anything.

Second…

This is not a life altering decision. Once you have accepted the course you are doing it does not mean that you are tied down to that decision for the rest of your life. The great thing about university and Edge Hill, is that it opens up so many windows of opportunities for you to explore. Take these opportunities and explore them!

Third…

This will be the best thing that will happen to you. I know this seems a little dramatic but, for me, starting university was a big deal because I never thought that it would happen to me. Telling myself that going to university would be the best thing I would do really helped with my nerves because I then really started to believe it and to be honest, it really has helped me in so many ways and I can guarantee it will do the same for you.

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Thank you for reading and I hope that this has helped at least someone who is starting to feel the nerves. Again, well done on getting into University, you deserve this!

Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.

Dalai Lama

Home Visits – Can they be hard?

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having an amazing summer so far! I thought I would talk a little more about how I find visiting home both comforting but also a source of discomfort as this is something I quickly realised while in my first year of university. 

Coming from a very family orientated family, I have always loved the thought of going back to Ireland to see everyone and spend some good, quality time with them (and to be fed). However, while this was exciting and relaxing, I found that when it came to coming back to university, I would become a little upset and find it hard to settle back into the routine of living away from my family. 


I found it particularly hard after the Christmas break because I was so used to being at home again and being around my family and so, when it came to moving back over to uni and back to the flat, I suddenly realised that I didn’t want to. This only lasted for a couple of weeks until I settled back again but during that time, I really needed help to make me feel comfortable with being away from my family again. 

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I realise that flying over every weekend or every two weekends isn’t very student budget friendly but, I found that when I had a trip planned to go home for a couple of days I didn’t feel as sad or anxious because I knew that I would be seeing my family and that kept me going until that time arrived. In my first year, I made the mistake of only visiting home if I had a prolonged period of time off university and so as I was home for longer, I was getting too comfortable with being away from university, making it harder to transition back. 

As much as my mum hated this, I made sure to text her or FaceTime her every day while I was away so that I was keeping in contact with her as much as I could while keeping updated with the rest of my family. However, I will say that I may have been a bit smothering about Face-timing back home and texting whenever I could but, at the end of the day, it made me feel better and kept the homesickness at bay.Image result for facetime

It can also be fun to try and plan trips to visit family members who live close by or friends from home that have moved to England for University. This may be quite pricey but, in my opinion, your feelings and mental health come first. If you feel that visiting someone close to you while you are in need of comfort will help you, do it. I was lucky enough to have my cousins live in Liverpool and so, I could visit them when I wanted to or needed to be with family. I also made a couple of trips down to Bath to visit my sister who lives there. Yes, it was pricey but it made me happy. 


I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it helped my fellow Irish students coming to Edge Hill University. I can say truthfully that moving away was the best thing I did for my independence and it really made me appreciate my family more. 

Thank you for reading, Lauren 

 “Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

-Stitch-

Taking a break – Getting excited all over again

Taking a break


Getting excited about things is great. When you are really involved and love what you are doing the job almost seems to do itself. Except that might not last. Eventually the novelty can ware off. In this blog I want to talk about three ways to get yourself reinvigorated and above all excited to start on whatever you might be doing. It could be a job, or even your future.


Take a break

Alright this is the biggest, and simplest. Taking a break from what your are doing is probably the best way to realise why you enjoyed doing it in the first place. Recently I took a break from writing blogs. It was nice to break my routine. But coming back now to write this made me remember that I really enjoy sharing experiences and writing in the first place. So, take a break and regroup even if its just with yourself.


Break up the routine

As I mentioned above, taking a break can really help. But if you can’t do that then maybe its time to change how you work, and shake up your routine for the better. Maybe try doing more at once, and use the flow to propel what you are doing forward. Take a look at how you work, and change it up. Even if you move something as simple as the day you do your work can make a difference.


Consider a change

This is pretty drastic, but making a big change can be the only way to find a way to break the monotony of anything you are doing. Take everything into consideration and figure out for yourself if you need a break or if you truly are sick of what you are doing and need to make a change.


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!

Some things I discovered in the first term…

Hey! 

 I’m going to share with you some things I realised in the first term/year at university and hopefully it can help you get into the swing of things a little easier.

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Paper or paperless?
I am a huge stationery addict and I’m constantly buying new notebooks and pens for no reason other than ‘it’s pretttttty‘. So when I came to Edge Hill I packed all my notebooks and pens ready to finally use it all. A month in and I realised that I can’t write fast enough in lectures and there is nothing worse than ruining a nice notebook with torn out pages and scribbles. I moved over to my laptop and started to type up notes on here instead and it saved me so much time. Plus, less paper is fewer trees being chopped down – hooray!

Printing:
I took my own printer with me to university. I ended up using the printers at the Catalyst out laziness and also because it was easier than me constantly buying ink. However, I stumbled across something called HP Instant Ink which is a subscription that is much cheaper than buying the cartridges and they send it straight to your door monthly so you don’t have to worry about it at all. This will definitely come in handy in second year when you no longer have the Catalyst on your doorstep.

 

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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!

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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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!

Staying through the summer – Living in Ormskirk year round

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Ormskirk is a busy place with people coming and going for Edge Hill University during term time. Outside of that it can seem peaceful without the hussle and bussle of students. So living here for a prolonged holiday, through the summer, can be abit daunting. You might find yourself without friends that you had made in University itself. But for many foreign students, even though the world is constantly becoming smaller with low cost airlines, living here year round is a fact of life. So here are my three tips for living in Ormskirk through the summer months.


Get Ahead by finding some work that fits your degree. Plenty of firms will have summer internships for you to get ahead and pack into your CV. Apart from that the cash is great. Could save enough for a holiday, or even a car because you will have plenty of time to get your hours in.


Discover Ormskirk and find yourself all the amazing places that you would be otherwise too busy with study or class to visit. There are loads of these, Ruff Woods to the Water Tower!  Or check out the local shops, there are plenty of places you might not have visited before.


Find the fun at all of the local events going on. Comedy night at Mylo, Quiz night at Styles or just a quiet pint in the Horseshoe you will always find some vibrant night life in the town during summer. The weekend markets will give you something to do in the morning also.


Thats all for this weeks blog, but if you want to check out more to do in Ormskirk you can visit the Google Travel guide here.

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!