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-

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-

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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Packing for the first year of University 🏫💼

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Hello!

Summer is approaching at an insane rate, and the fact that I am nearly no longer a first year is dawning on me. It honestly feels like I’ve been here for a couple of months – time really does fly when you’re having fun. I remember googling and search on Youtube for what I need to pack and what the rooms are like.

My tip? Don’t do this:

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Honestly, the car was so full, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was nearly touching the ground. I packed too much, and it’s understandable but really, it’s not necessary. I’ve started to move my stuff, a suitcase at a time, back home already just to make moving out easier than it was moving in – and I’m on the bottom floor!

Here’s what you need to bring on move in day:

Pillows, a duvet and bedding to go with it
Toilet roll, even if it’s just one roll for the night
Toiletries – Body wash, hand soap, tooth brush and paste
Phones, laptops, chargers – all the tech stuff
A notebook, pens and pencils – things for lectures and seminars
All your clothes that you will need, don’t forget pyjamas and socks!
Shoes, comfy ones and going out ones
Washing basket, coat hangers, an airer, towels
Plates/bowls, cutlery and mugs, pots and pans if not provided
Bring all your university paperwork, any summer work that has been tasked and your passport
Food!

I would say that these are the absolute essentials that you will need to bring for move in day. Of course you may want to bring other things like pictures and blankets and other nice decorative things to make it feel cosy.

Side note: post-it notes may be a good idea:

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First week can be daunting if you’re not a party-goer or drinker of alcohol. I don’t mind a nice drink with friends but I’m not a big club person. However, it’s nice to get out and about in that first week and meet people who are like you. I found a nice group of people who preferred the low-key thing too. Just get out there, your people are out there too!

Good luck, and I hope to see you at Edge Hill in September! ☺️

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Using Your Holidays Wisely!

Hey everyone and HAPPY EASTER!

I hope you are all stuffing your faces with chocolate eggs and having a nice chill day. However, don’t forget to keep up with all the work you have to do before going back to University.


As I am on my Easter holidays at home in ‘wee’ Ireland, I thought I would share my tips on how to use the uni holidays wisely and still be able to enjoy your time at home.

Utilise your time!

You have so much free time now that you don’t have classes and lectures, why not use this time to get ahead of the game before returning back?

Set yourself a goal everyday in terms of work

For example, I would set myself a word count goal on how many words I want to get written in my assignment. This way I know how much I want to write and then if I get over that word count, I can have more time to spend with my family and friends (and dog).

Use your time alone to catch up on reading and studying

Being away from the distractions of university and halls can be great thing if you want to catch up for time lost. 

Do the most work you can do early in the day so that you can relax with your family in the evening.

I have mentioned in a few blogs that I love waking up early and getting my day started. When I am at home, waking up early, taking my dog for a walk and then getting started on my assignments is the best way I could start my day because I find that I am way more productive in the morning. Try it!

Start to write out a study plan or an assignment writing plan for when you go back to Uni so that you are super organised smash the term.

Returning back to university after a long break can be quite daunting especially when you know you have studying to be doing or assignments to write. I like using my time off to start planning study sessions or plan out an upcoming assignment so that I have a head start. Image result for you can do it


I know that going home for holidays can be very distracting as you have family to catch up with and friends to see, but remember that Uni can be just as distracting especially if you are living in halls.

I love coming back home for holidays, and to be honest, for the first few days I do take time to spend with my family however, I always make sure to stay on top of my work and assignments so that I have less stress to deal with upon returning.

Hopefully this advice is helpful. I really do try to utilise my time off at home to really get into my work and assignment writing. It feels really good knowing that I am ahead of the game!

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

-Bruce Lee-

 

Accommodation – My View

Hey everyone!

I know there have been a few posts on accommodation on this platform but I believe that the more opinions you have on something, the easier it is to make your decision!


Chancellor’s Court 

My first pick to live on campus was in Chancellor’s Court and I am so grateful that I got a place here. There were so many options that I could chose from and after a long decision making process, I finally settled.

The size of the room is perfect for me! Originally, I was worried that the room would be too small as I did move over with A LOT of things, however, once I had unpacked and put all my things away, I realised how much space there actually is.

The wardrobe is the best place for storage because of how big it is and the extra room above makes for some handy storage!

Plus, there is a mini-fridge in the wardrobe, really useful if you want to hide some of chocolate from friends….


Making sure that I had the opportunity to personalise my space and make it seem more like home was so important to me. This meant that I needed somewhere that I could hand up pictures, shelf my books and store my folders for school.

That is one of my top tips about moving into accommodation; make it your own! There is no better way to make yourself feel right at home than hanging up some pictures, cards and posters. I am sure you have already seen this tip before but it really does help.

The university used to provide computers for these rooms but after the opening of the amazing catalyst building there was no need for them. The monitor is still in the room however, it does require a TV license if you wish to use it.

There are so many little nooks in the desk area where you can store all kinds of things. Great for shopping bags and laundry baskets!

So, as you can see, my accommodation is so nice and comfortable to live in but my favourite part about it has to be the en suite/wet room.

It may be a strange thing to get excited about if you’re like me and grew up having to share a bathroom with five other people, you will understand my feelings.

The wet room is a good size, with a shower curtain to stop the walls and towels getting wet, a toilet (obviously), a mirror and a shower wrack to keep your showers gels and shampoos on. I recommend buying some extra shower room storage as you will need more place to keep additional bathroom essentials but other than that, Edge Hill provide you with the basics to get you started!


I settled in really well to my new room knowing that I was safe and secure due to the 24-hour security and locked doors that require your own key to enter.

There is no better feeling than coming back from long day of lectures, coming into your room and relaxing in your own personal space. However, do remember to come out and socialise with the rest of your flat so that you can experience university life to the fullest!

My room is nice and simple but like I said, you can personalise it any way you like!

I hope that you enjoyed my view of the accommodation at Chancellor’s Court here in Edge Hill University! I love my space on campus and I am very grateful to the university for providing me with such a comfortable living space.

For more opinions and information about accommodation, please make sure to have a look at the other blog posts here at Inside Edge!

https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/?s=accommodation

https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/03/02/edge-hill-university-room-tour-chancellors-south/

https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2019/03/01/accomodation-at-edge-hill-things-to-do-in-your-first-week/

“There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.”

– Rosalynn Carter –

Homesickness and how to tackle it!

Hey everyone!

As I come from Northern Ireland, the feeling of homesickness is very familiar and I especially felt it more when I returned to university after the holidays.

After feeling sorry for myself for a few days and texting my mum every 5 minutes throughout the day, I decided that I would try and do something about it. Read on to find out how I deal with homesickness!


What I Remind Myself…

I think that the first hurdle to overcome when you are feeling sad about being away from home is to remind yourself constantly that it is COMPLETELY normal. I sat in my room thinking that I was the only person that could be feeling like this at the moment but it wasn’t until I talked to a friend of mine that I realised, everyone goes through this. 

And so, after reminding myself of this everyday, the feeling started to ease as I knew that the feeling would come and go and when it does, it is okay to feel that way.

 

Talk to someone

As well as talking to your friends about what you are feeling, there are so many other people in the University that would be more than happy to talk to you and offer any advice.

When I was feeling the way I was about being away from home, I reached out to CampusLife with an email and they responded within minutes with so much advice on what I could do to help me overcome how I was feeling. They told me about ‘That Thursday Thing’ which is where a group of people meet up and just chat or take part in activities. They were so helpful and they will even offer to send out their student connectors to your halls to check up on you and to have a chat about how you are feeling.

 

Stay connected to family and friends from home

When I first felt homesick back in September, the last thing that I wanted to do was phone my mum, dad or anyone from home because I thought it would only make me feel worse. I even declined any pictures that my mum tried to send to me of my dog which, if anyone knows me, I would have NEVER done.

I quickly found that talking to my family and friends from home on a regular basis, whether that be through text or FaceTime, really helped me through the tougher times and made me appreciate them more. Till this day, I still ring, text and FaceTime home just for a catch up but, mostly for pictures of my dog…

Rosie really takes the whole ‘even my dog is prettier than I am’ statement to a whole new level…


I really hope that this post will remind people that feeling homesick is so normal and there are so many things that can be done to tackle it but these are the three main tips that I follow when I start to feel a million miles away from home.

“When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”

-The Goldfinch-

Nights Out at Edge Hill

Hello guys!

Since I am coming to the end of my placement, I am very much looking forward to a night out with my friends… even though I will miss my pupils VERY much!

I thought I would share with you my ideas on a good night out at Edge Hill…

  1. Students’ Union Bar

You can always rely on the students’ union bar for a good night out, ESPECIALLY on Wednesday nights for socials! Each week you can expect to see different societies or sports teams out with different themes (I have joined in with football, basketball and even our own primary education society). The drinks are cheap and the taxi is £3 from Ormskirk if you don’t live on campus and don’t really fancy the walk!

  1. Alpine

Oh Alpine… what can I say? This place has been the beginnings of many memories during my university experience. The music, and most of all, the people, have made it the perfect place for a good night out. You’re guaranteed to have a good boogie with your mates or splash out on the delicious happy hour cocktails!

  1. Bars

Ormskirk is full of cute places to grab some gentle drinks, with Dinky Dory and The Mad Hatter being two of my favourites.

  1. LIVERPOOL

And of course… there is Liverpool which is ONLY a 35-minute train ride away. Also, if you manage to book a taxi in advance, it can often work out as a similar price to the train. Liverpool is bigger than Ormskirk so if you’re feeling like a bigger night out, Liverpool is the place for you. Initially, I thought I would travel to Liverpool every other week… until I realised that my nights out in Ormskirk are JUST AS GOOD!

Where do you like going out?

Until next time,

 

The faces of Edge Hill University – Unsung Heros

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The people who spend every working day at Edge Hill university have alot on their plate. Everyone from the canteen staff in the hub to facilities management technicians work tirelessly to make Edge Hill the best university that it can be. Because there is so many it is often easy to over look staff on the ground. In this blog I want to pay tirbute to three staff groups that I feel often go unnoticed in their daily duties.


Site Services – Housekeepers

135 house keepers work five days a week to clean flat kitchens and accomadation halls. These are the people who literally pick up after you. They are first on this list because they have a demanding job. They have my thanks.


Facilities Management – Post

Working in the durning center from early in the morning to late in the evening the postal team deal with not only staff mail but student mail too. Some of the friendlies faces you will ever see in there. Big thank you to all of them for their hard work.


Respective Departments – Admin Staff

Each department provides administration staff to answer questions from students. I have to give my thanks especially to Sally and Sharon from EHU Computing. Always there to help, no matter what the problem. A tough job, done right.


These three groups of staff work to make this university amazing, thank you to all of them. If you see them please do the same, without their hard work that sometimes goes unoticed, we would be alot worse off. Thats all from me.

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!

£26 million, one building – Catalyst at Edge Hill University


Opening in 2018 the brand new Catalyst building at Edge Hill University has become a second home for most students who study at Edge Hill University. The stunning building provides almost every service imagineable to students and if you are planning to study at Edge Hill you will spend a serious amount of time here. So it might pay to have a read of this blog, because i’ll be sharing my own tips for using the building to its maximum potentional.


Image result for help deskHelpdesk support is avialable Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am -6pm. They are always there to help and will do their best to point you in the right direction to any service that you need. If you have a problem, they will help.


Image result for printing and bindingPrinting and Binding is also available on every floor. Take advantage of the free binding services to make any of your projects look smart and presentable. If you have a presentation take in copies with a nice slick cover page and ring binder to hand out and you will have left the maximum impression on anyone in the room.


Image result for quietQuiet study on the top floor with a outlook over the roof gardens and campus. If you need some space to get work done pull up a chair at a table or computer and you will get whatever it is done. If you prefer some group study pods are available on the ground floor for up to 8 people with a presentation screen.


If you want to read more about the investment at the Catalyst you can read my other blog here:

Sean’s Random Encounters – Edge Hill Applicant Day and the Catalyst building


Or if you want to find out more about the new Catalyst building you can find information 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!