Business School Freshers Week 2019

I’ve spoken a fair bit about Freshers week in my blogs, but never intensely on the activities my department (The Business School) put on for my cohort. If you’re a new student reading this blog, beware everyone’s Freshers is different, and the next cohort’s Freshers week activities for the Business School may be very different. Disclaimers out the way, time to get into my first week at Edge Hill.

Day one of the week was arguably the most jam-packed. The entire Business School cohort converged on the Wilson lecture theatre for an introduction to the school, key members of the department, and other important things tied to being a Business School student at Edge Hill. From the introduction lecture, I had a smaller lecture focused on my specific degree in one of the rooms of the Business School. The smaller lecture had activities for people to mix and begin to create friendships. Yes there were icebreakers but they were enjoyable ones, well, as enjoyable as an icebreaker can be.

Introductions over with, the whole cohort came together again for the delivery of the week’s task. The entire cohort was split up into groups. Each team had the same task, create a new business for the Ormskirk area. Groups could talk, throw ideas around, get a basis on everything, before heading home for the night. It was a good way to meet new people, and I know several people who formed lasting friendships through the task.

Tuesday to Thursday was centred around working on our businesses, my group came up with an escape room. On the Thursday we presented the ideas to a panel of judges, this took place in the Business School foyer for about an hour, followed by a lunch break and big awards ceremony in the Wilson building one last time as a whole cohort. My team did not win any awards, but several of my friends I made prior to starting university did, so there were celebrations to be had following the ceremony.

The poster for my team’s business.

Finally, a big barbecue outside the Business School to commemorate the end of Freshers Week!

Like I said at the start of this blog, your activities may be different come Freshers week 2020, or beyond if you’re reading this much further down the line. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have as much fun as I did!

Alice.

The Unexpected Benefits of Applicant Visit Days

Edge Hill University’s applicant visit days can feel daunting. Open days are bright and exciting when you get prepared for them, and applicant days should feel the same.

March 2019 was my applicant day, a day I look back fondly upon. Leaving the house at seven-AM, to travel miles and miles to arrive at the uni on time. I took part in a mini tour like I did during an open day, getting to grips with the layout of the campus again, before heading over to the business school where I met two people I can still call my friends almost a year on.

The amount of people on my degree is equivalent to a GCSE class, around 30 maximum, but on that day it felt like there were far more, as people filed into the room my taster sessions was going to take place in. I sat myself on a circular table near the door as I had arrived early and had the choice of whatever table I wanted. For a while, I sat alone, until my table gained two people, the two people I kept in contact with after the session because we got along so well, but also the two people I can easily call my best friends at university. Every Monday morning since September we’ve met, gone to our lectures together, shared time outside of the timetable together and got to know each other really well.

Edge Hill University's Business School
Edge Hill University’s Business School

The friendship I have now with my two best friends, was formed thanks to an applicant day I was scared about. If you’re scared about your applicant visit day, bite the bullet and attend, even if it’s a bit of a journey to get here. You’ll be able to understand the course a lot more, see the campus again and make sure of its amazing Starbucks and Catalyst coffee (53.3 Degrees) but also possibly make friendships ahead of September when the new year starts. Some people I didn’t talk to on applicant day are also now my friends because I recognised their faces from that rainy morning in March.

Applicant visit days are one of the best things offered by this university during the end of your sixth form or college experience, and you should totally make use of that.

Alice

If I could start all over again!

I am less than a week away from beginning my first secondary math teaching post! Well it’s very scary and surreal! I have nearly finished prepping my classroom and about to start planning my lessons! For the class of 2017, three years of uni has prepared us for our new careers and now it’s here! For all you lucky Uni starters your journey is just beginning!

You will now know if you got into uni- what a relief! Hopefully it’s all sunk in and you’re excited to begin your new adventure! So now the curiosity sets in as you wonder about things such as: what will my room be like, will I live with people on my course, will I make friends!?

Well yes of course you’ll make friends! Most people will be in a position where they know little or no people going to Edge Hill! There are plenty of activities going on during the week that will allow you to meet new people! These are run by the Student Union, with the line up available here!

Freshers week is the first week, which begins with welcome Sunday! This week is full of activities and introductions to uni! You will have receive a timetable for your corse on your first week which will include talks from the library and more intimate meet ups with people on your course! This gives you a solid start at Edge Hill as not only will you be more equipped to use the facilities, you will also have people to go with!

I can’t emphasise enough how much You should join a society or jump into the social scene with your flat mates! These people will stick by you for the next three years and hsipefukky you will make some friends for life!

Maintaining Old Friendships in New Places

If you decide to attend university quite far away from where you were previously based, you might be worried about how the distance will affect your current friendships. Even if you do stay “close to home,” your friends might be going off to uni and be the ones who are far away. But being physically distant does not have to distance your friendships. As important as it is to make friends at Edge Hill University on your course, in your halls, and in societies, it’s always nice to keep in touch with friends whom you may have spent a good few harrowing years of your life with.

Video calling

Whether over Facebook, FaceTime, or Skype, video calls can be a great way to keep up with your closest friends from home. I’ve found that organising an actual time to call is the best way to make sure these things actually happen – otherwise, life gets in the way and you may end up putting it off or inadvertently being busy.

Gaming

If you and your friends share an interest in video games, then it can be a wonderful way of spending time with them, whilst also relaxing after a day of work. Whatever your preferred platform, personally I’d say microphones are a must. Being able to chat about life whilst you play is pretty great. Minecraft, Destiny, and Borderlands have been some of the games I’ve played whilst catching up with friends.

Rabb.it

Video chat with people AND watch tv. With Rabbit, you can have a typical video call, but stream shows, movies or games at the same time, so you can experience them together. Something I used to do with friends back home all the time, I admittedly haven’t used it much since coming to uni, but it’s a great resource that people should know about!

Visiting

Although it can be a tad expensive, and requires a bit of planning, visiting your old friends (or having them visit you) is one of the best things you can do to keep your friendships alive. If you book trains in advance, you can get a huge discount – even more so if you have a railcard (Santander 16-25 Railcard anyone?).

New Groupchat

After people move off from sixth-form/college, you may experience the death of a groupchat. This may be a long and slow death, the chat lingering on, with fewer and fewer people messaging, or it may be a swift and painless death. Either way, once you realise who has decided to move on, why not make a new groupchat? One with people who are still committed to maintaining old friendships.

Coping With University Stress

Although I have found university to be a freeing and joyous experience overall, it can be a tad stressful from time to time. When you first experience stress at university varies (if you even experience it at all), it may come shortly after moving into halls; halfway through the first semester; or perhaps during one of your exam periods. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world. It’s very common to have some form of worry whether it be because of your course, the new environment, or new people, and Edge Hill University is equipped to deal with this scenario.

Student Services have a branch dedicated to the wellbeing of students: Counselling and Wellbeing Services. They offer free sessions and workshops on relaxation and stress management, as well as support groups for things such as bereavement or loss. Their dedicated page to relaxation can be found here.

There are also personal things that you can try to reduce your stress levels during times of worry. Here are my main three that help me keep calm in moments of panic:

Blogging

Specifically two forms – active and passive. My active blogging is similar to what I’m doing as I type this, and the result is similar to what you’re reading here right now. Simply writing down all the thoughts in your head – a brain dump – can alleviate a lot of stress, whether it’s posted on a public blog like this, or a private one more akin to a diary. Instead of having things constantly occupying your mind for attention, you can separate yourself from any troubles and take a fresh look at the world (and hopefully see it isn’t as bad as you thought).

What I mean by passive blogging on the hand (if you can even really call it that), is using sites like Tumblr. Whenever I scroll down my dashboard on a typical day, anything soothing, cute, reassuring or funny gets tagged by me, and sorted into categories on my blog. Then, whenever I’m having a rough day, I can scroll through all these lovely posts – be it pictures of cats, funny test posts, or calming art.

Meditation

Something else that helped me a lot though my years of sixth form, was meditation. Admittedly, I’ve fallen out of practise in recent times, but it’s worth mentioning – since it even helped with my anxiety at the time as well. I personally used an app called Headspace, which has an unlimited free trial but also a paid subscription for more directed sessions. Headspace essentially is like a podcast, in that you listen to it from your phone or computer and are spoken to (if you’ve ever listened to Welcome To Night Vale, think of Cecil’s soothing tone). They also run a Get Some / Give Some scheme, which is a lovely way of giving back and supporting those who have gone through a whole manner of hardships.

There are of course other permanent, free, meditation aids. Two more that I myself have not tried, but have downloaded at some point or another are, Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think.

Friends

Of course, there’s nothing like having friends to fall back on in times of stress. A close few who you can rely on to back you up when you’re feeling down are always nice. Plus, if the tables turn and they’re the ones who are stressed, there’s not much better than being able to make someone feel calm again.