Last weeks in the USA

During the last few weeks of my time in the United States of America, I had a rapid tour of Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Chicago (although I lived there for around 9 months, there is always more to see – especially since the sun was finally out again)! The day after checking out the National Mall and the Burning Man sculptures (exhibit named “No Spectators”), Diana, who was accompanying me on this whirlwind tour, took me around Georgetown, a really pretty neighbourhood next to the Potomac River that also features a historic canal that is currently being restored. Since there had been a lot of rain before my visit, the Potomac was almost bursting its banks with rapids having formed along its length. From one of the bridges that crossed a sidestream, I was able to see rocks with tiny patches of vegetation hanging on for dear life – even a tiny tree struggling to stand its ground! One person was even kayaking in the main river, not for the fainthearted!

The next day we got a train to New York. Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived and I, lacking a raincoat, got to ‘jellyfish up’ in a lovely yellow rain mac. The rain let off by the time we had eaten lunch, allowing us to see Times Square without being drenched. If you’ve ever been to London, think Piccadilly Circus but bigger – like most things in the US!

On the following day, we explored many squares in NYC, as well as some parks and Lady Liberty from a distance. NYC has some lovely areas to see, although it’s very compact and pretty busy too. I ate a traditional New York bagel (again, huge) with some vegan garlic and herb cream cheese, which was pretty damn good. Later on, we saw the 9/11 memorial fountains which were quite a sight to see. After seeing the sights, it was time for the flight back to Chicago and catching an Uber to the airport was an absolute nightmare!

To make the most of the sunny weather in Chicago, Diana and I took a trip up to the Chicago Botanic Gardens (CBG), I was particularly interested in seeing the bonsai trees. It’s a huge garden so there was no way for us to see all of it in the time we had, plus, it was far too hot to stay for long. On another sunny day, we visited the beach and I got to play some volleyball – a sport I’ve missed playing a bunch whilst in the states.

In the final few weeks before I left the US, I got to spend some time with some of the wonderful people I met whilst living in Chicago. We played games, went to the Lincoln zoo, had a boozy brunch, took an architectural boat tour, even went out to a club for a drag show. I’m very sad to leave them and my life in Chicago behind, but of course am excited for what the future holds back in the UK, including a summer internship with the Biology department at Edge Hill!

My first Summer away from Edge Hill

Hey all, hope you’re having a great day!

This is my first Summer away from Edge Hill and I’ve found it to be completely different to when I’ve had Summer breaks from college or high school for a variety of reasons.

Yes, I miss the campus, the course and my friends, but it’s also a well-earned break from the hard work of my first year. Having lived on campus and had quite a busy week most weeks, not only because of my course, coursework writing and rehearsals, but because of the extra things like the aerial lessons I did. Although I spent a year performing and doing what I love the most, and enjoying every second of it, since coming home for Summer I have had a lot more time to relax. I have been taking performance opportunities where possible though to keep developing my skills as a performer and to work towards my career too, which is a great way to spend your Summers away from Uni.

Of course, it’s nice to spend more time with your family too. If you’re not living in Halls or a house in Ormskirk you might not get as homesick as if you would, as you’ll still see your family everyday. But if you do live away, you don’t have them to help you with everyday things like you do at home, and because it’s a long period of time you do get homesick. Summer is a great chance to spend some quality time with the people you don’t get to see when at Uni.

So there are definitely things that I’d take advantage of whilst off for Summer, and things I’ve definitely found from this first experience. Firstly, take some time for yourself. This may be a change after your first Uni year, but it’s needed to keep yourself energetic, ready for the next year and happy. It’s also just nice to have that time to yourself, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of it! Secondly, balance that out with some fun things, and some stuff that can benefit you in your skill sets. Whether that’s taking on a part time job in your chosen field or even not in the field, just for some work experience, or maybe even auditioning for a local theatre show, just go out there and find something that’ll make you look back at your Summer away from Edge Hill and say “yeah, that was worth it”. Thirdly, see the people you don’t often see! Don’t isolate yourself, cause you’ll just start to miss you Uni friends. Take the opportunity to see your old high school or college friends, or other members of your family. Go out for food and enjoy people’s company.

All in all, both being at Uni and Summer can both be fun, full of experience and exciting, but it’s what you make of it. So take as many experiences as you can!

Uni is a bit like a holiday…

So summer is here and I hope you’ve all got your bags packed and tickets at the ready! Just like going on holiday, you have to be really organised and prepared when going to uni!

You will need to make sure you’ve done certain things I.e your student finance (making sure your relatives have also filled in their part) to ensure the process is smooth and you get your money in September! You get your student loan after the uni have notified Student finance that you have enrolled on welcome Sunday, (so make sure you don’t miss that)!

You also need to pack and unlike a holiday you may need to pack for all weathers. Those who are familiar with England weather will tell you that even in Autumn we can have our hot days! So making sure you have comfy clothes and shoes is a must! Not forgetting home comforts such as dressing gowns and slippers!!

At uni, your passport is your Unicard! Your unicard may be your key to get into your accommodation (depending on where you’re staying!), it allows you to get on the uni bus to Ormskirk for free and you also need it for exams, student entry to the SU and countless other things!

Just like holiday reps, there are multiple people at Edge Hill that are there to guide and help you if you need it! If you find yourself in a spot of bother or just need a friendly face to chat to then reach out! This could be your tutor, your head of year or the people at student services who will all be happy to point you in the right direction!

So don’t be afraid to embark on your newest journey! It’s one where you’ll make so many happy memories and new friends, you’ll love it! So for now get prepared, get packed because before you know it you’ll be stood at that departure gate ready to go! Good luck and we hope to see you soon!!

Faye’s Blog – Exam & then Home for Christmas!!

So today I had my exam for my Cinema and National Identity module. It went okay I think but I’m pretty sure it could have gone better!! I found it really really difficult! I had to discuss the myths around Australian and New Zealand cinema in relation to two films, What Happened to the Broken Hearted? and Gallipoli 🙂

Now I am back home in Blackpool over Christmas and I am finally starting to feel a lot more Christmasy and excited!!!  Even though I still have three assignments to write and my dissertation!!