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!

University – Expectation VS Reality

Hey everyone! I hope you are having an amazing week whatever you are doing. I thought I would write a blog talking about people’s expectations of university versus the reality of what that expectation is like. I know I am not the only one who binged watched so many ‘moving into uni!’ videos and vlogs on YouTube and somehow built up a somewhat unrealistic image of what life as a university student would be like. 

So, here are a few that I have thought about and I will hopefully be able to do more of these in the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Freshers Flu!

 

Expectation – By the end of your freshers week you will not be able to get out of bed and you will have to buy approximately 16 boxes of tissues and live off headache, cold and flu relief. 

Reality – Not EVERYONE manages to catch this dreaded disease and this is not because they have the immune system of a robot. These people look after themselves on a night out by resting, drinking lots of fluids and eating well eg fruits and wholesome foods. I am one of the many who managed to dodge this expectation and if you are also one of the lucky ones maybe try not to rub it in sufferers faces. 

But seriously, look after yourself during freshers and you should be fine.

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Being Broke 24/7!

 

Expectation – you will only live on pot noodles from Aldi, bread and if you are really lucky you could possibly afford to treat yourself to actual Heinz Ketchup. You will also never have the money to enjoy yourself and if you do, it will only last you a day so spend very wisely.

Reality – Okay, I will admit that life as a student can be really really hard and yes, there will have to be a certain level of budgeting if you want to make life easier for yourself and there will be sacrifices to make but, you will most likely manage just fine if you try and save up before entering student life and spread the costs more evenly. This means you can go out and enjoy yourself with friends and order yourself that pizza after a long night out.

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Constant Partying!

 

Expectation – Monday night after class, flat party. Tuesday night maybe into Wednesday morning before lectures, night out. Thursday, another flat party. Friday, big night out and the weekend? More partying and going out all the time. 

Reality – Yes, you may have more than one night out during the week, especially towards the start and end of your year at university but, all the time? No way. Some nights you may just want to have a simple movie night with your pals, you may also just want to hang out in your room and there is also the chance you will have several game nights that involves playing  the board game that destroys families and relationships but, you will most likely not be constantly partying or surrounded by those who do.

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That is all the expectations versus reality situations for this blog. I would just like to say that these are purely based off of my experiences with university and I am aware that others and your own experiences could be very different. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, Lauren. 

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

-Alexander Pope-

What I’m up to over the summer! ☀️

Summer is finally here!

I can’t tell you how nice it is to finally get some time to myself and rest. The first year of university has been absolutely amazing but also incredibly tiring and it’s nice to take a breather and relax for a bit. I flew back out to Saudi Arabia to spend some time with my Dad. Although I’m waking up at 2pm some days I am also still working and doing things that will support my course.

While I am out in Saudi I have set up a tutoring service for primary level. This is really nice to do as it’s flexible to you and your plans but you are gaining vital experience while you are out of training.

If you are studying Primary Education with QTS it may be a good idea to volunteer at primary schools or try and if there are any summer schools on near you. Head over to this website to see if there are any around your area. It’s not a requirement but it will help you enormous amounts to continue working with children and learning more about great teaching. It also gets you away from Netflix for a bit.

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I am also finally getting to read what I want to read. No more journal articles, textbooks or children’s books. Well, I’m still reading a  few children’s books to add to my reading journal (which again, you should do if you are joining Primary Ed in September) but I’m finally getting to read my own books! Yay!

I am working out here and I’m working a lot because my student loan doesn’t cover the fees for the house I’m living in so I’m saving up to make sure I make my payments and hopefully I can save a little more for myself. I’m hoping to do some driving lessons and my test this year so there may be a post on that too if that is something you’re interested in doing too.

Most importantly, I am chilling out. I am binge watching everything I’ve been wanting too and enjoying the lie-ins. It’s really great spending time with family and friends. I’m going to give myself 6-7 more weeks of me time and then I’m going to slowly get back into Uni-mode.  I hope you’re all really excited for September – you should be!

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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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What to Do over the Summer

Hi everyone since we are properly into the summer holidays now I thought I would talk about what i’m doing with myself, and also things you might be thinking of doing if you have some extra free-time.

At the moment i’m in a bit of a limbo work wise having come home to Northern Ireland, this has meant putting my job in the students union on pause for the time being until i’m back in September which they are really cool about since campus is quiet over these months. I am looking for work experience although this is rather difficult for me as a film/TV student since there is much less industry here than in England but we will see what happens! If you can get experience over the summer I would definitely recommend it as it is a good way to enhance your CV. Part-time work is also obviously very handy to have over the summer to top up your account which you will definitely be thankful for if the student loan runs out mid term!

Since I have more free time I have taken to learning the piano, but i’m genuinely actually gonna do it this time because I have put off learning an instrument for far too long, but so far so good. Additionally since i’m studying film/TV i like to keep watching things all the time and what’s better than a good evening binge. At the moment i’m watching:

The Wire- HBO/Sky

The Crown- Netflix

Black Mirror- Netflix

All of which are great so far and I definitely recommend if you are unsure of what to watch. There are usually plenty of festivals and concerts on all across the UK as well if your a music fan, even Ireland has a fair bit going on in this department which is a change since there is usually sod all here! I went to see Stormzy in Belfast last week which was amazing and I would definitely recommend him if that’s your kind of thing.

The most important thing about the summer is that you do what you want to do, there’s no point going back to university feeling as tired as you left so just enjoy it, till next time.

Jordan

 

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-

Day Off? No Problem

Hey everyone! I thought I would dedicate a blog to the things that you can do in Ormskirk or on campus of Edge Hill University when you find yourself with a day off or in need of a break from assignment writing etc. 


Treat Yourself

Sometimes when I have a day off from University, I like to think of it as a ‘treat yourself’ kind of day. Whether you have been writing assignments, studying for an exam or just wanting a break from university life, why not take yourself into Ormskirk and treat yourself to something nice?Image result for treat yourself gif

Go out for lunch with friends

Food fixes everything, am I right? There are some really nice places to visit in town if you and your flatmates are tired of cooking for yourselves and are also really student friendly. Some of my favourite places would be;

  • Cobble
  • Love to Eat
  • Wetherspoons (classic)
  • The Bagel Deli

Student Union

You may be surprised to find yourself in the student union bar on a day off from university but, sometimes it is nice just to sit and have a few drinks with some friends, have a laugh and sometimes there is some entertainment on the television such as football. You don’t have to go too far as this is located right on campus!Related image

Have a flat movie day/board game day

You don’t even have to leave the flat on your day off from classes so this would be the best opportunity to gather any of your other friends from your course or in your flat and have a cosy movie day with lots of snacks or, have a board game night. Let me share some advice, if you chose to play monopoly…make yourself comfortable, you’re in for a long night.


Thank you for reading. I have to say, my favourite thing to do out of this list is to watch a movie with my flat mates as it is such a great way to bond and chill out after a hard couple of days work.

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”

-Ralph Marston-

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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