Quriky Differences between Edge Hill and N. Ireland – Dont get caught out with Ulster Bank notes

Quirky Differences between EHU and NI


If your like me and grew up in the North of Ireland your’ll know we’re a different breed to the rest of the world. It goes without saying that things are a little different there. When I first landed in Ormskirk and realised that getting a packet of Tayto at the shop wasn’t going to happen I was surpirsed. The little things about home seem to fade away here. In cases that can be annoying but in others it can be downright disastourous. I want to take a look at the differences that can acutally impact you.


The money might be sterling but dont expect to spend your hard earned Ulster bank, Bank of Ireland or First Trust notes in shops or out and about. Some places will accept them but more will give you a look like you have two heads. Its unfortunatly not against the law for shops to refuse to accept these notes and many do refuse to take them. Paying by card is an easy way to go, but if you do have N. Irish notes to exchange the post office in Ormskirk town will gladly help you out.


You might not find your bank on the main street in town. If you have a account with an N. Irish bank account like First Trust, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland or Dankse Bank you can forget about dropping into the branch for anything. If you bank with a bigger bank or building society you will find these, Ormskirk is home to a Halifax, HSBC, Barclyes, TSB, Santandar, NatWest and Nationwide. Unfortunatly the RBS branch has recently closed.


Your car insurance needs to be updated. If you hold a policy in N. Ireland and take your car to England for more than 90 days you must inform your insurance company or it will be invalid. If you decide to swap your license over be aware that the issuing autority is differnt also, nolonger the DVANI but simply the DVLA. Fun fact on things that are also differnt, ‘R’ plates dont exist in England, there’s no restriction.


Thats all for this blog. If you want to read more about Edge Hill in general check out this blog on Edge Hill life hacks:

Edge Hill Life Hacks – Everyone’s free (to wear sunscreen)

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!

[Part Two] Studying in Ireland and thinking of Edge Hill? – UCAS and Results

Irish Leaving Certificate and EHU


As someone who has experienced the Irish Leaving certificate first hand and furthered my education at Edge Hill there are a few things that can trip up the unsuspecting student. This four part guide will hopefully give you an insight into some of the points to consider when coming to Edge Hill from Ireland.

In this part two of the four part guide I want to take a look at the differences between CAO and UCAS, and how to make the most of your results. But bottom line, wither you are happy or sad about what you got there are always pathways open to wherever you want to go.


UCAS

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is the UK variant of CAO. The UCAS system is the application gateway to higher level institutes within the UK. Applying from an Irish perspective is easy, but there are a few trappings. First you will need to speak to your guidance councilor. When applying they will be required to prepare a recommendation for you and project your grades for your exam. Unlike CAO offers for UCAS come early and you are then expected to meet the conditions of the offer.


Your results

When all is said and done, your results are in and you open the envelope hopefully your predicted grades have come through and you have what you need to meet the conditions of your offer. If this is the case then you need to scan the certificate and send a copy to admissions@edgehill.ac.uk.

But what if they haven’t gone to plan. First, don’t panic. I know I did. If you hasn’t made exactly the grades you are looking for, unlike CAO, the UCAS system is prepared for that.  The university may still choose to accept you if they wish. But you have other pathways open to you if not.


Other pathways

If your offer hasn’t been accepted it might be worth looking at UCAS clearing. This is a service that allows you to apply for new courses or universities. The clearing service opens after the A level results have been sent out.

Taking a gap year is another opportunity for you to reconsider your choices. Possibly applying for new courses or even taking a booster course that will improve your chances of being accepted to University.

Finally, repeating. It’s not as scary as it sounds. Repeating your exams is a great way to really focus in on what you want and achieve your goals. Some of the smartest people I know have repeated their Leaving Certificate. Doing it again doesn’t mean you failed, it means you are dedicated.


That’s everything, but if you want to learn more about offers from Edge Hill and UCAS you can check out my other blog post here:

UCAS offers from Edge Hill University – No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.

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!

Prepare Yourself for University – What no one tells you!

Hello everyone! I thought I would do a post all about how to prepare yourself for a university life and becoming more independent as it is rather different to living at home. I really wish I had prepared myself more for starting university as I got the shock of my life when I arrived and my parents left me all alone.

Really hope you enjoy this post and find it useful!


Start to cook for yourself!

You might be thinking, “it’s fine, I’m pretty sure I know how to turn the oven on and throw in some frozen chips etc.” This may work for the first few weeks of cooking for yourself but there comes a time when you crave a good, healthy, wholesome meal that didn’t come out of the freezer. 

Picture courtesy of @aliceliveing on instagram!

Being able to make your own meals from scratch that are healthy and make your flat mates jealous is such an essential skill for university. Luckily I cooked a lot for myself before I moved out but since living on my own, I have explored many dishes that are super easy to make and are so good for me! Start now and discover your love for cooking!

Do the washing!

Not going to lie, I did not do a lot of my own washing before I came to university. The only time I did do any washing was when I had to get it out of the washer and hang it up on the line. Let me tell you now, washing all your own clothes is not fun so I would highly suggest to start early and get used to it.

However, saying that, it does feel strangely rewarding to come back from the laundry room and have lovely clean clothes. Always a silver lining!

Push yourself!

This is something I was wish I had done before coming to university. I was never very good at conversational skills and kept to myself a lot. When I came to university, socialising and talking to new people was a whole other concept to me. I came to campus as a really shy, introverted  Irish girl who couldn’t hold a decent conversation for more than 3 minutes.

I wish that I pushed myself more to open up to people and learn how to talk to new people before coming to university as I know for a fact this would help me make friends quicker and not feel so nervous about the situation. You could do this by joining a club in your hometown so that you can familiarise yourself with talking and socialising with people you have never met before.

Be more independent!

The above pointers all kind of link to this one but I want to speak about this one more generally. What I mean about being more independent is not relying on the people at home to do things for you like cook, clean, washing the clothes, do the food shopping etc.

Before I moved out of my home, I made the conscious decision to do more things for myself. I generally was already quite independent but I wanted to make sure that I could handle the things that my mum or dad would normally help out with. For example, the summer before university started, I started to do the food shop by myself instead of my mum and I going together. It was hard shopping for five people but it definitely prepared me for when I started to do my own shopping. Another independent task I started to do for myself was the dreaded…booking your own doctors appointment. I know, I know, it seems scary but, that is what independence feels like sometimes!

 


All jokes aside, becoming more independent before coming to university 100% helped with the transition. It may seem awful to start with but it has to happen sometime, so why not start now?

I hope you enjoyed this post and find it helpful! See ya next time – Lauren x

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

– Coco Chanel-

Accomodation at Edge Hill – Things to do in your first week

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Moving into your new accomodation is exciting, there is plenty to get on with but it can be easy to forget the basics in the first week. In this weeks blog I want to go through a few often forgotten things to do or get. Remember that in your flat work togeather to get things done, so you might have forgotten something on the list but someone else might have.


Food and shopping

This one is really easy to forget, just some basic bits and pieces. Food. Its easy to not get any shopping in, you could probbably survive on the free pizza too. But getting into the habbit of eating right from the start will make life better. Cheaper too, eating out can be expensive.


Toiletries

Just like the shopping it might be easy to forget things like toilet paper, toothpaste and even a toothbrush! Luckily the university provides a shop to purchase these items delivered to your room before you move in, but if you forget then getting down to McColls will set you right.


Entertainment

A deck of cards, monoloply, twister. Something for you and your new mates to do. Get in and have some fun in your first week. Cards is great, because of the amount of games you can actually play with them.


Thats it from me, but remember. Have fun in your first week. And if you forget something its not the end of the world.

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!

Why University will Change your Life – Three things that wont be the same again

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University is many things. An escape, new life, education and an experience. Thoughout your time you will almost certinaly experince things that never had crossed your mind. Things will happen every day that will challange you, and inevitably change your life. Don’t be afraid of the change, embrace it. All of those ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ questions that you’ve gotten, they come into play now. Because this is when you grow up. Make decisions for yourself.


Finances

Managing your own money may have been easy in the past but that will most likely change when you are dealing with rent money and buying most of your everyday items for yourself. Getting thrown into the deep end will give you the skills required to manage your money and finances for the future when noone else will do it for you.


Time management

Waking up in time for classes, having due dates and important meetings will give you the experience to change your life for the better. Knowing how your routinue makes a diference to your every day and how important changes are will give you the ability to ensure that in your life you make the right choices and put things that matter first.


Priorities

Finally, throughout your time in university you will learn how to prioritise the important aspects of your life. It might be a job, it might be your course but it will probbably be both. Making decisions to better yourself and ensure that you make the right choices. University will ensure you understand what comes first.


All of this might sound daunting, but is achieveable and will really change your life for the better.

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!

My Favourite Spots in Ormskirk 😍

I won’t lie to you. Ormskirk town was a rather large contributing factor to my decision of choosing Edge Hill. I was already sold on the University but when I visited the town, that was it. It’s just my kind of place, – quiet and quaint with bunting and fairy lights everywhere. A Waterstones and a Wetherspoons around the corner, what more could you ask for? A few of us have written about the places you can go in Ormskirk but I’m not really a clubbing person so Alpine isn’t exactly my vibe. If you’re like me and prefer somewhere quieter, keep reading!

If you’re a history nerd, this one’s for you!
As part of our history seminar, we took a lovely stroll into town and our history tutor took us along the Ormskirk Heritage Trail. It’s amazing what you miss when you’re looking down at your phone. Look up! There’s so much history around the town, you can download the map on the website here. How many gingerbreads can you find around Ormskirk? I’m currently at 6!

Image result for the cork wine bar ormskirkThe Cork 🍷
This is one of my favourite places to go because they sell an absolutely amazing carbonara there for £5.95! It’s a very relaxed place with a great music selection and great wine at good prices. It’s also next door to Alpine, so if you want to have some fancy pre-drinks first before you get sticky and sweaty in the club, that’s your place. Also around the corner from there is spoons, the Ormskirk Wetherspoons is pretty decent if you can find a seat. The rooftop garden is great in summer too.

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Salon One 💇🏽💅🏽
By far the best place to get your hair or nails done. I’ve been going there since I moved to university and the girls there are just amazing. I’ve always been scared of hairdressers because they always seem to want to cut all my hair off. Frankie, who does my hair, really listened to what I was after and I’ve never walked out of a hairdressers beaming so much. Not only that, they have a 20% discount for students – bargain!

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Books!!!!!!!! 📚
The best thing about the town is the Waterstones for me. I love books, I love reading, I love getting lost in stories and when I saw they had a Waterstones I was over the moon. It’s not the biggest but it’s got everything you need and the staff are so welcoming and just lovely. Just up the road is The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. An absolutely stunning building with a little bench against the wall, under a huge tree. I like to take a book up there, I’m not religious, but it’s a lovely spot to do a little reading or reflecting.

Thanks for reading!

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Why I Chose to Study at Edge Hill

Hello everyone, for today’s blog I thought I would talk more about Edge Hill and why I chose to come here, bear in mind these won’t be the same reasons for everyone but I thought they might help provide some extra insight at least.


The accommodation: While to some this may not be a big factor, to me personally it was,  I would be spending a lot of my time there including weekends since home was in Northern Ireland. The halls I stayed in were very modern and featured a good-sized shared kitchen, own en-suite and high-speed wi-fi. They are also on campus as well which is especially convenient for getting to classes in the morning.


The location: Edge Hill is located outside of a major city but that was something that suited me fine as I came from a town area back home. The uni’s location next to Ormskirk town means there are plenty of options shop wise and the convenient rail links into Liverpool city centre and Preston allow for easy and cheap travel especially with a rail card to these and other places.


The Course: I chose to study Film and TV production, and a big part of that choice was down to the fact it was focused around both Film and TV whereas other courses I had looked at were just film. I wanted to keep my options open for the future and choosing a course that had both seemed like the most logical choice. The facilities available at Edge Hill including the famed Creative Edge were also another factor in why I chose the course.


The Campus: Edge Hill offers everything you need on campus including a bar, nightclub, shop, subway etc which are all useful things to have especially as a first year student who will probably be spending a lot of time on campus.


These are some of the main reasons I chose to study at Edge Hill and hopefully they have helped provide some insight for you as well! Any more questions just let me know and thanks for reading!

Jordan

Relax and De-Stress

Hey everyone! I know that many of you will have already sent your university applications away and are now working hard to ensure that you meet the grades or criteria to be accepted to your chosen university.

I know from experience that this can be a very stressful time especially with exam preparation and coursework deadlines. Over the years I have managed to deal with the stress of these situations with a few simple tips and tricks, some I still use to this day.


  • Make yourself a nice, wholesome meal – I know it can be very easy to quickly put some frozen chips in the oven or order a takeaway when you are in the middle of a hard-core study session. However, I found that I felt worse and more stressed when I did this and so I changed those less healthy meals to something more nutritious.  For example, a homemade, vegan pizza using a seeded wrap, some tomato sauce and loads of vegetables with a pinch of salt. It took less that 20 minutes to make and tasted AMAZING! Also, far cheaper than a dominoes.

 

 

 

 

  • Listen to a podcast – this is one that I have only recently started to do and it has changed my de-stress and relax game. Put on a gripping podcast that steals your attention, put earphones in and start walking or lie on your bed and just let the chatter and conversation distract you from the stress of studying and exams. I find that I am listening to podcasts more than I am listening to music because of how relaxing and distracting I find them. My favourite podcast to listen to at the minute is ‘Happy Place’ by Fearne Cotton. The conversations are so meaningful and gripping that I just completely zone out. 

 

  • Exercise – I feel like this is a pretty generic solution to de-stress but that means that it actually works! I used to sit for hours and hours at my desk in my room and not even think about moving except for when I was getting food. However, when I was doing my A-levels, I started going to the gym during the winter and doing small sessions 4-5 times a week and when the warmer weather came (as warm as Ireland could get), I would take a short walk over the fields every hour just to give my mind a rest. I found that whenever I came back from a little exercise, I was much more focused and didn’t dread the thought of going back to study.  Here is a picture I took whilst on one of my study break walks around the campus!

 

 


And that was some short and simple tips on how I relax and de-stress during exam  times or heavy essay writing. I really hope that some of these help you during the coming months!

I used to always say that I never had ‘time’ to relax but this is NEVER the case. Always give yourself time to relax and chill out because your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

– Jim Goodwin –

 

Students helping students – How you are represented at Edge Hill University

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Its worth talking about, every now and again, how your issues will be treated at Edge Hill University. While the university does a great job of making sure every decision is in the best interest of every student sometimes there may be something that you would like to see change. In this blog I will take a look at the SSCF and Student Representitives on each course and how they help you achieve the best posibile learning expereince.


What is a student representive?

A student representive is someone that is in your year elected to represent your interests to the board of your course and the wider Students Union. They are given the position and expected to take any issues that your year has forward to the relevent meetings, called SSCF or Student Staff Consultancy Forums. These are followed by a Programme Board meeting between all staff involved in your programme and the student representives with some special guests such as learning services. In a sense, if you have a problem you can take it to them and they will bring it to the correct person to deal with it and get a responce back for you.


How many represnetives are there?

In each year there is usually between three and four representives. They will give a short election speach to the entire year before elections are opened within your year. Plenty of notice is given by your faculty administration and the Students Union via email and in person before this takes place. Once the representives are in place they are requested to attend a training session with the Students Union who walk them through the different processes and methadologies.


How can I become a representive?

To become a representive you need to register your interest with your faculty administration. You can usually find these in your learning edge blackboard area once you have access to it. After you have registered your interest these memebers of staff will speak to you regarding the next steps. Its allways good practice to have a piece ready and rehersed if you are called to introcude yourself to the year. Your faculty administration will give you plenty of notice for this.


Student politics is an important role within University life and working at the ground level with your faculty is a great way to get involved and make sure that your year is represented correctly. I am now a second year representitive with the Computing deparment and can honestly say that had I not gone forward I would have been dissapointed not to have the chance to bring my years voice to the table.

Thats it for this blog, if you want to find out more about the students union you can check out their website 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!

Tackling those pesky assignments! 💪🏽📝

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After just handing in one of the hardest assignments of this year, I feel like I didn’t do too badly. If you put in the prep and don’t leave it until last minute you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll do. I’m going to give you an insight on what our assignments are like on Primary Ed , they differ per course, and some tips that have helped me stay a little ahead of the workload.

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Start early and get to the library! 📚
This year we have eight assignments that roll one after another, so you’ll always have your head in at least one assignment. Some people overlap the assignments and can do two at a time, those people are magicians. When I start a new assignment I get a gist of what it’s about and head to the library to get as many books out as I can on the topic. They want you to show wider reading so using books and journal articles are the best way to prove this, and also get a better understanding of what’s going on.

Know what you have to do before you start note taking. 📝
There’s no point taking notes without knowing exactly what you need to do. For example, the assignment title I’ve just submitted asked us to ‘evaluate’, meaning we need to find the strengths, weaknesses and any contrasting perspectives. I do two things. Either, take notes on different books and articles then grab four highlights and assign a topic to each colour like strengths are highlighted in pink, weaknesses in yellow etc. Then if you need to find any strengths you can look through all your pink highlighting. Or, the second thing I’ve discovered helps kill some time is to write all the strengths together (with the reference at the end so you don’t forget who said it) and just flick through those points when writing. I’ve used both of these methods and they both help speed up my actual writing of the assignment. It may feel like a lot of preparation but it helps if you know exactly what you want/need to say so you can write the assignment a lot quicker. 

Be disciplined, overlap if you can. 🔮
Like I said before, magicians. It’s hard for me to overlap assignments but it’s not impossible. I like to focus all my attention on one thing but if I absolutely had to I would work on another at the same time. Fortunately, they given you enough time between them, but only if you’re on the ball. If you leave everything to last minute you’ll be pulling all-nighters in the library, so try and be disciplined with your time management. Know how much time you can have to yourself but put time aside to get work your work done.

Write when you are ready. 🤓
Sometimes I’ve said to myself, just write your introduction then it feels like you’ve done something, but then it ends up being that much waffle you could pour syrup on it. It’s much better, like I said before, to write when you know exactly what you want to say.

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Edge Hill University offer workshops and services for students that are struggling with writing, referencing, note-taking and many more academic skills. They’re always around the library ready to answer questions. There’s a huge support system here at Edge Hill and I’m very grateful to be here.

Thanks for reading! Don’t hesitate to leave any questions ☺️

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