Moving Out

Hi guys, considering it’s what most students will be doing around this time, I thought it would be a good idea to  talk about moving out of accommodation for the summer and what to expect when it’s your time to do the same.

Whether you live on or off campus you will probably be expected to have the place tidy for when you leave, obviously out of courtesy but also because it’s usually in the contract to leave the place in the state you first found it and naturally you would want to avoid any possible dispute. This can be tedious, especially if your room’s a bit of a mess come summer time after being bogged down in work but just take it step by step and you should end up with a floor you can actually see! I always take photographs of the place before I leave just in case any issues arise afterwards you can say “yes it was left tidy”.

Throwing away food will probably be necessary, in my experience no matter how hard I tried I always ended up having to throw away food because I keep buying stuff. Just make sure you  make sure it needs to be thrown away, certain stuff can be fine to keep onto next year if your in the same flat. Additionally if you are in  uni halls it’s worth offering spare food to your flatmates who may be staying longer, who can argue with free food?

In terms of travel, coming from Northern Ireland I have brought stuff back by car on the boat as I have too much stuff to take on the plane so that will be an option for some if you live somewhere overseas.  If you don’t have that option there are moving companies which will transport your boxes of stuff for a fee.

Also, if living on campus you have to let the uni know when your leaving and most importantly remember to drop your keys off to the security hut, or if off campus, return to the estate agents/landlord.

Hope this helps, thanks for reading.

Jordan

 

Homesickness 101 and how you can lessen the anxiety

Hey all! Hope you’re having a wonderful beginning to your week.

So… it’s finally September, and the week before Freshers’ and the Welcome Sunday! I’m sure many of you will agree with me that time flies fast!

I remember how I felt last year, waiting for the day I’d have to break more of my personal comforts than I have before. I’m the kind of person who’s always been around their family, never lived in a town other than the one I was born in, and wasn’t good at meeting new people at all… I’m that crazy friend once you know me who’ll always be talking and won’t seem an inch towards shyness whatsoever, but put me in a situation with little to no one I know, and having to meet new flatmates and coursemates and mates in general, and I will freeze up. I’ll want my mum and dad there for comfort and familiarity. I’ll want to be in a town I know like the back of my hand. I’m sure there’ll be the odd person reading this now who thinks “that sounds super familiar and I’m dreading moving”. Well my biggest tip for you will be this: feelings of dread, nervousness, and so on are human and common, but don’t let feelings of homesickness stop you from enjoying your first week at Edge Hill, cause they put on so much fun stuff!

Now, onto the real ways you can help with homesickness. The simplest thing I can suggest is to Skype/call your family. This could be daily, this could be every weekend, whatever makes you feel more comfortable and like you’re still in close contact with them. For some people, it can be super hard to not wake up with their family around them, so this is a great way to make sure you still get to hear their voice or see their faces despite the distance.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to talk about it! Your flatmates or coursemates will probably be in the same boat, and it’s not a bad thing to simply express you’re not feeling too great to them; they’ll probably even help you!

If you feel seriously homesick, and don’t think talking to someone in your flat etc. will help, the uni have some great services to help you. Firstly, there is the wellbeing team in the Student Information Centre who you can talk to in order to get some more tips than what I’m giving you now and to talk about your general wellbeing. One of the things they might suggest to help would be the Milton House Councelling services. When people hear the word “counselling” they can freeze up and think it’s some awful things they just don’t want to have to do, but it’s there if you need it, and the staff are as friendly as can be. They’ll understand how you’re feeling and they often get homesick students talking to them at the beginning of the year, so you’re not the only one! There is also your teachers. My teacher helped me massively at the beginning of the year with stress and homesickness related issues and I’m sure yours will be there for you at the drop of an email too. Just don’t be afraid to speak to someone if you need to!

But overall, the best thing you can do for yourself is not isolate yourself and find things to distract from it. If you sit locked in your room thinking about how homesick you feel, it’ll make you feel it 10 times worse. It takes a lot to go out and do something when you’re feeling that way, but trust me it’ll help you so much.

I’m going to link to an article I did below on making friends and enjoying Freshers’ if you’re an introvert, as this might be useful for some of you! But I hope you make the most of this week and don’t let you nerves get the better of you. Good luck to you all, and I’ll speak to you soon! Feel free to drop me a comment if you have a question or query 🙂

5 ways to make friends if you’re an introvert

A Welsh Person in an English Uni

When you move to university, not only are you leaving behind the place you grew up in, you’re taking on a whole new way of living. Let me explain; although my experience is not quite as extreme as might be had by an international student, I have noticed a lot of significant differences between how things are done at home (in my case Wales) and ‘up north’ in Ormskirk. So, I thought I’d share with you a few of my experiences as a Welsh Student in an English Uni.

The Great Bread Debate (Dialects)

One of the main arguments that characterise uni students is the ‘great bread debate.’ If you’ve never heard of this, run, run away now and never get involved! Basically, there will come a point in your life when you order a bread roll/bun/bap/batch/barm whatever you call it, and spark a debate with your friends that will span centuries. The thing is, every region of the UK seems to have a different way of describing the crusty roll that is the king of the bread world and that is a BIG deal for students. Personally, my rule is it’s a chip bap, burger bun, bacon butty and for all other uses a bread roll. Yes, I am that indecisive. The reason why a lot of students get so up in arms about what to call bread is because when you’re surrounded by people with different dialects, you become exposed to loads of different ways of saying things. Therefore you may find yourself becoming far more assertive about the ‘right’ (your) way of saying it. It’s important, however to be open to different dialects and you may even find yourself adopting some great new phrases – I know I have!

No One Understands the Struggles of Welsh Bacc (But that’s part of the fun!)

Anyone from Wales will agree with me that the Welsh Baccalaureate, whilst very useful for gaining an all-round knowledge and extra UCAS points, was by far the most stressful course you will ever undertake! But nothing compares to the excitement you feel when you find another Welsh student to share your sixth form horror stories with, because unfortunately no other student will quite understand the pure struggle. Again, because all your uni mates will come from different educational backgrounds, not all of them will have experienced school/college the way you have. But do you know what? That’s okay! One of the easiest talking points when you first meet your uni friends is to talk about their experience of education and comparing what you loved and/or despised about your school. This can also be helpful when doing assignments as your friends may have a totally different understanding of a subject than you do and therefore bring new ideas.

‘You can speak Welsh? Go on then.’

Okay, so, the most frequent thing I’ve had to encounter as a Welsh student, which is probably true for a lot of international students also, is the fascination with your ability to speak another language. I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of this a bit myself, so I’m coming from both sides. The only problem I have with this is that I haven’t spoke Welsh since my GCSEs and I’ve dropped most of the more constructive words from my vocabulary (though Sboncen and Sglodion will always remain as my favourites), so that makes stringing together a few simple sentences quite the task. I tend to just opt for the obvious ‘Dwi’n hoffi coffi’ but that doesn’t tend to cut it these days (Thanks Gavin and Stacey). I mean, on the upside it motivates me to actually brush up on my Welsh and try and slip it into everyday conversation to confused the non-welsh speakers – that’s always fun!

I hope that gave you a bit of insight into the funnier parts of moving to a totally different part of the UK, and that it will, perhaps, help my fellow Welsh applicants to prepare for uni. Until next time! 🙂

 

What to Bring!

Ok, so coming up to uni you’ll probably be gathering your essentials already… and if you’re lucky enough, some luxuries too! So in September you don’t want to be in a mad rush to gather your things together or get the things you’ve forgotten a few days before you’re due to arrive-  or even in Ormskirk on Welcome Sunday as you’ll be so busy!

So you will need AT LEAST the bare essentials such as:

  • Single Bedding (Quilt, pillows, bedding, mattress protector)
  • Kitchen Essentials (Cutlery, Pots/Pans, Cups, Mugs)
  • Clothes and shoes for every occasion… hopefully this is presumed!
  • Food (enough to keep you going until you find your feet)
  • Laptop and Stationery… DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGERS!!
  • Any Documents you may need (ID for going out, Student ID doesn’t always suffice)

Also, if you’re lucky enough to be staying in a room with a TV and you have enough room/can manage it, bring your Xbox or Playstation with you too! Home comforts are the best and if you’re living far away from home the more you have the better – you’ll definitely appreciate them.

Basically you can  bring anything to uni… except for pets *sad face*… oh well, you can always Skype them courtesy of your family, if that’s not too weird ahah! Just make sure you don’t overpack or acquire a collection of junk/things you don’t need because this will be a huge pain when you move out in June next year, especially if you don’t live nearby as multiple trips will be out of the question!

So basically… keep to only what you need – have fun deciding!

Goodbye College. Hello University.

Goodbye Widnes. Hello Liverpool.

Even though I live approximately 14.9 miles from Liverpool, the thought of moving out was beyond scary. I didn’t know if I was ready to look after myself and leave all of my friends and family behind, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made!IMG_3145

I remember the day I moved in. I didn’t manage to secure accommodation on campus, so Edge Hill combined with Unite accommodation in Liverpool to allow 180 students the chance to live away from home. I unpacked all my things, hugged my family goodbye and nervously went to meet my roommates.

uni

Thankfully my roommates were amazing and we clicked instantly. EHU’s block of flats became really close, with flat parties and social events occurring regularly throughout the year. It’s weird how quickly you become close to the people that you’re living with. One minute it’s all “sorry, what’s your name again?” and then the next you know each other’s life stories. Everyone told me that the friends you make at uni are friends for life. I thought this was another cliché, but I honestly believe it now.

As much as I love my family, I’m so happy I made the decision to move out. Even when I’m down from having a bad day, everyone at uni goes the extra mile to make me feel better. We’re constantly having a laugh and I’d be a little lost without my uni family. Moving away from home allowed me to gain the independence that I needed, along with enough memories to last me a lifetime.

Until next time…:)

 

Going to University far from home

859e4aaf34d4718d89edc79183326ec1 copyGoing to university far away from home definitely wasn’t on my radar. In fact I was pretty happy to stay in the 180° perimeter of my seaside home town Bognor Regis, you know the place, the one and only home of Butlins! I am a complete home girl, so moving far away from home was a horrifying thought to me, being so far away from all my friends and family and ultimately everything I knew, I wasn’t even entertaining the thought of leaving! But when prospectuses were thrust upon us during my first year of 6th form the one for Edge Hill caught my eye. The campus looked beautiful, the layout of the prospectus was beautiful- being in advertising and graphic design this was crucial! And they had the exact course I was looking for! So everything sounded perfect, the only problem being it was 6 hour train ride away…

My mum finally convinced me to go check it out, in my mind I was just going to rule it out, and pray that I really didn’t like it, however this was not the case. Everything was just as I’d imagined the course was fantastic, as were the lectures and the campus was all I’d dreamed it would be. It had such a friendly feel and I instantly felt at home, so I bite the bullet, packed up from the south and moved to the north! – All sounds very dramatic I know.

Moving far away was far from what I’d expected. I thought I’d constantly miss home and wish I could go back, but in all honesty I was far to busy to even think about home! *sorry mum* University was a chance to get involved in loads of new stuff, join societies, meet new people, get a job, get stuck into your course, theres literally so much going on you blink and its already time to go home for christmas! I never regret moving so far away because I love the fact I have experienced living in a new place, and discovering there really is more outside your home town!

My People

Before moving away to go to university I was worried a lot about what would happen to the friendships and relationships I had. I was moving somewhere where I didn’t know a single person, and I was scared that I wouldn’t make friends who compared to those I had at home, or I’d lose touch with my old friends completely. As usual though, I didn’t need to worry.

I won’t lie and say that I am still as close with all my friends at home as I used to be. I’ve lost touch with a few along the way, but I’ve definitely realised (as corny as it sounds) who my true friends are. Friends who made the effort to keep in contact are definitely the ones I’m still close to. I found them a great support during the first few weeks at uni when I was still adjusting to everything, and I like to think that I did the same for them. That said, I also have a few friends who I sometimes don’t speak to for a few weeks, or maybe even longer, but when we do catch up it’s like nothing’s changed. I guess every situation is different.

When I left for university, I also had a boyfriend. He was living in Kent, so we were about 250 miles apart. Long distance relationships are not easy and it took a lot of work. Unfortunately, I watched a lot of couples in similar positions break up around me. But we always made sure to put aside time for each other, had lots of Skype sessions and visited whenever we could. I don’t think it’s right for everyone, but we managed to get through it. We’re still together and now he goes to university in Liverpool so it’s a lot easier.

University is a time of change, and for me that meant distancing myself a bit from old friendships but also creating new ones. The friends I’ve made at university have become almost like family to me and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Some of my friends from home
Some of my friends from home
And some of my lovely uni friends
And some of my lovely uni friends