Welcome Sunday

Hello friends! How are you? I hope all of your revision and exams are going well.

I have  moved out of my university house but it’s not really sunk in. People tell you how wonderful it is to meet and get to know your flat mates, but no one tells you how hard it is to leave them. Moving out took a few trips because my whole life was in that house! It got me thinking of some handy tips that might help you when it comes to moving in your first year accommodation!

On Welcome Sunday, make sure you bring the essentials. Even if you won’t be going home until second term, when you return to university you can bring the other things that didn’t fit in your car the first time round!

For me, plastic boxes were a godsend. You can get cheap ones at places like ikea. I found them really useful to transport items such as crockery. When I first moved in, I brought 4 sets of crockery – I don’t know what I was thinking!! I would say 2 big plates, 1 small plate, 1 bowl, 2 glasses and 2 mugs are a good amount. I ended up using and washing the SAME pieces of crockery so barely any of it.

Student guides will be there to help you because it can be a struggle to get things up and down stairs a few times. The edge hill student guides who helped us were amazing, so definitely ask for help instead of breaking your backs.

That’s all for now… but I’m sure I have plenty more tips in my head if you have any more questions about Welcome Sunday! Have a great week,

Uni Top Tips

Hello again!

Freshers week seems like so long ago for an old biddy like me… but there are certainly things that I wish I knew before coming to university! Here are a few:

  1. It is impossible NOT to make friends

Like a lot of people, your main concern right now might be finding those you’ll get on with. And trust me… you will definitely find them. You will meet soooo many students who are likely to also have the same concern! Take your time and enjoy speaking to new people.

  1. You probably don’t need that extra tea towel

I bought SO much stuff that I have barely used. You DON’T need 3 frying pans, 4 tea towels and 15 spices. Okay maybe I exaggerated a little. However once I settled in my accommodation, I realised that I bought too many things with such little uses. If you forget something you actually need, you can always pick it up next time your home.

  1. Cutlery goes missing

No matter how much you buy and no matter where you put it, it gets lost. And I don’t mean there’s a cutlery thief…there is a cutlery ghost. I have no idea how it happens or where my forks end up, but I am now down to one tea spoon and a pair of scissors. Honestly it is a MYSTERY. So ignore point 2 – bring as much cutlery as you possibly can.

  1. Library luck

I never went to the library to do my work for sixth form as I was never really a fan (or thought I wasn’t). HOWEVER, it has now become my second home. Edge Hill’s new Catalyst building offers 4 floors of work spaces of different noise levels, with meeting rooms, printing hubs and even its own café. I would highly recommend visiting, as I wish I had visited more for my first couple of years at uni!

  1. HAVE FUN

Balancing work and play can be easy to preach but harder to do. Edge Hill have so many people who are there to support you such as student guides, tutors and the student help desk where you can find one-to-one support if needed. No one should be working 24/7, and university is the time to go out n about!! So make sure you look after yourself, and treat yo’ self to day trips and nights out with your mates.

Thanks for reading, have a fantastic week!

 

 

Endings and Beginnings: Starting University

Three fingers as friends

So, first of all, before you move into Edge Hill halls, you need to know what to bring! Here’s a short guide on “What To Bring To Halls”. After moving in it’s time to be “Starting University and Making Friends”, so here is a piece on doing just that! Since I was in first-year, the Facebook groups for halls have changed slightly – now, there is a group for the whole cluster of halls you’re in eg. Back Halls, Palatine Court, not for the single building. Also, instead of it being managed by Student Advisors, they’re managed by a Campus Communicator – which for half the halls groups, is me! Of course, your old friends don’t just disappear after starting and moving to university so here’s my take on “Maintaining Old Friendships in New Places”.

Three fingers as friends

If you’re not someone who enjoys the packed atmosphere of going out, then you might prefer “A Night In On Campus”, board games, movie drinking games, or perhaps an Open Mic Night! During the first few days on campus, you might notice our the lovely “Birds On Campus” – I’m pretty sure there’s now the occasional heron by the North-West lake too! (Don’t forget to say hi to the cats and corvids as well, those witch-y familiars deserve love too).

After settling in during Welcome Week, the biology students amongst you might be wondering what’s next in store. Well, the “First Year Biology Modules” are the same across all biological sciences courses… or were a couple of years ago at least! Plus, the “Biosciences Cyprus Residential” field trip should be just around the corner, with fun and science aplenty.

Additionally, it’s never too early to start thinking about extracurricular activities you could get involved with that will help you develop your CV and yourself as you prepare for postgraduate life. So have a go at “Improving Your CV at EHU” and take a look at the “Fund for Student Opportunities” to see what you could get stuck into. Don’t let this all freak you out though, I know that adjusting to university can be a big step and know you’re not alone in “Coping With University Stress”. Take a breather; watch the birds. 😉

Living Independently

Hey all, I hope you’re having a fantastic Summer so far and are making use of this beautiful (if overly-exotic!) weather!

One of the things about University that can be nerve-wracking, dependent on whether you’re moving in to Halls/a student house or if you’re moving far from home, is living independently. There are a few reasons this might be; shopping for groceries and necessities, cooking, cleaning and being away from your family and home-based friends. If we went down that list and focus on my life experience before University, I helped with the shopping at home but didn’t have to make sure I had everything on my list considering my dad did that, I had only ever cooked pancakes and egg bread, I didn’t do much cleaning and as I never travelled much I had my family and friends near me. So, the idea of having to look after myself and being away from the people I loved terrified me, especially since I’d also have to travel independently and I’d never done that either!

Now, there’ll be some of you who have just read that and thought ‘how did this girl not do any of the stuff I’ve been doing for years before uni?’, but there’ll also be people reading it and relating. Everyone has different life experiences. The main thing is, though, it’s a life change.

There are ways of dealing with these things though! The independence you get can really help you grow as a person, and it really did for me! The best thing to do is try methods to help with those things, such as writing down things you need as you need them for shopping, cooking with the people you’ll be living with so that you can both help each other and learn things off each other, making sure you don’t isolate yourself and travelling with the friends you make if they’re going in the same direction.

If you start to feel homesick or just need someone to talk to, the University also offer some great wellbeing services. You can speak to one of the Wellbeing team at any time, but they also offer a Counselling service at Milton House, a small student GP just off campus. Milton House offers one to one counselling appointments, both regular and walk-in, and also do things such as Stress-Control courses.

So, there are many different things you can do to help with easing yourself in to living independently. It seems worrying until you actually move there, trust me, you’ll be getting to know your way around and enjoying the Uni life sooner than you think!

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

Moving In!

Hey all! This Summer has gone by fast and it’s drawing ever near to Welcome Sunday and most of next year’s students’ moving in day!

If you’re one of those people, I’m sure you’ll either be super prepared and ready to take on Freshers’ week, or you’ll not know where to start! I was definitely the latter… not only did I leave my packing so late that I was packing last bits minutes before leaving to Edge Hill, but I also didn’t have a clue what to expect. When you’re starting a new adventure, you never really do know what to expect, but I’m here to give you some info and advice to hopefully help moving in feel easier for you!

Well, based on what I’ve just said… DON’T LEAVE PACKING TILL THE DAY OF MOVING! I repeat: do not. It was a terrible decision, I’ve never felt more worried to leave things in my life, and I did leave things… They weren’t anything I couldn’t live without, but if you’re like me, double, triple, and quadruple checking you have everything the night before (or even the night before that) is something that you prioritise, and I couldn’t do that because I left it to be so last minute!

Once you actually arrive at the University, the biggest bit of advice I can give you is take every advantage you can from the staff and students who are there to help you. They are all trained and given the information you need to know, so don’t be afraid to ask them anything! The enrolment process at Edge Hill is super easy and stress-free; upon arriving, I was sent in the right direction of the enrolment building, then upon arriving in this building, the system followed in a line. Once I had completed one part of enrolment, I just had to walk a little bit forward to the next section, and there were people who made sure I was definitely enrolling without any problems. I loved the fact I didn’t have to drag myself around tonnes of different rooms to make sure I did everything- it was so easy and I knew I had done everything I needed to because of the wonderful system.

Once you get to your room, my next biggest tip is to make sure you sort your room out; don’t let it get messy because it’ll stay that way all year! I know a lot of people will want to get out and party for Freshers’, but this is the place you’ll be living in for 9 months and you need to create an environment you’ll be happy in!

Above all, moving in to Edge Hill seems like a huge step into independence and can be very nerve-wracking, but upon arrival and seeing the lovely staff and students, I promise you you’ll start to feel at home. Ask people for help if you need it, and just take every moment in your stride, because new experiences like this only happen once!

If you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the comments section, and I hope you all have a great weekend!

What to Expect on Welcome Sunday

What is “Welcome Sunday”? I hear you ask. Well, It’s none other than the first day of the rest of your lives (scary stuff, I know!). This is the day that everyone moves into halls and gets to know the uni and the people in it. I’m going to tell you a little bit about how my welcome Sunday went, all the way back in 2014. Hopefully this will give you a bit of an idea of what to expect.

Registration

The first thing I did was register. We were given allocated times to come based on our names, if I remember correctly my slot was some time around midday. This is the part where I received my unicard with the most (least) flattering picture ever on it. My unicard gave me access to all sorts on campus, from my building (via a swipe card system) to the library loans system. I later made the mistake of accidentally damaging my card and having to pay £10 to get it replaced. Keep them safe!

Moving in and meeting flatmates

Then came the time for me and my mum – the only two people who could fit in our car – to lug all my possessions into my first floor flat. Luckily the campus staff were on hand to help and transported us and all my stuff on a golf cart. They aren’t half helpful. I also got to meet some of my flatmates at this point, we were able to chat whilst unpacking all our kitchen things and our parents found a lot to talk about too.

Course introduction

After settling in and saying goodbye to my mum, I met up with a few friends I had made during the summer residential and headed to the business building for our course introduction. It was a really casual set up where you could talk to staff and they would explain the course and what you can expect to be doing. It was a great introduction to my studies and took some of the pressure off my first week of lectures.

Socialising

In the evening the SU held a welcome party and of course I was going! I pre-drank with my flatmates which was great way of getting to know them, especially after a good game of Never Have I Ever. We then headed to the Su bar where I also found some of my residential friends and we party’d on. Well, until I got tired and headed by to my flat for a well needed rest – believe me, I needed it!

Until next time! 🙂

My essentials to bring to uni!

Hey guys, hope you’re doing well! I’m settled back home after my first year at Edge Hill and I’m missing it like crazy already.

Whilst preparing to leave for the Summer I got thinking about when I arrived way back in September. One of the most worrying things was packing, I actually ended up bringing way too much stuff I just didn’t need and the car was as full as it could be! I think the biggest tip I could give you is to only bring stuff you use regularly. I brought stuff saying to myself “oh but it might be useful” and it honestly never came to use and just ended up cluttering my room up…

Here’s a list of the stuff that I made sure I brought, some obvious, some not so obvious!

  • Electricals (laptop, phone, mp3 player, chargers): maybe one of the more obvious things on this list! If you have a laptop, it’s definitely useful to bring despite the resources on campus, as sometimes the library and such might be busy, or you might just not feel like leaving your room! I found it useful during my lectures too to take notes. Although I listed the most obvious electricals, if you have a radio/music player or a TV that you want to bring for entertainment that’s also great, I brought my vinyl player and bought a TV once I’d saved up some money! If you have an extension cable that might also be super handy to bring with you, there was only three sockets in my room and they were all on the same wall, so I got myself one from the local Home Bargains! There are some electricals that the Uni don’t want students to bring, and you’ll get a list explaining these coming up to your arrival on campus.
  • Bedding: you need to get yourself a duvet, pillows and covers! The Uni don’t provide these, so you need to get yourself bedding. This is a chance to get something comfy and cool to come back to at the end of your uni days!
  • Books and CDs: if you’re big into reading or music I’d definitely recommend this! There is more of a bookshelf in the Back Halls accommodation (which I was in) than most of the other buildings, but there’s space in each type of accommodation for books and CDs and it gives you something to do when you want some you time.
  • Clothing: again, an obvious one, but what was less obvious to me is you don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe!!! Just bring your favourite pieces, cause if you bring too much it won’t fit in your wardrobe and you’ll also end up getting tempted to wear more outfits than is really humanly needed throughout your week and your laundry will be a nightmare… trust me, it happens.
  • Board games: I did not initially bring these with me, but I’ll now recommend them as a staple of student life! It’s definitely useful for getting to know people. I now have good old Twister in my possession and it’s given me great memories within the flat.
  • Bath/hair/healthcare products: another obvious one, but I’d actually suggest you went into Ormskirk the day you move in and pick some of these up so you don’t have boxes and boxes of shampoo and toothpaste in your car! I went into town to the Morrisons with my parents just before grabbing my room keys and it was nice to get all my essentials, especially with my parents reminding me what I need to live… sometimes you can forget the little things!

Overall, anything you bring to Uni will be something you either need to live or need to entertain yourself, but if you follow the rule of “do I use this often? Is it necessary or can I live without it for 9 months?”, you won’t bring too much clutter!

If you have any questions about anything in particular, such as whether certain things are needed upon moving in, drop me a comment! I hope you all have a wonderful day 🙂

What NOT to bring

As my flatmates from first year (and probably my housemates from second year too) will tell you, I am still trying to find the right balance of how much stuff to bring with me to university. I live just under two and a half hours away, so it’s not easy for me to just drop back home to collect things and if you’re the same, you too will likely fall into the trap of thinking you have to bring everything but the kitchen sink ‘just in case.’

See that shelf? I didn’t need half of that stuff!

In their post, Ashley talks about the big things (such as duvets and pillows, kitchenware and clothing) you’re going to require for living in halls- I’m going to talk about what NOT to bring.

These are things you’ll find in halls:

  1. An iron and ironing board
  2. A hoover
  3. A dustpan and brush
  4. A toilet brush
  5. A desk and chair
  6. A kettle
  7. A toaster
  8. A microwave

These things may seem obvious, but there are some students that will fall into the trap of thinking they have to bring these things with them!

Here are my suggestions for what not to buy yet:

  1. Toiletries – Ormskirk has a B&M, a Superdrug, a Morrisons, an Aldi, a Poundland, a Boots… the list goes on. With the amount of toiletries I brought with me, you’d think I believed that Ormskirk didn’t have any! You’re best off doing a wander into town to get some when you get your first food shop, because it just takes up room in your car.
  2. Kitchenware – Ashley spoke about this within a blog post, and I want to reiterate the sentiment. It is much better to speak to the people living in your cluster (your corridor) about your kitchen stuff before you go out and buy loads. I’d suggest bringing a couple of plates, some mugs and cutlery, maybe even some wooden spoons and sharp knives, but there’s no need to get loads of pots and pans just yet, because most halls come equipped with them. I came with loads of pots and pans, which not only did I not need in my first year, but couldn’t use, because the hobs in some of the higher priced accommodation are induction, meaning you need a certain kind of pan.

So, I’m sure you’ll read lots of posts over the coming weeks about what to and what not to bring with you, but here’s just my two cents! Until next time!