Winter Holidays Away From Home

Although most students go home for the holidays in winter, some don’t! For whatever reason, be it preference or necessity, it can be a little odd to experience. The campus empties out dramatically towards the end of December in preparation for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and you may find yourself a bit lonely, especially if you are living in halls where most if not all of your cluster has migrated away for the short holiday season.
This year, since I was on placement in the USA, I couldn’t return home for the holidays, as the flight would cost too much money. It was a strange feeling to be in a different country around this time of year, as usually I would be with my parents and family for Christmas and usually with old secondary school or sixth form friends for New Year’s Eve (for the past few years, we’ve even held a pre-Christmas dinner party, lovingly dubbed “Mockmas”). There are a few ways to alleviate the weird feeling this time of year that may help as much at Edge Hill University as they did for me in Chicago.

Number one, in the lead-up to Christmas, my Dad visited me over here in the States. If you can’t be with your family on Christmas, bring your family to you instead! The same principle applies with friends if you’re going to miss seeing them over Winter Break, see if any of them can come to Edge Hill University beforehand and have a catch-up or mini Christmas dinner. Maybe exchange gifts!

My very own Christmas Trash Tree

Number two. One of the highlights of Christmas for me as a child (and a teenager, let’s be honest) was the presents, the gift giving and receiving always felt like the core event, since I was never big on roast dinner, or food in general. Perhaps you’ll be sent gifts in the mail, or maybe some money. You might feel silly, but if you buy yourself gifts beforehand and set them aside until Christmas, you’ll have something to look forward to!

Number three, call people! In the glorious age of modern technology, you can hear the voices of nearly anyone you know in an instant, and maybe even see their faces too. It’s one thing to greet family one by one as your family arrive at your gran’s house, but something else entirely to suddenly have them all there on your phone’s tiny screen as the camera is moved from person to person – quite overwhelming! Still, a lovely substitute.

Lastly, is spending it with friends. Hopefully, you’ve made some friends either through your halls, societies, or course – and some of them might be local, or staying over the holidays too! You never know until you ask, so find out who will be on campus, or in the relatively close area, and arrange a meet-up. They might invite you over for Christmas or New Year’s, or you could just hang out in between, and easy the Winter Blues.
Happy Holidays!

My 2017 at Edge Hill

Hello all! Today is the last day of 2017… and what a year it has been! When I look back on this year there’s so much I could talk about, it makes it hard to focus on specific things! If it wasn’t for Edge Hill these things would have never have made my 2017 as fantastic as it has been. So I thought I’d take you all on a journey with me through the past year.

Feeling refreshed after Christmas break, I got back to Ormskirk ready to do something new! I had already been doing Pole lessons in Ormskirk with Inversion Pole Fitness, but I fancied a go at Aerial hoop!

I loved it! Aerial has become one of my favourite things in the whole world, and if I had not come to Edge Hill it’s likely I’d have never have even given it a try. I even performed a Routine at the first Inversion Showcase in April with the support of my lovely aerial family, something I thought I wouldn’t be able to do but smashed!

One of my favourite memories from this year came around Summer time. Above the campus there is a wonderful woods called Ruff Woods, and me and my friend went for a wander past the woods and saw the most beautiful things. It was super sunny, super relaxing and just lovely to wander and not know what we’d find!

One of the things I’ll never ever forget is the Circus Intensive I took part in in June. The wonderful Circus Sensible came and taught a bunch of us all kinds of tricks and we put on 4 public shows! In January I’d decided a goal of mine was to learn to juggle three balls, and in June I did more than that! I juggled, I learnt devil sticks and diabolo, and I clowned around! Teaching the kids who came to watch our second and third shows how to spin plates was probably the most rewarding part of the whole experience- they were just excited to get to learn what the clowns they just saw knew!

On the topic of clowning… I performed at Ormskirk’s very own Gingerbread Festival! I spent the day hula-hooping, juggling and teaching the local kids how to do tricks. It was during the summer, so I travelled back to Ormskirk to take part, and I’m so glad I did because it was an absolutely fantastic day!

For my physical theatre module we got to go to Chester Zoo! I didn’t expect to be doing this, but it was so much fun wandering around the zoo and watching the animals. We had to pick one and observe it so we could act like it in class. I chose the sloth, which is surprisingly more active than you think! But of course, I could only catch a picture of it sleeping…

One of the biggest achievements of this year, if not the biggest, has to be what I’ve gotten from doing the aerial modules on my course. I chose both the aerial dance module and the aerial circus module, both taught by the fantastic Wired Aerial Theatre, and although I was skeptical of how well I’d do, I grew to love them both immensely and I got so strong from it! I’m so proud of the hoop routine I came up with myself on the module, and I can’t wait to perform it!

Something I hadn’t heard of before was the Student Union Crafternoons! Here students can get together with friends and do some crafts for free! I went to the dream catcher making session and I made this. It’s not the best, but I had fun!

And one of the highlights of the Christmas season was my house’s Christmas dinner! This year I chose to live in a house in Ormskirk town centre with 4 friends, and we all made a Christmas dinner together, which was delicious and fun!

The thing with all these memories is they would never have happened if I hadn’t come to Edge Hill. The clowning and the aerial modules were done through the Uni itself, and the others were done because of the people I’ve met along the way. I can’t wait for what 2018 and Edge Hill brings me!

And I hope you all have had a happy year, and have a fantastic New Year as we head into 2018 🙂

My Favourite Moments of 2013

I can never work out what to do with myself on the days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. The little angel sitting on my right shoulder keeps telling me how much work I have to do, but the little devil on my left shoulder keeps pointing out that this is the perfect time to have a few days off. Naturally, the devil has won and I have spent the last few days eating chocolate and watching House.

With New Year’s Eve looming, I can’t help but thinking back to my favourite things in the last year. There are three events that spring to mind.

In August I attended Leeds Festival for the fifth time. Headlining were Biffy Clyro, Green Day, and Eminem. Seeing Green Day was a really big deal for me because, while I rarely listen to them anymore, they were the first band I ever properly loved and I have wanted to see them for a long time. Biffy Clyro were really good also, as well as The Lumineers, Hadouken, Imagine Dragons, Jake Bugg, and Chase and Status. The only thing that put a dampener on Leeds was the weather; the rain was so heavy that our tents got completely flooded, and I ended up missing System of a Down because I was attempting to remove all my belongings from the lake that had formed around them.

leedssun
Before the rain came…
leedsrain
…and after the rain came.

In July I attended my first music festival abroad; Festival Internacional de Benicàssim or Benicàssim Festival. We spent the days sunbathing and drinking cocktails on the beach and then watched bands in the evening, before dancing to DJ sets into the early hours. My favourite band of all time, The Arctic Monkey’s, was playing and was incredible. I met so many lovely people and can’t wait to go back.

benicassim
At Benicàssim festival

In September I started at university for the second time. After dropping out of university and starting full-time work I had been unsure if I’d ever go back into education. Seriously disheartened by my first experience, the idea of starting again scared me and I tried to think of alternatives. I eventually realised that I really did want to study to be a writer and that my best option would be to go back. Before I started at Edge Hill I was terrified. I felt that if I started and hated it there would be nothing that I could do because I wouldn’t want to drop out of university twice. However, after my first week I knew that I had nothing to worry about. I love my course and I’m so happy that I summoned up the courage to go to university again.

Bring on 2014.

Me looking happy after a good year
Me looking happy after a good year