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. 😉

My A-Z of Edge Hill University

A – Art’s Centre: The Art’s Centre hosts a wide range of entertainment available for anyone – film, theatre, and music. Currently, students can get a free membership that comes with a few free tickets.
B – Biosciences: Obviously the greatest department around, is the department of biology. The building is filled with great equipment such as the electron microscope as well as having the brand new tech hub lab next door. Of course, the department staff are as well phenomenal – the technicians, administrators and lecturers.
C – Campus: Our wonderful campus is fairly small but incredibly beautiful. With two lakes and plenty of green spaces, you will never be far from nature, yet the modern facilities are equally as stunning.
D – Ducks: If you don’t know already, you should know that the ducks on campus are essentially the mascots of our uni.
E – Edge Link: The Edge Link Bus runs from campus to Ormskirk throughout the day, roughly every 15 minutes.
F – Facilities: Many impressive facilities exist at Edge Hill, the newest of which is the Techhub. It hosts the new biotechnology lab, as well as the CAVE. Other buildings worth mentioning are Creative Edge and Sporting Edge – both being modern facilities for the computery creative and the athletic populations of Edge Hill.
G – Green: Facilities Management became the second university in the UK to gain the Green Flag Award for maintaining an attractive and welcoming campus. Our uni is also green in that it is environmentally conscious, sporting solar panels, ground source heating and thermal heat recovery.
H – History: Edge Hill College, as it was once known, was originally a women-only teaching college, until accepting men in 1959. The history of Edge HIll has links to women’s rights and the Suffragette movement.
I – International: The International office allows students the opportunity to study abroad on the ERASMUS+ program. We have links to Sweden, Cyprus, Belgium, and many more.
J – Joint Honours: Those wishing to study a joint or combined honours degree will find a number of options available to them at Edge Hill, particularly in the Humanities subjects on offer here.
K – Knowledge: Those studying at Edge Hill will gain knowledge into their degree subject that only a lecturer could give. Studying Biology at Edge Hill has presented me with many opportunities to learn that would not have been available to me otherwise.
L – Liverpool: A mere 30 minutes on the train from Liverpool, Ormskirk is nicely situated near the bustling city.
M – Money Advice Team: The Money Advice Team offer advice at drop-in sessions all throughout the term, providing support on money management as well as information regarding scholarships and the hardship fund.
N – Nightlife: There are few clubs and bars in Ormskirk, as well as the SU Bar and Quad, ensuring you will have plenty of choices if you decide on a night in town.
O – Ormskirk: A quaint market town that makes a lovely place to call your home away from home. From the clock tower to coronation park, I know I’ve come to love it.
P – PGCE: Qualifications for teaching are also available at Edge Hill, alongside other undergrad and postgrad degrees.
Q – Queer representation: Our students’ union have both an LGBT+ Officer and also the upcoming position of a Trans Officer.
R – Red Bar: The Red Bar – adjacent the Arts Centre – is the location of the Open Mic nights and serves delicious pizza! The staff are incredibly welcoming too. Also here are many board games for a nice quiet social time.
S – Societies and Sports: So! Many! Societies! Ranging from Sports clubs to liberation or recreational socs.
T – Tutors: I can speak from experience when I say that my personal tutor has been very supportive of me and has provided great support when I’ve needed it. Personal tutors definitely make an important part of the incredible student support system at Edge Hill.
U – University of the Year: Back in 2014-5, Edge Hill won the University of the Year in 10th annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards – a title it rightfully deserves!
V – Varsity: The annual sporting competition between us and the University of Central Lancashire is a great opportunity to get involved in competitive sport. Bonus V – Vikings: The Edge Hill American football team!
W – Whatuni awards: This year, Edge Hill won top accommodation, third for student support, and placed in the top five for Courses and Lecturers and Uni Facilities.
X – Xenobiotics: One of the areas of study by our biology department is mosquitoes as a vector for human disease. A topic that accompanies this is the use of insecticides – xenobiotics – to kerb the spread of said diseases.
Y – You: Our Student’s Union values you, and is made by you. Our bar and house staff are students, as are the elected officers, president and vice presidents.
Z – Zoo: Chester zoo is not far, and was one of the trips I attended during the first few weeks of my biology degree. It was a great icebreaker and helped form bonds that would only be strengthened in Cyprus, another trip in the first term of my first term of Biology.

Transport links?

ormskirk train station
Ormskirk train station.

Whether you live on campus in your first year or commute from home you’ll probably at some point use the transport systems. During my first year I lived in the Unite accommodation in Liverpool and had to travel in using the train.

Ormskirk train station is really cute. The train lines link from Ormskirk- Liverpool and the opposite line goes towards Preston. The trains usually arrive every 15/20 minutes, so you wont be waiting around too long to travel in and out of the city.

bus
Edge Hill University Link Bus.

Once off the train, EHU provides a bus service. The Edge Hill link (EHL) completes a looping service of picking students up from just outside the train station and dropping them off just outside the university. From the train station it is about a 10/12 minute walk, so if you miss the bus don’t panic, it’s just straight up the road.

Ormskirk also has a good bus service, venturing to places such as: Southport, Wigan, Liverpool and St.Helens. I sometimes use the buses to travel to Burscough (a town next to Ormskirk) to donate blood every couple of months.

So make sure in your first year you taste the nightlife all around and do as much exploring as you can… when you’re not studying of course.

Until next time…:)

Faye’s Blog – The Region

So as you will know Edge Hill is located in the North West and is in a pretty decent location because it is situated in-between a lot of different places, Liverpool, Preston, Manchester etc.

I don’t really class myself as an average student as I don’t go out ‘partying’ a lot which is what Liverpool and Manchester are great for. Liverpool and Manchester are also really great for shopping as I think everyone will be aware. But as I am not such a party animal my personal experience of the region is very different. I’m a lot more family orientated and I love photography etc. so my weekends are a lot quieter than most peoples!

When I was in my first and second year of uni, my boyfriend lived in Preston as he was studying at UCLAN (he’s the year above me so he has graduated now) so most weekends I would get the train to Preston. It’s 30 mins away on the train so it’s really quick and the train line is a direct one so it was really easy to get there and back. I spent a lot of time in pubs in Preston and around the UCLAN campus so I got to nosey about the place a lot. We also went to the cinema, ate out at restaurants a fair bit too and wandered around the high street as well. Which always resulted in me spending too much money. Preston also has a lot of big parks such as Avenham Park which is really lovely!

I also travel back home a hell of a lot too. I’m from Blackpool and I love it so I spend a lot of time there as well with my family. It takes about an hour on the train to Blackpool and you usually just change train in Preston. Blackpool has a lot to offer.  If you are into all of the going out there are a lot of clubs there. But there is also the seaside, arcades, attractions such as the Sea Life Centre, the Tower of course and the Pleasure Beach and a big high street ans shopping centre  So with all that about there is always something to do. There seems to be something for everyone in Blackpool.

On the weekends that I do stay in Ormskirk I do like to walk along the high street and do a bit of shopping. I also go to the library when I have a lot of work to do which I know is boring but you may have to do some work over the weekends too! I also like The Hub that is now on campus. It has a really good atmosphere and you can get food there, check your emails and just chill out!