Living off Campus

Hi guys, since we are coming to the start of a new year a lot of you may be living off campus for the first time. So here’s a few things that in my experience are different from on campus accommodation both good and bad.

Having your own washing machine/drier

I don’t know about you but the circuit machines in the SU were always messing me around one way or another especially with their broken app, so moving off campus and just being able to use a machine without having to carry clothes anywhere or ring up circuit for the FIFTH time to get a refund is a very welcome change.

Being closer to the town

The title speaks for itself but most people live in or around Ormskirk, which is both a good and a bad thing as your closer to shops and bars but it also means getting up earlier than 8.45 to get to uni classes, you also have to contend with the Edge Link bus free for all just before 9 in the morning. Unless you happen to live in a location equidistant between the town and the uni in which case, nice one.

Varying broadband quality

I lived in Chancellors Court in first year and the WiFi and wired internet connections available were both a dream to use, I hardly ever had any issues and could download as much stuff as I wanted with little fuss. Moving into off campus living my broadband is more basic, it still does the job. But, be wary that if your someone who relies heavily on good speeds you may not always be able to get them, this depends on a variety of factors but especially if your moving in with other people this can be something to keep in mind. Although you might end up having much better internet so it varies.

No Fire Drills

Living on campus means on occasion the fire alarm will go off for drills, which can be ever so slightly annoying but understandable. It’s not so fun though when someone accidentally sets it off early or late at night. At least when you live off campus there’s usually less people to set off an alarm and you don’t usually have to do fire drills, unless you want to for um fun?

So there are a few things I noticed most after making the switch, any questions feel free to ask and thanks for reading!

Jordan

House Hunting

Hello everyone, today’s blog is going to be about looking for off-campus housing as a student, I know we are past when a lot of students will have been looking and hopefully a good amount of you guys have found somewhere to live by now, but this doesn’t apply for everyone, different circumstances could mean some of you are still looking but don’t fear there’s still time so here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Always view a property before even thinking of signing a contract, while you might think that pictures and videos of the property, or even the opinion of your mates who have seen it already are enough to go on it is vital that you go see for yourself, photo’s and videos can be misleading and even though your potential housemates might like the look of the property, you could share a different opinion so it’s always best to be certain.

Don’t rush the process, I was definitely guilty of this last year, afraid that everything would be gone in the space of a few weeks and we would have nowhere to live but this isn’t the case. I also found that taking the time to enquire about and view multiple options definitely helped me make a more secure decision overall.house

Find out all the costs, different properties all have different terms and rates and taking the rent per week at face value could leave you paying more than expected. Check what the rent includes, is it just rent, all bills inclusive or only select utilities? You would be surprised how many properties I saw where this was the case e.g. the rent might have covered electricity and gas, but not water or internet. It’s also worth noting depending on personal preference you may rather have all bills paid in the price or doing bills yourself and saving a few quid, it’s up to you.

So there you have it house hunting, just remember to take it slow and consider your options. I will also include a link to Edge Hill’s own accommodation finder with properties registered to the university. https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/info/accommodation/search.asp

Jordan

Sharing Accommodation

It’s one thing sharing a home with your family but it’s a whole other sharing one with complete strangers. When you first get to uni it’s most likely that you won’t know your flatmates, Edge Hill, via facebook page does tend to encourage students to get to know their flatmates before Welcome Sunday by setting up groups for each building/set of buildings. This can be very helpful but nothing is going to prepare you for living in halls until you actually experience it. I absolutely loves my first year in halls, although most of my friends lived in different buildings I got along with my flatmates quite well. This post is intended to answer a few questions you might have about living in halls and how to combat any problems that may arise.

Getting to know your flatmates

The best way to get to know your flatmates is to spend time in communal areas like the kitchen. Staying in your room all the time is not going to get you anywhere if you want to make friends with the people you’re living with. Maybe arrange to go to social events with them or host a flat party? I found parties a great way to break the ice. Once you start talking to your flatmates you will hopefully find some common interests and develop friendships, making living together far easier.

Cleaning

I was lucky enough to live in accommodation that came with a cleaning service for the communal areas and being the neat freak I am, my room was often immaculate (if I do say so myself). But of course, between the times when the cleaning lady would come the kitchen would get pretty messy (with eight people sharing and all cooking different meals that’s not surprising). My advice to people who are or live with particularly messy people is to sit down with your flatmates and discuss the situation (avoid passive aggressive post-it notes!) and come to a conclusion wherein the offending flatmates do whatever it is they aren’t doing and the flat lives in harmony. This technique can also work for other disagreements or problems that may arise.

Alone time

It’s important to spend some time alone in your room, whether to do work or just chill out, you can’t be expected to be social all the time. Hopefully your flatmates will respect this, because after all everyone needs alone time. However if they worry about you or feel like something’s wrong, just politely explain to them that sometimes you need to chill on your own and its no reflection on them. This time is important as it will help you keep calm and will help in keeping the flat happy and friendly. If you’re all living in each others’ pockets some people are bound to start getting a little bit frustrated or annoyed, it’s human nature, so by taking occasional time to yourself you can limit the possibility of that happening.

Until next time! 🙂

Top tips for sharing accommodation

So, now that I’ve moved out of my student house due to placement, I’ve been thinking of some of the things that make living with others students go more smoothly.

  1. Organise nights in/out (depending on your flatmates). During freshers, you’re overwhelmed with meeting a whole load of new people from all different walks of life. However, there can be nothing worse than shutting yourself in your room and not knowing your flatmates or housemates – because you’ve got to spend a whole year with them! Nobody is saying you have to be best buds with the people you’re living with, as it’s unlikely you’re going to be living with your true bestie (and if you do, that’s great!) but I’ve found that it can be easier to get along when you spend some time chilling with them once every now and again.
  2. Decide who is going to clean what and when. This is less of a problem in halls as you have a cleaner Monday to Friday that cleans any communal areas, including shared bathrooms. Even so, it helps to keep things tidy, and keep your cleaner on side. This can be something as simple as the whole flat/house agreeing that you’ll have a mass clean up every other Saturday, or organising a rota if you’re living in a house, about who cleans what on which days. If everyone is in agreement, then there should be no arguments about it.
  3. Be mindful of other people! Firstly, linking back to my previous point, limit your personal mess to your bedroom, then make sure you clean up after yourself if you’ve made a mess in the communal areas. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming in after a long day and being unable to cook because someone’s used all of the pans and they’re in the sink, so be respectful of others. If it’s going to annoy you if someone else does it, make sure you don’t do it!Be wary of the level of noise you’re making late at night, particularly if you’re living with student nurses or teachers whilst they’re on placement. Nobody is trying to ruin your fun, but a little respect goes a long way!

So there you have it, my top 3 tips for sharing accommodation!

Real housemates of Ormskirk

One of the most important transitions you make whilst at university is the transition from halls (or home) into a student house. For me this is transition is terrifying, am I even old enough to be renting an actual house?

There is a wide range of student accommodation both in Ormskirk and in Liverpool. When looking for a house for second or third year one of the first and most important things to do is to decide who you wish to live with. Often this will be people from your current accommodation, friends from your course or other people you know from university. My advice would be to really consider who you wish to live with as once you have signed for a property you will be living with these people for at least a year, so take time to ensure you know the people you’re living with thoroughly. The next step once you’ve decided who to live with is to look for housing suitable for that number of people. Many people focus their search by looking for a certain number of bedrooms in a property in local estate agents. Although this is important you should also consider other factors such as the size of the kitchen, if it is furnished and how many bathrooms the property has. You can view as many properties as you wish and I would recommend that you do so, you can begin to compare the properties you have seen and decide what will work best for you and your future housemates. There is often the perception that you should rush and go for the first property but this is not the case. As well as liking a property it is important that you work out whether or not it is financially viable for you and if you could maintain the costs as well as allowing yourself money to live from.

To help with any worries during the process of finding a house the university runs housing week in December. During housing week there are workshops that help with advice when finding a house, people are there to answer your questions and the off campus housing list also gets released. The off campus housing list is a list created by the university of landlords that are approved. The list is helpful as it puts all the houses in one place alongside descriptions and contact numbers making it much easier for you.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentservices/accommodation/housing-week/

This link provides much more information on what the university offers in terms of advice on finding a house and can help with things such as:

  • budgeting
  • deposits and insurance
  • paying bills

The university have also created a helpful guide to take with you when viewing properties so that you know exactly what to look for this can be found here:

https://issuu.com/edgehillsu/docs/housing_checklist_leaflet

Overall finding a house should be a fun experience and the university has a lot on offer in order to make this as stress free as possible. Take as much advice as you can get, take your time making a decision and ensure that you are completely happy before you sign up to something.

 

Second and Third Year Accomodation

So it’s the time of year when every student in Year 1 and 2 is thinking about housing for the following year! You might think it’s too early to even think about next year as sometimes it’s difficult thinking about what to cook later on for tea! So where do you begin to look?

Before you even begin to look, you need to talk to the people you’re living with next year… choose these people wisely! When you discuss accommodation, you should decide how much you can all afford to pay per week, whether you want bills to be included and other important factors such as location etc. You should devise a list of questions to ask before you visit houses and take a good look at the contract before you sign up to anything or pay a deposit.

Each December the University publishes a housing list with available houses for the following year, you can arrange viewings and you can decide from there whether you like the house! This is not the only option as you can also look online for houses by searching for student properties in Ormskirk.

This is an exciting time and the quicker it is sorted the better it will be. Firstly, because you can relax! Secondly, as houses can go quickly and you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.

Settling In

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all having a fantastic week and are looking forward to Freshers!

Welcome Sunday is just one week away, so this week I’m going to be focusing on making your new accommodation more homely.

I’ve just moved into a house in Ormskirk with a few friends that I met last year. It’s been a bit of a change, but I’m settling in pretty well and I know it won’t be long until I fall in love with this home too.

A year from now I’m sure you’ll be just as excited as I was to move into your new accommodation (although you will definitely miss wherever you lived in first year!)

A lot of you will probably have never lived away from home before, so moving to a new place without your friends and family will be a weird and altogether terrifying thought.

In reality you will settle in really fast, but there are a few things to do to make the transition easier.

I mentioned a few ways to help deal with homesickness in one of my previous blogs but I will mention it again here. Home is always just a phone call away! You will feel less homesick if you keep in contact with your friends and family, it’s like they’re enjoying the adventure along with you!

My second tip is to make your room as homely as possible. Bring your favourite posters and print off a tonne of photographs to decorate your room with. Make sure to pack your favourite book so you always have something to read, or a favourite DVD so you can settle into your new room with a good dose of entertainment.

If you make your room comfy and cosy then it will be easy to make homely. Here’s how I decorated mine this year:

My third, and possibly most important, tip is to make sure you speak to your flatmates/housemates.

If you’re living in halls you will have had the chance to meet your future flatmates in a Facebook group and maybe spoken a little already. That’s great, because it puts your mind at ease when you do move in together.

However, if you’re living in a house in Ormskirk or haven’t had the chance to find your flatmates on Facebook you won’t have a clue who you’re living with yet. So make sure you introduce yourself to everyone when you move in and be friendly!

Whether you’re in a house or halls it helps to build friendships with the people you’re living with, this will make it feel like a home away from home!

Quote for the day: ‘Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong and laughter never ends.’ – Unknown.

Hope you all have a fantastic week (especially if you are packing) and remember this is the start of a whole new adventure!

Until next time.

-Becki 🙂

Packing, Packing, Packing!

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well this week.

I’ve just started packing some of my stuff up to move to our rented house in Ormskirk. I’m moving there this week, and I’m super excited to spend some time back there before university starts up again!

Of course I remember this time last year, when moving seemed like the most terrifying prospect in the universe. I was sure I would forget the most important things, and I didn’t know how I would handle moving away from the place I’d lived my whole life.

A lot of you will be in the same boat. I chose to stay relatively close to home so I could visit (and because I love the north too much to leave) but some of you will be moving quite far away, and it’s only natural to be slightly scared.

One thing I will tell you is that there’s nothing to be scared of! You might not believe me right now but in a year’s time you’ll be excitedly packing up to move again and those fears will seem like a distance memory.

If you do miss home the first few weeks though remember your family and friends are only a phone call away! I would highly recommend skyping, this really helped me when I was homesick. I got to see my family and my cat face to face and catch up, which makes a huge difference.

For those of you who are packing right now it can seem a little bit overwhelming. You might try to pack every little thing you’ve ever owned ‘just in case.’

Although it’s good to be prepared you don’t want to go overboard, and packing the essentials first is the most important thing.

Remember you won’t be dumped in the middle of nowhere. So even if you do forget that all important tin can opener or a notebook there’s always the option to buy it when you’ve moved in. This is also an opportunity to explore the town a little bit (you can even invite your flatmates/coursemates along) and it will save some valuable space in your parents car!

If you’re a little flustered and not sure what to pack then you can find my blog on what to take to halls with you here.

I hope it helps you a little!

Even for students not living in halls it’s important to make sure you’re prepared with everything you will need. That includes textbooks, notebooks, pens and maybe even a travel discount card to make your bank account a little happier about the commute to uni.

Quote for the day: ‘I enjoy the preparatory elements of travel – packing my bags and choosing my outfits – but my favourite part is getting there.’ -Dominic Monaghan

Until next time!

-Becki 🙂

 

Halls, Homes and Houses

Hi everyone!

Looks like the sun has finally gone away, and the clouds have come out once again. Nonetheless I hope you are all having a fantastic June!

This week I moved out of halls, and am finally back home for the summer. It was a bit emotional moving away from the place I called home for the past 9 months, but I’m focusing on looking forward to the next adventure.

Living in halls will be an experience that you will never forget. There will be some stressful days, and some days when you will have no clue what you are doing (especially if you don’t know how to work a washing machine) but you’ll learn a lot of invaluable skills for living alone.

Now I’m back home I plan to take advantage of the summer, cross some books off my reading list for next year and maybe do some volunteering to boost up my CV while I have so much free time.

After the summer is over I’ll be moving back to Ormskirk, but this time I will be living off campus. Although many of you won’t have thought this far ahead in your second year you may end up trading halls for a student house.

I was terrified when I first starting looking for a house for second year. I had no idea how tenancy agreements worked, or even where to start looking for a house that would fit to my budget.

Thankfully Edge Hill came to the rescue. Even if you’re a first year who has decided to live off campus there is a lot of support you can get to find student housing. The Accommodation Team is the first place to go if you’re unsure about anything related to housing.

This year at Edge Hill the Students Union offered a few ‘House Hunting’ workshops for students. Anyone could go along and find out a little more about how to look for student accommodation off campus. All the pointers were really useful, and it definitely eases your mind if you’re worried about where to live in the second year of your degree.

Once I signed for my student house I was over the moon, and it gave me the chance to live with some friends on my course which is amazing!

Although I will miss the feel of living on campus I think that living off campus will be a great opportunity to see more of Ormskirk, and living in a house instead of a flat will be an exciting journey.

Quote for the day: “What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” -Tad Carpenter

Hope you all enjoy the rest of this week. Until next time!

-Becki 🙂

Great Fun In Ormskirk

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post and I apologise. I was very busy with assignments and my exam, but I have officially finished my first year at university now.

It has been a very fun year, but it has absolutely flown by. If you’re finishing your year at sixth form or college you might understand exactly how fast the time can go.

The weather has been really sunny again here, which has made wondering around campus lovely. Those lazy afternoon strolls are much more enjoyable when you have finally finished a huge pile of work.

This weekend Ormskirk held a Medieval fair in Coronation Park, and since the weather was so nice me and a few friends decided to go and have a day out in town.

Some people worry about coming to university in a town like Ormskirk, especially if they think there won’t be enough to keep them busy. Honestly there is never a boring moment here!

Even if there isn’t anything happening at the university that takes your fancy you can head into town to try out the assortment of restaurants, pubs and shops – the finest Ormskirk has to offer.

A personal favourite of mine is the Open Mic night at Salt and Liquor, which I would recommend if you like live music and a unique atmosphere.

The Medieval fair was something so different and so enjoyable. It’s not everyday you can experience a huge battle in the local park, or even listen to some Medieval songs and stories.

There really is always something to do here, so long as you know where to go!

And if you ever do need a trip to the city then Liverpool is a quick train ride away.

I hope you have all managed to experience some sunny weather, and that you enjoy the rest of your week.

Quote for the day: “The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.” -Alexandra Elle

Until next time 🙂