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

What Is Ormskirk Like?

I’ve had people ask me before ‘what’s Ormskirk like’ as a town to live in? So I thought I would give my thoughts on this for those of you that are starting in September or moving into off campus accommodation.

For starters Ormskirk is a small town, so if your coming for the city life you aren’t going to get it here, BUT Liverpool City Centre is only around 15 miles away and the transport links for the town are good with both rail and bus travel being regular and conveniently accessible from the in town train/bus stations. Most shops operate around the town centre with housing all over the place. Since the town is small and there is a demand for housing because of the large number of students, and prices will be cheaper the further you go out of Ormskirk but at least it isn’t London eh?.

For the size of the town there is a surprisingly good selection of shops, bars, takeaways etc. suitable for everyone, my personal favourite being the Dixi Chicken and pizza on the Southport road which is an underrated gem.

For things to do obviously it’s not going to have as much as somewhere like Liverpool but there’s still things to do depending on what takes your interest. There’s a few different gyms around the town and a leisure centre to choose from. If your one for outdoorsy stuff then the various walks and bike trails might be for you, and there is also the market in the centre every Thursday and Saturday every week which is always popular among young and old and you can get a good selection of stuff. There was also recently the opening of a cinema in the Chapel Gallery that shows a mix of new and old films.

So there’s just a few things to know about Ormskirk if you were interested, if you have any questions let me know 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

Living Off Campus at EHU – Three things to consider about housing in Ormskirk [Part 2]

Off Campus Living


Living off campus can be a daunting experience. Most first years tend to stay on campus but a growing number choose to stay in off campus houses and flats. Yesterday I gave you 3 very important considerations to take into account when moving to a new home off campus. But what about those of you living at home? I have you covered. Here are 3 more great tips about off campus living at Edge Hill University.


Image result for travelTransport is a massive consideration to make when living off campus. You dont know if that train strike is going to fall right on the day of your exam. Did you know that there are already over 2 weeks of planned disruptions to the rail network at Ormskirk? Make sure you master your transport and plan routes out and backups just in case.


Image result for financeFinances can easily be affected when living at home. For example my finance would decrease by 60% if I decided to live at home opposed to campus or living in Ormskirk town. Make sure you understand all the implications of living at home and how this may affect your financial situation.

 


Image result for relationshipsFriends are the best and while you are sure to make plenty at University it is important to consider that living at home may mean you miss out on some nightlife activities with students on campus. Getting home at 2 or 3AM is easier when you live on campus. So make sure before you make up your mind you open it to the possibility of missing out on parties.


Living Off Campus at EHU – Three things to consider about housing in Ormskirk [Part 1]


That about sums everything up from me. If you want more advice about accommodation at edge hill you can check out this webpage.

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email [email protected] or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Living Off Campus at EHU – Three things to consider about housing in Ormskirk [Part 1]

Off Campus Living


Living off campus can be a daunting experience. Most first years tend to stay on campus but a growing number choose to stay in off campus houses and flats. It can be easy to see cheaper prices as a better deal, or chances to live with your friends more exciting than living with strangers, but it is important to take some time and understand the differences between living on and off campus and consider these three things about off campus living that you may not be aware of.


Image result for time imageTime is important, and living off campus means it takes longer to get to your classes and on campus activities. You might be less likely to join a society or club. But you might find yourself closer to shops, transport and the town centre of Ormskirk. When you are walking back from a night out at 4AM this is important, trust me.


Image result for house or apartmentChoosing the type of accommodation you want to live in is also important. You’re main choices are House, Flat or Student Dorm. A house can usually be shared with a few of your friends, flats are more personal but possibly more expensive and a student dorm is similar to on campus. Research each and take your time before choosing.


Image result for billsBills can soon mount up. Living off campus can leave you open to a range of extra costs. Everything from Electricity to Broadband needs to be paid. Websites, such as uSwitch and GoCompare, can help you find the best deal in your area. It is important to explore all options to find the cheapest price. And make sure to avoid long contracts. You won’t be there all year!


That’s everything for this blog. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow as well as a special blog exploring one of my projects over the summer and how my education at EHU has influenced my work.

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email [email protected] or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Pro’s of Living Away for Three Years!

So living away from home is a big deal when choosing which University to go to! You have to make sure you choose a University where you will enjoy the course and every other aspect of the Uni! One of the most important things is the accommodation if you have chosen to move away from home! This isn’t a decision you need to commit to for the full three years (if you live close enough to commute that is!), so don’t worry if you think you may change your mind for years 2 and 3!

So what are the pro’s of moving into halls in first year?!

  • Halls is sooo convenient for uni! Sometimes you don’t really value this until you move off campus- so enjoy it!
  • You can wake up later than you would it you decide to commute (you will be thankful on those frosty mornings!)
  • The cost for accommodation includes bills (something you might not get if you move into private accommodation).
  • This is one of the places where you’re likely to make some good friends for life!

And, is there any reason to move into a house in your second or third year? Here are the pro’s I found moving into private accommodation!

  • You can walk to and from uni, meaning your getting your steps in, keeping healthy when you might not be cooking (or ordering!) the ‘right’ things!
  • You can choose who you live with, if that’s friends from your course or halls from first year!
  • You might even be lucky enough to have a washing machine in your house (posh!), instead of going to the launderette!
  • You can still have that independent lifestyle away from home.
  • If you move into Ormskirk you’re near to the night life! (No more three pound taxi fares!).

Either way, whatever you choose, make sure it’s the right decision for you!

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.

So what is it like living off campus?

Living on campus in first year is great and this is where you’ll arguably make the majority of your friends- who you’ll probably end up living with in second year! Living at uni is what really gives you that independence to do what you want with your time without having to answer to anyone and responsibility to look after yourself!

In second year living in a house increases that independence and responsibility as you have to cope with things that go wrong, cleaning the house and paying the bills!

If you have an issue in halls you ring Facilities Management and they will help you solve the issue! However now you have to either try and fix the problem (Google will probably help here!), ring mum and dad or your landlord/estate agent if you have no luck.

In a house you will all have to pull your own weight to clean up the house as unfortunately there are no cleaners everyday unlike in halls! Ensure everyone is up to doing this so there are no tensions in the house if someone isn’t pitching in! The same goes for splitting the bills and paying them on time!

Personally I love living in a house in second year, my house is halfway between uni and Ormskirk centre. So I can easily nip into town or to uni, the only bad thing is having to get up a little bit earlier in the morning for lectures! I’d say the two best things is not losing circulation in your hands having to lug shopping bags back and not having to walk in the freezing cold back to halls at night after a night out!

If you come to visit Edge Hill I would definitely recommend having a walk around Ormskirk to look at the town you’ll be spending the next three years at and where ultimately you’ll end up living! Here’s a few pictures of the centre so you know what to expect!

EHU 2013 Ormskirk114-L EHU 2013 Ormskirk139-L

I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need…

Where would you get a part time job in Ormskirk?

Well, there’s loads. For starters EHU displays all their current vacancies on the student information section on Blackboard (the university portal) and on the main website when you log in with your student ID. Some of these positions could be helping students on moving in days or being a student guide on open days. It’s easy money and doesn’t affect your study timetable, so why not?

You then have job opportunities in Ormskirk, with local pubs and food establishments constantly needing staff. Christmas jobs in supermarkets are common, as well as branded shops like New Look hiring over the festive period.

If you’re willing to use some of your wages up on transport then there is a wider scope of jobs in Liverpool (25 minutes away on the train). I have friends who managed to get Christmas temp jobs easily (and some have been kept on and made permanent staff). Likewise to Liverpool, Southport is 20 minutes away on the bus and can also provide more jobs.

Another option is volunteering. I know for students money can be very tight and the thought of waking up early on a Saturday is bad enough, let alone without getting paid… but if you haven’t got a lot of experience on your CV it’s a good way to get some. It’s also nice to give back to your local community, gain some self esteem and it keeps you busy on boring weekends. You wouldn’t need to travel to Liverpool or Southport, as Ormskirk has plenty of charity shops- which are constantly looking for help- some of which are YMCA, Cancer Research and Barnardos.

Until next time…

It’s the small things in life…

When it comes to being scared of things, for me, the list is endless; spiders, heights, public speaking. Literally anything you can think of, at one time or another, I was probably scared of… but nothing even comes close to my fear of needles. I don’t know whether it’s the thought of them breaking through my skin which scares me, or that I associate them with hospitals/doctors/something being wrong, but whatever it is, they are my biggest fear. Correction;

They were my biggest fear.

Last semester I was looking into ways that the RAG society (Raising and Giving) could improve people’s lives with limited funds to begin with. After looking through different fundraising websites I stumbled onto the NHS- Give Blood campaign and realised that I could help people in more ways than giving money. Anyway, I registered, went and gave blood (which is not as bad as I thought it would be) and I have recently signed up to give it again.

I found out that my blood group is O RhD positive, which I share with 37% of the population and can be given to anyone who is RhD positive (regardless of their blood group) – and that’s a staggering 83% of people. So, I may not be making scientific discoveries or changing the world, but I am proud that somewhere out there; a baby, a cancer patient, anyone, will still be alive because of me.

Anyway, I just wanted to fill you in on my (very small, yet proud) accomplishment, as well as hopefully inspiring you to try it. With local blood collections happening all around the UK, you don’t have to wait until you arrive in Ormskirk to help, you can start today in your local community!

Feel free to check out http://www.blood.co.uk/index.aspx

DON’T FORGET UCAS DEADLINE IS ON THE 15TH OF JANUARY 2015!

Until next time…:)