Managing Money – Food Shopping.

Managing Money is an essential part of university life. Whether you’re living off savings, making income through a part-time job, or you’re one of the lucky ones with a rather hefty student loan, you will have to manage this money accordingly to ‘survive’. My blog this week is going to focus in on food shopping at Edge Hill, something you can keep quite cheap if you’re intelligent.

My first few weeks at uni I did a weekly food shop, which wasn’t very smart. I was spending £10-£20 a week on food which majorly ate into my savings. If you set a budget for food before you go, and only go once every, maybe two weeks, like I did in the second semester, you save yourself a lot of money. Another thing I did wrong, I was buying a lot of snacks during my food shops, rather than actual food like bags of Pasta, Rice, stuff to go with those. I strongly recommend not buying snacks during your weekly food shop, and instead of saving that money for McColls’ £1 item aisle which longterm will be more financially manageable. Around Christmas, I was silly with my money and bought lots of chocolate, my diet and bank account were both very unhappy with me for those purchases.

Your essential map to supermarkets in Ormskirk.

I’ve spoke about tips regarding your actual shopping list, but where can you buy food in Ormskirk? You’ve got three main options! The largest supermarket is the Morrisons, I often used it to buy treat items like syrups for my coffee, or nice cheeses. Aldi is another option that most people tend to use, I know I certainly did. I used Aldi for stuff like breakfast items, pasta, rice, general things you need in your food cupboard to put together a satisfying meal that doesn’t break the bank. If you want to treat yourself, beyond what Morrisons can offer, there’s an M&S in Ormskirk. I often bought cookies from M&S during heavy coursework periods to get me through.

My snack draw for coursework survival.

Of course, I will always prefer the method of getting my parents to do my food shop for me when they come to visit, or I go home for a weekend.

Alice.

Business School Freshers Week 2019

I’ve spoken a fair bit about Freshers week in my blogs, but never intensely on the activities my department (The Business School) put on for my cohort. If you’re a new student reading this blog, beware everyone’s Freshers is different, and the next cohort’s Freshers week activities for the Business School may be very different. Disclaimers out the way, time to get into my first week at Edge Hill.

Day one of the week was arguably the most jam-packed. The entire Business School cohort converged on the Wilson lecture theatre for an introduction to the school, key members of the department, and other important things tied to being a Business School student at Edge Hill. From the introduction lecture, I had a smaller lecture focused on my specific degree in one of the rooms of the Business School. The smaller lecture had activities for people to mix and begin to create friendships. Yes there were icebreakers but they were enjoyable ones, well, as enjoyable as an icebreaker can be.

Introductions over with, the whole cohort came together again for the delivery of the week’s task. The entire cohort was split up into groups. Each team had the same task, create a new business for the Ormskirk area. Groups could talk, throw ideas around, get a basis on everything, before heading home for the night. It was a good way to meet new people, and I know several people who formed lasting friendships through the task.

Tuesday to Thursday was centred around working on our businesses, my group came up with an escape room. On the Thursday we presented the ideas to a panel of judges, this took place in the Business School foyer for about an hour, followed by a lunch break and big awards ceremony in the Wilson building one last time as a whole cohort. My team did not win any awards, but several of my friends I made prior to starting university did, so there were celebrations to be had following the ceremony.

The poster for my team’s business.

Finally, a big barbecue outside the Business School to commemorate the end of Freshers Week!

Like I said at the start of this blog, your activities may be different come Freshers week 2020, or beyond if you’re reading this much further down the line. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have as much fun as I did!

Alice.

Study Spots Beyond Campus

As an Edge Hill student your study time, whether that’s writing an assignment, doing your reading, or organising your post lecture notes, doesn’t have to be confined to a spot on campus or where you’re living during term time and beyond in the academic year.

The Catalyst, the Red Bar, upstairs in the Hub, and so on are perfect options but it’s good to explore beyond the University and into the town of Ormskirk, a short bus ride, (Using the Edge Hill Link) or walk away.

First up, my personal favourite, Starbucks. Starbucks is a very basic answer, I’m well aware, but hear me out! The Ormskirk Starbucks’ furniture is beautifully arranged, giving customers plenty of space to relax with a drink, or sit closer to the counter with a higher table to do work. Doing some reading? Take a seat closer to the entrance on the comfy plush chairs. Writing an assignment against the clock or anything requiring your laptop? Further up by the counter is your ideal spot, but down by the entrance would still work. It’s a perfect spot to do your academic work, and the baristas are some of the best I’ve ever been served by, and I’ve been to a lot of Starbucks cafes.

Ormskirk Starbucks

Costa is another great option, the tables in the Ormskirk cafe are a lot more appropriate for laptop or notebook work, the whole seating arrangement brings on a much more serious atmosphere in a way, perfect for a deadline crunch rather than relaxed reading or getting ahead of assignments to be submitted later in the semester.

Starbucks and Costa are great options, but there are many more. Ormskirk is filled with locations to try to study at, or unwind afterwards. Shifting to independently run establishments, Love To Eat near the old clock in town is a lovely place to get something to eat or drink after a morning study session or even lecture. I’ve yet to try to do it but it’d also serve as a lovely study spot as well. Strong recommendation on their pancakes if you’re looking for something to eat!

Alice

My 5 Favourite Things About Edge Hill

Spring is upon us and in three short months, my second year at Edge Hill will draw to a close, leaving me facing my third year and final year as an undergraduate. So, I’m feeling quite reflective. List time? List time.

My 5 Favourite Things About Edge Hill

1. The beach!

Studying full time and working in a demanding job, like I do, can get really overwhelming. So, I often take myself off for walks on campus on my breaks or choose the ‘scenic route’ back to my car to try and find some peace. Nestled by the water in Eastern Campus, ‘La Plage’ is a little slice of heaven that gives you the chance to sunbathe or feel sand under your feet and then be back inside for your 2pm lecture.

2. The Arts Centre

I’m a Counselling and Psychotherapy student and I have never lived on campus or even near campus, so I initially dismissed The Arts Centre as a place where art degrees must be taught and where students who lived on campus could watch films at night. Oh, how wrong I was! Everything from theatre to music can be found in The Arts Centre and there are regular live shows from comedians at bargain prices which would ordinarily cost £20-£70 per ticket on their arena tours.

3. Ormskirk

On my course we sometimes have gaps of up to three hours between sessions so, rather than commuting home to turn around and come back, my coursemates and I like to head into Ormskirk and grab brunch. Hopping on the free bus with our Unicards and heading to Wetherspoons if the student finance has run out or getting a delicious brunch and a milkshake at Cobble if we’re feeling a little more ‘flush’ is a great way to catch up and relax.

4. Catalyst

More than just a library, Edge Hill’s Catalyst is open 24/7 and boasts millions of pounds worth of books, computers and digital resources. However, for me, it’s the additional student support you can access via the helpdesk that makes the difference. Money advice clinics, study skills sessions, 1:1 advice on everything from debt and weight loss to essay writing and housing…I could go on.

5. 53.3 Degrees

We’re blessed with an abundance of restaurants, cafes and coffee spots at Edge Hill, including our very own Starbucks, but my favourite is 53.3 Degrees in the Catalyst building. Delicious, fresh coffee with natural light flowing through and gorgeous views of campus…this little coffee shop has everything I need to gather my thoughts and find some headspace.

Have you visited campus yet? Or maybe you’re a current student? What would be on your list?

Sam xo

Why Edge Hill University?

I had my heart set on Edge Hill immediately. So much so, I didn’t actually apply for anywhere else. I don’t recommend this, you definitely need to have choices, but I like to think of it as a testament to how amazing this university is.

My initial experiences
When I was in sixth form, Edge Hill had just won the 2014-2015 University of the Year in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, so my college really pushed this university and I remember thinking it was really nice but I just wasn’t interested in going at this point. Years later, when I realised I wanted to be a teacher, I looked up Edge Hill straight away as I remember the impression it left on me and I requested a prospectus. I was blown away by the course choice, the surroundings and just everything they had to offer. It was perfect and I didn’t look at anywhere else I applied straight away. I lived abroad at this time, so the first time I actually visited the campus was on my interview day and I fell in love with it immediately.

My favourite bits
I love the Catalyst, the library, which luckily opened the year I started. It’s my favourite place on campus to grab a coffee, socialise, study in groups, study alone, take a lovely nature break (on the top floor roof garden). The Hub is also a great place to grab some food, as well as the Red Bar, Roots and the SU. Recently, I’ve dealt with the support and wellbeing team and they are just amazing, there is so much support for everyone and they truly care about you.

So, why Edge Hill?
I didn’t know what to expect when coming to university, but I do know I didn’t think it would be this good. The quality of teaching and learning is up there with the best of the best, the tutors are also an absolute asset and very supportive. The accommodation is great value for money and there’s always so much to do. Being situated in Ormskirk is nice as you are in a lovely, quaint little town but Liverpool is a short train journey away.

I love this university, come and visit and see for yourself.
https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/visit-us/open-days/

Amy

Taking the pressure off…

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all getting excited about starting your course at Edge Hill University! Be sure to check out the social media sites so you can keep up to date on Q&A conversations, campus activities and fresher updates.

Take this blog as a piece of advice from a now second year university student where I talk about why it is important not to let your course dominate your whole university experience and why you should keep up with your hobbies and not abandon them to focus solely on your course.


When I first started university, I was so ready to dive straight in to work and be on top of my assignments, homework and reading. While I did do this through-out my first year, I now realised how much of the experience of university I missed out on. For example, having last minute, middle of the day movies with my flat, going shopping with my flat-mates, having dinner and lunch together and just missing out on moments because I was always in the library trying to be on top of everything.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing because you do end up being way ahead of everyone in terms of work and you should still try to do this but just remember that this can be done in a way that doesn’t mean you will miss out on a bunch of memories like I did. This is a classic case of do as I say and not as I do…

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My Advice for not letting your course consume you!

I don’t mean that you should completely abandon your lectures and never do your assignments just in case you thought that was what I was saying. If I were to give my first year self some advice I would tell her to go to lectures and do your assignments in a nice relaxed pace and don’t try and get things done and dusted as quickly as possible!

I would tell myself to hang out with my flat more rather than go to library for most of the day because you’re going to miss out on some really good times.

I would tell myself to put time and effort into my course and make sure that I am performing and achieving to the best of my ability but don’t let it take away from your overall experience.

I would finally tell myself to keep up with my hobbies! Luckily I still went to the gym and went for walks which was something I really loved but I also wished I kept doing photography and used my free time to play around with this hobby. This was the most important advice I could have given myself because I got a sense of freedom when I did take a break from my course and focused on my hobby.

My hobby, Photography!

I hope this helps someone who like me, likes to stay on top of work and feels the need to constantly work! Trust me, this quality is a great thing to have when work needs to be done but, when it doesn’t need to be done right away, live your university experience.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt-

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

Leaving my University house

Hi everyone,

Last week I officially moved home and out of my university house. I thought it would be a struggle moving home after living away for three years but I am settling back in well and I am finding it a lot easier than I thought.

I have absolutely loved living in Ormskirk for the last three years and I am so glad I decided to experience living away from home rather than commuting back and forth. I got to meet so many amazing friends who I know will be friends for life, we are all quite lucky as well as we are all based in the north west! The independence I gained as well from living away as has been amazing for me, it has made me a lot more confident and using my initiative rather than just relying on my mum!

In first year I lived in Main Halls which I loved as we it was catered accommodation and the range of food provided each day was always really good! Living in the main building was also super helpful as that’s where most of my lectures were.

It feels so surreal that I have now finished uni and I have moved home, I wish I could do it all over again

Ellie xx

Staying Fit, What Gym Options Are Available to You

While at uni eating takeouts might become more frequent or even just eating more junk food when you don’t want to cook, so maybe the possibility of going to the gym seems more reasonable now then at home, so I am going to give you a few pointers to what’s available and what you can expect to pay.

Edge Hill Sport: If your living on campus this should be the only place worth considering, as deals go there residency membership is a bargain. £80 for a full 40 weeks of premium membership which includes use of all facilities at any time of day, not bad eh? If you live off campus you will have to pay more but it’s still good value if you don’t mind commuting a bit with a standard yearly membership costing £170.00. The facilities are really nice and modern with handy green wristbands used to enter rooms and to use the lockers as opposed to keys, the fitness suite is one of the best I’ve used, the only slight downside being it can be pretty busy especially around 4/5 but that’s more applicable to weightlifters and can be avoided by going later or earlier in  the day.

Off Campus Options: If living within Ormskirk then it may be too much hassle to commute to and from Edge Hill but, there are options within the town. If you are interested in swimming then Park Pool, the council run leisure centre seems to be the main place to go, they also have a gym too.  If you are looking for just for fitness equipment then United Health and Fitness and Active Nation (formerly energie fitness) are both good options, Unite has a larger number of equipment in a larger space with a monthly membership costing £25 a month. Active Nation is the gym I use, it’s pretty small but is usually not too busy and is well maintained as well as having the cheapest membership fee I could find at £20 a month.

So there’s just a few options available to you if interested, also make sure you are paying for what you need, if you go a lot buy a longer membership, if your less consistent then maybe a pay as you go option is best, whatever you choose enjoy it and take it easy!

Jordan

Home Visits – Can they be hard?

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having an amazing summer so far! I thought I would talk a little more about how I find visiting home both comforting but also a source of discomfort as this is something I quickly realised while in my first year of university. 

Coming from a very family orientated family, I have always loved the thought of going back to Ireland to see everyone and spend some good, quality time with them (and to be fed). However, while this was exciting and relaxing, I found that when it came to coming back to university, I would become a little upset and find it hard to settle back into the routine of living away from my family. 


I found it particularly hard after the Christmas break because I was so used to being at home again and being around my family and so, when it came to moving back over to uni and back to the flat, I suddenly realised that I didn’t want to. This only lasted for a couple of weeks until I settled back again but during that time, I really needed help to make me feel comfortable with being away from my family again. 

Image result for crying gif

 

I realise that flying over every weekend or every two weekends isn’t very student budget friendly but, I found that when I had a trip planned to go home for a couple of days I didn’t feel as sad or anxious because I knew that I would be seeing my family and that kept me going until that time arrived. In my first year, I made the mistake of only visiting home if I had a prolonged period of time off university and so as I was home for longer, I was getting too comfortable with being away from university, making it harder to transition back. 

As much as my mum hated this, I made sure to text her or FaceTime her every day while I was away so that I was keeping in contact with her as much as I could while keeping updated with the rest of my family. However, I will say that I may have been a bit smothering about Face-timing back home and texting whenever I could but, at the end of the day, it made me feel better and kept the homesickness at bay.Image result for facetime

It can also be fun to try and plan trips to visit family members who live close by or friends from home that have moved to England for University. This may be quite pricey but, in my opinion, your feelings and mental health come first. If you feel that visiting someone close to you while you are in need of comfort will help you, do it. I was lucky enough to have my cousins live in Liverpool and so, I could visit them when I wanted to or needed to be with family. I also made a couple of trips down to Bath to visit my sister who lives there. Yes, it was pricey but it made me happy. 


I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it helped my fellow Irish students coming to Edge Hill University. I can say truthfully that moving away was the best thing I did for my independence and it really made me appreciate my family more. 

Thank you for reading, Lauren 

 “Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

-Stitch-