Uni Top Tips

Hello again!

Freshers week seems like so long ago for an old biddy like me… but there are certainly things that I wish I knew before coming to university! Here are a few:

  1. It is impossible NOT to make friends

Like a lot of people, your main concern right now might be finding those you’ll get on with. And trust me… you will definitely find them. You will meet soooo many students who are likely to also have the same concern! Take your time and enjoy speaking to new people.

  1. You probably don’t need that extra tea towel

I bought SO much stuff that I have barely used. You DON’T need 3 frying pans, 4 tea towels and 15 spices. Okay maybe I exaggerated a little. However once I settled in my accommodation, I realised that I bought too many things with such little uses. If you forget something you actually need, you can always pick it up next time your home.

  1. Cutlery goes missing

No matter how much you buy and no matter where you put it, it gets lost. And I don’t mean there’s a cutlery thief…there is a cutlery ghost. I have no idea how it happens or where my forks end up, but I am now down to one tea spoon and a pair of scissors. Honestly it is a MYSTERY. So ignore point 2 – bring as much cutlery as you possibly can.

  1. Library luck

I never went to the library to do my work for sixth form as I was never really a fan (or thought I wasn’t). HOWEVER, it has now become my second home. Edge Hill’s new Catalyst building offers 4 floors of work spaces of different noise levels, with meeting rooms, printing hubs and even its own café. I would highly recommend visiting, as I wish I had visited more for my first couple of years at uni!

  1. HAVE FUN

Balancing work and play can be easy to preach but harder to do. Edge Hill have so many people who are there to support you such as student guides, tutors and the student help desk where you can find one-to-one support if needed. No one should be working 24/7, and university is the time to go out n about!! So make sure you look after yourself, and treat yo’ self to day trips and nights out with your mates.

Thanks for reading, have a fantastic week!

 

 

Preparing to Leave Home

Hi everyone, for my second blog I’m just going to talk a little about moving out of home for the first time and going to University, and what you can do to prepare to make the transition more manageable, enjoyable and hopefully A lot less stressful!

1. Pack early: I know this might seem obvious but starting your packing even a week before leaving home is a really good idea, trust me. You don’t realise until it comes to packing how much stuff you need to bring with you, clothes, gadgets, trinkets and whatever else begin to pile up really quickly. In my personal experience even though I had done most of my packing by the time I was ready to leave, I still found myself running around like a headless chicken looking for my headphones and whatever else I realised I would definitely need.

Bag

2. Book travel well in advance: Doing this not only saves a lot of stress but also a lot of money. Obviously depending on where you live or your travel situation circumstances will be different but if you know you will be travelling by train or boat or plane, booking earlier can save you a lot of hassle that can be caused by booked up journeys or lack of luggage, space say if you were going on a busy flight and needed cabin baggage. In my experience if you book for example, A flight a month beforehand which in my case was coming over from Northern Ireland, an early booked flight would only usually cost £10/20 but leave it too close to the date and you could end up paying more like £50/60 which is a LOT more if you’re a budgeting student.

Plane

3. Don’t worry if your late: I know you definitely want to arrive on time for your moving in day and you most likely will, but on the off-chance you don’t (like me) don’t stress, Edge Hill is very accommodating and even though I was one of the last people to pick up my keys, someone still took the time to show me to my accommodation where I finally arrived to meet my flatmates for the first time, which didn’t make any difference that I was late as everyone was also still pretty nervous! Moral of the story, chill out it will be fine :).

Before it starts…

In my blog post earlier I spoke about what happens when Uni finished, but for all you lucky people this is miles away!

So what will you need to bring to uni when you’re living in halls? Well all your necessities… unfortunately this is not a holiday where you can pack a suitcase and be done. I would highly recommend you start gathering these things ASAP to reduce your panic and stress nearer the time! There’s a lot you will need to pack that you don’t think of, you will need everything from toiletries to pans!

  • Toiletries- shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste/brush!
  • Kitchen pots and pans, knives and forks, spatulas, spoons etc. Plates and trays.
  • Towels, bath mat, toothbrush holder, soap and toilet roll. (If you’re lucky enough to have an ensuite, don’t forget toilet roll!)
  • A single quilt, pillows, a fitted sheet, duvet cover and pillow cases.
  • Maybe a lamp for your bed side table.
  • Clothes, pyjamas, underwear, socks, shoes (even your winter wear i.e. a coat, gloves, hat, scarves etc.) Do not forget coat hangers!
  • A bag for your uni things, folders, paper pads, stationary, calculator and a laptop!
  • Don’t forget your makeup, straighteners etc. girls or drama students!
  • Sports wear if you fancy heading to the gym or joining a sporty society!
  • General bits and bobs to make your room more homely/cosy!
  • Oh and food essentials! Bread, milk, sauces, pasta… the staple student diet!

You may forget somethings or think you don’t need them, then change your mind! However at uni there are plenty of shops in Ormskirk where you can pick bits up from! With your uni card you can get the uni bus from Edge Hill to the town centre which is extremely convenient, especially if you have a lot of shopping to carry!

So if you’re moving from far away and you know your means of travel will not allow you to transport a lot of items, then you can always go shopping for it! So either way you won’t go without!

Good luck packing!

Moving on

It may seem far too early to be thinking out about moving back home for the summer, but I’ve found that moving out slowly but surely is one of the most efficient ways of doing so.

First things first have a good spring clean, it might sound boring but you accumulate a lot of stuff whist at uni. You’ll come across leaflets from fresher’s week that you’ve stuffed at the back of wardrobe and hundreds of water bottles that just seem to be stacking up. Once you have gotten rid of all your rubbish you’ll find that you already feel as though you have less stuff to think about taking home.

Next thing to do is think about what you haven’t used, haven’t worn or will no longer need. For me this includes things like winter shoes, scarves and books. I try to take home little bits at a time so as to not be weighed down on the journey home. If you do this frequently you will find it so much easier when it comes to the actual big move out day. You will also begin to realise how many things you’ve brought to uni that you have never used, write these things down and remember for next year as if you’ve managed for a year you probably don’t need to bring them back again. For me this included items such as

  • a colander
  • copious amounts of Tupperware
  • far too many decorative ornaments/picture frames
  • every piece of clothing I’ve ever worn ever, that I suddenly thought I would need whilst at university

By doing these things when it comes to moving out you should have a much easier time. On that day though it’s important to be just as organised. My advice would be to label and sort things into what you’ll need at home and what can stay packed until next year. This saves you the hassle of unpacking everything to find that one thing you realised you can’t manage without and also saves repacking everything again over the summer. Invest in some good storage boxes and they will hopefully see you through the three years of moving in and out.

Last but not least be prepared at home. Condensing two rooms back into one may not seem like a big deal but when you’ve got a room full of IKEA bags, storage boxes and suitcases your motivation to organise them may suddenly disappear and they will remain there until September rolls around. Try and make a space for the things that are labelled as what you will not need. I was lucky enough to have space in the garage, but even making space in your bedroom, wardrobe, shed or loft in order to keep these things out of your way. Just make sure that your possessions are tightly sealed and out of the damp as the last thing you want is to get back to uni start unpacking and realise that everything is ruined.

So overall preparation is key, and by doing little and often you are likely to avoid the stress of moving out. Be able to pack the car up with ease, and settle back in at home without being surrounded with tableware and folders.

What to Bring!

Ok, so coming up to uni you’ll probably be gathering your essentials already… and if you’re lucky enough, some luxuries too! So in September you don’t want to be in a mad rush to gather your things together or get the things you’ve forgotten a few days before you’re due to arrive-  or even in Ormskirk on Welcome Sunday as you’ll be so busy!

So you will need AT LEAST the bare essentials such as:

  • Single Bedding (Quilt, pillows, bedding, mattress protector)
  • Kitchen Essentials (Cutlery, Pots/Pans, Cups, Mugs)
  • Clothes and shoes for every occasion… hopefully this is presumed!
  • Food (enough to keep you going until you find your feet)
  • Laptop and Stationery… DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGERS!!
  • Any Documents you may need (ID for going out, Student ID doesn’t always suffice)

Also, if you’re lucky enough to be staying in a room with a TV and you have enough room/can manage it, bring your Xbox or Playstation with you too! Home comforts are the best and if you’re living far away from home the more you have the better – you’ll definitely appreciate them.

Basically you can  bring anything to uni… except for pets *sad face*… oh well, you can always Skype them courtesy of your family, if that’s not too weird ahah! Just make sure you don’t overpack or acquire a collection of junk/things you don’t need because this will be a huge pain when you move out in June next year, especially if you don’t live nearby as multiple trips will be out of the question!

So basically… keep to only what you need – have fun deciding!

Packing for University – TOP TIPS

This week I finished my second year of university! The stress of coursework and exams has finally lifted, but now comes the stress of packing up to go home! I yet again have seriously under estimated the amount of stuff I own and am now panicking how to pack it all away on my own without the help of my mum (yes it’s true I still rely on my mum to pack!). So today I thought I’d shine a light on how I’ve managed to cram all of my stuff into a small space effectively – including my un-necessarily large lipstick collection, to give you some tips of how to pack for university, and a few tips of what not to bring!

1. Firstly, vacuum pack bags are your best friend! I’ve managed to fit a grand total of 4 towels, 4 pillows, 2 cushions, a coat, 3 jumpers and a hoodie into one squished bag! They are so worth the investment and a great way to transport your stuff, especially if you only have a small car.
2. Don’t just bring everything from your wardrobe, you never wear it all! Let’s be real, you’re a student and you’re going to live in trackies and a hoodie the majority of the time. ps. ladies you’ll only need the one pair of heels – and you’ll wear them once in freshers week and never again!
3. Don’t bring every single kitchen utensil ever invented – you won’t need them all and everyone else in your flat will bring them and you’ll end up with 7 potato mashers!
4. Shoe Boxes are a saviour – for transportation purposes these are amazing for all those little things that won’t go anywhere else! I think mine’s filled with sun glasses, fake lashes and all other sorts of junk – but they are really handy so don’t throw them out. I’m currently using my GHD box to store my lipstick collection – pretty inventive storage i think!
5. Bag for Life – Not only awesome for transporting things but you’ll need them for when you’ve got that trek from Morrisons back to halls with your weekly shopping.

ps. if you need any more packing inspiration, check out this video!

 

Packing

I’d say that I’m a relatively laid back person and that there’s not much that stresses me out, but the last week has been a bit of a strain and it’s all because of one dreaded task… packing.

I’m now set to move into the new house in four days and I’m nowhere near ready. I’m somehow managing to wear clothes faster than I can wash them and the logical bit of my brain appears to have taken a break. The other day I bought 60 clothes hangers online before visiting my new house and finally realising just how limited my hanging space was. The phrase ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ has been thrown around way too often over the past week.

I don’t know what it is about packing that sends my brain into a frenzy. Perhaps it’s my subconscious trying to tell me that it doesn’t like change. Either way packing isn’t something that I enjoy and seems to take up an irritating amount of time.

Choosing which clothes to bring with is the hardest. Splitting things into ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ piles isn’t enough. By the end of the day I was splitting things between ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Maybe’, ‘Only if it fits in the case’, ‘Might come back for it’, and ‘Depends how many shoes everyone else is bringing’ piles. As I unfortunately don’t have infinite space in my room everything ended up merging into one pile and the horrible process had to begin again.

Attempting to rationalise is the worst. E.g. ‘Okay, so I know that I have never ever worn that old Victorian bonnet in my 21 years of existence, but who is to say that once I’ve moved something incredibly important won’t come up that requires me to wear an old Victorian bonnet and I’ll be filled with regret and self-loathing.’ Hypothetical scenarios like this usually end in me packing the hypothetical Victorian bonnet. I’d like to take this time to point out that I will only be living a 45 minute drive from home and can come back for stuff whenever necessary.

I realise that this blog hasn’t been particularly helpful or informative, but I hope that it’s soothing to other people who get this stressed when packing that you’re not alone! Now I’m off to cram a large box of Pokemon cards that I haven’t touched in years into my bag… just in case.

Packing

So this weekend I moved into my new house in Ormskirk which is super exciting, but if you’re reading this it means that we haven’t managed to set up our internet connection yet. I’m writing this before I’ve even left Kent but I’m sure my house is lovely and I’ll fill you all in properly next week.

On a related note, let’s talk about packing. I really don’t enjoy packing, and I always struggle to know what to bring and what to leave behind, normally throwing things in ‘just in case’. I am definitely trying to break this habit because it’s such a waste of space. You definitely not need to bring every little thing with you. My rule when it comes to clothing is I’m only allowed to bring it if I know I will wear it regularly (and then a couple of things for special occasions, of course).

The part I find most difficult is choosing which of my books to pack. I have a pretty extensive reading list, so that takes up a lot of room already, but then I still have books from my personal collection to choose from. I suppose some of you might have similar issues with games, or just other general belongings. When it comes to this I’d say that if you’re going to use it, then great, bring it with you, but if you’re bringing it just for the sake of it or ‘just in case’ (there’s that dreaded phrase again) leave it behind, it’ll only clutter up your room.

Kitchen-wise, I’d say just bring the basics – a few plates, bowls, cups  and utensils for cooking. If you discover that there’s anything else you really need, you can always buy it whilst you’re at university, no problem.

As much as I’ve been going on about cutting down what you pack, if bringing extra personal items will help you feel at home (if that’s something you think you might find hard) then by all means do so. I think it’s important to make your new room feel like your own space, whether that’s by surrounding yourself with pictures, or posters (although beware blu tac stains!) or anything else you can think of.