The Do’s and Don’t’s of your first week at Edge Hill.

Your first week at Edge Hill will be crazy. Freshers activities, meeting people you live with, meeting people on your course, trying to figure out where a certain room is; it’s an exciting but tiring week. Therefore my blog this week intends to look at that first week and tell you what you should do and perhaps shouldn’t do from my experiences. Everyone’s freshers is different so don’t take my word as gospel! 

Do; buy a desk fan if you think you need one. I know this sounds like an odd recommendation, but when I moved in my room on campus was an absolute sauna. During that first day, I had to reapply makeup twice because the heat destroyed it, so I invested preemptively in a desk fan to make my life a little easier. I used that fan almost all year long, even during winter when I’d have the heating on overnight. Of course, some rooms may be cooler than others so leave it a few days from moving in before you go on Amazon or pop into Ormskirk to buy one. 

My celebratory desk fan photo I sent to my parents after managing to put it together.

Don’t; go out and do a food shop during your first week, you will probably overspend. For myself, I went shopping the Saturday for food with my parents at home, then moved in on the Sunday, but I made the mistake of doing a mid-week shopping trip during freshers which I didn’t need to make. Following this suggestion should save you a bit of money, and force you to get a bit creative with whatever food you bought with your parents. Of course, if you completely run out of food during freshers, absolutely go buy some more from Aldi, Morrisons or M&S in town. 

Do; visit Ormskirk. During your first week, I would strongly recommend going into town with either people from your accommodation or your course to look around Ormskirk and get a feel for the town. Knowing where to go to get to supermarkets will make your first food shop a lot easier and will work as a nice bonding experience for whoever you go with. You could take the free student bus, or do what I did and walk it. 

To consolidate my three do’s and don’t’s;

  • DO buy a desk fan if you think your room will need one!
  • DON’T waste money on food that you don’t need, save it for the SU or a takeaway!
  • DO visit Ormskirk with friends!

There’s going to be a lot of suggestions I haven’t been able to touch upon in my blog today, but I’ve hit the most important three based upon my own experience during my first year. Your do’s and don’t’s will be very different from mine I expect!

Alice.

Being Vegan or Vegetarian at Edge Hill University!

Hey everyone! With the rise in veganism, vegetarianism and just the general rise in people eating less meat in their daily lives, I thought that I would put a simple post together on how this can be done at Edge Hill and in Ormskirk as it is a small area with a much more limited choice than you would get in a city. I myself don’t consider myself vegan or vegetarian as I still eat fish and eggs but no dairy, red meat, chicken, etc. When I moved into university and was living on my own, I began to make more plant based and vegetarian meals which were quite easy. I know that this lifestyle can be quite tricky for people but hopefully this post will help some of you!


Shopping!

This was what I found the easiest when I first started eating more plant based. I shop in Aldi and Iceland because they are cheap and I can get everything I need for a week for under £20! Iceland have a whole section of plant based foods such as pizza, sausages, meatballs, burgers, pies and chicken strips! Aldi have the most amazing beetroot burgers and sweet potato burgers that go amazing with some frozen and roasted veg and potatoes! I also bulk buy the cans of chickpeas and butter beans because these can be so amazing in a curry or in a salad. Leading a more plant-based lifestyle does not have to be expensive!

Image result for aldi

I would also shop a little in Holland and Barrett for things I might not be able to get in the main food shops such as tofu, tempeh and Linda McCartney items (if you know, you know) and these items would usually last me a couple of weeks as they can be frozen. Morrisons is also a good place for vegan, vegetarian and free from options but if you want to stick to a cheaper option, I would opt for Aldi or Iceland.

Eating Out!

I thought that when I moved to Ormskirk I would never be able to find anywhere with vegan or dairy free options but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was way easier than it was in my own home town. I will compile a little list of all the places that have a vegan menu or that I find are really accommodating to this type of lifestyle;

  • The Fat Italian – has a full vegan menu
  • Cobble – really good carrot and hummus bagel, just saying
  • Nordico Lounge – vegan-friendly
  • The Bagel Deli – vegan bagels, need I say more?
  • Wetherspoons – vegan meals on a budget? Perfect.

You can also treat yourself to going into Liverpool if you want even more options but for Ormskirk being so small, it is amazing what you can get.

Take Outs!

This is what I have found to be the hardest part about living this lifestyle because there is cheese or milk in A LOT of takeaway places however, I did manage to get a vegetarian dominoes pizza delivered to my flat with the rest of my flat mates which was really really nice but not vegan. Also, in terms of getting a Chinese takeaway, there is no harm in asking what they have that you could eat. I got a black bean dish from a local Chinese takeaway which was dairy free and full of veggies!

Image result for pizza delivery gifs

Ordering food to the flat and getting a takeaway is a lot harder on this lifestyle but if you know that your flat mates will be having food like this, be prepared and have a frozen pizza in the freezer just incase so that you don’t feel like you are being left out.


I hope that some of you found this useful and are not so worried about having difficulty with continuing your amazing vegan/vegetarian/dairy free lifestyle. It was only when I started university that I cut out a lot of meat products and started cooking plant based meals and I would not have been able to do that if Ormskirk had not made it as accessible as it has.

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

-Albert Einstein-

Shopping for University on a budget!

Hello!

I know shopping for University can be exciting, at least it was for me! However, it is so easy to spend money on things you don’t need or too much money on things you could get cheaper. Keep reading for some tips and ideas on how to save as much as you can while you shop for the things you will need a university!

The Range

The Range is a really great place to get your bedding, towels, any decor you may need for your room like lamps, blankets etc. The prices here too are absolutely amazing. I didn’t know about this place until a few weeks before uni started and my friend took me there and I kicked myself because I could have saved so much money on the things I had already bought so make sure this is one of the first places you go!

b&m Bargains or Home Bargains

I love the treasures you can find in these shops and the prices are incredible too. Both B&M and Home Bargains are great shops to find things like laundry baskets or duvet and pillows and everything you could possibly need in the kitchen!

UniKitOut

Unikitout is an online store that puts together packs of the absolute esstentials that you will need. They provide a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom one that comes as it’s own kit and then if you need anything else you can shop for extras. This is a little more pricey but may end up costing you less in the long run as the packs are pretty stocked. Check them out here.

Thanks so much for reading today’s blog. I hope you’re getting as excited as I was, it’s going to be amazing! See you next time.

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Budgeting Your Food Shop

Hi guys in one of my blogs from a few weeks back I talked about the different  food shops available to you around Ormskirk and what I think each one offers. Moving on from this I thought I would do one on the actual buying of food and how much you may be spending.


So for this i’m going to go by my own general shopping routine for accuracy so this will be catered mostly to shopping in Aldi since that is where I do most of mine. Any weekly shop in Aldi for me can vary depending on what I buy and how much of it I buy but on average I would say a weekly shop costs me around £30 including everything I need, which I think is really good for all I get bearing in mind I’m someone who eats quite a lot. Other people’s shops could vary a fair bit based on what they eat they may be closer to £20 or £40.


There are some good things to bear in mind when you are shopping such as looking out for reduced items or being careful to not buy quickly perishable foods unless you are sure you will eat them, frozen food is the food of students and you can find plenty of good frozen stuff from fruit and veg to burgers and chicken. Compare the weights of products to the price,  some things may look like a better deal but you might get more for your money getting a different bigger/smaller pack even if it’s more/less up front etc. Convenience costs more this one is pretty simple, the more handy stuff that’s maybe already seasoned or fridge ready is probably going to cost you more than it’s base counterpart, for example I used to buy seasoned pork chops but now I buy the pork chops and a marinade packet separate and it saves you around 50p. Obviously it’s fine to not have the time to bother always but it’s worth keeping in your head anyway. Own brand vs branded, Aldi is a mostly own brand shop hence why food is cheaper but most of their stuff is just as good as quality as branded so I have no problem buying it, although I still like some branded stuff on the side. No matter where you shop you will have the same choice to make but if your on a budget then own brand is most likely going to save you more money, but It’s also true that not every cheaper product will be worth buying so I like to try different things and then decide next time what i’m happy with.


So there’s a few things I’m thinking about when shopping which is crazy because before I started uni I just bought whatever I wanted without thinking about it which now just seems mental!

Till next time.

Jordan

Where to Do Your Food Shop

Hi guys, one of the main things people say about university is that you will never have any money which can be true. Obviously there are a lot of factors which will affect how much money you have to get by on, such as if your working or how much financial support you get, either way it will be a given for most of you that you will have to budget your money while away so I thought I would talk about the thing that will probably take up the most of your budget, the food shop and how best to tackle it.

Where to shop: Choosing where to shop is probably the most important choice you will make each week. Ormskirk has a variety of supermarkets including Morrison’s, Aldi, Iceland and Marks and Spencer’s, here’s a brief rundown.

M&S: This is the most expensive and probably won’t be your frequent if on a tight budget, but you may go there occasionally because some of the stuff is pretty good.

Morrison’s: This is your bog standard big supermarket that stocks everything, price wise it is probably a bit pricier than Tesco and Asda, more like Sainsbury’s but if you are just looking for the standard weekly shop, this is for you.

Iceland: Another choice, obviously specializing in frozen food that is especially handy for students as well as stocking a range of cupboard and fridge fillers, it’s great value and they sometimes offer student discount but you may not find everything you would need here.

Aldi: is the most budget friendly option, and where I do near all of my shopping, I love the place. Now obviously with Aldi most of what’s on offer is own brand  but most of the own brand food is just as good as branded and yes you do have less choice but they usually have everything you need and the lesser choice means that you pay a good bit less. Compared to say Morrison’s you could save £10 maybe £15 a week.

If you are someone who likes saving money, then shopping in multiple places will net you all the best bargains. When you first venture out to do your shopping your best bet will be to check out what’s around town and make the best choice for yourself since only you will know what you want.

Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

Jordan

Things I Learnt in my First Weeks at Uni

It’s a known fact that you learn a lot at university, you don’t need me to tell you that. But a lot of the more practical aspects of your university education will often go unnoticed. Over the years I have learnt so much about how to effectively adult, but a lot of that actually cropped up in the first few weeks. Uni turned out to be a whole new world to what I was used to and I had to adjust to it. I’ve compiled a list of the this you can expect to encounter when you first start uni.

Cleaning

I’m a self-proclaimed neat freak, but I still struggled with trying to get my head around proper full-on cleaning. I wasn’t sure what each different cleaning product did, I mean I’m still not sure what all of them do. However, I gradually figured out how I would go about cleaning the spaces I was responsible for and came up with a sort of cleaning timetable that helped me figure out what to do when, this really helped me get my head around something I hadn’t always had to do in such depth.

Doing Laundry

I still laugh when I think about the first time I did my own laundry, I spent ages sending my mum photos of my washing asking if this top was light or if these jeans were dark. I hadn’t a clue! Laundry is a risky business, if you mess up you could end up with some really dodgy looking clothes. But it’s nothing to worry about once you get the hang of it. My advice for this is to ask for help, don’t risk messing up because you’re too shy, once you do it once, you’ll know what to do for next time.

Food Shopping

The food shop was one of the first things I had to conquer. On my second day at uni I set off to Aldi with no idea what I needed or what I even wanted to eat, that was a great start… I urge you to make a list when going food shopping, maybe even think of what meals you’d like throughout the week and get only the ingredients for them. This method will not only save you time and money, it will also stop you from buying random foodstuffs that don’t go together which will eventually end in you producing more waste.

Having to make important phone calls

This was the part of adulthood I was always dreading. I’ve never been good on the phone and the idea of booking an appointment for something or sorting out something important like bills over the phone still give me the creeps. But University has alleviated some of my fear, even in the first few weeks of uni you may have to deal with people over the phone – i.e. maintenance people, doctors, dentists etc – But there is nothing to worry about, these people are on the other end of the phone to help you, and you know, as they say, practice makes perfect!

Until next time! 🙂

Ormskirk!

Hello all, I hope you’re having a wonderful start to the week!

Edge Hill resides in a small town that can sometimes cause confusion. People either know it, or they don’t, but it’s a shame for those who don’t because it’s such a wonderful town. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and do:

  • Shops: not only is there a great selection of shops for grocery shopping, but there are also some cool shops around Ormskirk for your enjoyment. Probably the most well known shops are New Look, Superdrug and Waterstones, but there are also some more independent shops such as Aladdin’s Cave, a fancy dress shop, and Sweet Memories, a traditional and American candy shop.
  • Cafés: there are both well known and independent cafés in Ormskirk, so however you like your coffee there’ll be something for you! There’s a Costa and Starbucks, and there’s also Cobble, which do the most incredible hot chocolates and milkshakes.
  • Restaurants/food places: if you fancy eating out one day there are a whole variety of choices. If you’re a fan of European food, there’s lots of places to try; TurQuaz is a Turkish restaurant just on the way out of the town centre, Passage to India is a brilliant Indian restaurant that’s just across from the bus station, and there’s the Peacock Inn Chinese Restaurant. If you’re not a fan of such food, there’s always the good old McDonalds, which is now 24/7 during the weekend, and Subway, which is open till 2am at the weekend! There’s also always lots of takeaways which give you every option you could dream of.
  • Fitness and Gyms: of course, there’s Edge Hill’s own sports centre which not only has a swimming pool and gym, but offers discounted prices for students, but there are also options in town. There’s Unite Health and Fitness which has superb gym equipment, and a brand new gym called Energie Fitness. There’s also the local swimming baths which is in Coronation Park, and Base Dance, which offers dance classes.

So, there’s so much variety in the town centre, not to mention how beautiful it is. Coronation Park has a little lake and forest which are lovely to walk around. The rest of the town is just as nice to walk around, even the shopping areas have such charm! One of my favourite parts of the town is the clock tower that resides in the very centre of the town, which has a beautiful compass in the paving stones around it.

The wonderful town centre

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!

A lesson in surviving a visit from your parents

Now that I’m in my second year I have found my self going out more and going home less. When I was in my first year I was practically on the train home every weekend and now I find myself not even planning to go home at all. Of course this means that instead my parents are coming up here to visit me. I love my parents and I love seeing them, but when you’ve been living the independent life it can often be a shock to the system having your Mum arrive and within seconds her telling you that what you thought was a spotless kitchen actually looks like it has just been ransacked.

One of the most important things when having your parents come to visit is avoid the spontaneity. For me this isn’t an issue as my parents live over two hours away but for some parents may just wish to ‘pop in’. Organising a visit gives you time to prepare, and by prepare I mean spend the days leading up to it tidying and arranging fruit so your parents don’t think you’ve been living off noodles for 3 months.

Once you know that your parents are coming and you have made the necessary arrangements you can begin to think about how you will entertain them for the day. In my opinion you can’t go wrong showing them your accommodation, introducing the flatmates and then taking them for a tour around your new home town. Be prepared for your parents insisting that you are in charge since this is ‘your home’ whilst simultaneously telling you off for one thing or another.

If you are stuck for ideas on what to do with your parents Charley’s blog has some great ideas for things you can do on the cheap or even for free:

https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2017/02/07/budget-days-out-for-liverpool-and-ormskirk/

As well as getting to see your family, them coming to visit you at university has many benefits. They often come up in the car to visit so can replenish your supplies and bring all the awkward sized items that you could never fit on the train. They can run you to the supermarket to stock up on ‘essentials’ whilst you work on your puppy dog eyes for when you get to the till as you think about your dwindling student loan. And last but not least the best thing about your parents coming to visit is the inevitable dinner you’ll go out for together, whilst you make the most of your parents hospitality.

Now obviously having your parents come to visit whilst you are in the midst of your new found independent lifestyle can be somewhat daunting. But make the most it. You may spend days anxiously awaiting their arrival, spend the day of their visit being on the receiving end of the 3 months worth of moaning that you’ve missed out on but once they have gone home you will feel a little sadness and that’s okay. Being away from home honestly makes you appreciate what you have both at university and at home as well and by being able to recognise what you have in both these environments really makes you realise how lucky you are.

 

A little about Ormksirk…

Hello! I hope you’ve had a fantastic Christmas and that the excited for New Years! 2016 will be an amazing and unforgettable year, finishing your A Levels, starting university, meeting loads of new people… the list is endless!

I’d like to talk a little about Ormksirk! Ormskirk is a charming market town that is around a ten minute walk from Edge Hill! Or if you are living on campus you can use the Edge Link bus which travels to and from Edge Hill to Ormksirk  for free with your Unicard (you receive this on welcome Sunday). Trust me this bus is an absolute lifesaver when you’ve just done your food shop!

Ormksirk has all the essential shops and takeaways! There are plenty of places to shop for food in town such as Morrisons, Aldi and Iceland! There are also pubs and a few clubs that you will certainly venture into during your time at university! I would definitely recommend that you venture into Liverpool on a night out as there is a larger variety of clubs to choose from, however it is more expensive and as a student you probably won’t have much money!

To get to Liverpool the easiest way is via the railway station which is a two minute walk from the bus station (where the bus will drop you off from uni).  here you can get directly to Liverpool or Preston- both of which are a half an hour journey! This is perfect if you want a day out you can go shopping or go to the cinema… amongst many other things!

So to finish off, as it is Christmas, I’ve included a few pictures of the Christmas lights around Ormskirk and Liverpool, just a little taster of what you can expect to see next year!