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-

A Night In On Campus

With University fast approaching, you might be panicked about the social side of thing. Making friends was something I worried about, but what about once you have friends – but don’t like the idea of clubbing? If you aren’t keen on going out, whether it be to Liverpool, Ormskirk or Social, but still want to socialise or do something different, here’s a bunch of options you might want to consider.

Staying in, not drinking

If you’re not a fan of drinking – don’t fret! You’re not the only one, and you’ll be sure to find others you aren’t that keen on it either; societies and the fresher’s Facebook page/group are a great resource for finding others. (Of course, maybe you do like to drink, but just not this particular night).

Why not host a movie night? Either decide on a genre or specific film beforehand or vote once everyone has gathered (try and persuade the guest with the best tv/most comfortable seats to host 😉 ). If you’re not feeling a film, you could play some board/tabletop games, nothing tests a friendship like a game of Monopoly (and did you know that Edge Hill have their very own version?) Still fancy a game but not of the board variety? Why not play a murder mystery or a DnD campaign?

Staying in, but drinking

So you ARE a fan of drinking but still don’t (feel) like clubbing. The above options still apply obviously, but if you feel like it, you could co-opt most of the above to include drinking. For example, a movie night featuring some drinking games – my

suggestions would be the Rocky Horror drinking game, a Harry Potter drinking game, or anime roulette. Many board games too can be adapted to include drinking, including chess! Outside of board games, there are always the usual drinking games (eg. Irish poker, Ring of Fire, the Picolo app), but might I bring Paranoia to your attention – it’s not a drinking game, but better played not quite sober.

Another thing to consider is a live reading drinking game – very similar to the movie drinking games, but this time with a book or my personal favourite, a fanfiction – specifically My Immortal.

(Just remember to respect your flatmates and neighbours by keeping the noise down when it gets late and following securities wishes if you get a noise complaint.)

Something else on campus

Let’s not forget that Edge Hill campus’ Art’s Centre hosts a number of events throughout the year. There’s Free Film Friday, an amazing event held almost every Friday of the academic year that I have made use of many times; Open Mic Nights, held numerous times a year; and plenty of other performances and productions held all across the year.

Making Friends at Uni – It’s Easier Than it Sounds

It may seem daunting moving to a new place and having to make a whole new group of friends. Especially if you are like me and have lived in the same town all your life and have known your friends for most of that time. People say that the friends you make at university are the friends you will keep for life – in my experience so far, those anonymous voices are right, I’ve met the craziest and best group of friends during my time at Edge Hill and I hope you will too. But one thing to remember about making friends at uni is that everyone is in the same situation and most are probably as worried/confused as you are.

Be yourself

I know it sounds cliché as hell but it’s true, how are you supposed to maintain friendships if you put on a persona that is anything other than 100% you? Try not to make friends by pretending you like/do the same things as them. Trying to impress people who don’t like the real you is not going to end well, either you’ll spend your time feeling uncomfortable or they will find out that you’re not exactly who they think you are. Don’t worry if you meet people you don’t have a lot in common with but like them as people, there’s nothing wrong with making an effort to become interested in what they are interested in, just don’t force yourself! The best thing is to find friends who you can be comfortable with and enjoy being around.

Get out there

One of the most effective ways to make friends at uni is to get yourself out there and get involved in social activities. Societies are the best way to do this, Edge Hill has a society for pretty much anything from rugby to Marvel to dance to video games. Whatever your interests are I’m sure you’ll be able to find a society of like-minded people. I highly recommend attending the freshers’ fair as each society has their own table where you can talk to them and sign up. Societies are also heavily involved in the uni’s weekly social, which is often a good laugh and a great way to relax mid-week.

If drinking isn’t your thing The student union also organises a number of activities throughout the year that aren’t centred around getting drunk, just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you have to be left out!

For more information about the societies that Edge Hill offers click the link below.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/student-experience/clubs-and-societies/

Get connecting

Once you find out which accommodation you will be living in, you should be able to find a Facebook group for your halls. There you can ask questions, find out who your flatmates will be and begin talking to people who you will be living with. You can also add people on your course and get to know them before you meet them. This means there will be less awkward “hi how are you?” moments when you meet in person.

Hope you’re all enjoying 2017! 🙂

Friends vs. Studying

Now you’ve applied to university through UCAS… CONGRATULATIONS! Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and start focusing on what’s going to get you there!

You can also start to think about what the next three years will hold for you! Any student will tell you that student life consists of two main parts, social life and studying. At first it is hard to find that balance between these so neither are neglected but by Christmas I guarantee that you’ll have carved out a routine that’ll be second nature to you!

If you’re struggling to manage your time wisely and find yourself sat in the kitchen more than your desk- get the best of both worlds! Take your work into the kitchen if that’s where everyone is sitting so you’re not missing out and you can still do your work. You only know how you work best, if you’re easily distracted I really would suggest that you visit the library or the LINC building (which is open 24/7) for some peace and quiet.

If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with the work you have to do, write a to-do list with the date it needs to be done by and do a bit everyday!  Remember if you do need any more support you can reach out to your tutor, course leader or year leader who should give you their contact details within the first few weeks of term. These people want to help you if you have any issues or concerns, so don’t feel like you can’t reach out to them! You can also contact Student Services for support in more general aspects of university life (here) or you can visit the Student Union in the HUB if you need any advice throughout your time at Edge Hill!

Unlike being at school or college when you choose the course/subject you want to study you’ll find it so much more interesting and doing the work will come easily! So make sure you’re choosing your course for the right reasons!

Best of luck with your UCAS replies!

My big summer read?

So, during this summer I decided I needed to get my reading head on. During my first year I constructed a bucket list of must reads, combining a range of classics with global successes. During uni you don’t always have time to start a new book, especially with trying to balance your studies with your social life, so summer is a perfect opportunity to read your life away.

So far this summer I’ve managed to power through:

I’m not usually a big reader, but I have enjoyed the different writing styles I have read. Obviously since I am a huge United fan, reading Fergie’s autobiography was my favourite.

So, get reading while you can! Don’t forget to keep up to date with any information your course provides and good luck on your  upcoming exam results!

Until next time…:)

I. CAN’T. STOP. DAYDREAMING.

All I think about recently is travelling. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but with assignment deadlines and exams fast approaching, I need to get my head in the game (Cheesy blast from the past with HSM, am I right?).

travel

I miss America. Buy me a one way ticket to NYC and I’d never come back. I want to see everything and when I say everything I mean everything. I know that is physically impossible, but that won’t stop me from trying. France, Germany, China, Greece, THE WORLD, ahhh I just want to put my backpack on and set off.

But sadly I’m here, stuck in Ormskirk, reading books and stressing over exams… it’ll all be worth it, right?

Exams are stressful, there’s no two ways about them. When it comes to exams I have some useful tips which will hopefully help you out.

1- I love post-it-notes. Stick them everywhere you can. Shower doors, on your ceiling, all around your room. BUT, remember to look at them. There’s literally no point going to the effort of making them, if you’re not going to use them!

2- Cram/Don’t cram. I’ve always been told that you should never cram read the day before an exam… but for me, it actually helps. I don’t read loads, but revising key points actually relaxes me. If cramming is a bad choice for you, just relax and no doubt you’ll do great, whichever approach you take.

3- Take extra pens. The amount of people who used to arrive to college exams and either ask for a pen from not having one/ask for a pen from it not working, was ridiculous. Remember it’s better to have too many than too little, so yeah, take extra!

Anyway good luck on upcoming exams and college deadlines! I’m sure you’ll do amazing!

But for now, I’ll just plan for the future and pray that I will be ticking things off my bucket list before I know it. Fingers crossed ay.

Until next time…:)

 

My Mad Fat Uni Experience…

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Sometimes I feel like my life is like Rae’s… which is a bit of a lie if I’m being honest because we have very little in common. Unlike Rae, I thankfully don’t suffer from any mental illnesses, I don’t have a dysfunctional family (most of the time) and I don’t have self confidence issues.

BUT like Rae, I do seem to binge eat- a lot. I set goals for each year and I know losing weight will always be at the top, but this plan seems to vanish when I come back to uni. Uni can sometimes be long, dull days of which eating a full pizza (and not regretting any slice) makes you feel slightly better. This year (2nd) we aren’t going out as much, we aren’t messing around as much (indoor water fights/egg fights to think of a couple) and we pretty much know everything about each other, so hours of learning about everyone’s backgrounds are long gone. To be honest our focus has switched from the social experience of a fresher to knuckling down and working to maintain good grades.

Campus has many areas for you to eat. The HUB area offers a range of foods, including vegan and vegetarian options. There are shops based around campus for quick purchases, along with a takeaway and delivery service. The SU provides food at a good price and in some buildings, such as the education building and the heath building, there is a restaurant and catering facilities.

However I’m on a big push to not only kick start my diet, but to keep to it and actually lose weight! No doubt there will be ups and downs, but I’ll keep you all up to date on here.

Until next time…:)

 

 

 

Sleep, I miss you dearly!

When I left home I said goodbye to a lot of things that had previously been a constant in my life. Family, friends, home luxuries and the one that breaks my heart the most… SLEEP! Obviously the goodbye would only be for a short while, as I would be home during the Christmas, Easter and summer period. However I feel like I haven’t slept in forever.

I don’t want to put you off uni, but say goodbye to sleep. For 3 years you are going to be sleep walking around, wondering what it used to feel like to have sleep in your life. During my first year I think I averaged about 5 hours per night. I’d say you’re tired 30% from uni (attending lectures and seminars, along with the workload), 60% from your social life (you’re a fresher so enjoy year one as much as you can!) and 10% from, well, even I don’t know what I was doing with my life the rest of the time… but this will be my anything else category (gym, travelling, work, etc).

My first year consisted of cheap vodka, drinking games (it’s safe to say ‘never have I ever’ and ‘ring of fire’ were practically routine when it came to pre-drinking) and partying 24/7 (exaggerating of course, but you get the picture). Heading into year 2 I thought I’d get my sleeping pattern back, blaming drunk me for losing it last year… but this was a mistake. Last year I thought the drunken-antics/partying/’go hard or go home’ attitude was the reason I was missing sleep so much, but it wasn’t. This year a lot has changed when it comes to my social life. We still go out (not as often) but uni is definitely our main priority. I think this year, my sleeping has been ruined from studying and spending more hours in the library than in bed. I only hope that I find it again soon. Roll on summer 2015 so I can sleep it away.

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Dreading year 3’s sleeping pattern… but it’ll be worth it in the end, right?

 

Until next time…:)

Free Time and Student Life

The workload is heavy, but there’s also a lot of time to make friends and to have fun while at university. Here are fun things to get up to…

Societies

As an avid Harry Potter fan I have joined the Harry Potter society. I haven’t been able to attend every event, but they have hosted quizzes, wizard duels, potion lessons (or cocktail mixing, as it’s more commonly known), film screenings, and before the Christmas break they hosted a Yule Ball that ended with drinks in the SU bar.

City Centre

Being so close to Liverpool is great, and it’s always worth the short train ride if you want to go shopping. There are also museums and art galleries, and on hot days walking along the docks is really nice (and great for photos if you or your friends are photography-types).

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Walking back from the Tate art gallery my friend decided to take some photos…

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Me on a boat doing a bad Titanic impression

Night Life 

I really enjoy nights out and, although money is tight, as a student I still try to go out at least once a week. One of my favourite parts of any night out is ‘pre-drinks’. I meet up with my friends a couple of hours before we’re going out and we get ready together before playing drinking games and catching up.

free time blog 1Spontaneous Shenanigans

One of the most fun ways to spend your free time is by stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. A couple of months ago I was heading home from uni looking forward to dinner and a film in bed when I got a call from a friend asking if I wanted to come with her to an art show….

Next thing I knew I was dressed as a fairy and posing with a unicorn...
Next thing I knew I was dressed as a fairy and posing with a unicorn…

Uni can be whatever you make it, and if you’re willing to try new things you’re sure to have a great time.

Oh, and the pictures came back from the ball that I blogged about last week and I feel the need to share everywhere the evidence that I can act civilised…

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