Dealing with the Nerves!

Hey everyone and CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who have been accepted into Edge Hill University! I am sure you are going to love every minute of it. However, I bet some of you are feeling slightly more anxious than excited to start this new journey particularly if you are travelling a long distance to attend like me. I thought I would share some things that I told myself to calm my nerves about starting university.

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First….

You are not the only one that is going through this! As you are all aware, there is thousands of people starting university for the first time and are probably feeling exactly the way you are right now. I don’t know how many times I told myself this on the weeks leading up to moving and how much my family told me this but, it really did help settle my nerves when I really thought about it. You are never really alone in anything.

Second…

This is not a life altering decision. Once you have accepted the course you are doing it does not mean that you are tied down to that decision for the rest of your life. The great thing about university and Edge Hill, is that it opens up so many windows of opportunities for you to explore. Take these opportunities and explore them!

Third…

This will be the best thing that will happen to you. I know this seems a little dramatic but, for me, starting university was a big deal because I never thought that it would happen to me. Telling myself that going to university would be the best thing I would do really helped with my nerves because I then really started to believe it and to be honest, it really has helped me in so many ways and I can guarantee it will do the same for you.

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Thank you for reading and I hope that this has helped at least someone who is starting to feel the nerves. Again, well done on getting into University, you deserve this!

Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.

Dalai Lama

Maintaining Old Friendships in New Places

If you decide to attend university quite far away from where you were previously based, you might be worried about how the distance will affect your current friendships. Even if you do stay “close to home,” your friends might be going off to uni and be the ones who are far away. But being physically distant does not have to distance your friendships. As important as it is to make friends at Edge Hill University on your course, in your halls, and in societies, it’s always nice to keep in touch with friends whom you may have spent a good few harrowing years of your life with.

Video calling

Whether over Facebook, FaceTime, or Skype, video calls can be a great way to keep up with your closest friends from home. I’ve found that organising an actual time to call is the best way to make sure these things actually happen – otherwise, life gets in the way and you may end up putting it off or inadvertently being busy.

Gaming

If you and your friends share an interest in video games, then it can be a wonderful way of spending time with them, whilst also relaxing after a day of work. Whatever your preferred platform, personally I’d say microphones are a must. Being able to chat about life whilst you play is pretty great. Minecraft, Destiny, and Borderlands have been some of the games I’ve played whilst catching up with friends.

Rabb.it

Video chat with people AND watch tv. With Rabbit, you can have a typical video call, but stream shows, movies or games at the same time, so you can experience them together. Something I used to do with friends back home all the time, I admittedly haven’t used it much since coming to uni, but it’s a great resource that people should know about!

Visiting

Although it can be a tad expensive, and requires a bit of planning, visiting your old friends (or having them visit you) is one of the best things you can do to keep your friendships alive. If you book trains in advance, you can get a huge discount – even more so if you have a railcard (Santander 16-25 Railcard anyone?).

New Groupchat

After people move off from sixth-form/college, you may experience the death of a groupchat. This may be a long and slow death, the chat lingering on, with fewer and fewer people messaging, or it may be a swift and painless death. Either way, once you realise who has decided to move on, why not make a new groupchat? One with people who are still committed to maintaining old friendships.

Tips for Starting at Edge Hill University

Somehow, crazily enough, I am already A WHOLE 6 MONTHS into university. Boy has it flown by swipes forehead. However, I can now say that I’m officially settled into my newfound routine and day-by-day learning that the daunting and chaotic journey I have decided to embark on is actually one of the most wonderfully exciting chapters of my life in which I am yet to experience. I want to try my best to pass forward this newly established knowledge onto yourselves and encourage you to feel enthusiastic about starting university too!

  • Don’t over-pack and over-buy! – There’s always this enormous rush from the word of “GO!” to buy everything each and every online list has to recommend for you. DON’T GO OVERBOARD. Otherwise, like me, you’ll find yourself over cumbered with items that are still hidden in the back of your cupboard while day-by-day you’re still using other people’s oven mittens, selecting from a range of colours and styles stacked up on the top of the microwave. Pack and buy less than what you think you’ll need, this way, you’ll be spot on. I know IKEA can be overwhelming with amazing household objects you never thought you’d crave to own so badly, but I promise you, you’ll be better off if you put the item back down and walk away.
  • Budget – It’s super difficult not to imagine all the glorious items you could spend your student finance on once it arrives in your vulnerable student account, but throw those ideas out of your head right now and try to think logically about this. Either purchase a notebook or even make a note on your phone and simply write down each weeks budget and take note of your spending’s to keep on track so you aren’t left weeping away your sorrows with the globe; making tweets about your newfound poverty.
  • Don’t spend all your money on alcohol – You’d think this would be obvious, but freshers’ week and upcoming student events at the SU bar will get the better of you! I don’t drink, so I’m winning on this one.
  • You don’t have to buy every textbook. When you arrive at uni, it is very likely that (like me) you’ll be given a reading list and told to buy every textbook on the list, or at least two or three, but don’t fall into the trap! You’ll end up spending a lot of money on something that you’re going to read once. I wound up ordering 3 books which came to a pricey total of almost £80! One of them is even still wrapped up in its packaging… shh. Edge Hill’s library has EVERY book you will ever possibly need! If by some small chance, you can’t find that all important book you need, you have the opportunity to request for it – it should be available to you in no time! Paperbacks, hardbacks and e-books are all readily available in vast quantities!
  • Get to know your way around. Getting to know your way around will make you feel a lot more at ease! Take a trip into town with some new friends, the Edge Hill bus comes every 15 minutes and is free to use to students! Or, you’re only a 10 minute walk from exciting Ormskirk. Walk to your lectures with your course-mates! You’ll probably still get lost, but hey, you’ll get used to it in no time!
  • Join clubs and societies. There are so many that Edge Hill has to offer! There’s even a Scooby-Doo society for crying out loud. Got an interest and there isn’t a society that takes your fancy? Start one up, it’s simple enough!
  • Buy an NUS card. NUS cards only cost £12 each (for 12 months). You can use them near enough everywhere, you’ll get your money back in savings within a few days, especially if like me you’re an avid shopper, I can assure you! They’re even available for immediate purchase in the SU shop on campus.

It’s all going to be okay.

Reading Week

Last week was reading week (or independent study week if you want to be official about it). There were no classes on during this week, I guess it’s kind of the university equivalent of a half term, although, to my knowledge, not all courses offer it. If you choose to study English Literature like I do, you’ll definitely get a reading week. This is because the course is (surprise surprise) extremely heavy on the reading side. As well as powering through books, reading week  also offers the chance to get through any essays that have deadlines looming.

I used my reading week as an opportunity to go home to Kent (accompanied by all my books, of course). It was great to see my family again because I haven’t seen them since the start of January.  As excited as I was to be home, I very quickly started missing Ormskirk. There’s nothing quite like living with friends and the freedom that moving out gives you. On the other hand, I was more than happy to go back to home-cooked meals and a fully stocked fridge.

This week has got me thinking about when I first moved out. As difficult as it can be initially settling in to life away from home, I have certainly become accustomed to university life. ‘Normal’ life seems really odd now. When I think back to all the fears I had about going to university, even the little ones like sharing a bathroom, I realise now that I was worrying for nothing. I’m not saying that it’s not scary at all, and everyone is different, but for me, adjusting to university living was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

If anyone has any questions about anything to do with university (even tiny, silly ones) please feel free to ask me in the comments below.