Edge Hill Is Chill

Most people experience pre-uni jitters, I know I did – a new place where I didn’t know anyone, living on my own and being the sole person responsible for myself. A step in the direction of adulthood! Something I know about myself is that I like feeling safe, and Edge Hill (and Ormskirk in general) definitely provide that feeling. The campus is a wonderful place with lights all around to keep the darkness at bay at night, as well as security that patrols and are reachable by phone as well.

In addition to actually being very safe, it feels safe too. Safe and comfortable. Once you get to know the campus, it’s small enough for you to be very familiar with the whole place. If you are a member of societies and clubs, you have a good chance of running into people from them or from your course when you pop down to McColl’s or SU Bar.

Living in halls may also bring about a sense of solidarity – almost like a second family. This becomes particularly apparent in second year, after you’ve chosen who to live with. The people who I’ve lived with throughout second year were a mixture of course mates, previous flatmates, and society members from the year above. Not everyone always saw eye to eye, but that’s to be expected when living with numerous people in close proximity. We always managed to resolve issues, however, and I think living in a student house is a very valuable experience.

In regards to the actual learning part of university (an important part), I can only speak of my experience with the biology department. All the lecturers are very approachable and provide an excellent environment to learn in – one that is very comfortable. We are treated as adults and as such are on first name basis, something I feel makes it a lot easier to speak to them when you have an issue or require assistance. Having a personal tutor who you can go to for support is also a wonderful thing that eases anxiety.

On the note of anxiety, the university provides excellent student support for numerous issues from anxiety to bereavement. All counselling services are provided at Milton House. I have used the services myself and can confirm how the staff make you feel at ease, despite it being a daunting experience for me.

I chose Edge Hill University as my first choice because it felt right. It felt comfortable and safe (as well as providing the course and teaching I required), and it has lived up to those feelings.

Moving Out Tips

It’s that time of year, you’ve finished uni and everything is starting to wind down on campus. It’s time to think about moving out, whether you’re moving from halls to a house, back home or somewhere totally different, here are a few tips to make the process a little easier.

Multiple trips

I’m not the best authority on packing light, last year it took two trips to take all my stuff home at the end of the year and even then, there wasn’t any room for me in the car! However, had I not made multiple trips home to deposit my stuff in advance it’d be even more chaos. My first piece of advice is to, if you can, take multiple trips home or even start bringing things back with you during Christmas and Easter. The best thing to do is sort through your things and figure out what you definitely aren’t going to use again until the summer and take them back with you, it’s as simple as that! This then gets rid of the strain of trying to take back masses of stuff at the same time and finding you don’t have enough room for it. This also helps you keep organised as you aren’t just dumping all of your stuff in the house at once and having to swim through mounds of miscellanea figuring out where to put them.

Categorising

Keeping your belongings organised is a must if you want to have a stress free moving period. I find putting my things into categories (clothes, books, DVDs etc.) and packing them accordingly in labelled bags/boxes helps a great deal. This way you won’t have to go searching through a million unmarked bags to find that one small thing you are looking for. It may also help to make a list of everything you’re packing so you can make sure you have it all when you arrive at your destination.

Big bags and boxes

It is so much easier to use a small number of large bags and boxes than lots of little ones that hardly hold anything. Cardboard and plastic storage boxes are best for this as they have a definite shape, making it easier for them to be packed into a car boot. Boxes also help keep your things from being damaged as they might in a bin bag, they offer more protection and keeps everything in the right place.

 

I hope these tips helped you some and relieved some of the strain of moving out. Until next time! 🙂

Ormskirk?

So whether you’re living on campus or travelling in from home, you’ll be passing through Ormskirk. Ormskirk is lovely! It’s one of those little towns that feels incredibly safe and yet still busy due to the number of students living there.

During my first year I lived in accommodation based in Liverpool and for my second year I lived in a student house in the middle of Ormskirk. I feel like I got the best of both worlds. On one hand, I got the crazy city life I craved for and on the other, I got my quiet town where I could enjoy the library, societies and less travel expenses. Ormskirk has everything you’ll need as a student. It has a range of super markets (so you can compare price on different products), a library, small pubs and bars to socialise in… and of course EHU itself.

Locals?

The local people are extremely friendly! I think it’s all about mutual respect to be honest. I find that if you give a little, you’ll get it in return.. for example, we lived next door to the loveliest old gentleman last year who we talked to frequently. Throughout the year favours were exchanged, such as taking each others bins in or collecting each others parcels from the post. It doesn’t sound like much, however small things are appreciated and in the long run it helps to have friends around you!

So, to summarise… ENJOY ORMSKIRK, it’s super cute and super friendly.

Until next time…

Moving, Cleaning and Job Hunting

I’m back home in Kent now, but I’m most definitely missing Ormskirk. I loved being able to walk into town within three minutes of stepping outside my front door, and I most definitely adored living with my best friends because that meant there was always something to do. And, now that I’m home, I’m wondering how on earth I managed to fit all my stuff into my bedroom when I used to live here, because no matter how hard I try there is absolutely no way all the things I’ve brought back from uni are going to squidge in here!

As I’ve just moved out of my student house, I thought I’d give you an idea as to what to expect when it’s your turn to move out. If you’re living in halls at Edge Hill you have to book a room inspection for the day you’re planning to move out (some landlords will also require this). A member of staff will come round and assess any damages (if there are any) and let you know how much of your deposit you should expect to get back. In preparation for this, it’s very important that you clean! The aim is to leave your room in the condition you’d like to find it in. This means cleaning bits of your flat that you often forget about, e.g. the oven, and those grimy little corners of your room you pretend aren’t there. If you’ve kept your flat/house in good condition over the year, and haven’t caused any damages, you should get your deposit back in full.

I’m still feeling sad about leaving uni, but now it’s time to knuckle down and find a job. I always thought I would immediately go back to Liverpool and try and find a job  there when I graduated from Edge Hill, and whilst that’s definitely still my main aim, due to personal reasons I’ve decided to spend the next year in Kent. It’s tough, because it’s not a prospect I’m particularly excited about, but it is a good opportunity to get some experience and save up a bit of money. It will also be nice to spend the next year with my family and friends who I haven’t been able to see as much of over the past three years.

Drunken antics left, right and centre…

Does anyone else have a routine when it comes to nights out?

Well, we do.

When the week’s over, admittedly sometimes during the week as well, we like to drink our nights away. We usually follow a set of unwritten rules, which go something like this…

We begin with decisions: What’s everyone going to wear? Where are we going out? Liverpool? Ormskirk?.. Right Ormskirk to keep costs down. Where in Ormskirk? Mustard? Nah. Alpine? Yes.

Then we start pre-drinking, more often than not far too early. We leave one by one to get ready in our rooms, then reunite in the living room to play drinking games. These games follow an unofficial order, yet we all have the set memorised for what comes next.

Ring of fire> Over the bridge> A card game which we don’t have a name of, but it’s my favourite> Paranoid (a classic for starting arguments from meaningless comments)… Then if it’s a house party, games like ‘Never Have I Ever’ surface. This is of course just and excuse to be nosey.

People start arriving. The house is rammed with unfamiliar faces. Spillages are occurring, with what feels like every two minutes, no doubt from Morrison branded vodka. Before you know it we’ve ran out of toilet roll. Someone always seems to be crying, of which no one knows why. The music is beyond loud. Drunken chats, people falling and horrendous singing is everywhere. On some occasions the neighbours have complained, which leads us to emptying the house and heading to town.

You could literally copy and paste this for every weekend entry and very few factors would change. Oh the joys of being a student.

Until next time…:)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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Flat 49 Christmas Tree

So Christmas is fast approaching and everyday we are getting more and more involved in the festive spirit. During my first year we decided that we would take a day and recreate Christmas, in order for us to celebrate it together. We made our own Christmas dinner, bought secret Santa presents and had a day of Christmas films and music. This year we kept up with our newly founded tradition and recreated our Christmas again.

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Year 1- Christmas Dinner
christmas dinner
2nd year- Christmas Dinner

But Christmas isn’t the only date fast approaching. UCAS DEADLINE is on the 15th January 2015 and if I were you, I’d get your UCAS form done ASAP. Who wants to spend Christmas worrying about personal statements? I wouldn’t.

When it comes to personal statements, I’d try and make it as original as possible. Personally I’d make a plan. Not only does this help for the structure, but it also allows you to include all your key points. Keep your paragraphs focused and try not to divert off onto random topics. Make sure you watch your word count and how many lines you have. UCAS have strict guidelines, so make sure you stick to them!

So, get UCAS out of the way and concentrate on having an amazing time over the Christmas break. The real work begins after Christmas making sure you achieve the results you want and getting into the uni of your choice (Edge Hill, obviously!).

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Until next time…:)

Secret Santa
Secret Santa

Finding a House

If you’re only just thinking about applying to university, it can seem like second year is way in the future, but I think it’s important to begin thinking about where you’re going to live after halls as early as possible. I lived in halls in my first year, and that was great because you just let the uni know which halls you’d prefer, they allocate you a room and then it’s over and done with. But if you’re planning on living in Ormskirk in your second year, you’re going to have to find a house because second year students aren’t allowed to live on campus unless you have a special reason.

Student housing in Ormskirk is quite limited, and as a result it can disappear very quickly when it comes to house hunting time. I left it too late when I was looking for my second year, and ended up in a house that was pretty far away from civilisation. It sucked because I felt like I missed out on part of the student experience. However when it came to finding a house for my third year, I was on the ball and had signed a contract for a house in the centre of town by November.

By the end of October in you first year, I would advise you start thinking about who it is you’d like to live with. I know it seems crazy because you would only have been at university a month, but hopefully you’ll have an idea of the kind of people you get along with by then. In November I’d recommend you start looking at houses online. If letting agents  and landlords haven’t started advertising yet, you could drop them an email asking if they have any properties with the number of bedrooms you’re looking for.  If you get all this done early, you won’t feel rushed in to signing a contract when you finally look round the houses and so hopefully you will have time to think over your options a bit more.

House hunting can feel a bit scary (although very exciting!) but landlords are very used to dealing with students, and so they let know everything you need to do, and the uni is always available to give any housing advice and to read over contracts.

Housing Woes

So I’m back from France and it was so lovely to get away for a bit but at the same time it’s nice to return to normality. It’s not long now until I go back to Ormskirk and I’m so excited! That said, there is a lot that I need to sort out before I go back.

This year I’m moving in to a new house and, unlike last year, my rent for this house does not include bills. This means that my housemates and I have to find providers for all the utilities for the house (water, gas, internet, etc). This has been a bit of a headache to sort out, but we were recently told about a company called Glide that does everything for you and provides each tenant with one bill each month, which sounds like it will be a lot easier.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to receive our deposits back from our house last year. There’s been a few disputes about it (as there often are with this kind of thing) and there’s been some last minute paperwork and such that we’ve had to sort out . It’s been a bit stressful as it always seems like there’s always something extra to do! However, we’re getting through it all and hopefully we’ll be able to draw a line under everything before long.

The house I lived in last year!
The house I lived in last year!

On a more positive note, I’ve still got some shopping to do to buy some extra things for the new house which I will definitely enjoy doing! I also found out this week that I will be working as a Student Helper on Welcome Sunday again this year. Last year I had the most amazing time helping new students settle in and I can’t wait to do it again, so for those of you moving in to halls on September 21st; I will see you there!

And finally, I know that it’s results day tomorrow and I remember how absolutely terrified I was when I was getting results two years ago. Don’t forget that, whatever happens, it will turn out ok in the end. Best of luck to you all!

Student House

Moving in to a student house is really exciting. Whilst halls are a great way to get settled in to living away from home, I think living in a student house is a brilliant next step. Choosing who you live with, having more responsibility for keeping everything clean, watching how much you spend on bills; it’s all quite different from halls but I’ve really enjoyed the experience this year. Rather than possibly boring you all with tales of my shenanigans, I thought it might be interesting to show you what my student house looks like.

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This is our little bungalow from the outside. I think it’s kind of cute.

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Our living room, somewhat tidier than usual. This is where I spend most of my time, normally watching Jeremy Kyle.

IMG-20140506-00187.The kitchen. It gets in a state every now and again but that’s students for you.

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My room which is one of the smallest of the 6 in our house but I love it anyway. I couldn’t take a picture of the other half of the room because I’m too ashamed of the mess but I also have a chest of drawers and a shelf buried somewhere under all the clothes.

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One of our two bathrooms (the other one is pretty much identical).

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Our garden: which is…garden-y?

In case anyone wants an idea of how much a house costs, we each pay £90 a week which includes bills, but obviously this will vary between houses.