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.
One of the most important transitions you make whilst at university is the transition from halls (or home) into a student house. For me this is transition is terrifying, am I even old enough to be renting an actual house?
There is a wide range of student accommodation both in Ormskirk and in Liverpool. When looking for a house for second or third year one of the first and most important things to do is to decide who you wish to live with. Often this will be people from your current accommodation, friends from your course or other people you know from university. My advice would be to really consider who you wish to live with as once you have signed for a property you will be living with these people for at least a year, so take time to ensure you know the people you’re living with thoroughly. The next step once you’ve decided who to live with is to look for housing suitable for that number of people. Many people focus their search by looking for a certain number of bedrooms in a property in local estate agents. Although this is important you should also consider other factors such as the size of the kitchen, if it is furnished and how many bathrooms the property has. You can view as many properties as you wish and I would recommend that you do so, you can begin to compare the properties you have seen and decide what will work best for you and your future housemates. There is often the perception that you should rush and go for the first property but this is not the case. As well as liking a property it is important that you work out whether or not it is financially viable for you and if you could maintain the costs as well as allowing yourself money to live from.
To help with any worries during the process of finding a house the university runs housing week in December. During housing week there are workshops that help with advice when finding a house, people are there to answer your questions and the off campus housing list also gets released. The off campus housing list is a list created by the university of landlords that are approved. The list is helpful as it puts all the houses in one place alongside descriptions and contact numbers making it much easier for you.
This link provides much more information on what the university offers in terms of advice on finding a house and can help with things such as:
- deposits and insurance
- paying bills
The university have also created a helpful guide to take with you when viewing properties so that you know exactly what to look for this can be found here:
Overall finding a house should be a fun experience and the university has a lot on offer in order to make this as stress free as possible. Take as much advice as you can get, take your time making a decision and ensure that you are completely happy before you sign up to something.
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.