My journey to Edge Hill and some tips for yours! ✈️👩🏽‍🎓📜

The Proclaimers may be willing to walk 500 miles, but what about 4,056 miles? Granted I didn’t walk from Saudi Arabia, but with it being my home for so long, moving across the world was pretty daunting.

Hi, I’m Amy! 😊 I moved to Ormskirk all the way from Saudi Arabia, it’s been my home for almost 13 years so it’s quite a big change, in routine, culture but most importantly, weather. ☔️

Moving away from home can be scary, even if you only live down the road. I’ve moved around a lot in my life so I’m kind of used to it. However, this was the biggest move so far for me, as I was moving away not only from home but from my family.

It feels like yesterday I was panicking about my personal statement and UCAS application and now I’m 8 weeks into the course and loving it. I miss home every now and again but I love what I’m doing and that makes it worth it. It’s hard in the first couple of weeks having to adjust to the new life and routine but once you get settled in and you meet lots of great new people you’ll start to see why people love uni life so much. It is very unique and something you have to experience. 🍻

Here are some little tips to keep in mind:

1.  Stay calm. 💆🏽 Your personal statement and application are, of course, important but trust in yourself and you will be fine. Try and get to an Applicant Visit Day or Open day and if your desired course requires an interview, make sure your prep for it! The interview process I went through was challenging and I was the most nervous I’ve ever been but stay calm. The staff at Edge Hill are so supportive, you will be fine.

2. Be organised. 🗂 The to-do list is never ending and there’s so much paperwork coming from all over, it can get on top of you if you let it. Grab a file and make sure you keep all the paperwork together. Make sure you meet deadlines for conditions and student finance and any pre-summer work you may be set. It’s good to get a head start on your organisation so you don’t feel too overwhelmed before you even get here!

3. Save and budget. 💰 Try and get in the hang of budgeting before you come to uni. You may save up a nice bit of money during the summer but it goes, fast. There is luckily a lot of work around Ormskirk, as there are so many little cafes and restaurants. Getting a job will be a big help but remember to budget. You may feel like a celebrity when your loan goes in but if by the second week you’re eating noodles three times a day, you need to look after your pennies! Before you move, maybe start to budget so you can get the hang of it!

Well, that is it for the first post of the year.
I’m excited to share my experiences with you all.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions,
we’re here to help!  💕

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Sean’s Random Encounters – Welcome Sunday 2018


Working on Welcome Sunday 2018 as a member of the Campus Life team gave me the opportunity to talk to many of the incoming first years at the university. You would think that this blog would be about freshers moving into halls. Or even a 3rd year returning to a new style townhouse in Woodland Court. But I have a much more interesting person in mind for this month’s edition of random encounters. Michael the student helper.


Image result for edge hill welcome sundayOn Welcome Sunday you will see about 40 or so students running around wearing yellow high visibility vests. Michael was one of these ‘student helpers’. He had given up the last Sunday of his summer to help students move into their on campus accommodation. I had the chance to ask him why.


Image result for edge hill welcome sunday‘I like helping people and I know it was hard for me to start out, so I want to put a smile on someone’s face.’ was the reply when asked why he wanted to work on this stress filled day. He also had no complaints about helping move boxes up and down stairs. ‘Someone did it for me, and i’m doing for them. Circle of life!’


As I thought about the day itself I realised that the student helpers around me were not tired, stressed or burnt out. They were smiling. These people had just spent a full day helping people move into their new homes and it gave most of them a sense of good karma. People like to help other people, and I honestly can say that the people that study, work and volunteer at Edge Hill University are some of the most helpful that I have ever met. The people make the place.


If you want to read more about Welcome Sunday check out my other blog here:

3 Tips for moving to Edge Hill University – Getting ready for Welcome Sunday



That’s all I have for you on this edition of random encounters but if you want to find out more about what to expect on campus you can check out Campus Life at EHU here. And please leave any questions you have for moving in below. You will get a personal response, fast.

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Balancing Work and Play

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a great start to term. Sadly, fresher’s week has come to an end for us here… hopefully we still have some energy left for real work! Balancing your workload with your social life can be challenging at times, so here are some tips which help me!

  1. Look after yourself

Most importantly, make sure you don’t get over-tired because that’s you can make yourself ill. Drink plenty of water, exercise and get some early nights! If you are a student living in accommodation on campus, you can get discount on your gym membership which allows access to the swimming pool, fitness classes and all the brilliant equipment.

  1. Turn to a friend

If you find yourself struggling with your workload, or anything else for that matter, there are lots of people to turn to for support starting with your friends. Most likely, your friends will find their work difficult too. The library located in the new Catalyst building also offers services, resources and support. For more information you can visit the Catalyst help desk or ask online.

  1. Treat. Yo. Self.

No matter the amount of work you are given, you should not be working 24/7. Make sure you get some down time too – take a walk in the local park, make a phone call home or have a night out in the SU or Alpine!

  1. Get organised

Poundland sell the ideal academic calendars and diaries for you to plan ahead and write in your exams, assessment dates and social events. Sometimes by writing a to-do list or seeing your weeks ahead down on paper, it can make you feel more at ease and confident going forward – this certainly helps me!

If you have any questions drop me a comment and I will do my best to answer! Speak soon,

Anna 🙂

Linking Education and Life – 5 Real Skills from EHU Computing


With the summer coming to a close, and a week before I move back to Ormskirk, I thought it might be a good idea to share 5 skills that my first year in computing have taught me. Before coming to university I had run m9Networks for about 4 years. I have always had an interest in computing, all aspects of it. Finally starting a specialised course really gave me some skills that I had been overlooking and EHU have influenced my professional career even before graduating. So here are 5 skills that 1st year computing at EHU have taught me and how I used them this summer.


Organization

In my first year of computing, and university in general, I was exposed to a need for organization. I have always been a mixed bag when it came to being well prepared. I have two modes, 100% ready for anything and absolutely nothing done. For the most part I would be the latter. University gave me a chance to really explore my organizational style and see how it makes life easier for me. This summer while working I was able to use this when working on projects with deadlines.


Determination

Something I pride my work on is my determination to get the job done. If I don’t know the answer to a question I will go out of my way to find the answer. Once again, starting university has helped me improve this skill massively. While working at one client site this summer I faced several serious problems that resulted in setbacks. The determination that I had gained while doing reports and attempting to understand more complex coursework in first year gave me the confidence to push through and surpass these problems that came in my way.


Planning and Drafting

One of my modules in my first year of computing was Digital World: Information Systems and Design. The code for this course if you want to check it out is CIS1108. This course focused around designing and implementing IT systems for businesses and customers. One of our tasks included designing a database and network system for a local business. During the summer I was tasked with something similar and was able to almost replay the design process piece for piece.


Networking

Networking is one of my main fields of interest and study. This summer I was involved in some large networking projects with several ISP’s in Ireland that I had previously been involved with. My first year module named Computer Architecture and Networks gave me some valuable information regarding standards and implementation of networks. While some of the information presented to me in this course was not new it does mean that other students who have not experienced networking before we’re covered. So if you’re worried about it being too complicated, don’t.


Security

Finally, the last skill that I was able to take away from University and apply it to my work in the real world this summer was Security. Being security conscious in the every more connected world is important. Very important. In my first year I was taught about basic security and how it relates to threats in the real world. While it is easy to understand and implement very secure passwords, encryptions and physical security the basics are often overlooked. In one of my installs this summer I thought back to my lectures regarding security and included a pamphlet regarding social engineering to the client.


These five skills; Organization, Determination, Planning and Design, Networking and Security that I learned in my first year and I can honestly say they have been a great help.

If you want to check out some of my work you can read about a UniFi network install at a large home in Donegal, Ireland here:

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Stories/UniFi-and-FTTH-Rethinking-LAN-s-in-Ireland/cns-p/2473683

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Welcome Week Wonder

Are you wondering what your first week at university will be like? I certainly did! Welcome week (or freshers week) is the time to make the most of new pals and new places. Welcome week at Edge Hill was beyond my expectations. Not only do you get to enjoy nights out in Ormskirk and the students’ union, you have the option to spend nights out in Liverpool too.

How should I prepare?

You can read about Edge Hill’s welcome week here. On your first day (welcome Sunday) you will receive your student ID card which will allow you entry into the students union on campus. You can also buy wristbands which will get you free entry before 9:30pm on certain days. Beforehand, I also made sure to have an NUS student card which makes entry cheaper on social nights.

How much money will I spend?

The welcome week outline gives you an idea of entry prices. Yoyo is a great app to get as you can earn points in the students union when you buy drinks from behind the bar. With points, you can select vouchers for food, drinks and Edge Hill merchandise throughout the year. If you want to give yourself a budget for each night, I suggest you get the cash out beforehand instead of relying on your contactless card (that can be dangerous!).

What if I don’t want to go out every night?

Of course, welcome week is not all about going out each night; it is about meeting new people and joining new things. Examples of different events in the evenings/nights are as follows:

Board Games

Free Film Nights

Campus Sport Pool Party

Kareoke

Roller Disco

The Stickmen

SU Quiz

What can I do during the day?

I advise that you have an explore! Take a walk into Ormskirk, use the train to get into Liverpool, or simply have a wander around Edge Hill’s beautiful campus. One of the most exciting parts of welcome week is the welcome fair on the Wednesday. This is your chance to learn all about what Edge Hill has to offer, join new societies and, of course, grab all the freebies! Other events are put on each day for you to enjoy such as:

Vintage Folk Clothing Sale

Giant SU BBQ

Campus Scavenger Hunt

DIY Room Decorations

Yoga

The Big Student Resale

When I think of my welcome week (which was waaaay back in 2016) the paint party comes to mind. My flat mates and I were dancing in each others sweat when we hardly knew each other… 2 years down the line, we are closer than ever. As cringey as it sounds, the people you meet will change your life and your university life will change you, SO ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Wishing you all the best of luck! Feel free to ask away if you have anything in particular you would like to know!

Anna 🙂

Driving to Edge Hill University – 400 miles in 8 hours [Part 3]

LK to ORMS


We’re coming to the end of the 4 part blog series on driving from Ireland to England and its been fun sharing my experience with you over the last 4 weeks. I think before I sum up everything that happened in the few days of driving between here and there I should give you 3 more practical tips for driving itself. Just like last week they pretty much apply to any long drive that you undertake.


Related image1. Check your car

Long trips can be hard on a cars engine. Make sure you take spare fluids with you. Water, oil, windscreen fluid etc. When you stop off take a few moments to pop the bonnet and take a look. If you don’t know how to check, read your cars handbook.


Image result for traffic report2. Listen to the Traffic Reports

Traffic reports on the radio will give you a good idea on what is up ahead. You can use this knowledge to pick times to stop and have a break while letting the traffic clear ahead. Make sure you also have a look at roadworks and road closures on your route. Google Maps is good for this.


3. Use a good sat navImage result for sat nav

It might be your phone or a classic Sat Nav. Make sure you have something that is going to give you good, reliable and constant directions to where you need to go. I use my phone paired with Android Auto. It works well.


You can read PART 2 of this blog here:

Driving to Edge Hill University – 400 miles in 8 hours [Part 2]


That its everything for part three of this blog. I’ll post more on my trip with in depth photos and advice tonight in the last part of my blog. And please leave any questions you have for me below. You will get a personal response, fast.

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

A-Level Results Day

Receiving your A-level results can be a stressful day for anybody. I remember that day for me a couple of years ago and nerves were flying everywhere! It might work differently for different courses or colleges, however I will share my experiences and try to give any advice that might help! If you have any questions/worries, feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer!

1. Check UCAS before going into your college/sixth form.

I have always liked to have a good lie-in… so when people were waking up in the early hours of the morning I decided just to wake up a little bit later! Unless I happened to wake up earlier, I didn’t feel the need to rush to sixth form immediately to collect the results, as this would make me even more nervous. But obviously, this is a personal thing and going to collect your results as soon as you can may be the best thing for you! The main point however, is to check your UCAS account first. This is where you can see if you have gotten into your first choice university. This will put less pressure on you (hopefully) when you come to opening your results!

2. Think about where you want to open your results.

Do you mind if you find out your grades in the middle of rush and panic? Or do you prefer to find a quieter space with a family member? Maybe consider opening them once you have gotten back to the car! Whatever you do… stay calm and focus on yourself.

3. Life goes on.

If you do not receive what you expected or what you would have liked, that is OKAY. How can we celebrate achievements if we never get drawbacks right? Wherever your university or career path leads you, you will realise the importance of focusing on your next steps rather than dwelling on the past. Be resilient and be proud of your grades without comparing yourself to others.

I hope these few tips will make you feel more at ease. Don’t let anything or anyone dishearten you – you are brilliant! Most of all… GOOD LUCK!

Anna 🙂

Edge Hill University 1st Year Review – Taking a look back

EHU 1st Year Review


Looking back on my first year I have accomplished a lot. I’ve made friends, had experiences and changed my life forever. In most of my blogs I try to follow the simple strategy of writing about things that I would want to have known when I started. So here is the things that I know now about first year that I wish I had known when I moved in. Hopefully they can relate to you and help someone out there.


Image result for ehu accommodationAccommodation: The accommodation on campus is some of the best I have ever seen. It might be annoying that the windows are child locked so it can get hot, but in the winter it’s amazing. Lots of space, underbed storage and a massive wardrobe.

 


Image result for edge hill campusCampus: Lakes, beaches, rolling hills and grassy parks. Campus ends up a lot more like a fancy holiday resort, the peaceful walks give plenty of places to stroll. I wish that I did more of this in the long evenings before winter set in. Don’t swim in the lakes though, £50 fines!


Image result for edge hill staffStaff: The staff at the university always have an open ear for students. In my first year I didn’t find a single member of staff was was unhelpful, intimidating or impatient. I honestly believe that their TEF Gold award is well deserved and the university is always ensuring that its staff is at the forefront of every project on campus, not to the side.


That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about EHU and first year then check out my first year blog posts here!

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Edge Hill University Exams – Checking 6+5 on a calculator just to be sure

Edge Hill Exams and Thoughts

Edge Hill Exams and Thoughts


Last Friday (12th of May 2018) I had the first and last of my exams for my year at University. I thought, even though its going to be far off for all you first years starting in September, it would be a good idea to share some facts and thoughts of mine regarding the exams.

The exam I undertook was for Computing and the 40 question multiple choice exam was underwhelming for me coming straight out of the Irish Education system where my entire grade was based on a set of written exams over one week, but the examination conditions themselves were still very daunting. So without rambling on here are they things that I.


The exam setup was straight forward. We were given a time and a place. Wilson Gym at 14:30. Turning up 10 minutes before was a good idea, and most of the other students had the same idea. We were given our seat numbers by means of a list suck to the wall outside the gym hall itself. Everybody was a bit nervous. It was our first exam of the year and for most the first exam we have ever taken at university.

 


The RulesFinally settled in and in our seats it was time to hear from our exam invigilators the rules of the exam. This helped, again many of us sitting our first university exam had us stressed. The rules were basic.

  • No phones or electronics
  • No talking or discussion
  • Stay for the first 30 mins
  • Stay for the last 30 mins
  • Jackets and bags at the back
  • Uni card on the desk

Simple as that really.


The examAnd finally the exam itself came around. We started slightly late but we were given access to a clock clearly displayed in the hall so keep track of our own time and ensure we managed it correctly.

My exam consisted of 40 multiple choice questions. We were given the exam sheet and a separate answer booklet to mark our answers into. The university also uses an anonymous marking system so our names were covered up when we finished.


All and all the exam went well. It was slightly stressful trying to study the material we were given for it and I recommend reading these blogs if you are worried about stress at University:

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

Exam time- how to have a stress free exam period

But we all made it through and finished our exams in good time but here are a few tips I can give you to make you look like an exam pro:

  • Read the booklet and exam carefully. Fill out everything
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if there is a problem
  • Get more paper if you need it. It’s free!
  • Bring your Uni card! Otherwise you will have to wait for the exam to be completely finished to be identified by someone from the academic registry.
  • Breath and chill out. The real exam is life.


That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about EHU exams, how they are run and even corrected you can check out this link for more info!

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Food Shop – Budgeting Your Money

For a lot of people, one of the biggest worries about coming to uni is money. Will I have enough of it? What happens if I spend too much in freshers week? How does paying for my accommodation work? All of these are things I worried about before arriving at Edge Hill, so I’m here to pass on some knowledge I’ve learnt in my time here.

Firstly, if you’re worried about spending too much of your loan before your accommodation payment comes out, you can arrange with the accommodation team to take the payment out as soon as it comes in, so you can’t be tempted to spend too much too soon!

Another way I learnt to keep track of my spending was to budget my weekly food shop. I was lucky enough to have parents that sent me £30 a week for this purpose, as my maintenance loan minus my accommodation fee wouldn’t allow for this.

£30 may not sound like a lot, but with some careful planning and shopping around, (as we’re lucky enough to have multiple supermarkets in Ormskirk)  I found out that it was plenty to keep me fed for a week, and I often even had a little left over for a treat or two.

Here is a basic break down of a generic weekly shop for me:

Aldi: I would usually use Aldi as a starting point, as it has lots of different food bits that I could pick up, such as sauces and salad kits, which I could then add to from Morrison’s.

Potatoes: £1. Sweet Potatoes: £1. Stir Fry Kit: £2.50. Instant Noodles (x3): £1.20. Cheese: £1.90. Apples: £1.30 Pasta Bake Sauce: 65p. Crisps: £1. Sweet and Sour Sauce: 85p. Spread: £1.90. Ham: £1.45.

Added together this cost me £14.75, about half of my weekly budget, and I now have the main elements of evening meals and lunch.

Morrison’s: I know would use Morrison’s to add to the dishes, and pick up any extra bargains I could see, as Morrison’s often have clearance areas, and these are great for finding meat, cheese and other treats.

Steak: £2.50. Chicken and Pork: 2 for £5 offer. Part baked baguettes (x2 packs): 90p. Pasta: £1. Pineapple: £1. Ice Cream: £1.50. Squash: £1. Milk: £1. Cereal Bars: £1.

Added together this comes to £14.90, giving an overall total of £29.65, keeping just under budget. Some weeks, this would be considerably less, as I wouldn’t need some items every week, such as the packs of meat, squash, and spread, leaving me some money left over for the occasional takeaway of fast food trip.

Hopefully this has helped some people, or at least given you an idea of what to expect when you come to do your very first food shop for yourself!