Paper-less Notes

Let’s just start by saying that I am a huge stationery nerd. New notebooks, more pens, cute rubbers and pom-pom pencils. I live for it. When I first found out I was going to university, I raided my favourite stationery shops to make sure I had the cutest notebooks with matching folders and brand new pens. However, by the end of my first year, I hadn’t used half of it.

Since starting university, I have become really interested in sustainability and making better choices as a consumer. I’m not here to shove climate change down your throat. All I ask is that you take what I say on board and maybe think about it when it comes to buying another notebook.

When it came to packing up my room, I had bin bags full of paper and it was all useless. I made a pledge to myself that during my second year, I would aim to only fill a shoebox. So far, I am proud to say, I have only used one notebook and haven’t printed out anything for my lectures/seminars. I’m going to go through below what I’ve been using this year to remain paper-less.

Google Drive / Google Docs / Google Slides

Before this year, I had never used anything to do with Google. I was happy with my Microsoft Word and pen drive. However, after nearly losing ALL my work from the first year, I decided to ditch the pen drive and go Google. I use Google Docs for my lecture and seminar notes, reading and planning my assignments. I’ve started downloading journal articles onto my Google Drive, meaning I can highlight and make notes straight on to it.

Google Drive means you can keep a live version of everything in one place. Instead of having to put things on and off your USB all the time. It also means you can collaborate with a study group and all work together on something. I have a couple of these collabs on the go right now and it’s great being able to share ideas, work together in a live document.

I still use a notebook from time-to-time to keep to-do lists or important dates. Sustainability isn’t about ditching everything that’s bad for the world, it’s about making better choices. In this instance, it’s also a more effective and efficient tool for university. I hope you enjoyed this and try it out!

Thank you for reading!

Amy

Managing Your Workload

Your workload can differ depending on your course. I always remember being told ‘your course sounds easy‘ at the start of the year, followed by ‘I’m so sorry for what I said‘ towards the end. University is funny. One day you can wake up and be on top of everything, but by the end of the day, you have another eight things to add to your to-do list. That’s just how it is, and being able to manage your workload effectively is important.

Set yourself realistic targets

Mindset is everything. If your to-do list is booming, don’t overwork yourself trying to get it all done at once. Set yourself two or three things you would like to achieve in a certain time period (preferably those of top priority), but be strict with these so that if for some reason you don’t manage to get them done, you still have time to spare.

Work together

The first assessment of this year was a really nice presentation that we all, of course, made much harder for ourselves! For this, myself and two other girls sat in a study room at the university and bounced ideas off each other, leaving with a solid plan to work on. I cannot recommend this enough. It’s really nice working in study groups, so if you have the opportunity to do, definitely do it.

The Five Ps

My friend has always said to me: ‘Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance’. In terms of assignments, I’ve realised that getting my reading done as quickly and efficiently as possible has really helped my workload. Reading usually takes up most of my time. I would also recommend getting a weekly planner and set yourself your own study timetable around your lectures and seminars. By doing this, you can plan in some time for yourself too.

Edge Hill is the most supportive university and this year I have struggled with the workload, mental health and accommodation. Every tutor, advisor or support assistant has listened to me and done their best to help – and I feel much better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s everywhere!

Thanks for reading.

Amy

Second-Year Accommodation

As Housing Week as recently passed, I thought I would talk about my housing experience during my second year of university.

Who?

This year I am living with three other girls from my course. Two of them are in classes at university and we looked for a 4-bed house. House sizes can go up to 12, although I feel that somebody told me about a 16-bed house but I could have just been very sleepy that day. I wanted to stay small, and luckily these girls felt the same. You may also find that you want to live with the same people you did in halls, and that’s also fine. My advice would be to get a plan together and stick to it. Otherwise, it might end a little messy.

When?

We started looking very early, I think around November time. I wouldn’t recommend this, but if you want to get it sorted sooner rather than later than you can look around and get it sorted before Christmas. It’s doable. A slight caution to look out for is that some lettings agency can be pushy and a little pressuring on you to sign contracts. Don’t sign anything until you have read the contract, looked at the payments, seen the house and talked to someone knowledgable about the contract. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either, check over everything.

Where?

The house we are in is just lush. I’m really happy we managed to get this one and I don’t regret it. The only downside is that it’s a little too far from university for my liking. It’s not too far, a 25-minute walk -which is fine, it’s just rough when it’s cold/rainy/windy. Apart from that, the house is great.

How?

We went through a lettings agency in Ormskirk that has student houses. We viewed a few houses but none were as good as the one we are in now. Once we were set on that we emailed to say that we would like to live there. They operate on a first-come service and we were told another group had asked before us. We waited to hear and they never turned up to sign the contracts so the house was ours if we wanted it. Hoorah.

Anything else:

Just don’t rush. I know in my experience, we did rush and we ended up with a nice house – but if I could do it again, I’d have liked to be closer.

As always, if you have any questions please drop them below.

Amy

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

University – Expectation VS Reality

Hey everyone! I hope you are having an amazing week whatever you are doing. I thought I would write a blog talking about people’s expectations of university versus the reality of what that expectation is like. I know I am not the only one who binged watched so many ‘moving into uni!’ videos and vlogs on YouTube and somehow built up a somewhat unrealistic image of what life as a university student would be like. 

So, here are a few that I have thought about and I will hopefully be able to do more of these in the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Freshers Flu!

 

Expectation – By the end of your freshers week you will not be able to get out of bed and you will have to buy approximately 16 boxes of tissues and live off headache, cold and flu relief. 

Reality – Not EVERYONE manages to catch this dreaded disease and this is not because they have the immune system of a robot. These people look after themselves on a night out by resting, drinking lots of fluids and eating well eg fruits and wholesome foods. I am one of the many who managed to dodge this expectation and if you are also one of the lucky ones maybe try not to rub it in sufferers faces. 

But seriously, look after yourself during freshers and you should be fine.

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Being Broke 24/7!

 

Expectation – you will only live on pot noodles from Aldi, bread and if you are really lucky you could possibly afford to treat yourself to actual Heinz Ketchup. You will also never have the money to enjoy yourself and if you do, it will only last you a day so spend very wisely.

Reality – Okay, I will admit that life as a student can be really really hard and yes, there will have to be a certain level of budgeting if you want to make life easier for yourself and there will be sacrifices to make but, you will most likely manage just fine if you try and save up before entering student life and spread the costs more evenly. This means you can go out and enjoy yourself with friends and order yourself that pizza after a long night out.

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Constant Partying!

 

Expectation – Monday night after class, flat party. Tuesday night maybe into Wednesday morning before lectures, night out. Thursday, another flat party. Friday, big night out and the weekend? More partying and going out all the time. 

Reality – Yes, you may have more than one night out during the week, especially towards the start and end of your year at university but, all the time? No way. Some nights you may just want to have a simple movie night with your pals, you may also just want to hang out in your room and there is also the chance you will have several game nights that involves playing  the board game that destroys families and relationships but, you will most likely not be constantly partying or surrounded by those who do.

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That is all the expectations versus reality situations for this blog. I would just like to say that these are purely based off of my experiences with university and I am aware that others and your own experiences could be very different. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, Lauren. 

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

-Alexander Pope-

First Year – An Overview

Okay, I am not going to bore you with the whole ‘it’s true what they say, first years goes by in a blink of an eye.’ because, you will soon find out that this is very true.

I hope you enjoy this blog of my first year at Edge Hill University in three sections that I felt were the most prominent in my year and what I thought would be the most challenging. However, looking back at my first year, I have realised that these sections of my life were much more simple and less stressful than I thought they would be.


At first, I thought that I would never, EVER make any new friends because it felt that all my friends had come naturally to me and I never had to go out of my way to make friends. However, looking back at my year, I realised that all my friends I have made at university have come naturally without me even knowing it. I want to make this point first because I know how scary the prospect can be. The best advice I can give you is to BE YOURSELF! You will attract the right people into your life like I did.

I even realised this year as a ‘newbie’ to university, my independence has grown so much. For example, I can cook! Who would have guessed that I was able to keep myself alive with the meals I make? There is obviously more to becoming independent like; washing your own clothes, shopping for food and getting yourself up in the morning but, I am so happy that I learned what I did about living away from my mum and dad because, I can already tell that it will/has benefit me in the future.Image result for independence

Assignments! They sounded scary to me at first and, truth be told, I did give myself a headache on the day I was getting my first results back but that is just me being dramatic. I quickly realised that if I really organised myself, assignments and deadlines would not be an issue and that is exactly what I did.

I don’t mean to boast but I did meet my deadlines often long before they were due and I still achieved great results…I’m just saying. Organisation in first year  is key.Image result for i'm just saying gif

 


I hope that this helped calm your nerves about starting first year. I found that looking back on my time at university, I definitely over-thought these things and I should have been more relaxed about making new friends, living on my own and completing assignments. However, I also found that being myself and not trying to fit in with the crowd really benefited me and I hope it will for you to.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

-Oscar Wilde-

How to prepare for Primary Education with QTS at Edge Hill 👩🏽‍🎓

Illustration+-+Bunting+(Mint)

Hello!

September is edging closer and closer, and while I urge you to enjoy this time off as much as possible it is important to keep in mind that you are soon going to be a university student and organisation is absolutely paramount. If you are going into the Primary Ed course then look out for summer tasks as last year we had a pre-course summer booklet to work through. I am unsure if this is the case this year but do check. We did use them in our first few weeks – especially the reading.

Read read read:
Whether or not you have a pre-course booklet or whether or not it is included in any task you receive, you must read some children’s books over the summer.  It was part of our summer task but then ended up being part of a requirement for the English subject: to read 10 children’s books. If you can get a head start during the summer then do that, you will thank yourself later – trust me!
These are some great ones to start with:

Books

Get onto Pinterest and start looking at teaching ideas:
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest then I may be about to change your life. Pinterest is a sort of social network where you can find inspiration and ideas for hobbies and stuff, however, if you just type in ‘teaching’ you will be bombarded by hundreds and thousands of teaching ideas. It is important not to become a ‘Pinterest teacher’ where you can’t make anything up from your own creativity but it’s great to go on and find some inspiration.  I would have a look before you come on the course and before your first placement!

Click the image below to have a quick look at some ideas ☺️

Pinterest Screenshot

Social Media and EduTwitter:
When you arrive in September the tutors will talk to you about your social media presence and how it all needs to be privatised and carefully checked to ensure you aren’t being unprofessional. I can’t stress how important this is because teachers from your placement will absolutely check your social media before you arrive so making a good impression is important.

Tutors will also direct you to Twitter, EduTwitter to be precise. This is kind of like Pinterest but on a different format. It’s teachers helping other teachers. There is a lovely welcoming atmosphere to trainees, which to be honest with you I didn’t expect, but they all want to help. So set yourself up a new professional account and get involved in teacher twitter. Follow me on Twitter if you are interested and I will contact you with more advice in this area!
https://twitter.com/EHUMissWindross

Twitter Screenshot

Thanks for reading! Hope to see you in September ☺️

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Turning the Bad into Good – How to deal with being upset, sad or angry as a Student

Turning the bad into good.


Being a student is great. You get your freedom, you grow up and you meet interesting new people in a new and exciting place. With all of this going on you might be forgiven for thinking that there wont be a moment where you feel down, or something really gets on your nerves and makes you upset to the point where you really are unsure of what to do.  We’ve almost all been there, and today I want to talk about three ways that Edge Hill supports you, and how you can deal with these feelings.


Speak to someone

One of the best ways to overcome any problem is to share it. The reason that people say a problem shared is a problem halved is because there really is some truth behind it. Edge Hill offers counselling services on campus as well as teams of people ready to help with any specific issue such as learning, money, accommodation and your general well being.


Write it down

Having a pen and paper in hand is a great way to put those thoughts somewhere not inside your head. If you and write about it you have a better chance of thinking it through and finding a solution to your problem. But never keep it just to yourself. It can build up and cause yourself some serious problems.


Put it in context

The last, and hardest of my tips, is to put whatever is going on in your life into context. It is important to take everything into consideration where you are feeling down. Reminding yourself that its not the end of the world and putting it into the context of the rest of your life can remind you that its not all bad, and things will always get better.


That’s all for this blog but if you want more tips for dealing with stress at University check out my other blog here.

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

And if you want more free and great advice 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!

Advice for starting University in September 👩🏽‍🎓

I had now officially finished my first year and it’s so strange to me that I’m technically no longer a first-year student. I was reflecting on everything that has happened over the past year and I’d like to offer some advice if you are starting out this September…

Be prepared, but don’t burn yourself out:
I came to University as a 22-year-old, so the course and everything I was doing was something I was and am desperately passionate about. This meant that the run-up to Septemeber I was doing all  I could to make sure I had everything ready and even the freshers week I was in the library trying to get ahead. As conscientious as this was, you will burn out quickly. Pace yourself.

Get involved:
The wonderful thing about moving to university is that you basically get a fresh slate. All those things you said you’d do at the start of the year you can start again now! I started doing Yoga again and went to the gym and I got involved with a network of students looking to tackle sustainability in schools. There are so many amazing opportunities here at Edge Hill and I really urge you to get involved as much as you can at the start of the year. Your timetable may get busy and you may not be able to do everything you want but at least you can find what fits right with you.

Don’t bring too much:

I made this mistake. I brought so much with me to Uni, but it was unavoidable for me, if I had a choice I would have left half of it at home. It’s nice to bring some things from home to keep things cosy but too much just makes the room feel small and you may start to feel a little cramped. Also, in term of the communal area: get onto Facebook groups. They were so helpful before starting University. Our flat were communicating through Facebook Messenger before we started and we all talked about what we were going to bring. Nobody needs 8 bottles of Fairy Liquid in the first week, do they!

Lastly…
When people said to me: ‘You will have the time of your life and meet friends for life’ I always rolled my eyes but now, I can’t agree more. I definitely have met people that I’ll have for life and that first year, as fast as it was, will be once I cherish forever. My point here is to enjoy yourself as much as you can. Some days may be more stressful than others but those days just make you appreciate the good even more.

I hope, if you’re coming to Edge Hill in Septemeber, that you are as excited as I was because trust me, it is everything I imagined and more! Hope to see you soon!

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End of Year 2 Review

Just like that I’ve come to the end of my second year at Edge Hill University, something which I can’t quite believe yet, no idea where all the time has gone.

As i finished up the last of my work for the year it suddenly occurred to me that I only have one year left before I have to venture out into the real world, both a terrifying and exciting prospect, (mostly the former).  Anyway, since I have finished it’s probably the best time to do a review and to give a taster of what’s to come if you have just finished first year.

Second year for me brought about a new set of modules, three compulsory and three to choose from a selection. Looking back I am reasonably happy with my module choices opting for a balance of practical and theory work, my only advice would be to pick what you think you can do best in, read module handbooks etc. in order to make the best decision.

The biggest thing I had to look out for was the fact all my coursework was now actually counting towards my grade, 40% to be exact. I would have preferred a 50/50 split but oh well. First year at least allowed me to in a sense practice the different types of coursework I would need to do so when this year came around I knew what I was doing which was definitely helpful. Overall I am satisfied with the work I submitted and urge anyone looking forward to make sure you are as well because you will feel a lot better knowing you put the effort in no matter how it turns out.

Overall I found my second year to be a reasonably low-key affair as there wasn’t anything particularly crazy going on within it. I was mostly just focused on preparing for next year and graduation and getting my work done, I also secured a job within the SU Subway which is an extra bit of income and experience. I think there’s an expectation to do so much all the time as a student, when really as long as you achieved what you wanted to and feel you spent your time well during the year then does the rest really matter? I suppose it’s up to you. Till next time!thinking

Jordan