Using Your Holidays Wisely!

Hey everyone and HAPPY EASTER!

I hope you are all stuffing your faces with chocolate eggs and having a nice chill day. However, don’t forget to keep up with all the work you have to do before going back to University.


As I am on my Easter holidays at home in ‘wee’ Ireland, I thought I would share my tips on how to use the uni holidays wisely and still be able to enjoy your time at home.

Utilise your time!

You have so much free time now that you don’t have classes and lectures, why not use this time to get ahead of the game before returning back?

Set yourself a goal everyday in terms of work

For example, I would set myself a word count goal on how many words I want to get written in my assignment. This way I know how much I want to write and then if I get over that word count, I can have more time to spend with my family and friends (and dog).

Use your time alone to catch up on reading and studying

Being away from the distractions of university and halls can be great thing if you want to catch up for time lost. 

Do the most work you can do early in the day so that you can relax with your family in the evening.

I have mentioned in a few blogs that I love waking up early and getting my day started. When I am at home, waking up early, taking my dog for a walk and then getting started on my assignments is the best way I could start my day because I find that I am way more productive in the morning. Try it!

Start to write out a study plan or an assignment writing plan for when you go back to Uni so that you are super organised smash the term.

Returning back to university after a long break can be quite daunting especially when you know you have studying to be doing or assignments to write. I like using my time off to start planning study sessions or plan out an upcoming assignment so that I have a head start. Image result for you can do it


I know that going home for holidays can be very distracting as you have family to catch up with and friends to see, but remember that Uni can be just as distracting especially if you are living in halls.

I love coming back home for holidays, and to be honest, for the first few days I do take time to spend with my family however, I always make sure to stay on top of my work and assignments so that I have less stress to deal with upon returning.

Hopefully this advice is helpful. I really do try to utilise my time off at home to really get into my work and assignment writing. It feels really good knowing that I am ahead of the game!

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

-Bruce Lee-

 

Creating a study environment

Hi everyone,

Something that has taken me so long to get right is finding the right place to study and somewhere that I can really focus and get on with my work, as I am very easily distracted! Obviously these are things that work for me and everybody works differently but I really hope these tips help!

1. Find somewhere you won’t be disturbed.

One place I definitely make full use of are the private study rooms in the library which are located in the new catalyst building. All of the rooms contain a huge desk space along with a computer. Being on my own in a private space really helps me concentrate as I know that I won’t be disturbed.

2. Working with friends

I know this is the complete opposite to my previous tip, but sometimes working with your course mates can really help you with studying, as you can all help each other and ask them to read over your work if you feel the need to.

3. Turn your phone off

Going on your phone is 100% going to put your productivity to a halt. Set yourself a timer for 30 mins to an hour and you will be surprised at how much you get done!

4. Listen to calm music

I have a playlist dedicated for when I want to concentrate and it really is helpful, Spotify and YouTube also have lots of concentration playlists from the ocean to film scores! Someone I went to sixth form with used to listen to the Harry Potter films soundtrack when she was revising to help her concentration!!

Thankyou for reading!

Ellie 🙂

Best places to study around the Ormskirk campus

If you’re joining Edge Hill in September, here’s a few of the best places to study around campus to give you a little head start. If you’ve not visited the campus yet, I would highly recommend attending the June open day as they provide a fantastic insight into what goes on around campus.

The Library – soon to be moved to the Catalyst Building

During my first year at Edge Hill, I’ve spent many hours studying in the library and just know when it moves over to the Catalyst then I will enjoy studying there too. It is more than just a library, the different levels of quiet were great for different types of work and it is home to so many wonderful resources that will make your university life so much easier.

 

The Hub

The upstairs of the Hub is a great place to study, especially if you prefer to learn surrounded by your friends. The pods are a fantastic space to work in, especially if you are working on a group presentation. You’re never far away from that all important mid-study snack too, with various food outlets available downstairs and even a Starbucks too!! Downstairs, the comfy sofas are great to wind down and relax or catch up with friends too.

Front reception to the Ormskirk Campus

Outside around campus

During the warmer months there are many very pretty places to go and study outside or to unwind and de-stress after a long day of working. From Edge Hill’s own little beach area to the trim trail up by the sports centre, there is something to suit many interests. There is a beautiful area just outside the Hub to study which seems to be a little sun trap, especially in the warmer months. If you’re looking to combine studying and eating then why not try out Waters Edge, where you can grab a bite to eat, watch the ducks as they swim past and study outside or inside, all at the same time!

 

If you’re already at Edge Hill, where are your favourite places to study? Drop a comment below to let me know 🙂

Great Places to Study on Campus

Hey all, I hope you are well!

At University, sometimes studying in your room can be a little bit distracting. Netflix is only a click away, your bed becomes a burrito cave of comfort… it can be really hard to study in your room. Occasionally, I can get some work done at my house, however, I often find it a lot easier to focus at Uni. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being that as well as there being less distractions, the resources I need to study are all there right next to me!

There are many different places on campus that are great to study, so I thought I’d give you some info on just where you can do this!

The Edge Hill Library

The Edge Hill Library is my all time favourite and most productive place in which I can study! The library has all the books you could possibly need for research and essays, computers for if you don’t have a laptop with you, tables to work at and also study rooms in which you can book. Not only can you book independent study rooms, but also you can book group rooms for if you are doing a group project and need a more isolated environment!

The Edge Hill library also has a help desk, so if you ever need help finding resources, or need help due to learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, that’s the best place to go. They even do screenings for Dyslexia if you’re unsure whether or not you have it.

They are currently in the process of building a brand new library for the students, which is going to be even bigger and better! So you’ve got this to look forward to if you apply to come to Edge Hill University!

Hale Hall

Hale Hall is situated within the Hub in the centre of campus. It is open for anyone to come and enjoy some time and sit and relax, but is also an amazing place to study! It’s not that often that it gets noisy, and the environment is generally nice and relaxed, so if you wanted to study it’s not a very distracting place to do so, making it perfect. Plus, it gets you out of your room and also the sofas are actually really comfy (if I do say so myself!).

The LINC Building

The LINC building has 90 open access PCs for use of students, and also printing facilities in case you need to print anything out such as coursework. If you’re writing an essay, or want to write up some research you’ve done, it’s always great to use the LINC building’s facilities!

At times, it can be busy, especially around deadline/exam time, however, it always has a good environment and the students are always respectful of each others’ study time, so there are very little distractions here!

So those are just a few of the places in which you can study without the distractions that come with studying in your room! I find that when I’m in the mind frame in which I’m easy to distract, or if I am a little lost in where to go with my studying, I like to use these places to get back on track with certain assignments and I find it really helps to get out of my room.

Edge Hill Library- The Font of all Knowledge

Hello all, hope you have had a wonderful week and end to April!

I have done a post on places in which you can study (which you can find here) in which I mentioned Edge Hill’s very own library. I only went into brief information on the library, so I thought I’d do a post to explain what is on offer and how great it is!

The library is located in the centre of the campus, across from the Hub. One of the best things about it is that for students, it’s open 24/7! During the later hours, you need your student ID to get access, but if you work better at night like I do the fact it’s always open is perfect.

Within the library, there are three floors. The floors follow a noise-based system; for group work or if you are working with friends and want the freedom to take breaks and talk, the first floor has no noise restrictions, the second floor is a quieter floor but not silent, and the third floor is for silent study. These floors are also set up in a way that compliments the type of work you’re doing. If you’re doing silent work on the third floor, there are separate desks which allow you to focus purely on what you are doing, whereas on the first floor there are bigger tables for groups of people to sit together. There are computers on the first and second floor, however, if you bring a laptop to any of the floors there are plugs for chargers if needed!

On the first floor, there are group study rooms which are available to book on demand. These are rooms which have a bigger table in them for working on group projects, and the bigger of these rooms have access to a projector whilst the others just have a computer for your use. These rooms are great for if you need to focus more than if you were to sit in the open area on this floor.

On the second floor, there are also independent study rooms available for you to book. These are smaller than the group rooms but allow you the peace and quiet you might need to finish your assignments.

The library has a vast number of books to help you with your studies. Each degree has a section within the library where you find books to help you with your research and assignments, and a lot of the books have been requested by the course leaders or students so they are very likely to have just what you need.

If you need any help academically, there is a help desk located on the second floor. This is open 8-9 during weekdays and 11-6 on weekends, however, these times are sometimes different out of term time.

Possibly one of the coolest things about the library is the stationery vending machine by the entrance. If you run out of glue, or need a USB drive or folder, they’ve got you covered! It has more or less anything you might need to study. Also on the first floor, there are food and drinks dispensers so that if you are working for a long time you don’t start to get distracted by being thirsty or hungry.

I hope this post has given you more of an idea on what the library offers! If you want to read a little more about the library, click here to be taken to the University’s page on the library and its services.

5 Perfect Places to Study Around Campus!

Hello all!

Now that we’re well into January, Edge Hill has kicked into study mode! Various exams and assessments are occurring currently, so I thought what would be better than to show you the perfect places to study around campus, as I think Edge Hill is probably one of the best Universities in terms of the variety of study-suited areas for students, each with their own atmosphere and resources.

1) The Edge Hill Library

Edge Hill Library

This is probably my favourite place to study, for a variety of reasons:

  • The library has a variety of brilliant resources- endless books (two floors full!), Windows computers for those who don’t have a computer/laptop of their own or for if you just want a change of atmosphere, printers and photocopiers, quiet independent and group study rooms which are suitable for getting your head down and getting work done, laptops available for rent and (possibly my favourite thing…) a vending machine with stationary!
  • The library is open 24 hours for students, all you need is your Student ID card so that you can gain entry! This is great, because you know there is a place where you can study for long periods of time without worrying about having to move somewhere else when you’re on a roll with your work. It also means that if you particularly like to work in either a busy or quiet environment, you can choose to go study in the library when you know it’s usually busier or quieter once you get used to the general atmosphere throughout the day.
  • As I mentioned above, the library has a variety of independent and group study rooms available upon booking. The thing I love the most about these is that they mean you’re not sat in your room where the urge to procrastinate is insane, but you’re in your own room away from the possible distractions of other students. This is especially awesome for when you’re only available to study at a certain time, but you know the library will be busy and you like to have a quiet atmosphere.

Recently, the University just announced that a new library will be built as of 2017, something which I’m sure you’ll agree is an exciting development and will provide even better facilities for you and future studies! See the post on this here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2016/12/new-year-sees-work-begin-exciting-campus-developments/

If you wish to read more about the facilities in the library and info on the resources available to students, click this link: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/learningspace/

2) Hale Hall

Hale Hall

Hale Hall isn’t strictly a study area in the way that the library is- there aren’t books and computers available for you- but I still love it just as much!

There are many comfortable sofas in Hale Hall and tables, as you can see above, and the atmosphere is perfect for quiet study. There are moments throughout the day where Hall Hale might be slightly busy, however, it is mostly quiet and although you are studying, the atmosphere doesn’t seem as tense as maybe a space designed strictly for studying, like the library, might feel. It just feels comfortable!

3) The Hub

The upstairs area of the Hub

The Hub is situated in the centre of the campus, so easily accessible to all! The Hub is mostly for students to grab food between lessons or for catered students to get their meals for the day, however there is an upstairs area that’s perfect for getting work and revision done. There are computers and a printer and photocopier available for any work you need them for, and although most of the seats available are fairly out in the open, there are some small booths which are better for getting more privacy to work quietly, with large touchscreen computers for your use.

4) The LINC Building

The LINC Building

The LINC building is situated very close to the library in the centre of the campus, so is also just as accessible as the library and the Hub!

One of the biggest reasons I like this building when I have to study or get coursework done is the fact that it has a large amount of computers accessible to students 24/7 as long as you have your student ID. It also has printers and photocopiers for your use too!

The atmosphere of this building is great for if you need to focus on your work, as it’s mostly quiet throughout the day, however, it can get busy at times due to there being so many computers for the use of students, so if you want to get work done I wouldn’t wait around!

Here’s a link to the University’s page on the LINC building for a bit more info: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/ls/learningspace/linc/

5) Your room!

A room in the Back Halls accommodation

Of course, if you don’t like to study in places like the library or just find it easier to study in the environment of your own room, then why not?

Personally, I don’t find it so easy to study in my room as I get distracted too easy and procrastinate, but I do know that some people find it way easier to study in their own personal space so this is always an option for everyone! It also makes studying more appealing when it’s freezing or raining (typical Northern weather), as you can stay in in your pyjamas and slippers, have a coffee or two and power on through your work comfortably!

So, I hope this has given you some good tips and an idea of the kind of places available for studying at Edge Hill! Thank you for reading 🙂

Lets Do the Maths!

Before I came to uni I struggled to find any real-life accounts or opinions of my course at Edge Hill, I wanted to know what happened at uni as well as what my course entailed. As my course is quite specific I struggled to find anything on the internet so just in case I’m not the last person to eve search for this… I thought I’d tell you a bit about my course.

So becoming a maths teacher isn’t as easy as what everyone assumes, there are no modules solely based on GCSE maths- if only it was that easy! Each year you take on 7 modules, 1 placement module, 3-4 maths based modules and 2-3 education based modules (more info here as to the modules variation and description).

The timetable in year 1 was spread over 3/4 days, and this year we are in lectures 3 days a week. This doesn’t sound a lot but with the amount of work that you have it’s definitely needed! The lecturers are lovely and very approachable, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t understand anything because they are more than happy to help.

In my opinion the first year of uni, is brilliant! The first year of uni is a gateway to your degree, it starts by building on the foundations of the knowledge you’ll need for year 2 and 3! As second year is also great as you’ve settled into uni, you have your friends and you can really get stuck into the work!

This year we are designing a research question that we will research in this years placement which we will build upon for a module next year (this project is my courses dissertation equivalent module). I am really excited to carry out the research and produce some results to interpret.

I hope this helps and gives you a bit more of an idea of what occurs on the course, if you do have any questions please comment!

Thank you!

Postgraduate Open Evenings…

This week I went to yet another postgraduate open evening (which was slightly far away but it was manageable), so I figured this week I’ll post about my experiences of them thus far…
Me at Birmingham City University - Looking very tired after a two hour train ride from Liverpool near Edge Hill Uni...
Me at a University Postgraduate Open Evening – Looking very tired after a two hours and 30 minutes train ride from Edge Hill Uni…

When it comes to finding the right postgraduate course, I guess the first place to start is the internet, as well as recommendations.

I made the terrible mistake during my further education years of not going to open days of Universities (other than Edge Hill) before actually applying – There was me immaturely thinking that all Unis are the same, and all courses are the same etc., so it didn’t really matter what I applied for! I was very wrong. As I went to Applicant Visit Days after applying, I recall being utterly shocked at how different the Uni Courses I applied for are in real life compared to on paper (prospectus, online info and all that), and not in a good way 🙁 I’m not making THAT mistake again! Henceforth, if I find a Uni for postgraduate study online, I will check them out at Open Days / Evenings as (cliche alert) it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Applications for the courses I’m looking at start in November so I’m well ahead of the game I suppose. So far feelings from the three Postgrad Evenings I visited have created mixed feelings – Just helps me weigh up which options to put first and last (I think you’re allowed three choices for Postgrad study, not five like Undergrad), and hopefully I can visit some more before applications open.

Uni A is one that I am very familiar with, is in a good location, received acclaim for the courses they offer, and I like the environment – Although the course they offer is only kind of what I’m after. Uni B was not amazing… The environment felt like a prison (lots of white walls, seemingly heavy emphasis on “structure” not “independence”), but the location is good. Uni C is the most amazing – Great location, great environment and they offer a course which is exactly what I’m looking for, although the costs of living there are slightly high…

Decisions, decisions, decisions… I’ll visit a couple more before November and hopefully I can find one with very, very few flaws. I already have an idea of what choice is primary or not of course, but who knows, those plans may change in time. No regrets here in making all those long journeys!

Vocational or Academic – Which type of degree is right for you?

I’ve been reading books on Teaching and I realised there are two types of qualifications – Vocational is like “training for a specific role”, and Academic is “life enhancement”. 

I know people who have regretted / not regretted choosing their degree because it fell into one or the other (or both) of these categories, hence this post talks about differences between the two to help my readers choose the best undergraduate or postgraduate options if that is what they are considering going into… I have previously studied a vocationally related qualification for further education, and my current higher education degree is considered Academic with elements of Vocational.

As a HUGE generalisation, qualifications with “studies” or sometimes “-logy” on the end (with one exception being some Technology BSc’s and BEng’s), as well as “traditional degrees”, are usually Academic based. Degrees from Music(ology) and Social Studies ect., to History and English Literature ect. are common in Universities. Academic degrees can broaden horizons and provide a more cultured mind. Hence for these disciplines, students are usually required to research, write and present innovative ideas whether in essays, presentations and / or exams. Whilst there are advantages in developing a well informed intelligence, please be aware of the state of Academia itself – (Wildly assuming those who study an Academic qualification want to work in Academia as a future career) It is common knowledge that professional researching can be an extremely rewarding work world, but the flip side is that those jobs are seriously few and far between!

Again as another HUGE generalisation, Vocational qualifications have a strong practical element as the aims of them are taylor made for an obvious career. Some examples include Medicine, Law, Engineering and Teacher Training (but not necessarily Education Studies). Whilst I’m sure it’s fantastic to study a degree where the post graduation future is not so foggy, I must stress how “narrow” these disciplines can be. What if when you are committing 3 or even 10 years studying a vocational discipline and decide it’s not for you half way through, even through there’s an visible career at the end?

I think the best way to find out if a qualification is right for you is to visit Open Days and speak to course tutors and students on that course. To me, everything is different in real life compared to what is one paper (which is why I am not going into differences between BA, BSc, BMus, BEng, LLB ect. degrees here, but I will do for the next blog), and frankly it’s not worth wasting huge amounts of time and money on courses you are not suited for.

I recommend choosing a course which is essential for you get to your future dream career.