My favourite 6 places on campus

Seeing as it’s the middle of the holidays and we’re relaxing (or trying to), I thought I’d pick a rather light-hearted topic for today’s blog post. Here is an (incomplete) list of my favourite places on campus! Given that I love the Edge Hill campus so much, it was incredibly difficult to narrow these down, but I tried my best!

6: Creative Edge – Whilst this building is one of my favourites on campus, I’ve put it at the bottom of my list, simply because I don’t get to spend nearly enough time in there! I’ve had a few Languages seminars in here, and have been lucky enough to show people around during Open and Applicant visit days. Creative Edge is home to Vibe Media, as well as some of the most fascinating equipment on campus. I rather like that there’s an ‘On Air’ light outside the studios!

Inside Creative Edge

5: The Sports Centre Rooftop – I’ll be the first to admit that the Sports Centre isn’t one of the places I frequent most on campus, but I do like the rooftop! I know other people might say that they prefer the roof on either Creative Edge or the Business building, but this is my personal favourite of the three. It’s a fairly quiet part of campus, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of student life. The rooftop leads onto the trails, which absolutely anyone can use for free. On a sunny – or even a not so sunny! – day, it’s quite nice to get some fresh air over there.

4: The Sunken Garden – Like Creative Edge, if I got to spend more time here, it would definitely be higher on my list! The Sunken Garden, or rather, the outdoor amphitheatre, is used for performances by dance and drama students. It’s another one of those quiet, peaceful places on campus that is tucked away.

The Education Building, overlooking the lake

3: The Education Building – With the rooms set up like primary classrooms, our very own Water’s Edge café and some really cool artwork, there isn’t a single part of the Faculty of Education that I don’t like. Except maybe that second set of stairs – and even they’re not that bad! Being in classrooms with work on the wall reminds me why I’m doing the degree I am, and really helps set the tone for the lesson that I’m in. During last spring and summer, I liked studying outside Water’s Edge when it was sunny.

2: The Hub – My favourite social space on campus has everything that I, as a student, need: Starbucks, a shop, a café… and free printing upstairs! I spent a lot of time in halls last year and didn’t really see much of the Hub, but I hugely recommend spending some time in there. Like the name suggests, it’s the hub of activity on campus. Last year, there was a wellbeing day where we had a petting zoo just outside, and we have different market stalls here throughout the week. My favourite is the pancake stall…

Central Campus: The Hub

And finally… drumroll please…

1: The library – Specifically, I like being in an individual study room on the top floor, closest to the education books so I can pop in and out if I need to. I’m the kind of person that can’t stand talking when I’m working. Each floor in the library has varying degree of noise, going from loud to silent as you go up the stairs. On the top floor, there is a section for people to work in silence, which is where I spend a lot of my time. However, if it’s late and I’m just trying to finish an assignment, there’s nothing better than booking a study room, so I can sit with the fan on, my headphones in, and just get down to work.

I’m sure you’ll find some of your own favourite places to study and socialise on campus when you get here; it’s a big place, and there’s plenty of hidden gems to be found!

Work vs Life Over the Holidays

It’s no secret that in university you get a lot of work, even over the holidays – especially over the holidays. It can become really stressful, you want to spend time with your family and friends, and make sure you get enough time to revitalise before your next semester, but you have that inevitable cloud of work looming over you. The key is to keep balanced, I’ve picked up some tips over my time at uni that have really helped me to keep calm and enjoy the holidays whilst also getting everything that needs to be done, done.

Make Lists

My trusty whiteboard at home

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I swear by lists, they help me keep my life together and keep me from getting so stressed that I end up exploding into a mushroom cloud of unfinished work documents. So, naturally my first tip is to keep a to do list, I find keeping one in the notes section of my phone is helpful, then I have it with me constantly. Lists also help you plan your weeks in advance so you don’t end up double booking plans or making so many plans that you have no time left to do work. I tend to make a written list, as well as the one on my phone so I have it up on my wall and I can take the immense satisfaction in ticking off the things I’ve done. It’s an added bonus that you get to feel less and less stressed as you watch the work physically decline.

Take time out to chill

Right. I can’t stress this enough, take time to enjoy yourself. I’m the kind of person who over works themselves, whereas there are some people who do the complete opposite. The point is you need to strike a balance between your work and your social life, by all means make plans with friends and family but make sure you have designated study times (the lists will help with this) that you can fit them around. Most of all, when you are out enjoying yourself, try not to think about work – that’s for later, you have this under control!

Motivate yourself with frequent breaks

If you struggle with procrastinating, like most students do, you can combat this by taking short, frequent breaks. If you are writing an essay split it up into thirds or quarters – for example for a 3000 word essay every 500 words you get a break and can do something you want to do. This will keep you going as it gives you targets to hit and the promise of a reward at the end. If you break your work up into small, manageable chunks you’ll feel less inclined to procrastinate. Don’t take on too much or you will lose willpower and motivation, even if you have to do it over a few days, it’ll be better for you in the long run.

Find somewhere quiet to study

My current less-than-ideal workspace

My home-home is always hectic as I have such a big family and my brother’s kids are often round when their parents are in work so it’s never easy to get work done. I find myself stuck in my bedroom with my earphones in trying to drown out the sound of Peppa Pig coming from downstairs – it’s not ideal! If you have the same problem I suggest, whilst at home you travel to your local library and do work there, it will give you a lot more peace and if you’re anything like me, if you’re in a library you’ll be less likely to get distracted. Perhaps even meet up with friends who also have work to do, you can form a study group which may keep you going when you start to feel like a work-orientated recluse. One thing I find very useful is going back to Ormskirk a week or so early so you can get time to go to Edge Hill’s library and get a silent study room so you can cram in a bit more studying before semester two begins.

Ashley Tuffin also brought up some great tips in this recent post.

Have a wonderful new year! 🙂

Packing, Packing, Packing!

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well this week.

I’ve just started packing some of my stuff up to move to our rented house in Ormskirk. I’m moving there this week, and I’m super excited to spend some time back there before university starts up again!

Of course I remember this time last year, when moving seemed like the most terrifying prospect in the universe. I was sure I would forget the most important things, and I didn’t know how I would handle moving away from the place I’d lived my whole life.

A lot of you will be in the same boat. I chose to stay relatively close to home so I could visit (and because I love the north too much to leave) but some of you will be moving quite far away, and it’s only natural to be slightly scared.

One thing I will tell you is that there’s nothing to be scared of! You might not believe me right now but in a year’s time you’ll be excitedly packing up to move again and those fears will seem like a distance memory.

If you do miss home the first few weeks though remember your family and friends are only a phone call away! I would highly recommend skyping, this really helped me when I was homesick. I got to see my family and my cat face to face and catch up, which makes a huge difference.

For those of you who are packing right now it can seem a little bit overwhelming. You might try to pack every little thing you’ve ever owned ‘just in case.’

Although it’s good to be prepared you don’t want to go overboard, and packing the essentials first is the most important thing.

Remember you won’t be dumped in the middle of nowhere. So even if you do forget that all important tin can opener or a notebook there’s always the option to buy it when you’ve moved in. This is also an opportunity to explore the town a little bit (you can even invite your flatmates/coursemates along) and it will save some valuable space in your parents car!

If you’re a little flustered and not sure what to pack then you can find my blog on what to take to halls with you here.

I hope it helps you a little!

Even for students not living in halls it’s important to make sure you’re prepared with everything you will need. That includes textbooks, notebooks, pens and maybe even a travel discount card to make your bank account a little happier about the commute to uni.

Quote for the day: ‘I enjoy the preparatory elements of travel – packing my bags and choosing my outfits – but my favourite part is getting there.’ -Dominic Monaghan

Until next time!

-Becki 🙂

 

Watch the Time

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all having another good week, the sun has finally come out today so I’m enjoying the sunshine.

I know this week means Results Day for a lot of you, so again good luck!

Once you’ve got your results and your confirmed university place you’ll be eager to know what’s in-store for you once you start your degree.

One of the major differences between college and university will be the amount of time you spend being taught and the amount of independent study you’re expected to do.

The time you spend in lessons at college or sixth form can entirely depend on which college you attended. When I was at college I was in classes for 18 hours each week, and it was recommended that we did around 9 hours independent study per week.

In my first year of uni I took three modules, and had 4 hours contact time per module (that’s just a fancy way of saying the time you spend being taught.) That time was split up each week into a lecture, a lecture workshop and then a two hour seminar.

Although the contact time can vary between different courses and modules, it’s likely your timetable will consist of an equal balance between lectures and seminars. That means that each week you get given an opening lecture to introduce a  topic and later in the week will have a seminar to discuss ideas and delve a little deeper.

The main reason why a university timetable has so little contact time is to allow you to do the research you need for seminars and assignments. As there is a lot more freedom with university assignments than anything you’ve ever done before the library will probably become your best friend in the lead up to submission dates.

The main piece of advice I can give is to not waste the time you have outside of lectures and seminars.

The best way to do that is to maintain a balance between classes, your part-time job (if you have one), your social life, independent study and your free time.

Make sure to put in the time to get the best results you can, but don’t overwork yourself and make sure you go out and enjoy yourself every once in a while! You’ll have deserved it.

Quote for the day: “A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” -Shelby Foote.

Hope you all have a fantastic week and to those awaiting results don’t worry, I am sure you will do amazingly!

-Becki 🙂

Results Day!

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all doing extremely well today. For those of you who want to go to uni this year then a very important day is on it’s way.

Many of you will be looking forward to (or slightly dreading) results day and now the waiting is almost over!

Good luck to all of you who are getting your results next week, I wish you every success.

Results day can come with a lot of pressure, everyone wants to get the grades they need to get into their firm or insurance university. And, after that, the reality that you will be headed away to uni will soon sink in.

The main piece of advice I can give here is don’t worry! With a little bit of preparation and organisation the steps from results day to your first day of uni will be a complete breeze, I guarantee it.

The main question you will be asking when you get your results is what happens now?

The universities you have chosen will have your results, and they will update your offer status on UCAS throughout the morning of results day.

Receiving an unconditional offer from your Firm Choice University – Well done! This means you have met the terms of your conditional offer and your first choice university is ready to welcome you in September.

Receiving an unconditional offer from your Insurance Choice University – The great thing about an insurance offer is that you have a backup university if you don’t quite get the results you needed for your Firm University. If you miss out on your first choice but receive an offer from your Insurance then you will be off to university before you know it!

Clearing –  Sometimes a university will not accept you if the results you received were not equal to the offer that was made. Thankfully this doesn’t mean that you have to give up your university dream! Clearing is a great service that allows students without an offer to look for course places at different universities, and you can still go on to start your degree in September. For more information about clearing click here.

Results day is when you find out if all your hard work paid off, so although it may have been a stressful year you can say you made it through, and the end results will be worth it!

Quote for the day: “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth

Hope you all have a good week and good luck with your results!

-Becki 🙂

Money Talks

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all enjoying the official summertime. Unfortunately the rain has decided to chase the sun away at home, and I’m really missing all the sunshine. However, I hope the weather is treating you well.

This week I’m doing a quick post to let you know about extra funding you might be entitled to while at uni. This includes bursaries and scholarships available to students, so listen up!

It’s always good to know if you can get a little extra help with your finance.

Your main source of funding will obviously come from Student Finance, which if you’re coming to uni next year you’ve gone through the application for. You have to reapply for your student loan each year (but it gets easier the second time around – I swear!)

However, a lot of universities offer scholarships, both academic and non-academic.

From sports scholarships that aim to enhance and support your sporting talent, to the Adam Bell scholarship that honours students who help out the university community in a significant way, there are many ways to have your individual talents rewarded.

For a full list of the scholarships available for students at Edge Hill go have a look here.

Currently Edge Hill also has bursaries available for prospective students, including a bursary that rewards high achievers for outstanding grades in their A level or BTEC courses.

The best thing about these scholarships is that they contribute to aiding your learning, whether that’s in the classroom or on the football pitch!

I’d urge you to check out some of these, you never know what scholarships you may be eligible for, and they can really make a huge difference to you during the course of your degree.

Quote for the day: “The longer you’re not taking action the more money you’re losing.” -Carrie Wilkerson.

Hope you all have a great week!

Until next time 🙂

My Weekend is All Booked

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all enjoying the nice weather, I’m glad that it has decided to stick around. It’s exam season, so if you have any upcoming exams best of luck to you!

This week I’m going to talk about reading lists, and give you some tips that might save you a bit of money.

Reading lists are super important at uni, no matter what your course. That doesn’t mean that you should worry about them though.

If you like to be super prepared then you can do some reading over the summer, but this won’t be expected of you in first year – especially if you don’t receive your reading list until you enrol.

When I got my first reading list I was a bit daunted, there seemed to be so many books and I had no idea how I was going to read them all or how I was going to afford them!

Tip number one: Only buy core reading books for each module. Most course modules will have core reading books, which are the main books you will need for each subject. There may be a list of recommended secondary reading. Usually these books are for specialised topics, so you won’t need to buy them in advance.

Tip number two: Hunt around for the best deals on your books. Although Amazon
sometimes has good deals on books, other sites often have the same books for cheaper prices. A lot of universities have a start-of-year book sale, when students will sell on their used books to first years. This is a good thing to look out for, as it will usually be the cheapest and easiest way to get all your books.

Tip number three: Never underestimate the library! If you’re having trouble finding a particular book, or need a specific book for an assignment then the library is the place to go. It’s almost certain they’ll have the book that you need, and if not then there are hundreds of online journal articles that might be of use.

Last top tip: never ignore a reading list! It’s there to help you with your assignments and exams, so make sure you’re aware of it. It will make life so much easier, and it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you first think.

Quote for the day: “So many books, so little time.” -Frank Zappa

Hope you all have a good day, until next time!

-Becki 🙂

I Can’t Afford a Ferrari

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all having another good week and enjoying the little taste of summer we seem to be having at the moment.

This week I’m going to talk to you about student finance, money and budgeting. Scary as it all is, handling your own money is a huge part of the university experience.

This was probably the thing I freaked out about the most when I left for uni, but as long as you do a little preparation then there’s nothing to worry about.

Most of you have probably finished your student finance applications and received your confirmation letters, so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to support yourself next year.

I’ve just reapplied for student finance this week too (it’s much easier the second time around I swear!) Since I’ll be moving from halls into a student house I’m going to have to re-plan my budget a little bit, and I thought I would give you all a few tips too.

As soon as I received my student finance letter I worked out how much money I would have for each week, and when I got to uni I made sure I never went over that amount. Depending on which halls you live in/ if you live at home then you might have more student finance left over after housing payments.

The main tip when it comes to budgeting is to remember everything you will need. Include money for books and academic resources, your weekly food shop, toiletries and travel money.

It’s also nice to put aside a little bit of your weekly allowance so that you can treat yourself every once in a while. I put aside a few pounds a week and then treat myself to Domino’s whenever I hand in a particularly tough assignment for example.

Another major tip is to not splurge your student loan as soon as it comes in. It may seem like a lot of money but it’s better to be careful. If you have a budget plan and stick to it then it gives you peace of mind.

I spend a lot of time searching for better deals too. My weekly shop might change depending on which supermarkets are doing special promotions. Hunting around on the web for cheaper course books is always a good idea too- you can pretty much always get them cheaper than you think.

Managing your money is nothing to worry about, as long as you manage it sensibly then everything will run super smoothly.

Quote for the day: There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means. -Calvin Coolidge.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day. Until next time!

Becki 🙂

Coming To An End

Hi everyone!

Last week I was talking to you about all the sunshine on campus, but since then Edge Hill has seen bitter winds, hailstone and even snow. It’s crazy how quickly things can change.

I had my last official seminar this week too. It’s a strange thought to be practically at the end of my first year. However, since I’ve been writing and editing assignments for about a week now I haven’t had a chance to think about it too much.

People will always tell you time flies when you’re having fun, and they also tell you that your university years will be the quickest of your life.

I have to say I fully agree with both of those observations!

A lot of you will probably be coming to the end of your year at college or sixth form too, and you might be wondering where all the time has gone (just like me.)

There are plenty of things for you to do though, when you finally finish for the year.

For those of you who haven’t already completed your student finance application then that might be something on your to do list. To those who have already finished their application well done you! Your university adventure is one step closer.

Your exams and assignments will be a number one priority, so I imagine there will be a few days of endless revision ahead. I wish you all the best of luck in getting the grades you need for uni.

Over the summer there is a lot of stuff you can do to prepare too. See if there are any interesting events happening on campus and come along. That way you can have some fun, meet new people and familiarise yourself with the campus.

If you live too far away for the journey down here then over the summer there will probably be a lot of time dedicated to making sure you have everything possible for the move from home to uni.

Right now it might seem like you have a long time to go before you even get to uni, but before you know it you will be at the end of your first year looking back at all the amazing memories you have made (and feeling super proud you beat all those stressful assignments.)

Quote for the day: “How did it get so late so soon?” -Dr Seuss

Hope you all have another excellent week, I shall speak to you again soon.

Until next time 🙂

Holidays and Egg-xaminations

Hi everyone!

It’s the first day of spring today, so I hope that means the weather will start to pick up soon.

As term has just finished for a few weeks I’m back at home, but I can’t wait to be back on campus in a few weeks. I’m sure that it will look beautiful when spring is in full force. And there may be a better chance of seeing a rabbit around campus, just in time for Easter!

Many of you will have a few weeks off now too, and I am sure you’re all looking forward to the break.

I hope you have a great time, and recharge all your energy for the next term. I feel like we will definitely all need that energy sooner rather than later.

The Easter holidays mean a few things. One of them is the influx of chocolate in your life, another is that the examination period is not far away.

Most of you will have already started thinking about exams and/or deadlines that you have. Some of you won’t have exams at all (you lucky people.) And there will be some of you who haven’t yet realised how close the exam period is.

Let’s face it, the holidays always fly by. But it’s a good time to just make sure you’re prepared for the next few weeks.

I have an exam at the start of May (which seems further away than it is in reality) so I’m using the Easter holidays to do a little extra work. That way I won’t be drowning when I get back to uni in April and realise how much I need to revise.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a break and enjoy your holidays. Make sure that you do! Just don’t spend two weeks ignoring all the work you should be doing, for the sake of your own sanity!

Plus, if you’re lacking motivation to work you can always reward a few hours studying with an Easter egg. It will definitely help slay that procrastination!

Quote for the day: “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” -Abraham Lincoln

Hope you all have an amazing week! Until next time 🙂