What I’m up to over the summer! ☀️

Summer is finally here!

I can’t tell you how nice it is to finally get some time to myself and rest. The first year of university has been absolutely amazing but also incredibly tiring and it’s nice to take a breather and relax for a bit. I flew back out to Saudi Arabia to spend some time with my Dad. Although I’m waking up at 2pm some days I am also still working and doing things that will support my course.

While I am out in Saudi I have set up a tutoring service for primary level. This is really nice to do as it’s flexible to you and your plans but you are gaining vital experience while you are out of training.

If you are studying Primary Education with QTS it may be a good idea to volunteer at primary schools or try and if there are any summer schools on near you. Head over to this website to see if there are any around your area. It’s not a requirement but it will help you enormous amounts to continue working with children and learning more about great teaching. It also gets you away from Netflix for a bit.

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I am also finally getting to read what I want to read. No more journal articles, textbooks or children’s books. Well, I’m still reading a  few children’s books to add to my reading journal (which again, you should do if you are joining Primary Ed in September) but I’m finally getting to read my own books! Yay!

I am working out here and I’m working a lot because my student loan doesn’t cover the fees for the house I’m living in so I’m saving up to make sure I make my payments and hopefully I can save a little more for myself. I’m hoping to do some driving lessons and my test this year so there may be a post on that too if that is something you’re interested in doing too.

Most importantly, I am chilling out. I am binge watching everything I’ve been wanting too and enjoying the lie-ins. It’s really great spending time with family and friends. I’m going to give myself 6-7 more weeks of me time and then I’m going to slowly get back into Uni-mode.  I hope you’re all really excited for September – you should be!

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Some things I discovered in the first term…

Hey! 

 I’m going to share with you some things I realised in the first term/year at university and hopefully it can help you get into the swing of things a little easier.

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Paper or paperless?
I am a huge stationery addict and I’m constantly buying new notebooks and pens for no reason other than ‘it’s pretttttty‘. So when I came to Edge Hill I packed all my notebooks and pens ready to finally use it all. A month in and I realised that I can’t write fast enough in lectures and there is nothing worse than ruining a nice notebook with torn out pages and scribbles. I moved over to my laptop and started to type up notes on here instead and it saved me so much time. Plus, less paper is fewer trees being chopped down – hooray!

Printing:
I took my own printer with me to university. I ended up using the printers at the Catalyst out laziness and also because it was easier than me constantly buying ink. However, I stumbled across something called HP Instant Ink which is a subscription that is much cheaper than buying the cartridges and they send it straight to your door monthly so you don’t have to worry about it at all. This will definitely come in handy in second year when you no longer have the Catalyst on your doorstep.

 

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My favourite places to eat in Ormskirk!

Hello!

I’m going to share with you my favourite places around Ormskirk for grabbing some grub, be it nice restaurants or greasy takeaways!

We’ll start with my top 3 favourite restaurants:

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My all-time favourite place to go is The Cricketers. A traditional but elegant pub that serves the most delicious food. The menu is updated regularly with new dishes but you must come here on Sundays for their roast, it’s divine. I came here for lunch with my family when I’d moved into my halls room and I always recommend this place to people when they come and visit!

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Barnyard is a favourite spot for many people around Ormskirk. Their menu is packed full of the most delicious dishes and they have a ‘Mac Shak’ where you can order a side of Mac and Cheese with different toppings… amazing! They serve grill, pizzas, burgers and some chicken classics. My recommendation is the skin-on garlic parmesan fries and the surf-and-turf steak. I’m hungry.

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I don’t know about you but I love a good Italian meal and The Fat Italian does not disappoint. They have a great wine selection too. I’m unfortunately a bit boring when it comes to Italian restaurants because I will only order a carbonara so I can’t recommend any other dish – but their carbonara is right up there with the best I’ve ever had!

On to the takeaways:

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My go-to takeaway after a night out is chicken lovers. There’s so much to choose from but their cheesy garlic bread and chicken wings are a definite favourite from me… and it’s cheap.

The other takeaway I love it Wan’s Chinese. Again, their menu is packed full of good food and there is so much to choose from. There is great food all around Ormskirk and I’m sure you’ll find your favourites but definitely give these a try!

Thanks for reading!

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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-

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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When the sun comes out!

Hey everyone, since the sun has finally come out here in Ormskirk, I thought I would dedicate a blog about what I recommend you and your friends do when it is a lovely spring/summers day.

Enjoy!


Ruff Woods

This is located on Ruff Lane and can easily be found across the road from the fitness trail around the back of the Sports Centre. Since the weather started to get nice, my flatmates and I have come here for a walk whilst taking a break from assignments and studying for exams. I also come here every morning for a walk before breakfast and it is great way to start the day!

Victoria Park and Garden

When walking down from Edge Hill University into town, you can see this park on Ruff Lane. During the spring and summer months, the flowers bloom and there are so many colours. It is not very big, but it still is a really lovely spot to sit with a coffee or a take away drink and bask in the sunlight.

Edge Hill Gardens

If you don’t want to venture too far from the campus, why not take a walk down to the gardens next to the Health and Social Care Building? There is a scenic path through the plants, flowers and a wide patch of green that is perfect for outside study sessions or perhaps a picnic?

Man-Made beach

Okay, so this isn’t Southport Beach, but it’s the next best thing when you just want to relax on a sandy beach and not have to travel too much. Recently, this spot has been THE spot for students to come and sit on the grass, the sand and picnic table during exam season or just to catch up with friends.

Fitness Trail

You might just fancy a nice peaceful walk to break up the day and so this scenic walk is perfect for the occasion. It has a wonderful view of some of the campus and the playing fields and also a great place to sit on the grass and chat with friends.


I hope you enjoyed this little post on what you and your friends could get up to at Edge Hill University or Ormskirk, when the sun comes out. Remember, if you do picnic outside enjoying the sunshine, please keep our campus and surrounding green spaces clean and pick up your rubbish!

Thank you for reading, Lauren x

“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”

-Unknown-

Getting more than you asked for… 😱

Hello! 

I thought I’d share with you a little adventure I/we went on today, and why this made me feel very grateful for being at Edge Hill University.

As part of the Primary Education with QTS course, you choose a major specialism e.g. English, Maths, Science or Modern Foreign Languages, then a minor e.g. any of the foundation subjects (EAL and SENd are also an option!).

I chose History as my minor specialism and today we all ventured down to Liverpool to undertake a very historical and informative trip.

We all really enjoyed today and it’s a nice break from all the academia.

While I walking around today I couldn’t help but think how amazing this course, and university, really is. To get the opportunity to learn about such amazing history, on a teaching course for one, but also all the other extra bits Edge Hill do to make this place stand out from the rest.

You can learn a language! 📖

There is a Language Centre on campus that provide various different opportunities for you to study a language. This can be with your course or as a module if you are based in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, or, like me you can attend evening classes. These are open to students, staff and public, but as a registered EHU student, you pay £0! An amazing opportunity to take advantage of while you’re here.

The Student Opportunity Fund! 💰

“You can apply for up to £2,000 to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich your student experience and enable you to stand out in a competitive environment.”

I have recently joined a networking group (#SDGNetwork) that is paid for by the SOF and it allows a group of us to better understand the importance of sustainability, how we can live more sustainable but also how to teach this to pupils in primary schools. It is an amazing experience to be a part of and I can’t believe it is covered for us under this opportunity.

I will write about this network in the future, and if you are coming to Edge Hill as a student in September 2019, you will no doubt meet some of us in a lecture or seminar! Thanks for reading!

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Applying for Jobs as a Student

Hi guys, in previous blogs I have talked about working for Edge Hill and the opportunities available, but for this blog I thought since we are coming up to the summer when most students are looking for work, I would talk about applying for part time-work to compliment your studies and a few things to keep in mind.


Get your CV checked: If you are an Edge Hill student then you can get your CV checked by the careers team. This can be very useful as they can give you advice on changes to make that you might not have thought of otherwise, alternatively if you aren’t a uni student yet, then someone you know or a careers advisor, teacher etc. might be useful to ask as you never know how a second opinion could give you a different view.application


Apply everywhere: If you see a job that’s doable and within range then apply, even if you don’t think you will get it, applying for lot’s of roles means you are always going to have a better chance of getting something, there’s no limit to how many applications you can put in, so you might as well!


Interview Prep: If you are lucky enough to get an interview then it’s time to prepare, do your research on the business you have applied for. But even more importantly think of answers to some typical interview questions you may be asked. Common examples could include ‘a time you dealt with a pressurised situation’ or ‘a time you worked successfully as part of a team’. The more interviews you do the more used to these types of questions you will become and answers will come to you more naturally.


Be patient: Chances are depending on how lucky you are or how much experience you have, finding a job could take a while, so it’s important to keep motivated. Students are sometimes less sought out, as employers could see them as being less available because of study commitments and if your like me and live between countries for home and uni then finding a suitable job can be even more of a challenge but the important thing is to keep your options open and keep applying.

Easter Holidays

Hi everyone, we are into the Easter holiday’s now and most people have left campus for the time being. It can feel like a strange time to have a break so close to the end of the year considering most of us are only a month or so away from finishing for the year. Easter to me always feels like one of those times that passes by ridiculously quick since there can be so much going on and that’s without including any of the usual Easter festivities like an egg hunt. Speaking of which there was one on campus last week, which wEgg huntas a fun change from the norm, managed to snag myself a Milkybar egg because white chocolate is obviously the best kind!

Now that most people have gone home, maybe yourself included, this is the perfect time to get on top of all that fun (sarcasm) uni work you’ve been saving up. If your already on top of all your deadlines then nice one. Try to prioritize work like essays etc. that can be done off campus while your away freeing up your time when your on-campus for stuff that might only be doable at uni or at least easier, say if there’s software here you can use.

If you are living on campus and are staying at Edge Hill throughout the Easter holidays then enjoy, it is pretty chill when it’s really quiet. It is also important to know that various outlets and services throughout Edge Hill will have different working hours with most services closed on the Easter weekend, I have linked Edge hill’s own guide for more specific information. https://issuu.com/ehucampuslife/docs/easter_on_campus_guide_2019_large

Whatever you’re doing for Easter enjoy yourself, don’t forget about your work but don’t let it control your holidays either, till next time.

Jordan

 

Navigating the Limbo Between Christmas and New Years

Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and didn’t eat too much. Who am I kidding, who cares? For me that’s one of the highlights of the period, eating and drinking too much, which is easily done when there’s so much of it. Some of you might be feeling a bit lethargic or bored after the last few days so here’s a few ways to at least attempt to put a spring in your step coming into the new year.

Excercise: I know i know, not everyone’s gonna be feeling this and that’s fair enough but there’s plenty to be said for getting in the gym after all that over-indulgence, for one, it can help get rid of that lethargic feeling and two, it can give you a head start going into any fitness based new years resolutions if that’s what you may have had in mind. Some gym’s do promotions around this time of year to indulge all the people who say they will start going to the gym in the new year with discounted memberships and free weeks etc. If you get going now you will have a better chance of being one of the people who actually keeps their resolution for longer than a week!

Getting ahead of coursework/ revision: Again I know, a lot easier said than done but hear me out, even if you do a bit of work or revision before the New Year rolls around you will feel a lot better come early January when most other people will only have started. This is the perfect time to get work done as generally we have more free time around now after the Christmas rush so why not? If you have coursework due and maybe not in the mood to delve deep into a 2500 word essay yet, it might be an idea to research what you are going to write and plan it out even if you don’t feel like writing it yet, same goes for exam’s you could plan your revision if you don’t want to start it yet.

Whatever you choose to do coming up to New Years have a good one!

Jordan