Revisiting My Packing List.

A few weeks ago my blog post talked about moving out of university accommodation, now as I sit here a few weeks later, it’s time to begin thinking about my packing list for second-year. This blog will hopefully serve to inform upcoming first-years of what I took to university, and also an inspiration for any other readers to consider what their lists might look like for when we go back to university in October.

First and foremost, my packing list for first-year featured a lot of leisure reading books, which on paper is great, but in practice, I probably only needed one book, not my entire Gillian Flynn collection and my entire Vogue collection (My reading is very diverse as you can see). Pick a book you know is easy to read or one you’ve been dying to read and add that to your packing list, at Christmas, you can swap it out, or if you haven’t touched it at all, there’s no harm in taking it home and not replacing it. For myself, I barely touched my books, but read a lot of my Vogue magazines, so for second-year, I’m most likely going to pack those again.

My excessive bookshelf.

Another thing I took too much of was kitchenware. Having doubles of your plates, and cutlery is a good idea, but you don’t need three, or even four, of each like I did. The cupboards in the kitchens are generously sized, but you will fill them up quickly. In place of excessive kitchenware, I recommend Tupperware or other plastic boxes to store excess food, it’ll help you portion control, but also means you don’t need to cook daily. For second-year, I’m planning to only take doubles of my basic kitchenware items to free up space.

In a previous blog I’ve discussed video game consoles, but to add onto that I strongly also recommend a firestick or other streaming device in your packing list, I bought one during my second week of uni, though if you take a PS4 or Xbox One, both those consoles have the streaming capabilities of a firestick so you may find you’re better picking one or the other. I plan to take my PS4 to uni’ in October, so may end up leaving my firestick at home.

Beyond those suggestions, the basics still apply. You’ll want to make sure you pack toiletries, stationery, a few notepads, very basic items you would’ve used at home daily or in your studies at college or sixth form. Your packing list will look very different to other’s in some areas, and that’s ok. The point of a packing list for university is to ensure you take items you need, but also take items that provide your comforts. Your new friends might be avid readers, while you only took one book, so its wise to never use one list you see online as gospel. For second, or even third-years, it’s important to reflect on what you took the year prior and realise what you didn’t use a lot, you’ll thank me for that suggestion when you need to move out again at the end of the academic year.

Alice.

What Can You Do to Prepare for University Today?

If you accepted your offer to study here before the 31st May, you should have your room offer. I had my room confirmed the other day and I was excited! When I was coming to University, I received my room offer a few weeks before starting my course, so having my room offer months in advance is exciting. But what can we do with all this pre-University buzz? I’ll be sharing what I’m doing in this blog.

Join Social Media Groups

If you’re comfortable with social media, I encourage you to join groups for your halls and course. Your email confirming your accommodation will have a link to all the Facebook groups for accommodation. This can be a great way to meet your flatmates months in advance and break the ice! I didn’t do this last year and I settled in easily, so don’t worry if this isn’t something you’re comfortable with.

Talk to Current Students

You’re likely to come across current students in social media groups. However if you don’t use social media, student representatives (such as myself) are free to talk to on our website! Drop us a message with any questions you may have, whether it be our Uni life, accommodation, courses, or anything else. Remember that you’re also free to comment on our blogs with any questions you might have!

Learn Some Skills

I was pretty dependent this time last year, however my mum began teaching me how to cook. I ended up experimenting more with recipes at University and improving that way, but I recommend that you consider cooking this summer. Besides being an important life skill, it’s actually enjoyable and a great way to feel productive in these times!

Closing Words

While you can’t go out and buy the Uni essentials, you’re able to equip yourself with knowledge and skills for University from the comfort of your home. If you would like any more prompts or ideas, feel free to comment below!

-Tony

Tips for writing your personal statement

I can remember, even now, the stress and panic that had built up inside me when writing my personal statement. Being five years out of school, I didn’t remember any of the advice they gave to me, probably because I wasn’t interested in university then and so didn’t exactly listen. I ended up scanning the internet, as I’m sure you’re doing now, looking for tips and tricks, dos and don’ts and basically how to get through it. Everything I read was complicated and wordy so I want to make this short and sweet, but as helpful as possible.

Structure:

My personal statement is sectioned into five paragraphs.

The first is where I briefly told the reader what I am currently doing and I made sure to link this to the course I am interested in and why I am wanting to apply for this particular course. The first line is always the hardest for me, even with assignments now it’s a big hurdle. Some say to start with a quote, others say don’t start with a quote. Personally, I think quotes are cheesy and it’s a waste of your words. Use your words, not somebody else’s. I began, simply, with ‘I am currently…’

In the second paragraph I went into more detail about the job I am doing, the responsibilities I have, the skills I am obtaining and the experiences I am collating. This is where you sell yourself and this is where the hardest part lies as you need to be confident but remain cautious of a boastful tone.

My third paragraph is similar to the second but here I talked about previous experiences/jobs/events/volunteering, anything that makes you stand out and look good. Remember that everything you say must be important and have reason to be there. For example, I discussed my acting experience and I did this because it allowed me to talk about being confident in speaking to crowds, how it enhanced my creativity and how it taught me a lot about teamwork, initiative and inventiveness.

The fourth paragraph is less work and schooling, but more interests and hobbies, but make them meaningful. ‘I like reading’ isn’t going to cut it. I had written about my love of travelling, where I’ve been and where I plan to go next. I talked about my interest in the Endometriosis charity and the Stroke Association and what I have done regarding this. I talked about my love of golf that I share with my father and a tournament we had coming up in Dubai and lastly I mentioned why I had taken several gap years and how this was the best decision for me. This may not be the case for you, but if it was, ensure you make it a positive reason. Keep the whole statement positive.

The final ‘paragraph’ (it’s only four lines) is a summary of what my next steps are and why I chose Edge hill. Try to mention something about the University you are applying for, showing you have researched them – it’s a nice, personal touch.

My biggest tip for you is to read as many personal statements as you can. Read around and you will find structures you like, you will be inspired by what others have included and you will feel more confident when you get around to writing it. It’s tough, but it’s worth it. The best of luck, I’m sure you’ll smash it. Thanks for reading, leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Amy

Preparing for Uni

As one person’s journey ends, another person’s begins… It won’t be long before I graduate (a month to be exact!) and with that comes another summer. For a lot of people this will be the last summer before they begin university, you don’t need me to tell you what a huge step that is! So, this week’s blog post is going to be dedicated to the ways in which you can prepare yourself for university.

Buy everything, but in moderation
There are a lot of things you’re going to have to buy before you start uni, pans, bleach, textbooks, you name it. This is can be quite the financial burden. I recommend starting to buy your stuff as early as possible, this gives you time to spread the cost and shop around to find the cheapest deals. Plus, it means you won’t be faffing about last minute and fighting other students in the isles of Asda for the last cheese grater.

Go to an open day/applicant visit day
I highly recommend attending an open day even before you apply for a uni. But it is also important to revisit the uni that you have chosen. This is important for a variety of reasons; for one it reminds you what the uni is like and gives you a chance to explore the surrounding area and secondly you can speak to tutors to get more information to prepare adequately for your degree. Edge Hill offers applicant visit days for those holding conditional and unconditional offers to study there. These visit days are often between February and April and give applicants a chance to really experience Edge Hill.

Make the most of the summer
Most important of all though, you should make the most of your time off. This is probably one of the longest summer holidays you’ve ever had and it is well needed after all those assignments and exams. I recommend you spend as much time as you can with your friends and family and make as many amazing memories as you can to carry without to university.

Until next time! 🙂

 

Let the Preparations Begin!

So hopefully by now you’ve heard something back from Edge Hill and if not…. do NOT worry – there’s plenty of time and no news is always good news!

So in preparation for uni there’s a lot of things to consider that you need to take that you might not think of! First of all is just your everyday things… like clothes, toiletries, towels, then you’ve got things like bedding, quilts, pillows, cushions, blankets. AND don’t get me started on the kitchen essentials!

There’s a lot that you need that I never actually thought of before I applied, I don’t know what I thought would happen. So here’s a warning that it’s never too early to keep your eye out for bargains – trust me in September you’ll be thankful for it!

Another thing to bear in mind is how you’re going to move all your stuff from home to halls – so be mindful of transport, you’ll be gutted if you can’t fit your TV in the boot because you forgot your sibling is coming to see you off!  Hopefully you’ll be able to sweet talk your family and friends into helping transport you and your necessities to Ormskirk.

If you do forget anything do not worry though, you can get things sent to your Uni address (you will get an email alerting you to this and instructions on how to collect your post) or you can always pop into town and pick up whatever you need.

Good luck collecting!!

Reading Lists

Yesterday, as I was working out how much money I would have to spend next year, I remembered last minute to factor in money for books. Majority of universities send students reading lists in advance and it is the students responsibility to purchase the books. Edge Hill also has quite a big library so most of the books can be borrowed from there.

Whilst the Film Studies side of my course requires me to buy all non-fiction books the Creative Writing reading lists include non-fiction and fiction. I really like having a list of fiction to buy because it encourages me to read (and often enjoy!) books that I’d never usually notice. I’ve already received the list of plays that I need to buy for my Scriptwriting module next year and I’m excited to read them.

The list includes:

Jez Butterworth – Jerusalem (2012)

 Jim Cartwright – Road (1990)

 Shelagh Delaney – A Taste of Honey (1959)

 Brian Friel – Translations (1980)

Sarah Kane – Blasted (1996)

 David Mamet – Oleanna (1993)

 Laura Wade – Posh (2010)

 Timberlake Wertenbaker – Our Country’s Good (1995)

I’ve never heard of any of those plays, but I know that even if I don’t enjoy reading them I can always learn by expanding my horizons.

In my last Fiction seminar the lecturer had us all name a book that we thought that everyone else should read and then he compiled a list and sent it to all of us. I chose Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. Palahniuk is my favourite writer and I’d recommend his books to everyone. He also wrote the book that became my favourite film, Fight Club.

I’d advise anyone starting university to get their books as early as possible so as to have time to familiarise themselves with them. Some books can be quite expensive but can also be found second hand on Amazon and eBay.