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

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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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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Day Off? No Problem

Hey everyone! I thought I would dedicate a blog to the things that you can do in Ormskirk or on campus of Edge Hill University when you find yourself with a day off or in need of a break from assignment writing etc. 


Treat Yourself

Sometimes when I have a day off from University, I like to think of it as a ‘treat yourself’ kind of day. Whether you have been writing assignments, studying for an exam or just wanting a break from university life, why not take yourself into Ormskirk and treat yourself to something nice?Image result for treat yourself gif

Go out for lunch with friends

Food fixes everything, am I right? There are some really nice places to visit in town if you and your flatmates are tired of cooking for yourselves and are also really student friendly. Some of my favourite places would be;

  • Cobble
  • Love to Eat
  • Wetherspoons (classic)
  • The Bagel Deli

Student Union

You may be surprised to find yourself in the student union bar on a day off from university but, sometimes it is nice just to sit and have a few drinks with some friends, have a laugh and sometimes there is some entertainment on the television such as football. You don’t have to go too far as this is located right on campus!Related image

Have a flat movie day/board game day

You don’t even have to leave the flat on your day off from classes so this would be the best opportunity to gather any of your other friends from your course or in your flat and have a cosy movie day with lots of snacks or, have a board game night. Let me share some advice, if you chose to play monopoly…make yourself comfortable, you’re in for a long night.


Thank you for reading. I have to say, my favourite thing to do out of this list is to watch a movie with my flat mates as it is such a great way to bond and chill out after a hard couple of days work.

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”

-Ralph Marston-

How to get to Edge Hill University from John Lennon Airport!

Hey everyone! Since our first open day is happening this month (15th June), I thought that it would be useful to tell you how I get from John Lennon Airport in Liverpool to Edge Hill University the most budget friendly way. As I know some people will be flying in to Liverpool for the open days, I hope that this will help reduce the stress of travelling.


Since starting at Edge Hill University, I have gotten used to the travelling it takes to actually get from the university to the airport and vice versa in the most money efficient way rather than spending £30+ on a taxi.

This is how I personally get to Edge Hill University;

  • Locate a bus that takes me to Liverpool South Parkway – this can be via the Liverpool One bus or if you are still unsure, there should be someone around to direct you to the correct bus, do not be afraid to ask!
  • Once I get to Liverpool South Parkway, I ask for a ticket to Ormskirk (where Edge Hill University is located).
  • I can then either change at Liverpool Central or Sandhills to get on a train that is going directly to Ormskirk. I would preferably get a train from Sandhills as when I change there to get the train to Ormskirk, I am already halfway there.
  • Once I arrive at Ormskirk train station, I either walk up to the campus or take the Edge Link bus at the bus station which, normally has a charge for non Edge Hill Students but, on some open days it is free.Image result for john lennon airport

 

I know that this may sound quite scary especially if you are like me and not very confident with train changes but it is the cheapest way of getting to Edge Hill University. And always remember that if you are unsure about where to go or what train to get/change to, do not hesitate to ask someone.

Alternatively, you can book a taxi from John Lennon Airport to the University or hire a car for the day but, like I said, this can be quite expensive.


I hope that some of you find this useful. I wish someone had told me how to get to the University from the airport when I first flew over as it would have saved a lot of confusion and detours…

Thanks for reading, Lauren x

“Dare to ask questions. There are answers to any question.”

-Lailah Gifty Akita-

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!