Computing at Edge Hill – Three skills to prepare you for Uni

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Computing is a broad and vast topic. It’s hard to know where to start, what to learn and when it becomes relevant. Having just finished my first year of Computing at Edge Hill I want to provide some advice on topics, languages and areas to focus on before you arrive to make your first year as easy as possible and give you time to focus on your specialisation. Please bear in mind that first year is a shared year, so even if you are on a Networking course you will be expected to study Web Development in your first year.


Basic HTML

Knowing basic HTML will help you in all aspects of your course and your future. Most projects require a web page, and modern applications are usually controlled by some form of website. Learning basic HTML along with bits of CSS, JavaScript and even PHP will ensure that you are ahead of the curve when it comes to your first year, especially in the Web Development module.


Java

While personally I am not a fan of Java knowing it before you arrive for University is a massive help. For your Programming module in year one you will be focusing on Java programming. Programs such as Alice can help you learn how to use Java, there are a plethora of books available also. Java is an interesting language, being object orientated using ‘classes’ it can be a challenge if you are more accustom to functional languages such as Python, PHP or BAT/BASH.


Networking Basics

Networking is another module that you will undertake in your first year. Knowing how IP’s, MAC addresses and packets are transmitted will help you understand the content of the module. Using your home network you could try setup static IP addresses, change your DNS server or just poke around and see how things work.


All of this might sound daunting, but this is an entirely extra credit task. You will be taught and supported fully throughout your first year, but if you have a passion for computing maybe you will take it upon yourself to look at these things. That’s all from me.

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!

 

My Favourite Spots in Ormskirk 😍

I won’t lie to you. Ormskirk town was a rather large contributing factor to my decision of choosing Edge Hill. I was already sold on the University but when I visited the town, that was it. It’s just my kind of place, – quiet and quaint with bunting and fairy lights everywhere. A Waterstones and a Wetherspoons around the corner, what more could you ask for? A few of us have written about the places you can go in Ormskirk but I’m not really a clubbing person so Alpine isn’t exactly my vibe. If you’re like me and prefer somewhere quieter, keep reading!

If you’re a history nerd, this one’s for you!
As part of our history seminar, we took a lovely stroll into town and our history tutor took us along the Ormskirk Heritage Trail. It’s amazing what you miss when you’re looking down at your phone. Look up! There’s so much history around the town, you can download the map on the website here. How many gingerbreads can you find around Ormskirk? I’m currently at 6!

Image result for the cork wine bar ormskirkThe Cork 🍷
This is one of my favourite places to go because they sell an absolutely amazing carbonara there for £5.95! It’s a very relaxed place with a great music selection and great wine at good prices. It’s also next door to Alpine, so if you want to have some fancy pre-drinks first before you get sticky and sweaty in the club, that’s your place. Also around the corner from there is spoons, the Ormskirk Wetherspoons is pretty decent if you can find a seat. The rooftop garden is great in summer too.

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Salon One 💇🏽💅🏽
By far the best place to get your hair or nails done. I’ve been going there since I moved to university and the girls there are just amazing. I’ve always been scared of hairdressers because they always seem to want to cut all my hair off. Frankie, who does my hair, really listened to what I was after and I’ve never walked out of a hairdressers beaming so much. Not only that, they have a 20% discount for students – bargain!

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Books!!!!!!!! 📚
The best thing about the town is the Waterstones for me. I love books, I love reading, I love getting lost in stories and when I saw they had a Waterstones I was over the moon. It’s not the biggest but it’s got everything you need and the staff are so welcoming and just lovely. Just up the road is The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. An absolutely stunning building with a little bench against the wall, under a huge tree. I like to take a book up there, I’m not religious, but it’s a lovely spot to do a little reading or reflecting.

Thanks for reading!

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Relax and De-Stress

Hey everyone! I know that many of you will have already sent your university applications away and are now working hard to ensure that you meet the grades or criteria to be accepted to your chosen university.

I know from experience that this can be a very stressful time especially with exam preparation and coursework deadlines. Over the years I have managed to deal with the stress of these situations with a few simple tips and tricks, some I still use to this day.


  • Make yourself a nice, wholesome meal – I know it can be very easy to quickly put some frozen chips in the oven or order a takeaway when you are in the middle of a hard-core study session. However, I found that I felt worse and more stressed when I did this and so I changed those less healthy meals to something more nutritious.  For example, a homemade, vegan pizza using a seeded wrap, some tomato sauce and loads of vegetables with a pinch of salt. It took less that 20 minutes to make and tasted AMAZING! Also, far cheaper than a dominoes.

 

 

 

 

  • Listen to a podcast – this is one that I have only recently started to do and it has changed my de-stress and relax game. Put on a gripping podcast that steals your attention, put earphones in and start walking or lie on your bed and just let the chatter and conversation distract you from the stress of studying and exams. I find that I am listening to podcasts more than I am listening to music because of how relaxing and distracting I find them. My favourite podcast to listen to at the minute is ‘Happy Place’ by Fearne Cotton. The conversations are so meaningful and gripping that I just completely zone out. 

 

  • Exercise – I feel like this is a pretty generic solution to de-stress but that means that it actually works! I used to sit for hours and hours at my desk in my room and not even think about moving except for when I was getting food. However, when I was doing my A-levels, I started going to the gym during the winter and doing small sessions 4-5 times a week and when the warmer weather came (as warm as Ireland could get), I would take a short walk over the fields every hour just to give my mind a rest. I found that whenever I came back from a little exercise, I was much more focused and didn’t dread the thought of going back to study.  Here is a picture I took whilst on one of my study break walks around the campus!

 

 


And that was some short and simple tips on how I relax and de-stress during exam  times or heavy essay writing. I really hope that some of these help you during the coming months!

I used to always say that I never had ‘time’ to relax but this is NEVER the case. Always give yourself time to relax and chill out because your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

– Jim Goodwin –

 

Students helping students – How you are represented at Edge Hill University

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Its worth talking about, every now and again, how your issues will be treated at Edge Hill University. While the university does a great job of making sure every decision is in the best interest of every student sometimes there may be something that you would like to see change. In this blog I will take a look at the SSCF and Student Representitives on each course and how they help you achieve the best posibile learning expereince.


What is a student representive?

A student representive is someone that is in your year elected to represent your interests to the board of your course and the wider Students Union. They are given the position and expected to take any issues that your year has forward to the relevent meetings, called SSCF or Student Staff Consultancy Forums. These are followed by a Programme Board meeting between all staff involved in your programme and the student representives with some special guests such as learning services. In a sense, if you have a problem you can take it to them and they will bring it to the correct person to deal with it and get a responce back for you.


How many represnetives are there?

In each year there is usually between three and four representives. They will give a short election speach to the entire year before elections are opened within your year. Plenty of notice is given by your faculty administration and the Students Union via email and in person before this takes place. Once the representives are in place they are requested to attend a training session with the Students Union who walk them through the different processes and methadologies.


How can I become a representive?

To become a representive you need to register your interest with your faculty administration. You can usually find these in your learning edge blackboard area once you have access to it. After you have registered your interest these memebers of staff will speak to you regarding the next steps. Its allways good practice to have a piece ready and rehersed if you are called to introcude yourself to the year. Your faculty administration will give you plenty of notice for this.


Student politics is an important role within University life and working at the ground level with your faculty is a great way to get involved and make sure that your year is represented correctly. I am now a second year representitive with the Computing deparment and can honestly say that had I not gone forward I would have been dissapointed not to have the chance to bring my years voice to the table.

Thats it for this blog, if you want to find out more about the students union you can check out their website here.

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!

My Personal Experience on a Campus Tour

Hello everyone, in my last blog I talked about the various ways you can visit Edge Hill if you are looking at studying here next year as a student. Following on from that, in this blog I will talk about my own experience on a campus tour and how it helped me to choose Edge Hill.

Coming from Northern Ireland it was always going to be more difficult to come visit as in my case it would involve getting a coach then a plane and then trains from John Lennon airport. Because of work and college commitments at home I was unable to make an open day or an applicant visit day which was a real shame so I set looking at finding out other times to visit. This was when I found out about campus tours that run every month.

After booking on to a tour I still felt worried I wouldn’t get to see anything specific to my chosen course in Film and TV Production, So I emailed Think Edge Hill and asked them if there was a possibility, that a lecturer could maybe come talk to me more about the course. Thankfully the university were very helpful and on the day, one of the senior lecturers showed me around Creative Edge as well as answering all the questions I had on the course which was really helpful to me. After this I went on the planned campus tour where I got to see more of Edge Hill like the SU and the library as well as other important things like student accommodation. The guides were really helpful and did there best to answer everyone’s question’s. 

I left Edge Hill that afternoon, after spending only a few hours on campus, feeling certain that I was going to choose Edge Hill to study at, so in my experience even though I missed the other visiting events, I still received enough information and insight to make an informed decision which at the end of the day is what your main aim should be when visiting universities.

The faces of Edge Hill University – Unsung Heros

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The people who spend every working day at Edge Hill university have alot on their plate. Everyone from the canteen staff in the hub to facilities management technicians work tirelessly to make Edge Hill the best university that it can be. Because there is so many it is often easy to over look staff on the ground. In this blog I want to pay tirbute to three staff groups that I feel often go unnoticed in their daily duties.


Site Services – Housekeepers

135 house keepers work five days a week to clean flat kitchens and accomadation halls. These are the people who literally pick up after you. They are first on this list because they have a demanding job. They have my thanks.


Facilities Management – Post

Working in the durning center from early in the morning to late in the evening the postal team deal with not only staff mail but student mail too. Some of the friendlies faces you will ever see in there. Big thank you to all of them for their hard work.


Respective Departments – Admin Staff

Each department provides administration staff to answer questions from students. I have to give my thanks especially to Sally and Sharon from EHU Computing. Always there to help, no matter what the problem. A tough job, done right.


These three groups of staff work to make this university amazing, thank you to all of them. If you see them please do the same, without their hard work that sometimes goes unoticed, we would be alot worse off. Thats all from me.

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!

Saving money by cooking as a pair! 🍲👩🏽‍🍳

Hey everyone! I’m currently on placement for my teacher training which lasts around 7 weeks. I’m placed up in High Peak and I’m living with three other students. I and another girl have decided we need to save some pennies while we are here and are buying our weekly shop together and cooking our meals together. Our shop last week came to  £10! Honest, it is possible!

Plan plan plan📝:
Before we went out shopping we planned our breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week. We’re at school Monday to Friday now so it’s a little easier to be more disciplined with our food, no more snacking! 🙅🏽 We both like cooking and so take it in turns to cook each other food. Anna planned to make Thai red curry, jacket potatoes and I make a creamy mushroom pasta and a vegetable stir-fry. We are still managing to eat healthy which is the most important thing. We wrote down a little list on Anna’s phone and kept to it as much as possible.

The benefits✅:
It is so much cheaper. Our bill came to £10 each from the last shop and we got everything we needed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That included snacks! On the days when you don’t cook and someone else is doing it for you, you can come home to a lovely meal and it’s just like being at home! It’s also a lot easier knowing exactly what you’re having that day, instead of opening and closing the fridge and cupboards multiple times before settlings with a pot noodle. I can’t recommend it enough, even if it’s just for a few weeks to save some pennies.

Other info about living/eating on placement☺️:
If you’re looking at the Primary Ed course, they offer a regional opportunity, which is what I’m currently on, and the university provides £3 a day for breakfast. You can reclaim this weekly or as a chunk at the end of the placement. This works out at £105 for the entirety, which is really great for them to offer to us.

Hope you’re all having a great January and prepping hard for the interviews you may have coming up! Best of luck 💕

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Working for Edge Hill University – Students working for Students

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Working at Edge Hill university during your study is a rewarding experience with benifits for everyone. You provide a valuable service for the university, such as blogging, notetaking or even guiding prospective applicants. In return the univeristy will weigh your pockets down with the standard casual rate of £8.66 per hour. So for half a days work (12 Hours) you are looking at over £100 into your pocket. But there is many more reason for you to consider working for the univeristy, here are my top three.


Sense of involvement

Working with the university gives you the ability to infulence the university directly. With a sense of involvement you will feel that the university is suddenly alot smaller and the community will become tight knit. That involvement in the university will make your time here much more enjoyable, I know it has for me.


Great experience

Because the university has so many roles available you will always find something with transferable skills into your chosen course. Every role teaches professionalism and builds confidence. The supervisors are always there to help you no matter what, and the structure in the university is perfectly setup to encourage communication.


Make yourself stand out

I cant stress enough how much having job experience listed on my CV has helped me get jobs outside of the University. Listing your employeer is only half of making yourself stand out, having refrences from the University is the other. Having a job at Edge Hill University will make you stand out among any crowd.


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!

£26 million, one building – Catalyst at Edge Hill University


Opening in 2018 the brand new Catalyst building at Edge Hill University has become a second home for most students who study at Edge Hill University. The stunning building provides almost every service imagineable to students and if you are planning to study at Edge Hill you will spend a serious amount of time here. So it might pay to have a read of this blog, because i’ll be sharing my own tips for using the building to its maximum potentional.


Image result for help deskHelpdesk support is avialable Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday – Sunday 10am -6pm. They are always there to help and will do their best to point you in the right direction to any service that you need. If you have a problem, they will help.


Image result for printing and bindingPrinting and Binding is also available on every floor. Take advantage of the free binding services to make any of your projects look smart and presentable. If you have a presentation take in copies with a nice slick cover page and ring binder to hand out and you will have left the maximum impression on anyone in the room.


Image result for quietQuiet study on the top floor with a outlook over the roof gardens and campus. If you need some space to get work done pull up a chair at a table or computer and you will get whatever it is done. If you prefer some group study pods are available on the ground floor for up to 8 people with a presentation screen.


If you want to read more about the investment at the Catalyst you can read my other blog here:

Sean’s Random Encounters – Edge Hill Applicant Day and the Catalyst building


Or if you want to find out more about the new Catalyst building you can find information here.

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!

Tackling those pesky assignments! 💪🏽📝

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After just handing in one of the hardest assignments of this year, I feel like I didn’t do too badly. If you put in the prep and don’t leave it until last minute you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll do. I’m going to give you an insight on what our assignments are like on Primary Ed , they differ per course, and some tips that have helped me stay a little ahead of the workload.

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Start early and get to the library! 📚
This year we have eight assignments that roll one after another, so you’ll always have your head in at least one assignment. Some people overlap the assignments and can do two at a time, those people are magicians. When I start a new assignment I get a gist of what it’s about and head to the library to get as many books out as I can on the topic. They want you to show wider reading so using books and journal articles are the best way to prove this, and also get a better understanding of what’s going on.

Know what you have to do before you start note taking. 📝
There’s no point taking notes without knowing exactly what you need to do. For example, the assignment title I’ve just submitted asked us to ‘evaluate’, meaning we need to find the strengths, weaknesses and any contrasting perspectives. I do two things. Either, take notes on different books and articles then grab four highlights and assign a topic to each colour like strengths are highlighted in pink, weaknesses in yellow etc. Then if you need to find any strengths you can look through all your pink highlighting. Or, the second thing I’ve discovered helps kill some time is to write all the strengths together (with the reference at the end so you don’t forget who said it) and just flick through those points when writing. I’ve used both of these methods and they both help speed up my actual writing of the assignment. It may feel like a lot of preparation but it helps if you know exactly what you want/need to say so you can write the assignment a lot quicker. 

Be disciplined, overlap if you can. 🔮
Like I said before, magicians. It’s hard for me to overlap assignments but it’s not impossible. I like to focus all my attention on one thing but if I absolutely had to I would work on another at the same time. Fortunately, they given you enough time between them, but only if you’re on the ball. If you leave everything to last minute you’ll be pulling all-nighters in the library, so try and be disciplined with your time management. Know how much time you can have to yourself but put time aside to get work your work done.

Write when you are ready. 🤓
Sometimes I’ve said to myself, just write your introduction then it feels like you’ve done something, but then it ends up being that much waffle you could pour syrup on it. It’s much better, like I said before, to write when you know exactly what you want to say.

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Edge Hill University offer workshops and services for students that are struggling with writing, referencing, note-taking and many more academic skills. They’re always around the library ready to answer questions. There’s a huge support system here at Edge Hill and I’m very grateful to be here.

Thanks for reading! Don’t hesitate to leave any questions ☺️

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