Freshers – Flu, Fun, and Friendships

Freshers, formally known as ‘Welcome Week’, is a great time to settle into Uni. I had a fantastic experience, and as someone living on campus and becoming a Fresher again in the next academic year, I thought it might be fun (and helpful!) to share my experience with Freshers.

Fun

With a lot of parties and societies, Freshers can feel like American films set in college (although there’s so much more for those who don’t drink/like big groups of people). I recommend you sign up to events/societies! (My first society experience was the Marvel Society on the second night. They ran an escape room, which was great! Societies always have interesting and unique activities.) Besides, you’ll want to visit the fair for the free competitions and food.

Note: none of the above are confirmed to go ahead due to lockdown. I’ll update this blog if/when they’re announced, but Edge Hill and the SU’s social media will also update us!

My flatmates and I stayed in for the week. I can’t drink, but playing card games on the first night was a fun way to break the ice.

Friendships

As well as flatmates, I also had course Induction. They introduced us to our personal academic tutors, staff, and I met my coursemates. We all got along straight away! When I moved in on the Sunday, I was dreading having a‘ lesson’ the next day; I just wanted non-stop fun! However, the two days of induction made me so excited to get stuck in, so oddly the one part of Freshers I was against the most became one of my favourite parts! I made so many friends in Freshers, and more as time passed.

Flu

It’s true; Freshers Flu is a thing. Many students, like me, felt poorly for 3 weeks. I got messages off my flatmates at 3am asking if I needed water because they heard my coughing, which was sweet of them. I had so much fun in Freshers, despite feeling unwell.

Closing Words

While my/our Freshers experience will be different due to lockdown, I’m looking forward to it. I’m very much a ‘home’ person but all the excitement helped me settle nearly straight away!

-Tony

Packing Tips and Tricks!

Hey everyone! With Welcome Sunday just around the corner and some of you finishing off some packing and getting ready for your travels, I thought I would do a little post on some of the tips and tricks I picked up over my first year on how to pack more effectively. I am currently in the process of packing to move back over to university and I am using every single one of these tips. I hope you enjoy!

Quick Tip – do a quick wash before you pack, it helps to fold clothes smoother.
  1. Vacuum Bags – these were a life-saver for my suitcase when it came to moving back over to Ireland. I was able to condense all my clothes into smaller packages so I could fit more in my case!
  2. Rolling – rolling your clothes and socks etc saves so much room in your bag as they are in tighter little bundles. This does take slightly longer to pack but I promise it saves you having to sit on top of your suitcase to get it to close or worse…busting the zip.
  3. Packing within packing – by this I mean, if you have a handbag you need to take over with you, packing things in that before putting it in your suitcase. This way, the things inside your handbag are not taking up extra room in your case. 
  4. Pack only what you need – when I first moved over to university, I packed everything! And some of it, I didn’t even wear or use. Before you start to put things in your case, really think about whether you need it or are just packing it because you have to. If you find that you have clothes that you don’t wear, donate them to a charity shop where you know someone will love them.  
  5. Buy things when you arrive – I made the mistake of buying everything I needed for the flat over here in Ireland such as; pots and pans, plates, cutlery, bedding etc. What I should have done was just pack all my clothes and duvet covers and bought the rest of what I needed over in Ormskirk. This would have saved me a lot more room.
Image result for unibaggage

My final tip caters more for my fellow Irish pals or anyone who has to fly or take the boat over: 

This year I used UniBaggage to help me move over my things which was way more convenient than I thought it would be. All I had to do was get a box, pack all the things that I needed into the box (including my vacuum bags), measure the dimensions of the box and then weigh it. A delivery man then just comes around to the house and sends it off. I was able to choose a date in which I wanted it collected and when I wanted it delivered to my new house in Ormskirk so that it is waiting for me when I arrive!

I hope you enjoy this quick little post and that it helps you in your future packing!

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

-Unknown-

What’s the First Week of Uni Like?

Hey everyone, since it’s the time of the year where prospective students are submitting applications for uni. I’m going to continue along the theme of some of my previous blogs talking about preparing for university, by talking about the first week, also known as Welcome Week.


If you choose to stay on campus walking into your new room for the first time is one of the craziest things, it’s exciting and scary in equal measure. The student realisation that your parents aren’t going to well, parent you all the time was for me a really surreal feeling. The next thing you will want to do is meet all your other flatmates, I already talked about this in a previous blog so I won’t go on but if there are people in the kitchen just talk to them, it makes life much less awkward in the coming days.


There is loads of stuff going on over Welcome week from fun day activities to events in the evening held in the SU. In my first year we had things like inflatables and mini gold during the day, and disco’s and dj’s like Kristian Nairn (Hodor from GOT) in the night. In the first week Edge Hill does go all out on its events so if you want to, go out and enjoy them because they are there for the students anyways! Don’t feel like you need to go out every night for the first week, I mean you can but, I’d rather not.


As well as the various events throughout the day. You will also begin your course, don’t worry though they ease you in nicely. I had a couple of lectures/classes where things were fairly casual, just talking about what we would be doing throughout the year, sorting timetables things like that. Nothing to warrant any studying or much work, yet. I do Film and TV Production and so we had a media challenge that we could take part in, just a basic ice-breaker to get us used to classrooms and our course mates etc.


Before you know it the first week will be over and you will probably be reasonably well settled in. It’s ok to still be adjusting as it’s a big change from home life, but if you are still struggling after a while then there are counselling services on campus that are available if you’re needing help. But overall the first week is chill just take it easy and hopefully enjoy it!

Jordan

welcome week poster

Endings and Beginnings: Starting University

Three fingers as friends

So, first of all, before you move into Edge Hill halls, you need to know what to bring! Here’s a short guide on “What To Bring To Halls”. After moving in it’s time to be “Starting University and Making Friends”, so here is a piece on doing just that! Since I was in first-year, the Facebook groups for halls have changed slightly – now, there is a group for the whole cluster of halls you’re in eg. Back Halls, Palatine Court, not for the single building. Also, instead of it being managed by Student Advisors, they’re managed by a Campus Communicator – which for half the halls groups, is me! Of course, your old friends don’t just disappear after starting and moving to university so here’s my take on “Maintaining Old Friendships in New Places”.

Three fingers as friends

If you’re not someone who enjoys the packed atmosphere of going out, then you might prefer “A Night In On Campus”, board games, movie drinking games, or perhaps an Open Mic Night! During the first few days on campus, you might notice our the lovely “Birds On Campus” – I’m pretty sure there’s now the occasional heron by the North-West lake too! (Don’t forget to say hi to the cats and corvids as well, those witch-y familiars deserve love too).

After settling in during Welcome Week, the biology students amongst you might be wondering what’s next in store. Well, the “First Year Biology Modules” are the same across all biological sciences courses… or were a couple of years ago at least! Plus, the “Biosciences Cyprus Residential” field trip should be just around the corner, with fun and science aplenty.

Additionally, it’s never too early to start thinking about extracurricular activities you could get involved with that will help you develop your CV and yourself as you prepare for postgraduate life. So have a go at “Improving Your CV at EHU” and take a look at the “Fund for Student Opportunities” to see what you could get stuck into. Don’t let this all freak you out though, I know that adjusting to university can be a big step and know you’re not alone in “Coping With University Stress”. Take a breather; watch the birds. 😉

Welcome Week Wonder

Are you wondering what your first week at university will be like? I certainly did! Welcome week (or freshers week) is the time to make the most of new pals and new places. Welcome week at Edge Hill was beyond my expectations. Not only do you get to enjoy nights out in Ormskirk and the students’ union, you have the option to spend nights out in Liverpool too.

How should I prepare?

You can read about Edge Hill’s welcome week here. On your first day (welcome Sunday) you will receive your student ID card which will allow you entry into the students union on campus. You can also buy wristbands which will get you free entry before 9:30pm on certain days. Beforehand, I also made sure to have an NUS student card which makes entry cheaper on social nights.

How much money will I spend?

The welcome week outline gives you an idea of entry prices. Yoyo is a great app to get as you can earn points in the students union when you buy drinks from behind the bar. With points, you can select vouchers for food, drinks and Edge Hill merchandise throughout the year. If you want to give yourself a budget for each night, I suggest you get the cash out beforehand instead of relying on your contactless card (that can be dangerous!).

What if I don’t want to go out every night?

Of course, welcome week is not all about going out each night; it is about meeting new people and joining new things. Examples of different events in the evenings/nights are as follows:

Board Games

Free Film Nights

Campus Sport Pool Party

Kareoke

Roller Disco

The Stickmen

SU Quiz

What can I do during the day?

I advise that you have an explore! Take a walk into Ormskirk, use the train to get into Liverpool, or simply have a wander around Edge Hill’s beautiful campus. One of the most exciting parts of welcome week is the welcome fair on the Wednesday. This is your chance to learn all about what Edge Hill has to offer, join new societies and, of course, grab all the freebies! Other events are put on each day for you to enjoy such as:

Vintage Folk Clothing Sale

Giant SU BBQ

Campus Scavenger Hunt

DIY Room Decorations

Yoga

The Big Student Resale

When I think of my welcome week (which was waaaay back in 2016) the paint party comes to mind. My flat mates and I were dancing in each others sweat when we hardly knew each other… 2 years down the line, we are closer than ever. As cringey as it sounds, the people you meet will change your life and your university life will change you, SO ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

Wishing you all the best of luck! Feel free to ask away if you have anything in particular you would like to know!

Anna 🙂

If I could start all over again!

I am less than a week away from beginning my first secondary math teaching post! Well it’s very scary and surreal! I have nearly finished prepping my classroom and about to start planning my lessons! For the class of 2017, three years of uni has prepared us for our new careers and now it’s here! For all you lucky Uni starters your journey is just beginning!

You will now know if you got into uni- what a relief! Hopefully it’s all sunk in and you’re excited to begin your new adventure! So now the curiosity sets in as you wonder about things such as: what will my room be like, will I live with people on my course, will I make friends!?

Well yes of course you’ll make friends! Most people will be in a position where they know little or no people going to Edge Hill! There are plenty of activities going on during the week that will allow you to meet new people! These are run by the Student Union, with the line up available here!

Freshers week is the first week, which begins with welcome Sunday! This week is full of activities and introductions to uni! You will have receive a timetable for your corse on your first week which will include talks from the library and more intimate meet ups with people on your course! This gives you a solid start at Edge Hill as not only will you be more equipped to use the facilities, you will also have people to go with!

I can’t emphasise enough how much You should join a society or jump into the social scene with your flat mates! These people will stick by you for the next three years and hsipefukky you will make some friends for life!

What to Expect on Welcome Sunday

What is “Welcome Sunday”? I hear you ask. Well, It’s none other than the first day of the rest of your lives (scary stuff, I know!). This is the day that everyone moves into halls and gets to know the uni and the people in it. I’m going to tell you a little bit about how my welcome Sunday went, all the way back in 2014. Hopefully this will give you a bit of an idea of what to expect.

Registration

The first thing I did was register. We were given allocated times to come based on our names, if I remember correctly my slot was some time around midday. This is the part where I received my unicard with the most (least) flattering picture ever on it. My unicard gave me access to all sorts on campus, from my building (via a swipe card system) to the library loans system. I later made the mistake of accidentally damaging my card and having to pay £10 to get it replaced. Keep them safe!

Moving in and meeting flatmates

Then came the time for me and my mum – the only two people who could fit in our car – to lug all my possessions into my first floor flat. Luckily the campus staff were on hand to help and transported us and all my stuff on a golf cart. They aren’t half helpful. I also got to meet some of my flatmates at this point, we were able to chat whilst unpacking all our kitchen things and our parents found a lot to talk about too.

Course introduction

After settling in and saying goodbye to my mum, I met up with a few friends I had made during the summer residential and headed to the business building for our course introduction. It was a really casual set up where you could talk to staff and they would explain the course and what you can expect to be doing. It was a great introduction to my studies and took some of the pressure off my first week of lectures.

Socialising

In the evening the SU held a welcome party and of course I was going! I pre-drank with my flatmates which was great way of getting to know them, especially after a good game of Never Have I Ever. We then headed to the Su bar where I also found some of my residential friends and we party’d on. Well, until I got tired and headed by to my flat for a well needed rest – believe me, I needed it!

Until next time! 🙂

How to be a Fresher

Hey all, hope you’re having a wonderful Summer and enjoying the warm weather when it’s happening!

In only a couple of months it’ll be Freshers’ Welcome Week at Edge Hill. This is the week that you should definitely take advantage of as a new student, as not only do you get to know the campus and your course, but you get to go to some awesome events and get some really cool student offers!

I’m going to split Freshers’ week into day and night, as there are different things happening in the daytime in comparison to what’s happening at night.

Day

During the week, there’ll be the talks you’re expected to go to about your course so you can get to know the staff and the outline of your year, but there are also fayres the Uni put on. At these fayres, there are both stalls that are useful for independent life and social life. At the fayre last year there was a whole range of stalls by people like the Police, the Recycling team, local beauticians, driving instructors, and my personal favourite: Domino’s! And yes, there was free pizza! In fact, there were a lot of awesome free stuff, I grabbed myself some practical things such as water bottles and lots of vouchers for local businesses such as hairdressers and food places.

There were also a lot of stalls for the societies that are at Edge Hill. At these you could sign up to become a member of the societies and meet the people who run them or go to the meetings.

The course talks were also great. It made me feel a lot less nervous and also gave me a bit more information on what I would actually be doing on my course. It was a chance to meet my course mates for the first time too.

Night

There are a variety of events put on by the Student Union at night that cater to everyone. The events of last year might be slightly different to the ones that are planned for this year, but I can definitely tell you the kinds of stuff that I went to. There were a number of bar-based events, such as a UV paint party which was DJ’d by Scott Mills and another famous radio DJ and the toga fancy dress party, however there were also events such as the comedy night, which was a great laugh. The events will be advertised on the SU’s page once they’ve been organised and you can get your tickets, so keep an eye on this page.

 

So I’d definitely suggest you take part in as much as you can on Freshers’ week, as it will be something you think about for the rest of the year, and gives you some great opportunities, plus a chance to meet new people!

Freshers Fair Tips

Following on from last week’s post, today I’m focusing on Freshers fair. A Freshers or Welcome fair is an event hosted by most unis during the first week in order to welcome the new students and given them a chance to check out what the uni has to offer. At Edge Hill the fair is often held in hub, in the afternoon, mid-week. The entire hub building is taken over by stalls that represent societies and businesses. You can check out what societies Edge Hill has to offer and maybe even sign up for some of them, not to mention there are a lot of chances to grab some freebies and discounts! There’s a specific art to making the most of the fresher’s fair, so I thought I’d share with you some of my essential tips.

Get there early

You can turn up for freshers fair at whatever time you want, however, I recommend that you turn up as early as possible. This is for a few good reasons; For one, it can get incredibly busy, which will mean that you may end up having to push past a load of people to get to the stalls you want to visit. This can also be a pain as there tends to be a lot of freebies on offer and if you’re late you may end up missing out on a free slice of pizza or that coveted Edge Hill pen. Another reason to be early is to give yourself time to do everything. If you turn up five minutes before the end you will never get everything done!

Sign up for everything

See a society you like the look of? Sign up for it! You have nothing to lose after all. It isn’t contractually binding; you will only receive an email giving you details of how to join the society. Besides if you sign up for loads of societies it gives you a chance to try something new, if you go along to one session and decide you hate it then that’s perfectly fine!

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s the whole point. These people are here to help you get as much information as possible about societies and the university experience. If you want to know more about something, ask for more information. You can even ask for contact details of society presidents so you can ask them questions that you think of later on. There’s no need to the scared to communicate, you may even make some new friends!

Until next time! 🙂