All change on campus!

For any of you who have been to our Ormskirk campus lately, you’ve probably noticed that it looks a little bit like a building site! Well, that’s because it kind of is…I know that doesn’t sound great, no-one wants to be living in a building site, but its because the university use the summer when there aren’t many students around to improve the site!

This year, they’ve been making changes to halls of residence, performing arts and even the car parks.

Halls of Residence
Since Edge Hill has continued to grow over the last few years, the university decided that more halls of residence were needed to make sure as many people as possible can live on campus in their first year if they want to. So, they decided to build a new block called Chancellors Court. These are going to be open for students starting this month, and are pretty much the same as Founders and Graduates Courts.
If you’re thinking of applying to halls at Edge Hill then there is more information here:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/accommodation/livingoncampus

Performing Arts
The performing arts building has been refurbished and extended this summer too. As part of this, the Rose Theatre has been refurbished, and there has been a new bistro, theatre entrance and amphitheatre built.
More information is on the Edge Hill website here:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2012/08/new-arts-centre-on-target-for-september-opening

Freshers Week

Its been a few days since results were released now, so hopefully by now you’ve all had your place confirmed for September πŸ™‚

For any of you who haven’t received your information from Edge Hill in the post yet, here are some useful links from the university web site for you.

The main page for information for new students is

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/welcome

There is quite a bit of information to take in, so I’m going to break it down here:

Enrollment

If you’re living off campus, your enrollment times depend on your surname:

Undergraduate programmes Surname A-B Thursday 20 September 0900-1100 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname C-D Thursday 20 September 1100-1200 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname E-G Thursday 20 September 1200-1300 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname H Thursday 20 September 1300-1400 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname I-L Thursday 20 September 1400-1500 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname M Thursday 20 September 1500-1600 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname N-Q Thursday 20 September 1600-1700 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname R Thursday 20 September 1700-1730 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname S-T Thursday 20 September 1730-1830 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Undergraduate programmes Surname U-Z Thursday 20 September 1830-1930 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care

If you’re living on campus, it’ll depend on your surname too:

Surname A Sunday 23 September 0900-0930 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname B Sunday 23 September 0930-1015 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname C Sunday 23 September 1015-1045 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname D Sunday 23 September 1045-1100 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname E-F Sunday 23 September 1100-1130 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname G Sunday 23 September 1130-1145 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname H Sunday 23 September 1145-1230 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname I-K Sunday 23 September 1230-1300 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname L Sunday 23 September 1300-1315 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname M Sunday 23 September 1315-1400 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname N-Q Sunday 23 September 1400-1445 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname R Sunday 23 September 1445-1500 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname S-T Sunday 23 September 1500-1600 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Surname U-Z Sunday 23 September 1600-1645 Theatre
Faculty of Health & Social Care

Accommodation

If you’re living in university halls of residence, remember to send in your contract as soon as you can, and make sure your deposit is paid. If you’re living in halls you’ll move in on Welcome Sunday (23rd September) and enroll at the same time.

You’ll need to bring:

  • Bed linen (duvet, pillow[s], bedding)
  • Towels
  • Crockery
  • Cutlery
  • Cooking utensils (including pans – if you’re living in Founders, Graduates or Chancellors, you’ll need pans suitable for an induction hob).

If you aren’t living in university halls, then you need to check with your landlord about when you can move in (but you’ll enroll on the 20th, so make sure its before then!), when deposits need to paid, and what to bring.

Freshers Week

As well as all the events organised by the Students Union in Freshers Week, there are a number of events that the Computing department organise too:

Freshers Week Timetable

Freshers Week Timetable

 

The events that the SU are running are shown here:

If there’s anything else you need to know then just comment!

Open Day Tomorrow!

If any of you didn’t know already, there’s an Open Day at the Ormskirk campus tomorrow, from 10am until 3pm. This is for any prospective students, or anyone who is starting here in September, so if this applies and you are free then please come along!

You can register from 9am, but the full timetable is here:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/events/opendays/programme

If you have been accepted for September and don’t have accomodation yet, then coming along tomorrow would give you a chance to talk to our accomodation team to get some help and advice with finding somewhere, and you might even meet someone who is looking for a housemate!

I’ll be running accomodation tours of the on campus halls, so if you are coming, I might see you then!

Results Day

So, results day is on Thursday, and no doubt a lot of you are starting to panic now? Don’t. Its not as bad as you think. And trust me, I did this when I was in 6th form, its not worth spending all morning before you get your results on Facebook or trying to check UCAS…it just makes you panic more! The best thing to do in my opinion is not to find out what other people got until you have your results, it will save a lot of worry.

As far as what will actually happen on results day goes, The Student Room have a pretty comprehensive guide for different situations here:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Guide_to_results_day

But as a starting point, I think their list of what to take with you is particularly useful:

  • Mobile phone (charged and topped up) – you may need to call universities if you need to go into Clearing
  • Pen/pencil
  • Writing paper/notepad
  • Calculator (in case something goes wrong and your modules aren’t added up)
  • Results slips from AS (ditto, and also in case you need to phone a uni and plead you can say “but I got X on these modules”)
  • UCAS/uni letter (so you’ve got all your info including UCAS number handy, and also so you don’t panic thinking “was my offer AAAA or AAAa”)
  • Contact details for your firm and insurance
  • Copy of personal statement and your reference if you have it
  • Contact details for your referee (and if you think it’s likely you’ll go into Clearing permission from your referee to pass on their details to universities)
  • Cheque book (to pay for any re-marks you need doing and the sooner they are sent off the better).

Its also good to remember that The Telegraph on Thursday will have a list of all the Clearing vacancies available, which may be an easier way to find something than working your way through a UCAS search again (if you’re anything like me you’ll be sick of that website by now!)

If you do need to go into Clearing, again, don’t panic! All you need to do is find a university which has places on a course you are interested in and call them up – there is a list of contact details here:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Clearing_Contacts_Directory

and whoever answers your call will be able to help you.

I applied through clearing because I changed my mind of which country to study in (long story!) and I thought the whole process was really easy, so it isn’t anything to worry about. And you never know, you might end up somewhere you like more than your original first choice!

So for now, good luck, and as always if you want to know any more feel free to comment πŸ™‚

Budgeting!

In my last post I was talking about budgeting, and since then I’ve made a bit of a budget for my 2nd year, using the budget planner from the Edge Hill website (www.edgehill.ac.uk/redalert).

This is my budget if any of you need an example of how much things cost:

Income

My income for Year 2

Expenses

My expenses for Year 2

Summary

My budget summary for Year 2

As you can see I’ll probably be overdrawn for most of the first semester, but that’s ok because a student overdraft is interest free, so don’t panic if this happens to you! Just make sure you’re staying inside the overdraft you have agreed with your bank for your student account.

This has been done using the monthly budget planner from the link above. There’s also a guide on there for how to use it, as well as a basic planner and one for a weekly budget, depending on how you want to budget.

That’s all for now, but remember to comment if you have any questions πŸ™‚

Summer Time

Once again, I’m starting this post with an apology – I realise it has been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve been on holiday for a month and then had to move house as soon as I got back, but I’m now writing this from my as yet unpacked new house. πŸ™‚

This post is going to focus on some budgeting advice for the summer before you start university. Now, I won’t pretend that I took my own advice on this…I didn’t! But, if I could go back and do it again, I’d definitely consider these tips:

  • Get a part time job (or full time if you can!) through summer to save some money.
  • Learn some simple recipes before moving out if you’re not used to cooking for yourself – its a lot cheaper (and healthier!) to make your own meals than live on Iceland ready meals…but I’ll post again with some food shopping tips later…
  • Ask your parents to check if their home insurance covers you at uni before taking out your own insurance (yes…you will need insurance for while you’re at uni, especially if you have a laptop/TV/phone etc…)
  • Sign up for discount/loyalty cards before starting uni to save up points (These are the cards I have…Holland and Barrett, Iceland, Starbucks, Subway, Costa, Boots, Superdrug, Game, Gamestation, Waterstones, Odeon and probably more!)
  • Buy a Railcard (the main transport links from Ormskirk to anywhere are by train)
  • Buy an NUS card – some places might only accept this – and the International version is good if you plan to go abroad in the summer after first year and is only an extra Β£2 – then ask EVERYWHERE if they give a discount, or if they can if they say no.
  • Take advantage of online offers and cashback websites…there are links to the ones I use at the side of my blog πŸ™‚
  • Use the online budget planner at http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/redalert

I’ll post later with my budget plan for next year in the next couple of weeks once I’ve worked it out. Have a good summer! πŸ™‚

 

Just starting out…

First of all, I’d just like to apologise for the irregularity of my posts lately, I will get back to posting every week soon. The last few weeks have just been a little busy for me. As you know, I was in New York the last week of May, but then I flew out to Australia to stay with my Dad and Step Mum who live in New South Wales on the 7th of June, so it was all a little bit hectic in between as I had to move house as well! But more about that in a later post, when I’ve seen a bit more of Australia!

This post is aimed mainly at students in Year 12, S5 or the first year of college. If you’re in one of these then you are probably just starting to seriously think about your UCAS application and what you need to do. Now, its 3 years since I started my (first) UCAS application – which was the one that I did in the “correct” order, and because of that I don’t remember exactly what I did and when, but I did spend a lot of time trying to work out what I actually wanted to study, then even more time looking at prospectuses once I narrowed it down to 3 course – Maths, Computing and Chiropractic. I ended up choosing Chiropractic at this point – and so I began choosing universities and writing my application. But at this point, you just need to be looking for courses and universities. There’s a handy page on the UCAS website that has tips for each stage of the process here: http://www.ucas.com/students/wheretostart/sixsteps (I’ll tweet it as well..)

As far as my advice goes, its simple:

  • Choose a subject you are passionate about and that you’ll enjoy studying for at least 3 more years
  • Choose a university that you are going to want to live near for at least 3 years.

Don’t worry about what your friends are doing – I went to Edge Hill knowing no one and by the second day of Freshers’ had a great group of friends that is constantly growing!

So, that’s it for me for now…as ever, good luck to anyone with exams!!

New York, New York

I’m writing this from the lobby of Hostelling International in New York City! At the moment I’m just waiting for the bus to get here to take us to the airport to go home, but this is the end of a truly amazing week!

HiNY_Lobby

Mural in the lobby of the Hostel

We arrived here on Monday evening US time, after having been awake since 3am the previous day to travel from Edge Hill to Heathrow, then fly to JFK, but the first evening out in Times Square made that completely worth it!

times_sqaure

Times Square

The trip has been completely organised by the Computing Department at Edge Hill, and was really well priced for everything that was included. It cost just Β£860 for the trip, which included:

  • Transfers to and from Edge Hill
  • Flights from Heathrow to JFK
  • Transfers to and from the hostel
  • Stay at Hostelling International
  • Ferry to Liberty Island and Staten Island
  • Entry to the Empire State Building
  • One week subway pass giving unlimited travel on the subway system

If all that wasn’t enough, the hostel also run a variety of tours and other activities that range are either included in the stay or come at a small extra fee. Although I didn’t go on any of them, I’ve heard from other people that they are a really good way to see extra things in the city.

I think the best parts of the trip for me have been:

  • Visiting the Ground Zero memorial
ground_zero

9/11 Memorial

  • Going up the Empire State Building
empire_state

View from the Empire State Building

  • and making a brilliant new group of friends!
breakfast

Breakfast at Metro Diner

so I’d definitely recommend going on this trip next year for any of you who are coming to Edge Hill in September! Watch out for the information in Fresher’s Week!!

 

 

All over…for now!

So, I finished uni for first year completely last Wednesday at 10:30am when my exam finished! And yet, I have still been on campus most days! As you can probably guess from that, there have been a few things going on here since classes and exams have finished:

  • First Year Transition Meeting

This was a meeting which the Computing Department held straight after our exam to talk to us about what we should expect from second year and need to do over the summer to prepare. I know you might not expect to have “summer homework” from university, but its not really that…its more just things to practice really…like not stopping programming for 4 months!!

  • New York Trip!

Its now less than a week until I go to New York with the university too, which is no doubt going to be an amazingΒ trip! Its still going to be running next year as far as I know, so I’ll post again about it when I get back, but so far I’d definitely say if you get the chance to go, do it!

  • Peter Tatchell Event

As you might have seen from my post a while ago, Peter Tatchell came in to give a talk titled “The Unfinished Battle For LGBT Rights”. This went really well, and we had about 100 people who attended!

LGBT+ Society_Peter Tatchell Event

Some of the LGBT+ Society at the Peter Tatchell Event

  • IDAHO

This is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which is today. At the moment, I’m sitting in the Hub with others from the LGBT+ society here at Edge Hill, encouraging people to submit “Post Secrets” to us (give it a search if you don’t know what it is) and generally raising awareness πŸ™‚ I’ll probably post some pictures from this once I have some πŸ™‚

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck with exams if you have any this week, and don’t panic too much!

The Final Stretch

This is my last week in uni for first year, and to be honest, I’m only timetabled to be in for about 2 hours! One for an exam, and one for a transition meeting. As you may have guessed from last post about exams back in January, I tend to panic at the last minute because I don’t feel I know enough, but this semester I’ve followed as much of my own advice as possible. I’ve finally gotten used to revising from a computer screen instead of needing everything on paper, which means that at last I don’t need to print off EVERY powerpoint presentation we’ve been given. For anyone that hates exams and is coming to Edge Hill to do Computing, don’t worry, the exams in first year aren’t as scary as you may think. They are multiple choice for the most part, and as long as you have good attendance, and follow the revision guidance the tutors give you they’ll be fine! I’m feeling fairly confident about my Computer Systems Architecture exam on Wednesday, but we’ll see how I feel after I’ve done it!

Despite only needing to be in for 2 hours all week, in reality I’m probably going to be on campus most days, trying to organise society stuff. I’m running as Vice President for the LGBT+ society for next year, so I’ve been helping to organise events that we have coming up to get ready for running my own campaigns come September, which means that I’ve been sticking up posters to advertise the public lecture we have this week (see my post a couple of weeks ago if you want to know more) and making campaign videos and having meetings with staff at the uni to find out what more we can do next year. Its all exciting times and I’ll no doubt write more about what we are doing later, but for now, I should probably go do some revision!