Future developments

If you’ve seen our campus lately, you may have noticed a few changes of scenery. There seems to be builders wherever I walk and new developments are appearing around every corner. Yes, that’s right. Edge Hill are creating an even more modern, student-friendly campus… again!

Not only are they creating a new sports complex for all those fitness fanatics, they’re also refurbishing the Performing Arts building AND, wait for it, 384 en-suite student rooms are under-way for September (I’m so jealous I’m not living in halls again!)

New Sports Complex:
“Facilities include running tracks, rugby, hockey and football pitches, athletics field, netball and tennis courts and a trim trail with exercise stations. A single storey building will accommodate an eight-court sports hall with viewing gallery for basketball, netball, badminton, five-a-side football and general sports use, a 25-metre swimming pool, a 100-station fitness suite, aerobics studio, health suite with sauna and steam rooms, a café and lounge area.”

Thinking about living in halls? Look over here. And don’t forget to check out the new halls of residence we have, too.

One of the things I love most about Edge Hill is their constant investment, modernisation and care of our campus. On the first week I arrived here I witnessed the opening of the new £13.5 million student hub, and there is by far more to come. If you get the chance then come along to an Open Day and see it for yourself! The next one is on Saturday 18th August. What are you waiting for? Book now!

What to do with your summer

Whatever you decide to do with your summer it’s important to make the most of your time off. Definitely do some serious relaxation, but don’t forget there are other ways you can spend your holidays which will give a real boost to University applications, personal statements or your CV.

Searching for a part time job takes a lot of patience, but if you stay determined, know your options and know where to look, it’s very achievable. There’s a whole host of websites out there giving you tips about how to find summer jobs, lists upon lists of money making opportunities and ways to get by as a student. Money Saving Expert has been my saviour over the past year!

Boost Your Income: 60+ ways to bring in extra cash

If you’re just starting the UCAS process now and planning on applying to universities next year, try and get as many experiences as you can related to the courses you are interested in. Before you know it your personal statement will be dressed to impress. Make yourself unique and stand out from the crowd. An admissions tutor looks through hundreds of personal statements each day – make yours individualistic and convince them that you’ve worked hard to ensure your place on the course is guaranteed.

Now is your time to get involved. Get some work experience or volunteer! This summer I’m helping out at the school I spent my placement at. Not only do I get to see my year 3’s smiley faces again, it’s a brilliant opportunity to boost my CV, along with my confidence in teaching.

So pour yourself an ice cold summery drink, and start planning your future!

Moving out

I’ve packed up everything I own into boxes, bags and suitcases, and I’ve locked up and handed in my keys. But the saddest part is how many goodbyes I’ve had to say (only until my second year though). Yep… I have officially moved out of the halls of residence.

Nine months ago I moved in to Elm, Forest Court. These halls aren’t the most expensive, but not the cheapest either. I opted for a shared bathroom and so I paid £69 per week. It may not be as luxurious as some of the most modern accommodation we have on campus (like Graduates and Founders) but it suited me just fine. I decided I’d rather have £30 per week to spend extra, rather than a swanky TV, en suite and mini fridge in my room. To be honest, I’m not a very materialistic person. It doesn’t take much to keep me happy and I knew that wherever I lived on campus I’d make some brilliant friends.

 

The social side of halls made my first year unforgettable. In my flat (or ‘cluster’) there were 6 of us and after living with each other for 9 months we’ve become really close now. It’s silly to think that when I first started university I was worried about making new friends! I’ve met some absolutely fantastic people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after an exciting, difficult, amazing and extremely fun first year of uni, bring on year 2.

Make it count

Hello again!

I am now blogging as a second year student. How bizarre. I’m sure this whole year jumped in a blink. The time has flown by, yet the experience I have gained and the amount I have learnt is invaluable. This has by far been the best time of my life (exciting, fun, and utterly challenging). I feel like a different person! Not only because of valuable time spent in seminars and lectures; but through the amazing, heart-warming, emotional, stressful, difficult, absolutely incredible 6 weeks I spent on placement in a beautiful primary school. My year 3 class was full to the brim of fascinating and wonderful children. It was an experience that will stay with me forever. Finally I have discovered my own individual teaching style. And, to top it off, I couldn’t be happier with the grade I received. I worked so hard for 6 weeks and put all my effort into achieving my best and guess what? It paid off.

So, what have I learnt in these 9 first months as a university student?

1) Moving away from home at first is daunting, scary, sad, emotional… then you realise what independence, friendships for life and becoming an adult feel like.

2) There is no better profession in the entire world than teaching. When you feel the warmth of teaching a whole class it becomes obvious. No day is the same, but every day brings smiling and laughter.

3) It is possible, but not advisable, to complete an assignment the night before a deadline. Coffee is fundamental in this equation. (This is a habit I will definitely be extinguishing before my second year begins)

4) Pasta can oh so easily be overeaten. Please please please, no more.

5) Everyone struggles. Whether it’s academically, career-wise, financially or with stress. The trick is to ask for help… it’s right around the corner. At Edge Hill, the Student Information Centre (SIC building) provides a free service and a huge help to all students.

6) Budgeting is so important. This year I learnt the value of money. I will never forget my first food shop – that’s £45 I will never get back. Rest in peace, fivers.

7) Fire alarms are annoying. When one goes off, the whole building has to evacuate. Someone once drunkenly tried to cook gammon at 3 in the morning. Yes. You read correctly. Gammon.

8) Get involved with everything and take any opportunities that fly at you. This year I campaigned to become a student representative, became a student blogger, worked as a student guide and joined societies. They helped me meet so many lovely people and working for the university has made me so proud to study here.

9) It is really important to attend seminars and lectures. Every. Single. One. The amount you learn in one session is huge. Remember, the content isn’t just there to help you pass an assignment. You use what you learn throughout your career.

10) It’s not just all work and no play. In fact, it goes something like play play play work play play work play. I had fun, but learnt to balance my priorities.

So whatever you do in your first year, make it count.

Edge Hill Nightlife

On Saturday night, for the first time, I explored the nightlife of Manchester. We went to see a band and then afterwards we went out into town. It was a really nice break from assignments, and inspired me to blog about what the nightlife is like at Edge Hill.

Being in the centre of the North West, there are so many places to party as an Edge Hill student. We are right next to Liverpool, nights out in Preston, Wigan and Southport are on the cards, Manchester isn’t far and (of course), not forgetting Ormskirk town itself. Only 5 minutes down the road, Ormskirk is a student town full of pubs and clubs. Not only is it really convenient and quick to get there, on different nights there are different student deals on drinks. Then we also have The Venue – Edge Hill students’ club on campus. Who knew nights out could be so cheap!

There’s different student nights all the time… foam parties, UV paint parties, neon parties, beach parties, social nights… One nightclub even does a free BBQ and bouncy castle… crazy or what?!

Liverpool though has to be my favourite. It is huge. There’s an endless amount of places to go – it’s perfect for students. And the best part is how close it is. Just a short £3.65 return train journey… that’s it!

So there we go. My opinion of Edge Hill nightlife.

Teaching Placement

I can’t believe how far into the course we are already. As I study Primary Education, it is almost time to start our placement. Each year we get to experience teaching in an outstanding primary school specifically chosen by Edge Hill. We will be working amongst professionals who can help to develop our skills and confidence in teaching – not forgetting the children who we will be working with too. I am so excited to get started

Yesterday we found out where we will be located for our placement, and which year group in the school. I’ll be placed in Southport (quite close to Ormskirk) which means I’ll be travelling in each day on the bus. I’m in a year 4 class! I’m so excited, I’ve never taught in lower key stage 2 before (years 3 and 4). Before I went to Edge Hill (and especially before my university interview) I managed to get experience with year 1, 2 and 5. I needed to really, just to ensure I would get a place on the course. Edge Hill’s teaching course (along with other universities) ask that applicants have some experience within schools before they start the course. Not only does it show that you are confident to work with children, it also ensures that teaching is a career you’ve chosen and thought about carefully. In other words, you aren’t just going to start the course and give up after a week, realising it really isn’t the job for you.

Placement starts in mid-March… in just under 3 weeks. I will keep you updated!

 

Not-so-scary interviews, and exploring Edge Hill

Hey everyone, I’m back.

After what seems like a month of non-stop work, the work continues. I am throwing myself into the course. So far, five assignments down… three to go. Then comes placement, where I get to spend six weeks in a primary school. Excited doesn’t cover it.

Lately I’ve been doing lots of student guiding, where I help out with events Edge Hill host for applicants and prospective students (like open days, applicant visit days, campus tours, accommodation tours, interview days and so on). So if you’ve come to visit us recently you might have been fortunate enough to see me wearing a spectacular bright green bib. With all the sarcasm in the world intended, it really is a beautiful accompaniment to any outfit. However if you are interested in seeing the campus, touring the accommodation available, getting a feel for the university, or simply seeing these infamous green bibs, come along to an open day or any one of our monthly campus tours (held on the first Wednesday of each month). If you spot me, say hello! They are excellent opportunities to get to know Edge Hill. Remember, even if you are visiting for an interview, it is important to ensure the university is right for you. Explore, compare and most importantly ask questions. This is your time to be nosey, and rightfully so.

Being able to help during interview days has also given me a chance to see who could be joining the university next year. I’ve met some lovely people, all who I wish the best of luck to. Seeing new (slightly nervous/anxious) faces around Edge Hill reminds me of last year when I went through the interviewing process. I just want to remind you all that the interviews are no way near as bad as you might be imagining. If there is one thing you should remember, remember this:

When you are being interviewed, universities are not trying to search for imperfections. They aren’t looking to criticise you. You interviewer will encourage you to show just how great you are. They want to find all your positive traits, and what you can bring to the course.

I hope to see you soon. Don’t forget you can find me on Twitter, @LouiseEHU. As for interviews, don’t worry. Try your best. And smile!

The role of a teacher

Recently in lectures we have been looking at the role of a teacher. It reminded me of just how important our job will be. We were shown this video which is an inspiring and excellent representation of what a teacher should be like… have a watch. The character of the jackalope is a perfect example of how teachers should always be, supporting and encouraging children.

Boundin’ Pixar short film

“Now sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down, when you find that you’re down well just look around. You still got a body, good legs and fine feet, get your head in the right place and hey, you’re complete!

Now as for the dancin’, you can do more, you can reach great heights, in fact you can soar. You just get a leg up and ya slap it on down, and you’ll find you’re up in what’s called a bound. Bound, bound, and rebound.”

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Here’s to 2012, let’s make it a year to remember. If you’ve sent off your application to university, this could well be the year your whole life changes. This time last year I was eagerly awaiting the post, rushing downstairs every morning, just in case an offer or university letter came through. And they will. Be patient, keep your fingers crossed and good luck. Remember, it’s exactly 7 months and 2 weeks until this year’s A Level results day. So keep working hard. You can do it.

As for me, I’m determined to work hard and achieve the results I want in my second semester at Edge Hill. My main New Year’s resolution is STOP PROCRASTINATING! Cracking on with assignments and being a good student, wish me luck. This month is looking scarily hectic. There will be lots of hibernation in the library. Secondly, I want to start cooking properly again. I’ve had 200 too many quick student meals over the last few months. I didn’t even think it was possible to go off pasta. Well, it is.

Time to embrace a new work filled, library orientated, anti-pasta year. Hello 2012.

One semester gone

In the space of a blink, it is officially the last day of my first semester. There’s a bustle of activity around the campus as everyone is leaving for their long drive home and the snow is fast falling. Christmas is just around the corner… and what a relief. Time to put down my study books (/bury them/burn them/throw them at someone) and relax.

Not only was today the end of lectures and seminars until January, it also marked the day of finding out my first assignment result. I am very proud to say…

(drum roll)…

I got 70%! A 1st in my first assignment. So I can really finish on a high note!

I have my fingers and toes crossed that the next four assignments to write for January will follow the same pattern.

And last but certainly not least… 8 days until Christmas!