Tis the season to be jolly

I am being periodically stalked by jingling, catchy, cheery Christmas songs and my breakfast has consisted of advent calendar chocolate for the last 8 days… Shopping in Liverpool is like voluntarily participating in a stampede… Every time it rains I sprint to my window to check if it’s snow…

Yes, you can tell it’s close to Christmas.

There’s a new festive feeling spreading around the whole campus and the end of our first semester is fast approaching. With four more assignments due in for January, hopefully I can finish them before I go home for Christmas in 11 days. Until then, I’ll write as much as I can, fit as much Christmas shopping in as possible and start packing to go home for a long, lovely 3 weeks.

Ho ho ho… 16 days, 4 hours, 55 minutes and 31 seconds ’til Christmas!

Applying to University

Now is a very busy time of year for those university applicants, hoping to start further education in 2012. If this is you, I would imagine UCAS has become your homepage, you are faced with uncountable dilemmas, every course is starting to look the same, every weekend is a different open day and the phrase ’47 lines or 4000 characters’ gives you a cracking headache. Sound familiar?

This was me a year ago. Here are my words of wisdom.

1. Stop panicking. There are tricky decisions you will make and a brainful of things to think about, but everything will fall into place with a bit of patience and a sprinkle of hard work.

2. Write a personal statement that’s dressed with words to impress. There’s a lot of support and guidance out there because it’s such a crucial process in applying for university. Yes, it can be a daunting task, but you are not alone.

3. Use The Student Room, an online student community for study help and endless amounts of university advice.
Make sure you definitely check out their Personal Statement Help section – it offers advice on writing your personal statement, you can view personal statement samples in their Personal Statement Library, or (the best by far) you can take advantage of their free personal statement help service where you can have your draft statement reviewed confidentially by them. It is EXCELLENT. Do it now.

There are thousands of applicants to each course, but only one of you – show them how great you are. Good luck! And if you are applying to Edge Hill, I hope to see you next year.

Assignment de-stress

Finally, after what felt like mountains of work, I have finished my first assignment. At the end of last week I said goodbye to my 1,500 words and handed it in to be scrutinised by my tutor. Despite the hard work and stress towards the deadline it was all worth it for the great sense of pride I got after completing it. As the first of many, my assignment gave me a taste of what the next 3 years are going to entail.

Now being a student of 2 months I can truly say I am completely, entirely, 100% settled in. I absolutely love Edge Hill and I’m very proud to call it my home. It isn’t just the course, or the campus; but the students, lecturers and tutors who make the atmosphere so lovely too. I feel a real part of the community and there are friendly faces everywhere I go. What was once a distant idea of university, I now see as my home.

I’m quite excited for tomorrow. As a Student Guide for Edge Hill I get to work by sharing my experiences of university with those interested in coming here. Tomorrow I am visiting a sixth form to talk all about Primary Education here at Edge Hill and why I believe it to be such a fantastic course. I’m a little nervous to present all on my own to a big group of people, but I guess wanting to be a teacher means I’ll need to step up and be confident a lot in the future. So really, it’s a challenge I’m eager to try. It could either go flawlessly, or I could trip and fall flat on my face in front of a whole year group. We’ll just have to see (I’m praying for the first option).

As for now, I’m off to have a meal with my flatmates at a restaurant in town. The makings of a lovely evening.

Louise x

Sparklers

University is an academic experience as well as a life experience. Like tonight, I’ve learnt it’s not a great idea to use real sparklers inside. After a few magical seconds of singing happy birthday (sparklers being on the cake), both the fire and smoke alarms preceded to deafen us. Lesson learnt. However, it made for a very interesting twist to my friend’s birthday.

Go go go

After a spectacularly long train journey I can finally say I’m back in Ormskirk. This weekend I’ve missed my little flat more than usual, which has transformed from a house to my home over the last couple of weeks.

The past seven days have been hectic, and things aren’t about to change any time soon. I have a million and one tasks to complete written on to-do lists I’ve actually lost count of. I think I have to-do list for to-do lists. I have 12 more days to complete my first assignment about Inclusion within primary schools. Then there’s all the independent study tasks I have to complete after each session. Granted it’s a little stressful, but over the next few days especially I’m going become a workaholic and just get it done. University is definitely a huge step up from A Level, but it’s so refreshing to know that everyone is facing the same challenges as you and there’s so much support available. My tutor has already helped a great deal with guidance; she’s always around the corner, or an email/phone call away.

Besides, I’m still smiling as I have such a lot to look forward to this week. On Tuesday we have the first seminar for our Primary Education specialism (mine’s Communication, Language and Literature) and on Friday my best friends are coming to visit me for the whole weekend. We’ve got loads lined up and it’s bound to entail lots of laughter, partying and pizza – the ideal combination.

We had an exemplar visit to a local primary school the other day. I thought the school, staff and children were outstanding and it was a real inspiration. It was so nice to see all we’ve been taught so far actually put into practice, and it proved that everything we are learning will make a real contribution in schools.

So wish me luck, because this week is all go go go. Updates coming your way soon, plus you can follow me on Twitter: @LouiseEHU

Louise x

Beware: Zombies

This year our flat decided to host a Halloween party. By far, my best Halloween yet.

After decorating the entire flat on Sunday night we were all set for Halloween. It could have been mistaken for a haunted house, I was so impressed with how it turned out! There was something spooky everywhere. We even turned our bathroom into a crime scene investigation, with fake blood and dead roses in the bath. The party was busy, there were so many people packed into our kitchen. Afterwards we went into Ormskirk where I’ve never seen so many zombies, vampires, witches, ghosts, monsters, devils and skeletons all dancing. Not to mention an absolutely giant Elmo. And Michael Jackson.

In the beginning

When I think about the future it’s all a bit blurry. Where will I be? Who with? What experiences will I have? The only thing I’m completely sure of is, in three years, I want to be an outstanding primary school teacher. Edge Hill for me is the stepping stone that will guide me to the path I’ve always wanted to take in life; it fuels my enthusiasm, encourages me to go further and supports me if times are difficult. To be at university studying Primary Education has been my ambition for years and, in my eyes, no job is comparable to teaching. To follow the lives and growth of your students and to guide them through learning is such a rewarding career. And I’m so eager to get started.

I’m Louise, 18, and a first year Edge Hill University student studying BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS. I’ve been a student of Edge Hill for exactly 41 days… 41 days and already I’m in love with the whole university, my course, my campus accommodation, the societies I’ve joined and last (but certainly not least) the amazing friends I’ve made already. It’s so hard to believe that tomorrow will be my 6 week landmark. The time has FLOWN.

University for me should be an experience of independence and enjoyment, as well as taking the next vital steps in my career. At the end of my time at Edge Hill I want to have travelled, explored a bit of the world. But more than anything, I want to feel positive and confident in what I do. If I’ve got happiness, it doesn’t matter about anything else.

Of course, I wouldn’t object to becoming a millionaire. You know, maybe winning the lottery a couple of times. Owning a cruise ship. Or two. Seven mansions and all that…

I can dream.