Say Hello to your UniSkills Student Advisors!

Library and Learning Services has recently recruited some new Student Advisors to join our already established (and award winning!) UniSkills team. As current students, they bring a wealth of experience from studying at Edge Hill as well as a great variety of subject knowledge from their individual disciplines. You may have already met some of them at our Welcome Week activities and Find Your Feet drop-in/workshops last month. Read on to to find out more about who they arewhat they are studying and their top Study Happy tips!

Darren

Student Advisor Darren in Catalyst standing in front of the bookshelves

Hi, my name is Darren and I’m studying a degree in BA HONS Teaching, Learning and Child Development and have just begun my final year. One of the most enjoyable things about studying the course is the fact that I can gain an insight into how education can develop and influence children’s future, while developing my own research skills.  

I am in the same situation as you all are with assignments however one little top tip from me to stay happy and motivated when studying is to plan my time into bite size chunks, setting a certain amount of time for study and a certain amount time for socialising with friends and family. This really helps me to stay motivated on my studying but also ensures I stay connected with friends and family. Give it a go and see if it works for you!

Eoin

Student Advisor Eoin

Hey everyone, I’m Eoin (he/him), and I’m currently studying an MA in Creative Writing. I’ve been a Student Advisor since September ’22 and although I’ve only been in the role a short time, I hope that I’ve already made a difference! 

My top tip for successful and stress-reduced studying is to read first, write later. It can often be tempting to start writing and submitting anything to make a dent in your workload. My advice is to close that Word doc! The best assignments are backed by a wealth of sources and wider reading. Take the time to read up on the subject you’ve chosen for your assignment before ever putting pen to paper. This lets you fully immerse yourself in the publications around your chosen topic with an open mind; once you’ve done this, you’re ready to start work on your assignment. 

The reason you should read before writing is twofold. Firstly, it becomes a lot harder to read up on your chosen topic halfway through an assignment, because by then you’re already committed to the specific approach your assignment is taking to the subject. This means you’ll begin to read your sources with a mind to serve your assignment rather than support it, which I would argue is bad practice. In addition, the best marks demand a lot of hard work, both in the reading and writing that goes into any assignment. Why do it all at once? Separating these tasks ensure your workload is manageable, and as a by-product, it will likely be done to a higher quality. Try approaching your assignments in this way and see if it works for you! 

Paula

Student Advisor Paula

My name is Paula Garlick, I am currently studying an MA in 19th Century studies, after having just graduated in Psychology.  I have been a student advisor for just over a year now and have been involved in a multitude of activities from open days to chat buddying on UniSkills webinars. All of which I thoroughly enjoy. As a mature student I’ve attended the Returning to Learning workshops as both a Student Advisor and as a participant. I thoroughly recommend these to any mature student, meeting other older students on different courses is a plus; courses may be different, but our overall experiences, problems and solutions are pretty much the same. It’s also a nice excuse to have a chat and a cup of coffee. 

I like to think that I am a positive person most of the time, but we all have our down moments and it can be harder to juggle when you are older and have heavy commitments outside of university. If I feel the pressure building I like to take myself away for half an hour and I will have a walk around the gorgeous grounds if I’m on campus. If I’m at home I’ll either put something on Netflix for a bit of a binge, read some fiction or spend time with my lovely children and my cat Lucy.

Judea

Hey! My name is Judea, and I am a second year English Language and Literature student. I am a new student advisor, having started in September this year. Since starting, I have really enjoyed being a part of such an amazing group of student advisors. You should know that I’m from Bermuda…not the Bermuda triangle, a very little island in the middle of the Atlantic, so I am far from home.  

Judea, wearing a black top, hoop earrings and a head band, smiling at the camera

My Study Happy tip is to form a study group with people on your course. This makes studying more enjoyable for me, and helps me to understand things through others, which I may have not grasped on my own.  

Something I like to do within my study group is to act as though I am teaching the material I am learning, explaining everything in my own words. Catalyst has bookable group rooms, which are so great for this. I come prepared with notes and go over the PowerPoint used in class. Saying the material out loud as well as using my own examples helps me to better retain and understand what I am learning.  

Elizabeth

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Devine (she/her/hers) and I have just begun my 4th Year of my PhD in Law at Edge Hill University! I am currently writing up my 80,000-word thesis which is entitled: ‘Exploitation of People and Planet: An international legal approach to the role of modern slavery in climate change and environmental destruction.’ So, as you can tell, I have been at university a long, long time! For the past three years, I have also taught undergraduate law (including marking assessments!) as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and have gained my Fellowship at the Higher Education Academy (meaning I am qualified to teach at HE institutions!). After finishing my GTA scheme, I became a Student Advisor, which has been brilliant (so far) in bringing my wealth of experience to help other students get the most out of their degree, as well as feel supported and happy here. 

Student Advisor Liz, wearing a check dress and glasses, smiling at the camera

My Study Happy tip is surrounding organisation! Believe it or not, 8 years into university and I still struggle at times to manage my workloads, meet deadlines, and keep organised at university. Throw my personal life into the mix as well as my job, if I am not organised, I will become very overwhelmed! Trying to get a good, manageable, and healthy work-life balance can be difficult. Over the years, I have tried and tested many methods, so here is a few that I have found extremely helpful!  

My top tip is to treat university like a full-time job. Try to conduct all your lectures, seminars, prep, readings and studying Monday-Friday between a time that suits how you work best (everyone works differently!) That way, you have your evenings and weekends free to relax, socialise and recoup! Of course, at times you may need to dip into these, but having this balance will help you all year round!  

Tom

My name is Tom, and I am a second-year Politics and Sociology student. I recently started the role of Student Advisor and I am excited to help you with your studies and more! Throughout my time at Edge Hill, I have been incredibly lucky to experience opportunities that have developed my learning and personal growth! Some include working as a ‘Student Guide, a Digital Internship at Edge Hill, doing research projects and more. Working at Edge Hill, I have been able to see behind the scenes and am willing to share my prior and new knowledge with you so you too exceed in your studies! 

Student Advisor Tom smiling at the camera

Some tips that I really recommend for you to study happy is to plan out your time wisely. Creating a realistic timetable for you to get your work done whilst enjoying your free time is vital to keep you motivated. One example is having a whiteboard that has my week planned, showing what time my lectures are and when I have free time to myself. Having a plan like this helps me see what needs to be done and when I will be able to do it, making sure that I have time to myself and do sociable activities with my friends. There’s nothing worse than feeling you must miss things because you have too much to do! 

Another tip I have is to make yourself comfortable when studying! Being comfortable whilst studying is what I do first before a reading session or essay writing. Get yourself a warm drink in this chilly weather and put on your favourite podcast/playlist. When you do not feel comfortable anymore, switching it up and changing your environment where you feel you can thrive is important, whether that be in your bedroom, Catalyst or your favourite café. It will help you get into the correct mindset to have the best feeling for studying! A happy study session is a productive study session. 

Michelle

Hi, my name is Michelle Hopwood. I’m a 2nd Year BSc (Hons) Business and Management with Leisure and Tourism Student, which has developed my interest in Responsible and Green Tourism to support Green Care. I recently began working as a Student Advisor; however, you may have seen me working as a Student Ambassador on the EHU ‘Chat with Us’ function, as a course representative or on a student advisory panel. I love being an active member of the Edge Hill community, but as a mature student, I have many commitments outside of EHU so good time management and organisational skills are needed. 

Michelle, who has blonde hair and a black top, smiling at the camera in front of some greenery

I strongly advocate using a weekly planner and a good old-fashioned diary to stay on top of the to-do list and deadlines.  It is a bit of a shock to the system when all the competing assessment deadlines arrive, but it is totally possible to do and so rewarding afterwards to look back on what you have achieved.  

Black dog in a coat looking cute

Enjoying my university journey so far has required an excellent study-family-work-volunteer-life balance. I love using my spare time on walks with my dog poppy (who is my study buddy), getting outdoors, especially in the garden or hiking with my twin daughters or friends. I also love a good musical theatre production.   

A great tip for studying happy is to surround yourself with plants!  There is so much research on the benefit of surrounding ourselves with indoor plants. The RHS encourage us to do this to help with mood, stress levels and productivity; from my experience, I highly recommend it.  A snake plant will stand up to neglect, and a Monstera will grow long stems which can be pinned around your wall.   

Don’t forget you can meet your Student Advisors all this week on the Catalyst ground floor as part of Study Happy, where you’ll also find free fruit, an exciting competition and more!