From Fact to Fiction 📚

I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most
– Margaret Attwood (Nobel Prize of Literature, 2019)

Hi, my name is Georgia and I am a Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services in Catalyst. A great Study Happy tip is taking regular breaks and doing something enjoyable!

As a primary teacher in training, we are always encouraged to promote reading for pleasure in schools, but what about when you get past primary school? I loved to read throughout school, but now that I am in university, I find it hard to even think of reading something other than academic literature.

Open book with view over campus.Stack of reading books.Book.

Firstly, the important question! What is reading for pleasure? Well, this is the idea that anyone should be able to pick up a book, and not only read it but enjoy it! You don’t have to be an avid reader, just somebody who enjoys letting your mind ease into a world made of words, wit and wonders.

Our assignments require us to read journals, books, eBooks and ensure that we complete referencing correctly, but sometimes you need a brain break from studying and what better way to lose the stress of reality by getting lost in an atmosphere of imagination. In fact, reading not only relaxes your mind but also develops vocabulary and writing skills, supporting your academic assignments more than you’d think.

Did you know that there is an amazing range of fictional literature available in Catalyst? A whole section, from the first floor of the library to the second, filled to the brim with stories to expand your reading from ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ to ‘Macbeth’. These resources are accessible to all students to loan and I would recommend having a look around and discovering a book for you. You may be searching for a book for your children, your class or yourself, and you don’t have to be a teaching student to appreciate a good book!

Display of fiction book on Catalyst roof garden.

If you’re interested in sharing your favourite books with others and being introduced to new stories, then make sure you get involved in the Edge Hill Book Hunt. This scheme allows students and staff to leave books around campus for others to find, read and love. All you have to do is hide a book and then find a book! Make sure you post your found book on twitter with #EHUBookHunt.

#EHUBookHunt example.

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisors Georgia 📚

Student Advisor Georgia
Georgia Maestri-Banks
BA Primary English Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Study Happy Student Tips

The cold, dark nights of winter are finally upon us and despite Halloween being over I, like many students, am still feeling a little on edge… Not because of ghosts or ghouls but something more terrifying…assignment season is well and truly upon us.

Even as a third year the dreaded assignment deadlines looming ever closer tend to fill me with dread and panic. Despite having the best intentions, by starting early and doing plenty of reading, I somehow have days until my deadline and I am yet to start writing.  

If you’re like me and seem to get yourself into a bit of a tizz, worry not, as there are a multitude of ways to chase the assignment worries away…

Dark sky lit up by full moon with tree and birds in front.

1. GET YOURSELF A HARVARD REFERENCE GUIDE (shouty caps because it’s important!)

This is arguably one of the easiest ways to improve your academic skills and a great one to have under your belt!  It massively helps the flow of your assignment to have supporting evidence and references fitting in seamlessly with your own writing, rather than inserted randomly at the end. I’d recommend printing off a reference guide…mine never leaves my bag! Grab your Harvard Reference Guide here!

2. Proofread

I know it’s boring and can be long winded, especially after you’ve spent weeks reading and writing on the same subject, all you want to do is submit that assignment and have a well-deserved rest. BUT. Proofreading is a sure way to spot any little mistakes within your writing. I love using a text to voice converter or the read aloud feature in Word. You can also get a friend or family member to read over as a second (fresh!) pair of eyes, this is a good way to help spot those small annoying grammatical errors.

3. Use Google Docs, or a memory stick, not just Word

I discovered this the hard way after a 3500 word assignment deleted itself ☹ BACK UP YOUR WORK! I now use Google Docs to write my assignments as it’s free, can be used anywhere and all changes are automatically saved onto the cloud, meaning I don’t have to worry about deleting Word or losing my pen stick …and I’m not having to hawk my laptop around with me. Google Docs is also super helpful for group projects as it allows everyone in your group to see and edit the work wherever you are making collaborations – 1000x less stressful!

4. Explore your references, references (aka wider reading!)

I find looking at the reference list of the articles and books I am reading, especially of my core texts, a great starting to point to help me delve deeper into the subject area. Not only does this enhance your knowledge with wider reading but it also allows you to boost your references and showing depth of reading allowing you to access those higher grades! Also, when reading a source write your reference in your reference style (e.g. Edge Hill Harvard) right away, so when it comes to creating your reference list it’s a simple copy, paste and quick check over!

5. Ask for help when you need it

Although we’re at university to learn, and tutors can’t write your assignments for you, they are there to help us. If you’re unsure I find emailing the module lead or my personal tutor a great place to start. If you have non-subject specific query, such as how to find the right information, or how to be critical, Catalyst is where you need to be. UniSkills offer a range of workshops and 1-2-1 appointments. Check out our upcoming events and workshops at ehu.ac.uk/workshops. We also offer more casual drop in support sessions every weekday, 11am-2pm, for any quick queries you have – visit the Catalyst Helpdesk for more information.

I hope these tips have helped you feel a bit less spooked about your upcoming assignments…if you want any more help and support please get in touch via Ask Us, visit the Catalyst Helpdesk or you can find us (Student Advisors) all this week on the ground floor of Catalyst for Study Happy week!

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisor Maisie 😊


Maisie Masterman
BSc Primary Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Discover your study-life balance and be Study Happy!

The first term is well and truly underway and, as deadlines approach, it is a good time to think about how you ensure a healthy balance between study, rest and play. But never fear as Study Happy week is returning Monday 4th – Friday 8th November to offer you help, support, ideas and tips to transform your study-life experience!

Study Happy ☺️
All week our knowledgeable Student Advisors will be available (11am-4pm) on the ground floor event space in Catalyst, so why not take a well-earned study break and join them to discover some of their own great study tips and techniques that can help your studies.

Take One, Leaf One 🍁
Turn over a new leaf this autumn by increasing your healthy study practices. Look out for our inspiration tree where you can pick up a study happy tip, or leaf one of your own. Our Student Advisors will be demonstrating their own techniques for maintaining good study habits throughout  the week.

Student Advisor Study Tips Video 📽️

Mindful Activities 📃
As well as being fun, creativity is a key part of academic study. You can exercise your brain and develop your creative thinking skills by testing out your paperfolding origami skills.

Healthy Body, Happy Mind 🧠
While you are feeding your mind with handy academic study tips, don’t forget to feed your body too! Pick up some free fruit on offer all week to keep you fuelled up and ready to take on the rest of the term.

Motivational Music 🎼
Listen up! Music is one of the most popular ways to increase happiness whilst studying. Our Student Advisors have picked out their favourite tracks to work to and created an EHU Study Happy Spotify playlist. Come along to Catalyst during Study Happy Week to find out more about the motivational mix of music that has been created for you.

Cosy Competition❓
If the lure of free fruit, fun activities, study-friendly playlists, and academic study skills tips is not enough, why not escape from the temperamental autumn weather by coming inside cosy Catalyst and completing our academic study skills competition? Test your knowledge of spelling, grammar and referencing. All correct entries will be entered in our prize draw for a chance to win up to £25 in Amazon vouchers and a UniSkills goodie bag! (T&C apply).

UniSkills Workshops 👥
As always there are lots of UniSkills workshops taking place this week, all of which have been designed to help you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond!

EHU Big Read Student Book Club 📚
We think reading is good for the soul, and with lots of studies championing the benefits it can bring to your general wellbeing we can’t be wrong. If you’ve read this year’s Big Read book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, why not come along to our special book club and let us know what you thought.

Whether you’re still at the beginning, half way through or finished completely, we want to hear what you think of Harold and his journey! Join us Monday 4th November at 12pm in Willow – book your place now and we’ll even provide free pizza 🍕

Wellbeing Workshops 🧘
The Student Wellbeing team are running a series of workshops throughout the semester to support your own mental wellbeing. Whether you want to worry less, learn some mindfulness techniques, manage your stress or just get stuff done – there’s a workshop for you.

Manchester, Aintree & Virtual Support 💻
If you are studying at Manchester or Aintree, you will be able to pick up your free fruit and lots of helpful study tips all week from your Library. Manchester will be offering UniSkills drop ins and workshops, as well as a Study Happy display, and Aintree has a silent study area, a great reading for pleasure selection and will be hosting some educational boardgames and jigsaws throughout Study Happy week.

Don’t forget you can also access lots of help, support and guidance online 24 hours a day – a great place to start is your My Library tab in Learning Edge or our UniSkills webpages:ehu.ac.uk/uniskills. Whether you’re just starting your very first assignment and want to learn about planning and structure or are writing your final dissertation and need help with referencing, we can help you to boost your UniSkills!

This term we are also offering UniSkills workshops at Manchester and two virtual UniSkills workshops with unlimited spacesbook now!

Pencil

With so many amazing autumnal activities taking place during Study Happy week (and beyond!) be sure to join us for lots of tips and techniques to help you conker your study fears, begin to be-leaf in your academic abilities and be Study Happy!

Graphic image of students studying on an autumn day.

Study Happy Competition Terms and Conditions
1. Only EHU Students are eligible to win prizes, EHU staff may enter but are not eligible to win a prize.
2. Eligible competition entries must contain all five errors highlighted correctly and your student number.
3. There is one £25.00 Amazon voucher to win and two runners up UniSkills goodie bags.
4. You may enter the competition as many times as you wish, but only one correct entry will be entered in the final prize draw – entries can be submitted daily 11am-4pm only.
5. The winners will be contacted via their EHU student email.
6. The winners will be picked at random from a prize draw on Monday 11th November 2019.
7. The prizes are non-transferable.
8. All winners must be able to collect the prize from the Catalyst Helpdesk and be able to provide evidence/ID that they have won before we will award the prize.
9. Prizes must be collected by 4pm on Friday 22nd November 2019.
10. If anyone cannot be contacted or prizes are not collected by Friday 22nd November 2019 the entry will become null and void and a re-draw may take place.

A celebration of Maya Angelou

In honour of Black History Month, I have written a blog about my favourite female author – Maya Angelou!

Image of Maya Angelou looking happy!

I have loved Maya Angelou ever since I was a little girl. I think her kind face brings me comfort and reminds me of my gran. Her writing gave me hope and inspired me to push through adversity and never give up; when giving up felt like the only option.

Maya’s life

Maya was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. After her mum’s marriage ended, when Maya was four, her and her brother were sent on the train to rural Arkansas to live with the grandmother. After a traumatic event at age eight, she stopped speaking for five years. However, Maya rediscovered her voice through wonderful books, and went on to become one of the world’s most beloved writers and speakers.

Maya has written seven autobiographies, I highly recommend reading a few to gain more insight into her incredible life. Starting with I know why the cage bird sings; available at Ormskirk Public Library.

Why I love Maya

Maya was courageous and awe-inspiring. She was her authentic self, unapologetically. She pushed through the prejudice society has set for women at that time. She sang, she danced, she stood up for what she believed; she was a civil rights activist, an incredible writer, speaker and poet! It was rare to see a woman combine all those things and do it with sass, beauty, passion and kindness.

The thing that sticks out to me throughout Maya’s work is that she is honest and real about the challenges and hardships she faced. Life is tough for everyone and she did not shy away from sharing her adversity, but also sharing how she pushed through and got to the other side.

My favorite quote

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

My favorite books

Letter to my daughter
A beautiful book highlighting some of the lessons Maya has learned from her life. Each chapter breaks down a specific topic, Maya describes a time in her life where she has experienced something and shares the lessons she learned. 

Me, Mom and Me
Maya shares memories of her relationship with her mother. The challenges and changes of their time together as she aged, and how her life changed.   

My favorite poem

Phenomenal women
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


If you have enjoyed this excerpt, you can read the full poem here

Her work in present day

Her work is used in many different ways throughout the world. One that sticks out for me is Sport England This Girl Can campaign.

Their promotional video uses Maya’s Phenomenal Women poem to highlight how women can be empowered by sport and physical activity. I remember when I first seen it the video, I didn’t expect to hear Maya’s voice or her poem. My full body covered in goose bumps!

The video was released a year after Maya died – what a lovely way to keep her memory and her incredible work alive!

Podcast

If you want to listen to more of Maya’s beautiful voice check out these podcasts:
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – Best Advice She Ever Recieved
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – When You Know Better, You Do Better

Books avaialble from the EHU University Library

I shall not be moved
I Shall Not Be Moved
Gather together in my name
Gather Together In My Name
Maya Angelou. Little People, Big Dreams
Maya Angelou: Little People, Big Dreams

If you have enjoyed reading my blog, don’t forget to check out the Black History Month fiction book display on the ground floor of Catalyst available until the end of October 2019. After this the books will still be available to loan and you can access this handy guide anytime or online book list to find out more.

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisors Jen 📚

Student Advisor Jen
Jen Murray
MSc Sport, Physical Activity & Mental Health

Have you met your Student Advisors?

It has been another busy start to the academic year with lots of welcome and induction activities taking place across campus. If you joined us in Catalyst 16th – 27th September you may have even taken part in one of our Student Led Catalyst Tours, delivered by our team of Student Advisors. Don’t worry if you missed a physical tour you can always watch our virtual guided tour, hosted by our (now graduated 🎓) Student Advisor Jade, online anytime.

Who are the Student Advisors?

Well, I am glad you asked! This year Library and Learning Services have employed nine Student Advisors to provide peer to peer help, support and guidance to their fellow students – that’s YOU!

The team are all current 2nd year, 3rd year or Masters students and between them bring a great variety of subject knowledge from their individual disciplines together with a wealth of experience from studying at Edge Hill, using all of this to support you on your own University journey.

What can Student Advisors help me with?

The Student Advisors can help you get the most out of your Library, including locating and using physical and virtual resources for your studies. They can also help you to develop a range of introductory academic skills and introduce you to more specialised support where necessary. 

  • Searching the Library Catalogue for books and eBooks
  • Using Discover More to find online journal articles and other online resources
  • Navigating Learning Edge/Blackboard and your subject specific ‘My Library’ Tab
  • Harvard referencing
  • Finding and accessing UniSkills academic support material

How can I access the Student Advisors?

The Student Advisors work term-time weekdays 11am-4pm and you can book a 15 minute appointment with them to discuss any of the topics mentioned above.

The Student Advisors have just completed two weeks delivery of introductory UniSkills workshops (Getting Started… and Finding Your Resources 30th September – 11th October) but they will be returning throughout the year to offer more workshops on a range of topics, so be sure to keep a look out for your UniSkills timetable or online ehu.ac.uk/workshops

The Student Advisors will also be creating blogs, vlogs and social media content throughout the year on a range of academic skills topics and personal interests so be sure to keep up-to-date by following Learning Services on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on our blog.

Meet the team…

Anna Krawiecka
3rd Year – BSc Marketing with Digital Communications

Favourite place to study: Is on the first floor of Catalyst next to the spiral staircase as I enjoy looking out across campus. I prefer to study on campus as I can focus more, and I can easily access any useful resources or help if needed.

Best study tip: Create a study timetable! This allows you to clearly see the spare time you have around your academic timetable. I find this useful as I can then designate set days where I will complete work for every module. This ensures that I have enough time to work on assignments, meaning I don’t feel pressured by upcoming deadlines.

Favourite thing to do away from study: To de-stress I like to go to the gym or take part in a fitness class and my favourite way to chill out from my studies to is book a quiet weekend away somewhere!

Arifa Ugradar
3rd Year – BSc Business & Management with Marketing

Favourite place to study: The Catalyst is my favourite place to study by far. It has everything I need when I am self studying, working on assignments or a group project. I like to study on the third floor in the individual pods or sometimes when I come in the evening I like to work on the ground floor where there are large tables to work on near the window.

Best study tip: As soon as I am given the assignment brief for my module, I like to begin to format the document layout with suggestive subheadings provided by the module leader (or myself after reading the brief). I then cut and paste any additional notes relevant to the assignment to help me through the work. I continue this tip as a third year student – it is really helpful and saves me from flicking through one tab to another!

Favourite thing to do away from study: I enjoy colouring to de-stress, hanging out with my best buddy and going out during the daytime.

Charlotte Crook
2nd Year – BA History with Politics
Student Advisor Charlotte
Favourite place to study: has to be in the little pods on the ground floor of the Catalyst. I can’t study in silence, so I find the ground floor the best place for me. The little pods allow for a little bit more silence, and they have plug sockets for my laptop – so are a must for my longer study sessions! Also if you choose the right one you can get a really good view of the lake by Chancellors Court, which is lovely to look out to when I take my head out of a book. 

Best study tip: I have always found mind maps have really helped me when it comes to studying, whether it’s for assignments or exams. They help me get all my ideas down onto paper and then link up the relating points. Also you can make them look really smart, and I love revising off notes that are really neat and comprehensive.

Favourite thing to do away from study: Whenever I am away from study I do one of two things, my favourite thing to do is to take my dog out for a walk to the field, he is still trying to get the hang of fetch – he is almost there. I find being out with other dog walkers and dogs really calming, as I have nothing else on my mind except how cute all the dogs are. The other thing I enjoy to do away from study is to binge watch a series, watching a few episodes of a new series is really a treat after a long day of studying! 


Favourite thing to do away from study:

Dylan Booth
Masters – MA Creative Writing

Favourite place to study: My favourite place to study is the group study rooms in Catalyst. I like being secluded from outside distractions, whilst still being able to chat with my course mates.

Best study tip: Plan ahead and don’t leave things to the last minute. I’ve learned this the hard way through my undergraduate degree. I always like to make sure that I have my assignment submitted at least the day before. 

Favourite thing to do away from study: I go to the cinema a lot. I enjoy seeing new films, it allows me to wind down, and it also helps with my writing for my course as well. 

Ellis Brooks
3rd Year – BA Primary Mathematics Education with QTS
Student Advisor Ellis
Favourite place to study: My favourite place to study is Starbucks in Ormskirk.

Best study tip: The best study tip I was ever given, that’s always worked, is start assignments ASAP – they creep up on you!

Favourite thing to do away from study: Outside uni I like to read, draw and play pool.

Georgia Maestri-Banks
3rd Year – BA Primary English Education with QTS
Student Advisor Georgia
Favourite place to study: Off campus is my super comfy green chair in my kitchen. On Campus, I love studying in the secret pods on the ground floor of Catalyst.

Best study tip: I discovered for myself was to ensure I make a revision/assignment timetable and plan my assignments out using bright coloured highlighters.

Favourite thing to do away from study: To de-stress is playing the piano and songwriting.

Jen Murray
Masters – MSc Sports, Physical Activity & Mental Health
Student Advisor Jen
Favourite place to study: If it’s warm, my favourite place to study is anywhere outside. If it’s cold and rainy I often head to cosy coffee shops. I try to find funky, independent places that have lots of space, so I am not taking up room with my laptop.

Best study tip: Plan, organise and make use out of the support the university offers- for example, attend workshops- it really helps, you always come away with something useful!

Favourite thing to do away from study: Morning runs, yoga, wild camping, hiking with my partner- anything outside in nature helps me de-stress and unwind. I also love listening to podcasts and reading (my fav podcasts are Joe Rogan Podcast and Happy Place by the lovely Fearne Cotton. 

Lauren Gallagher
Masters – MA English
Student Advisor Lauren
Favourite place to study: Changes all the time depending on my mood, I’m normally most productive working from bed with music or a TV show on in the background; must be comfy. 😄 

Best study tip: Make the most of audiobook free trails, find a course-relevant book, and listen to it repeatedly until you can pretty much parrot the whole thing.

Favourite thing to do away from study: I always play games to chill after studying all day, especially JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) with good immersive worlds like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, love some escapism.

Maisie Masterman
3rd Year – BSc Primary English Education with QTS
Student Advisor Maisie
Favourite place to study: At uni it has to be Catalyst – anywhere by a window or if not anywhere quiet and peaceful with a nice view. A study essential has to be a cup (or mug) of tea!

Best study tip: Listen to your tutors – they are there to help and whilst you can’t ask them to write your assignments for you, they are always there to help. 

Favourite thing to do away from study: I love baking and cooking especially with friends or family, keeping fit, having a boogie and relaxing with books and podcasts – How To Fail is a favourite of mine!

Spotlight on…Reservations!

Welcome to our seventh ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors have been bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

Looking for books can be frustrating, especially when you finally find the one you want and realise all copies are out on loan. But have no fear because a cool thing about our library is the fact that we can reserve books!

What makes it even better is that after you reserve a book all you have to do is sit back and relax because not only will they email you once the book is available…but they’ll even leave it for you to collect right next to the self-issue machines.

All you have to do is simply go to the Reservations shelves on the ground floor of Catalyst, find your student number (they are all filed in numerical order) and your book will be waiting. You do not even need to go through the hassle of finding the book on the library shelves, they do all that for you. Just make sure you take a few steps to the left to self-issue the book and you are good to go!

Did you also know that if the library does not stock a particular book at your home site, they may have it at one of the others and you can reserve it. There are three libraries in total; Aintree, Manchester and our main in Catalyst at Ormskirk. TOP TIP: Aintree also has a great fiction selection for any avid readers out there!

All libraries are open to use so if you happen to be visiting Manchester or Aintree, or they are closer to home for you, then you can collect and return books there too – which is one of the great things I love about our library, it makes book borrowing easy!

Location and opening hours of all libraries can be found on our webpages!

Written by: NATASHA TAPERA

2nd Year BA Counselling & Psychotherapy

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Spotlight on…Catalyst CD Collection

Welcome to the fifth of our ‘Spotlight on…’ blog series! As part of #LoveYourLibrary month, our Student Advisors will be bringing light to some of Catalyst’s lesser-known fantastic features.

Today, Dylan uncovers the delights of Catalyst’s very own CD collection…

Attention music lovers! If you’d much rather listen to music played from your CD player than your phone then look no further. Edge Hill offers an array of CD choices in Catalyst, many of which you are eligible to loan! The CD collection is located on the 2nd floor of Catalyst.

If you’re a lover of the classics, Beethoven might be the best choice for you.

Or, if you prefer mellow music, Bob Marley’s tunes could be your choice.

For band lovers there is a collection for The Beatles and their greatest hits.

And for the lovers of musicals, there are multiple; CATS, Fun Home, Oliver and many more are available for you to loan and listen to.

There are many more artists to be discovered in the music collection!

Why not check it out yourself and find your favourite genre?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Random Act of Kindness Day

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
~
Ghandi

Today, 17th February, is Random Act of Kindness day. Research has proven that showing kindness and consideration to others has multiple benefits for both giver and receiver. Being kind increases oxytocin, which strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system, and produces endorphins, which are our natural painkillers. Kindness is contagious, showing kindness produces a ripple through its recipients, leaving more than just one person happy.

There are so many ways of showcasing your kindness and helping other people, either today, or throughout the year. I’ve made 15 suggestions here detailing how you could practise kindness to those around you:

  1. Pay it backward and buy coffee at 53.3 Degrees for the person standing behind you in line.
  2. Send positive text messages to people you love throughout the day. Show them how much they mean to you.
  3. Let someone purchase their shopping before you if they only have a few items.
  4. Suggest a book recommendation using Edge Hill’s Library Services.
  5. Brighten your family member’s morning by leaving a kind or funny message on your mirror with a whiteboard marker.
  6. Smile at five strangers.
  7. Help someone loan a book at the Catalyst.
  8. Practice self-help and self-kindness by spending some time today doing something you love.
  9. Leave a generous tip for a helpful and kind server.
  10. Compliment a stranger.
  11. One for the year; on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day think of those friends who have lost a parent and check in with them. Those will be tough days.
  12. Why not join a bone marrow registry? Having yourself on the registry could be the difference between life or death for someone who needs bone marrow or stem cells. Anthony Nolan are a great charity that focus on finding stem cells and bone marrow for patients in need.
  13. Listen – don’t interrupt. Sometimes people just want someone to listen, not suggest a solution.
  14. If you’ve had great experiences from a business you like, why not write them a review online? These help a lot more than you realise.
  15. When you’re discouraged by your own voice, tell yourself something positive. You deserve kindness too!

The Random Acts of Kindness Organisation showcases different ways that you can exhibit kindness and offers resources to promote a kinder and more thoughtful world. Why not become a RAKtivist? RAKtivists are ambassadors of the Random Acts of kindness Organisation that share their knowledge and lead by example.

Video Credit: Random Acts Of Kindness, 2018

Make sure that, at least today, you offer kindness to those around you – strangers, family, colleagues, friends. People benefit from your generosity more than you can know.

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Happy National Hobby Month!

Can you believe that extreme ironing is a hobby? People take to mountains, helicopters and even mid-air to iron their clothes. Have you ever heard of Baggists? Baggists collect sick bags from aeroplanes and websites are available for Baggists to buy and sell bags they may not have found.

So… to celebrate national hobby month, why don’t you take up a new hobby? I won’t expect you to iron your bed sheets whilst hung from a parachute or fly around the world to collect bags from flights – but even taking up the smallest hobby that you enjoy can improve your overall satisfaction.

I’ve listed hobbies below to give you an idea of new activities you could trial out:

  • Join a new society – Edge Hill host an array of societies including cheerleading, LGBT society, murder mystery and table top gaming.
  • Reading – Some people wish they had time to read, but don’t. Why don’t you give yourself some time to go through Catalyst’s resources and find yourself a book?
  • Learn a new language – Why not download an app to help you learn a new language? In an ever-expanding and multi-cultural world, learning a new language is never a bad thing. Not only is it a mind-sharpening activity, it also proves very good on a CV!
  • Writing – Writing fiction, poetry, scripts or non-fiction can earn you money. If you’ve had that idea nagging in your head for a while, get started!
  • Scrapbooking – Are you the artistic type? Scrapbooking can be extremely therapeutic and stimulating for those who love art and aesthetic. Put your artistic practises to use and create a collage of your memories.
  • Learn to play an instrument – Music-lovers might like this one. Developing your skills as a musician has so many benefits, and you might discover your hidden talent.
  • Meditation – It might sound strange, but meditation can slow down the mind and relax your anxieties and encourage a healthier mindset.
  • Join the gym – Why not join Edge Hill University’s renowned gym? Its facilities are enough to cater for all sporty types or new starters!

If you already have a hobby – celebrate by doing more of it. Improving and strengthening your wellbeing using hobbies will have positive impacts on your approach to university.

To celebrate the new year why not try something new?

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services

Preparing for the exam season

Exam season is upon us and, in case you missed the revision tips and techniques workshop in December, I’m here to provide you with some helpful tips for revision.

Revision Techniques Effective tips
Notes Drawings
Posters Cartoons
Mindmaps Placing
Flashcards Self-tests
Lists Re-writing
Quizzes Incentives
Powerpoints Diagrams
Flow Charts Colour-coding
Exam Papers Reading aloud
Images Repetition
Articles Time Management (short breaks, pomodoro technique etc.)

The key thing about finding your perfect revision strategy is not what technique to use, but how to use it. Students often *trick* themselves into thinking that they’re revising but, truthfully, the revision technique is not working for them. Finding the best possible technique will enhance your revision knowledge and ensure you’re not wasting precious time.

Below is a table of revision techniques alongside tips on how to make techniques effective.

Interesting fact to note: using highlighters and listening to music are scientifically proven not to be beneficial. Although it’s proven, if those methods do help you revise, then go for it. Finding your revision strategies is all about what works with you and how you can manage it.

These days you can take your revision anywhere with you just by using your phone. There are many strong and effective apps to use when revising, I’ve chosen my favourite and listed them for you.

Go Conqr   Allows the user to create mind maps, flashcards, quizzes, slides and notes to equip every student with a revision bank.

Evernote    Allows the creation of notes in multiple formats including checklists, sketches, photos, scans, audio, video, PDF’s & web clippings.

One Note   Similar to Evernote, allows the user to file notes into notebooks and multiple formats.

Instapaper Allows the user to save and store web articles (adjustable for ease of reading) which can later be read offline.

Pocket        Similar to Instapaper, allows the user to save articles for offline reading and tag articles for easy searching and recommended interests.

2Do             Allows the user to create organisable tasks, projects and checklists in a calendar-based time-management app.

Any Do       Similar to 2Do, allows the user to organise the tasks in a calendar but offers more options in terms of attachments and sorting.

Trello          Allows the user to create work-boards for projects and designate workflows in a project management tool.

Another crucial aspect to note when coming to revision is how you approach revision. Below is a table of dos and don’ts when coming to revision.

Dos Don’ts
Start revising early Don’t procrastinate
Take short breaks Don’t go overboard with revision
Manage your time effectively Don’t avoid subjects you hate
Find a good revision environment Don’t surround yourself with distractions
Start a revision study group Don’t just read your notes
Refine your revision study Don’t spend too long making notes look pretty
Eat and stay hydrated Don’t miss out on sleep

Don’t panic this exam season and take on board the advice in this blog post. Think about how you can make your revision work for you, and whether your current method is effective or not. Remember, eat, drink and sleep, missing out on these three things will impact your mindset and mentality towards revision.

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services