Impending Va-Va-Voom

It has certainly been a tense time across Britain and the rest of the world lately, with sports fans eagerly checking the latest results from the Olympic Games. A new kind of eagerness for results is creeping up on us though, as it is now less than a fortnight until A-Level results come out, and many young folks find out whether they have enough UCAS points to get into their chosen universities.

When I was choosing where to go, I did let UCAS points have a certain say in it. I’m sure teachers at most schools will have recommended confirming the university you most want to go to and a ‘safety choice’ with a lower UCAS point requirement, just in case you don’t get the grades you’re hoping for. I was really lucky with Edge Hill in the sense that its requirements for entry onto the English and Creative Writing course were really very modest, considering the level of further education they were offering. The course itself is full of tutors all contributing to their field enthusiastically (rather than just reading someone else’s book) and always going the extra mile for any student who needs help in any way, so the low point-requirement was a dream come true.

Results day was amazing for me. I managed to do a little better than I needed to get onto the course and was therefore in the position to go to either Edge Hill or my second choice. I’m not going to lie, my second choice (at the time) had one advantage in the form of a bursary that I would have been eligible for but, to be honest, Edge Hill was so much better that I was actually happy to say no to a few beer tokens (yes, I actually did, it’s here in writing now!) for a university that has really given me a priceless and unforgettable experience that has seen me enjoy a fantastic course with great tutors, make awesome friends and also live an independent life with a great mix of studying and partying.

Well, it’s about time for me to wrap this up. I know results aren’t out for a little while yet, but my advice is not to worry about them (though it’s easier said than done, I know!). What’s done is done, and stressing over them won’t change anything. I hope you’ve enjoyed your respective courses though, and please take it from me that even better times are just around the corner at Edge Hill. On a note about bursaries and scholarships, here’s a link to the Edge Hill finance page, which has links to bursaries, scholarships, fees etc: http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees. Before you come here, do check and see if you are able to get any extra financial support. Some support is available for certain disabilities, but also for special achievements in certain fields, so you owe it to yourself!

Peace out.

Answers to the Ultimate Questions

I remember this time of year three years ago, when I was applying to my five universities through UCAS. I was as worried about choosing the right place to study as Wimbledon-watchers are about the rain. Still, unlike Andy Murray, I had a lot more success at the end of the process because, for me, Edge Hill is the top trophy. I’ve written a bit about why I went, but today I’m talking about how.

Some of you will probably already have had an experience of Edge Hill’s supportive nature and I hope you trust me when I say it will carry on being supportive all the way through you degree (even afterwards!). Once I’d made my uni choices, all sorts of letters from them, thanking me for applying and whatnot. Some of them included student union publications, which were mainly full of pictures of sweaty, over-hair gelled ravers, not exactly the best impression of a uni’s social scene! There was a lot of information, sometimes too much, but no-one ever answered all my questions.

Edge Hill, however, handled this side of the application process perfectly. They were very much like the third stage of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. There wasn’t too little information, there wasn’t too much. It was just right. And they only contacted with relevant stuff. I remember how important a comfortable campus was for me, and the accomodation, facilities and entertainment information you get sent made it a no-brainer. Of course, now Edge Hill has The HUB building, which has made the campus even better than it was when I came, it’s a great focal point in a thriving environment.

Once you’ve been accepted you’ll also get information on what you’ll need to pack, any things you’ll need to sign up for and a whole load of amazing things you can do during Freshers’ Week. But, if this isn’t enough, why not get in touch? You can do that here http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/contactus, they’d love to hear from you! The uni really does do all it can to give you answers to the ultimate questions, so get involved and find out just how much fun you’ll have here.

The Euros Are Here!

 

Yes indeedy, love or loathe football you’re gonna be hard pressed to escape it this next month as teams from the four corners of Europe come together to duke it out on the pitch. Don’t worry though, this isn’t going to be a post about my predictions for 2012, I’d only get them wrong anyway! No, this is a post about beginnings. It’s a beginning for footballers and fans across Europe, it’s the beginning of some better weather here in Ormksirk (it’s been gorgeous for ages but then we’ve had a few wet days lately) and hopefully your new beginning at Edge Hill only a matter of months away.

            I remember when I first started three fantastic years ago. It’s this time of year, when the weather’s nice and there’s plenty of reasons to go out that Ormskirk really comes alive. I stayed in halls my first year and the atmosphere is great. You make friends really quick when a load of you are living together, and in the evenings there were always a fair few kick-abouts happening on the grass on campus (for when the outdoor pitches were full, that is), so you get to know people from other halls quickly too. It’s such a friendly atmosphere, I can’t believe I was ever worried about going!

            Of course, if the kick-arounds don’t quench your appetite for footy, the uni bar will gladly oblige. Yes, my local in the first year was a grand total of two minutes away from my bed. You’ll never have it as good as you will at Edge Hill, I can guarantee you. I used to go and watch Liverpool play down there, the beers cheap and the bar staff are great, what more could you ask?

            If that doesn’t satisfy you, well then you are a true football fan! Liverpool is just a short train ride away and is home to some of the best football on the planet. My first time at Anfield was mind blowing. Really, there’s been nothing to compare it with, no live music I’ve ever seen or even playing sport myself, it was one of the best moment of my life. I suppose I should try and be more balanced in this post, I don’t want to upset anyone. Manchester is also close on the train, but there’s no point going there if you want to watch football… Do they have any teams down there? 😛

            So that’s it folks, if footy fever has got your temperature up at the minute you can’t do much better than come to Edge Hill. The friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to take part in many sports on many different levels are just a couple of reasons why the university is so popular, so supportive and so enjoyable. The future begins today!

Better than a Hammock

I had my last ever assessment for my degree last Friday. An exam for ‘Beyond English’, where I wrote an essay on semantics, was my finale to three years’ worth of work, and I think it went okay. This isn’t a post about what I’m up to, though, I’d actually like to tell you a story about the build up to this exam, and how it shows the level of support given to each and every student at Edge Hill.

It was Thursday, the day before my exam, and I was at home busy revising when I got a call on my mobile. I wasn’t expecting a call, but when I picked it up it was someone from the Edge Hill offices, telling me that the room for the exam had changed. I hear sometimes from my friends at other universities how bad they are at communication with their students, and I think that’s a real shame. At Edge Hill, the tutors are all really confident about using the online learning tools (namely ‘Learning Edge’, which you’ll become well acquainted with upon arrival!) and tell you about upcoming changes and the like as soon as possible. In this case, with the change happening so soon, they actually took the time to ring around all the affected students so that they’d be made aware.

That to me indicates a fantastic level of support. I’d say it was even better than a hammock!

The Start of an Era

Last Friday saw my final lesson as a BA student at Edge Hill. It was quite a poignant moment – realising that your three years’ study is coming to an end and that you and all the friends you’ve made will all be moving on. Rather than being sad, though, we had a great send-off and kept up a Creative Writing tradition: the end of year reading.

As tutor Robert Sheppard pointed out, this is a form of publication (i.e. making public) of your creative work, and a fantastic opportunity to show your skills. It took place in the newly refurbished Hale Hall (you can see it looking all new and sparkly in the background of the picture there) and there was a reasonable turnout too, which doesn’t help the nerves, but the more the merrier when it comes to sharing your work.

The past two years, the reading has been grouped according to the year you’re in, but this time first, second and third years were all there to listen, and some to perform. Mostly people read poetry, but there was a short story and even some music, which just goes to show how diverse the range of chances is at Edge Hill.

It’s not compulsory to read out at this event, so don’t let it put you off if you don’t feel comfortable, you can just sit back and enjoy the other performances. As you can see by the picture (apologies, I know I’m no oil painting!), I couldn’t resist reading out one of my pieces (from my own writing, rather than class work) and, as always, the reception was very supportive.

I bet you’re itching to give it a go, aren’t you? Well, all you need to do is come to Edge Hill and you’ll get the chance!