I guess this is it…!!

Welcome Sunday is THIS WEEKEND! How did that happen so fast?! Anyway, I’m sure you’re all very organised and almost packed up your belongings into banana boxes you nicked from Morrison’s by now (or at least started it!)

I, on the other hand, didn’t start packing until 7pm the DAY before moving into halls – bad move Nicholson! It took me about 3 weeks to make trips back and forth between home and uni to eventually have everything that I wanted in my room . If you’re reading this now and in a bit of a flux about packing – stop and make a list! That way, you won’t get into halls on Sunday and realise you’ve forgotten half your clothes, your toothbrush and Mr Teddy (just how are you going to cope with those long nights on your own?!)

I guess this makes it all a little more real for me aswell – I enrol on my MA course a week on Monday so I’m cramming in all that reading that I should have done by now and just praying it all sinks in ! It is absolutely crazy how quickly this past year seems to have flown by – the next three years for you are going to go just as fast so, as one final reassurance from one student to another before you all embark on an amazing journey (…cheese city)

“enjoy every minute!”

Sarah

@sarahnicehu

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I go away for 10 days and come back to everyone living in Pontins!!

If you are going to be living there or had a look around, let me know what you think of this! The forums are certainly giving love to this new accommodation so bring me up to date with it all if you would!! 🙂

So whilst all the results and the accommodation allocation was going on, I was in Marbella (ella, ella, eh eh eh) and was sure I would see Katie Price/ TOWIE lot chillin’ next to me in the duty free shop hoarding vodka and beer but alas, it was just me.

So that’s why I haven’t posted in a while, I had a lovely lovely time soaking up the sun (and the random 5 minutes of rain that managed to make a sizzling sound when it touched my burnt bits!) and celebrated my 21st birthday in the best possible way! 

But now that’s over so whilst I’m peeling and regretting not buying the bottle of ‘tan maximizer’ on the plane back home, I have to now focus on the fact that a month today I’ll be starting my first MA class! I still have so many books to read and preparation to do and seriously need to get out of holiday mode and looking through the photos at least 5 times a day in the hope that I might magically end up back there! 

I did manage to read a collection of short stories as part of my MA reading list whilst away and I certainly would recommend it. Even if you’re not a short story reader or even completely unaware of them, have a look at Nancy Lee’s “Dead Girls.” I have a feeling that I’m going to be very vocal in the lecture that surrounds that reading – v.v.good! So, I best get on with reading the 11 more, I guess!

I know I’m a little behind on saying this but congratulations to all those who got the results they wanted and I wish you all the very best in the future!!

Sarah @sarahnicehu

🙂

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Quick Q&A

Hello!

So, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m going to try and answer some of the more popular questions that have arisen within the last few weeks on the forum to try and solve any worries you may have.

What facilities are available on campus? Best places to hang out?

Edge Hill is a campus university so you will find most things you need in one place. To answer as succinctly as possible, (nice word, succ-in-ct-ly…) we have a university bar and an attachment called the ‘venue’ which holds many social events from every night during Fresher’s Week, to the popular sports social nights on Wednesdays (we’ve had foam parties, silent discos, even Matt Willis from Busted DJ’ing in the Venue – you name it, its probably happened!!)

In the same building as the bar, there is ‘The Diner’ which place where you can order fast food (you can use your food card if you’re in catered accomodation) and is one of many places to get food around campus – with most buildings having at least a coffee machine to help you from that walk of death from your uni room to early morning lectures! As of September, the Student Hub will be opening and, with plenty of seating areas and choice of meals and food, I’m sure it’ll be a very popular meeting place throughout the day! In this building will also be new offices for the Student Union as well as a Starbucks and a newsagents – everything you could possibly need!

The university library is also in the middle of being revamped and is another one of the popular places on campus to meet. If you live on campus, you’ll find your kitchen (or common room if you live in back halls) will become to ‘place to be’ for gathering before and after social events… basically Edge Hill have plenty of places on campus to meet and socialise!

Term time dates?

Welcome Sunday (the day you move into halls) is the 18th September 2011. Fresher’s week begins that night and runs (surprisingly) throughout the whole week! You wont have any formal lectures that week, but will be required to enrol and attend some classes dependent upon your course so make sure you are aware of your timetables.

Term dates for the BA/BSc modular degree scheme 3 year course are as follows:

Autumn term – 19/09/2011 – 16/12/2011 (13 weeks)

Spring term – 03/01/2012 – 23/03/2012 (12 weeks)

Summer term – 16/04/2012 – 01/06/2012 (7 weeks)

 

Health courses are the same as above (for the September intake)

Undergraduate teaching courses are similar to the above dates except for an extra week in the spring terms (finishing on 30/03/2012)

and an extra 3 weeks at the end of the summer term (commencing on 22/06/2012)

Travelling by train?

Ormskirk holds its own small train station.

To get to/from Liverpool, there is a regular train every 15 minutes which terminates at Liverpool Central/Ormskirk. To get the the uni from the station, its about a 10-15 minute walk up St Helen’s road, or you could walk the small distance to the bus station to catch the free bus to the campus which again comes pretty regularly (every 15 minutes) and runs from 8am – 9pm.

You can also get to Preston from Ormskirk and again takes 30 minutes. The train isn’t as regular as the Liverpool train but from Preston, you can pretty much travel anywhere up and down the country, making commuting not as difficult as it may seem at first!

Car parking on campus is very limited and if you live on campus, is only granted should you have placements on your course so make sure you familiarise yourself with the public transport of the area. I found that travelling by train was actually quicker than driving and much much cheaper (especially with the cost of petrol at the moment!)

What to bring?

Living on campus is a very exciting but scary prospect, but don’t make the same mistakes that I made – that mistake was bringing everything but the kitchen sink with me on Welcome Sunday! I know its hard not to pack up your entire life into free boxes you nicked from Morrisons but think practically what you’ll need and use! The biggest issue if you’re on a self catering plan is bringing kitchen supplies – it’s not a secret that I ended up taking a garlic press ‘just in case’! If you know you’re a frozen chips and chicken sort of guy, then bring the baking tray and oven gloves- leave the measuring jug, wok and juicer at home! You’ll need plates, dishes, cutlery and pans but try and keep it as basic and minimalistic as possible – you may end up sharing with the people you’re living with  (but please, by all means do not assume that this will be the case!) The best plan is to bring essentials and then wait until you move on Welcome Sunday to see if you need anything else to avoid wastage.

You’ll need a duvet and sheets (it’s also recommeded that you bring a matress protector) as well as bath and hand towels.

Don’t be afraid to bring a few home comforts to help you cope with living away from home but remember if you bring a TV, you’ll have to get your own TV licence!

 

*annnnnnd breathe!* I hope I’ve answered some more generic questions that you’re asking at the moment and it’s helped a little during the hectic process that is starting university. If I haven’t answered your question, please feel free to comment or ask me on twitter and I’ll answer as soon as I can!

I have zumba tonight (…yeah, I know!!) so I better go and get ready to rock out to Shakira!

Speak to you soon!

Sarah 🙂

 

 

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You can call me Sarah Nicholson BA (Hons)

 

I didn’t fall over, order the wrong gown or turn up on the wrong day! Lots of family and friends watched on whilst holding their breath for any sign of a trip on the red carpet but I proved them, and my nightmares, all wrong! The day went nice and smoothly (apart from accidently throwing my hat into a tree whilst getting this photo…)

I couldn’t be more proud of myself and all the wonderful friends I have made over the past three years. It seems like a nice transition to be writing about my graduation whilst reading lots of posts about new fresher’s starting Edge Hill in just a few months now! I’m therefore going to be writing another post within the next couple of days which tackles some of the more popular questions on the Hi Forum so you can get a clearer picture of what to expect! I’ve already written a post on things I wish I knew before I came to uni so have another quick glance over there in the meantime! I’ll also be putting a link to this blog over on the forum for those who haven’t yet discovered the blogs and I’ll be using my twitter much more too!

So, for now, make the most of the rare sunshine and I’ll post again in a couple of days,

Sarah

🙂

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Didn’t we do well?!

First of all, a massive congratulations to all third year students that received their results today! My Facebook was innundated with frantic status updates announcing a mass of 2:2’s, 2:1’s and first degree results! All our hard work has paid off and now we get to get dressed up in our cap and gown and try to make our parents cry with pride!

For the record, I was pleased to find out I got a 2:1 and can at last leave all the anxiety that has been building up the past few weeks behind!

Since my last post, the accomodation application process has been and gone so now its left for you guys to agonisingly wait for your all important A-levels ! I wish you all the luck in the world but remember whatever happens, there will always be a next step for you – whether it be clearing, deferring for a bit or just re-evaluating where you want your path to lead. At 18, you have your whole life ahead of you so don’t let a piece of paper get you down!!

Talking of where our paths lead, mine seems to be heading into the direction of even more education!! I got accepted onto my Master’s in Creative Writing last Wednesday and begin back at Edge Hill in September (joining in with Fresher’s week with you all is so tempting, believe me!)

I also had my first graduate interview yesterday for a Marketing Assistant position in a computer software company. After a stressful Monday traipsing around Blackpool for a suitable outfit and spending the majority of the morning of the interview praying I haven’t got on the wrong train, I left the interview feeling positive and happy. Now that hurdle is over, I’m much more confident about moving on after university.

So, thats me up to date with you all for now!

Don’t forget you can still follow me on Twitter! @sarahnicEHU

Sarah 🙂

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Things I wish I knew before Welcome Sunday (the important stuff anyway)

Bit of a bumper post this week…

As my final weeks in Ormskirk draw to a close, and with emotional goodbyes imminent, I’ve been thinking over the past three years at Edge Hill. Team that with checking the increased amount of questions on the Hi Website and remembering how lost and clueless I felt before coming to Uni, I’ve decided to share with you some knowledge that I learnt outside of the lecture hall. Whether or not it will be helpful to you however, remains to be seen!

1. Budget.Budget.Budget.

When you receive your first instalment of your student loan, you will feel like you’ve hit the jackpot! A massive sum of “free” money in the bank is just the excuse to go and splash it all on a massive shopping spree but just wait a second…

Work out how long it is until you receive your next loan and divide the money weekly. Deduct rent, food, additional special events and occasions and you’ll see that it doesn’t stretch too far!

Budget well however and you can still afford to have a nice treat every so often (I only just managed to accomplish this in my 3rd year – top tip… start now!!)

2.  Leave the garlic press at home.

I moved into halls on Welcome Sunday with a massive Ikea Kitchen starter kit box. Half of the contents are currently collecting dust in the spare room at home. If you’re like me, the run up to Uni makes you incredibly excited and you’ll end up buying a shed load of stuff that you don’t need. Especially for those on a self-catered plan, you’ll probably only be in halls for a year – think more rationally and make a list – that way that sneaky garlic press won’t make its way into your basket!

3. A 0% interest free overdraft is a very good idea at the time…

…but make sure you definitely know how you’re going to pay it back. Your student loan is repayable after you hit the £15,000 threshold once you’re in employment (£21,000 if you’re studying starting Sept. 2012) but the overdraft needs to be repaid as soon as you graduate and, if you’re not careful, can end up paying much much more than you borrowed.

Think of the overdraft as emergency funds, NOT a top up to your loan.

4. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in!

I know you’ve probably heard this time and time again at school or college but if there is one thing I regret the most it’s not doing enough outside of my studies. Although I had a part time job (at one point I had three!) throughout uni, I missed valuable opportunities that could have helped me now as I am applying for jobs. Whilst my CV has been bumped up thanks to the past three years with transferable skills and the work experience on campus, the relevant opportunities that I had the option of doing on my course (editorial work for example on a student newspaper and journal) is the key element I am missing when applying for editorial based jobs.

What I’m saying is, whilst you may take a part time job for the money, don’t let it rule all of the spare time you have outside of your studies so you can make the most of the time you have here!

5. The next three years are going to be the best three years of your life so far.

University is such a learning curve both academically and in terms of personal development. Without sounding too cheesy, there are going to be plenty of highs but it won’t always be fine and dandy – you can only learn from your mistakes and move onward and upwards!

I can guarantee that you will feel nervous, excited and completely lost on your first day but I can also assure you that when you look back on it three years later, you’d do it all again in a heartbeat!

Sarah 🙂

@SarahNicEHU

 

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Well I did it!!! (I think…)

*insert lyrics to Eminem “guess who’s back” rap here*

Sorry for the massive gap in not blogging but I’ve been completing my final assignments as an undergraduate. Rahhhh. I handed in my final assignments this week and whilst I thought there would be a big “hallelujah” moment with bright lights and random strangers giving me a pat on the back, I was slightly disappointed when I realised I don’t really know what I should be doing now…
For now I’m enjoying being a lady of leisure (until I get bored after a day) and then start job hunting and counting down to graduation in July (i.e practising walking up stairs so I’m not known as the one who fell over at graduation)

So whilst all that commotion of final assignments have been going on, I’ve also officially become a published writer! My first short story was published in the online short story magazine, Paraxis at the end of April (if you really want to read it, google it and find it yourself :P) After three long years doing Creative Writing, that first publication made it all worthwhile, I’m telling you! So I’m planning to get super busy again with writing and submitting and practising my autograph for when I’m the next J K Rowling.

Exciting times at the moment in the life of Sarah Nicholson! Tune in next week where I’ll probably rant and moan about something and nothing!!

It’s also a busy time for all you prospective students with September creeping up on us ever so slyly! Remember to post on the forum or add a comment on here for any questions you need answering!
@sarahnicehu

🙂

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Long time, no speak!

 

This week is my final week of lectures! I expected it to be a bit stressful and heavy with all the work we’re doing at the moment but so far it’s consisted of having chocolate cake for breakfast during one of our seminars so I can’t complain!!

Also, we’ve found out the date and time of our graduation this week. 19th July at 2pm- eee! This makes it all real now, a few months and its back to living with the parents and job searching throughout the summer with my 21st birthday squeezed in there somewhere! I’m quite excited though, one chapter closing and another opening and all that rubbish…!

As this is our last week of lectures, we have about a month until the dreaded week of handing everything in, which means I’ll be in Ormskirk for the majority of Easter. I’ll be back home for a wedding (I’m telling everyone it’s the Royal wedding) and heading down to Lann-dahhhn in a few weeks to see Wizard of Oz at the west end (I will definitely be buying a heat magazine!)  Everything else at the moment seems to be on hold, I’m sure I’ll have some more interesting posts in May…

Bet’cha can’t wait!

🙂

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This is getting ridiculous now…

…we’re halfway through March already!!

Time is going by too quickly, too many assignments are being written, and too much of my time is being spent in the library.

Today is a lovely day too! This automatically makes it at least 48% harder to concentrate on anything other than thinking about ice cream and wearing flip flops and remembering to buy some new hay fever tablets soon. Less than two months from now and I (hopefully) will not have to write any more academic essays AGAIN!*

*I’m hoping that my new decision to embark on a Masters/PGCE is just a phase.

There was a massive media event this past Wednesday so I hope there are a few more members of the Hi forum after that! I also did a student experience talk in front of all 10 million prospective media students and, unfortunately, technical difficulties meant I had to perform it ‘a capella’ with no microphone or slideshow so I hope I still did it justice and didn’t dampen your day!

My life is the same old, same old, at the moment – slowly trudging my way through books and articles and catching up with my lifelong friend, Microsoft Word! This time of year is always the most stressful for students of any age so good luck to anyone who has exams or assignments on the way!

As always, I’m still on twitter!!

 

🙂

 

 

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Jobs? Oh.

Before I start, hello to anyone I met who was at the Business and Computing event on Wednesday!

I guess it’s high time I should think about jobs and what to do after I hand in my final assignment in just… (gets calculator out) tenish weeks?! Oh my.

I’ve been searching around for graduate schemes and internships as editorial assistants and copywriters but it seems I may have to cut short my love affair with the North West and start thinking about going dawwwwn sauuuuth for any opportunities. I did get some good news though this week! Before Christmas, I applied online at BBC North for Content Making roles and received an email on Thursday saying I had been successful in my application! They said they would email me when any opportunities that they thing would be suitable for me arise and I can then go for an interview. Bit exciting that is, so fingers crossed something pops up and I won’t have to start thinking of buying an Oyster card and getting used to not being able to have gravy at the chippy!

What else?

I’m beginning to move into the library with all the work that’s creeping up on me. Problem is, when I book out the individual study rooms, I seem to pretend it’s my own office and then get preoccupied with that fantasy ane before I know it my three hours are up and I then need to get home in time for Judge Judy on ITV2. Shouldn’t have admitted to that, should I?

Anyway, that’s all for now. A few media events are coming up in the next couple of weeks that I’ll be working so hope to see you there!!

As always, follow me on twitter

🙂

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