Class of 2016
We are delighted that so many of our students are settling into an exciting life at university or enjoying the rewards of the world of work! We are also pleased that these young women are keeping in touch with us and are keen to share their experiences! Read what they say and be inspired!
Emily - studying Psychology with Clinical Psychology at the University of Kent
Before I began I thought that due to the subject being demanding I was going to have difficulties. I take four modules this term, including statistics, biological and general psychology, social and developmental psychology and forensic psychology. Lecture PowerPoints for each of these are put onto Moodle 24 hours before the lecture so that we know the topics discussed during the lecture, have time to print anything and do any background reading that has been set. I have found that even though sometimes I read a PowerPoint before the lecture and don't understand, that the lecturers are amazing in explaining everything and you get used to the new learning style pretty quickly. (And I have 275 people on my course so you'd think it would be horrible!) I have been set one assignment- based on a piece of research I had to take part in. I had to gain research credits by taking part in psychological research and one of my lecturers sets us homework based on a colouring book of the brain, and has recently dissected a sheep's brain in order to show us its anatomy, proving that the lectures can be fun despite being a lot of work at times. It's great to be learning new things and gaining a more in-depth understanding of a subject that I love and I cannot wait to continue with my studies throughout the year.
I am finding university such an amazing experience - and I never thought that I would manage as well as I have. I share a house on campus with eleven other people and it is great to be able to have people to talk to who know what you are going through and that you're all in the same position when you start. I absolutely love university life, aside from the mess of sharing a kitchen with eleven people! At times it can be daunting to have to manage your own time but it is such a great opportunity to be able to study something you love with other people.
Class of 2015
Rachel – studying Theology and Religion at the University of Chichester.
I was someone who was a little unsure as to whether to go to university or not, however, my first year has been an unforgettable experience and the choice to go to university is one of the best I have made. The course is very interesting and includes much thought-provoking discussion. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading around contemporary topics and creating essays on the new things I have learned. There is a lot of independent work and reading outside of lectures that you are expected to do but I enjoy the subject so much it doesn’t feel like work. The city is small so it suits me perfectly and it is easy to find your way around – everyone has been so welcoming.
The people that I live with are the most wonderful part of university. We have spent a lot of time together. One of my hall mates is from America and so we held a large thanksgiving dinner with our course mates. This is one of my favourite memories so far as it really brought us all together as a group. Since then, we celebrate most holidays and birthdays (and whatever else we can find excuse for) by eating way too much food and sometimes drinking a little too much wine.
Overall, university is a fantastic experience and one that I would highly recommend.
Amy – IT Apprentice
I am an IT Apprentice at an organisation called mcch (Maidstone Community Care Homes) studying for a qualification in IT Professional Competence. At the beginning of the apprenticeship it was quite daunting as, although I have general knowledge of IT I didn’t know how well I was going to be able to transfer that knowledge into a work environment but I had the support of both my manager and my assessor to help me make the most of that knowledge.
While being at MCCH I have gained some valuable skills which I do not believe I would have done if I had gone to University. My confidence has grown a lot whilst being in my apprenticeship as I have to pick up the phone and talk to new people as well as interact with new people in the office.
The reason I chose to go into an apprenticeship rather than go to University was because although I gained the qualifications and a place at university, in my eyes with the subject I wanted to take it is more beneficial to go straight into that working environment and learn as I go. It is all well and good going to university and learning about computers and computing etc. but in 3-4 years’ time when you come out of Uni all that information you have learnt is still valid and relevant, however it may also be out-dated with the speed at which IT changes. I am also earning while I learn so rather than knowing that in 3 years’ time I’ll have a student loan to pay back when I start earning over the threshold I can start to save now and plan for my future as well as gain a widely recognised qualification that will help me to gain a job once my apprenticeship is over.
Eleanor – studying Architecture at Sheffield Hallam University.
The course is amazing. You learn all the details of how to draw and build architecturally, while creating your own style of design. In lectures, you get shown ideas to inspire your designs for each project while also learning the environmental effects of the way we build, how it can be improved and how to integrate it into your own designs. The lecturers can always be found or contacted for help and provide alternate ways of thinking about how your building can be put together. The workload is quite a heavy and you have to build quite a lot of models, but it’s great fun working with everyone in the studio. Everyone else on the course is kind and we all get on really well.
The accommodation I was in this year was really nice and I have great flat mates, who I will be living with in a flat next year. The city is a lot
different to what I had been used to, but I quickly adapted to it and living on my own, but I couldn’t love it more.
Georgia – studying Geography at the University of Greenwich
The university experience is wonderful. The people you meet influence your life greatly and making these new friends shapes you in a new way. Being one of the few students who lives at home I have had a unique view of university because I'm not constantly on campus, however I feel that this has not affected my social life nor my studies. The work load is intense especially with a science subject but the support is always there for you. You are expected to read around the subject and it does really widen your knowledge. Despite never stepping into a night club my social life is still very busy and joining clubs and sports that I really enjoy, has given me a great first year at university. Controlling finances has been a challenging, running a car and having expensive hobbies has taught me very important saving skills. Going on all the trips has shown me beautiful places around the country and beyond, and seeing all the implications of my course in the real world. The number of opportunities at university is unbelievable - there is simply so much you can do which is what I love about it - you will never be bored no matter what your interests!
Natasha - studying Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Kent.
This course is really interesting and certainly made for those who want to go deeper into the many sides of the criminal justice system. It does however involve quite a bit of reading and requires you to do a lot of research on your own. After a while however it became more manageable because, there are plenty of resources available in the campus library and online via links provided on the university website.
The first few weeks were a little difficult as I had to adjust to the way in which the lectures and seminars were set out. After a short while however, I got used to taking quick notes and then adding to them with my own research. Despite facing these changes and new ways of learning, it was much easier to adjust than I first thought it would be. The seminar layout helped a lot with this as we all grouped together in smaller numbers and discussed what had gone on during the lectures. This was great as it meant that we could gain more opinions on the topics discussed in the lectures and help each other to gain a better understanding of the topic in hand.
At the end of this first year I had studied many different topics ranging from, the underlying principles of the criminal justice system, to the way in which criminal cases are processed and documented. As part of one of my assignments I actually got to go and visit a Crown Court and a Magistrates Court. This was a great way for me to get to know some of the other students, as it allowed us to work together and have some fun at the same time. I did miss my friends from school quite a bit at first but after a week or so I quickly made some new friends and our group is forever growing.
I know first-hand how daunting and scaring the move to uni life may seem, but in the end all the hard work that you will face will pay off and it quickly becomes one of the greatest experiences of your life! I am so glad that I decided to go to university and I cannot wait to continue my studies and see what the next few years have in store for me.
Katie - studying Sociology combined with Early Childhood Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University.
When starting university I was scared that I would not like or understand my course as I had never studied sociology before. However I enjoyed the modules thoroughly which included subjects ranging from social psychology to the core theories of sociology and philosophy. There is a lot of reading involved in both of my studies, but more so in Early Childhood
Studies. The lecturers give a guideline for the assignments and exams, but will not tell you everything so you are required to research yourself. The volume of reading can be tough but it’s better to get into it early on so you build a habit of reading every week. All the lecturers are more than welcoming when you need advice, I often see them if I need advice for where to find readings or which books to read. University is a scary step for everyone, I chose to live at home and commute to university instead of living away. This in some ways made is scarier for me. I thought that the majority of people would be living on campus so they would have already made friends before the year started. However, I soon made friends in both of my courses and have a nice group of close friends that I see regularly. I am very glad I came to university as I know it will open up lots of doors for me in the future.
Hayley – Studying Biomedical Science at Plymouth University
My first day at university; pillow in one hand and teddy bear in the other, staring nervously at the strangers who filled my kitchen that I would soon be calling my flatmates for the next year. Obviously the transition into university was a daunting one and the first few moments did make me question if I was really ready for such a change, especially being so far away from home. However, all these feelings were soon put to rest when I realised that everyone there was in exactly the same position and just as eager to make friends as I was. For which, a few drinks on the first few nights definitely helped. These strangers quickly became my best friends who I spent most of my first year at university with.
Another significant aspect of my first year at university was joining the lacrosse team. Walking around the fresher’s fair there was so many sports and societies I had never experienced before, some I hadn’t even heard of. After a lot of deliberation, I settled for joining lacrosse in hope it’d be much like that of Wild Child or St. Trinian’s. I was able to train and play as part of the team as well as experience weekly socials, allowing myself to make many more friends. On top of this, I went to Croatia for a week on tour with around 40 other members of the team where we spent some time playing lacrosse but even more time having fun!
As for my course, I realised that my A level teachers were right and my A level studies were harder than the first year of my degree. Despite this, the course is taught in a much different way than that of the lessons I was accustomed to in school, with lectures, seminars, labs and tutorials. Much of my first year involved studies I had already covered within my A Levels but I enjoyed further expanding my knowledge and going deeper into particular topics. It was also different having to organise myself without having my mum to force me out of bed, remind me of deadlines or make sure I had milk in the fridge. I worried a lot, prior to leaving, that I would miss my family and friends excessively but there was so much going on at university that I rarely hard time to stop and think about it. I rang them regularly but before I knew it I was home again for Christmas, Easter and now summer and I can’t wait to go back.
I know it’s a cliché, but my first year at university has truly been the best of my life and I wouldn’t change any of it.