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Student Journeys

Our Journey: First steps into University life

University so far has been quite an extraordinary experience, three weeks in and you have lecturers who not only guide you but listen to you. They try to build a relationship with you to help students achieve their goals.  It’s more than just a collection of buildings and classrooms, it is a culturally rich society, where teachers, students, and admins work together. Many students find it difficult to adapt to the atmosphere of the university, but in fact, there are a lot of opportunities that help you get accustomed to the university life; three of which are; making friends, joining extracurricular activities and building relationships with your lecturers/seminar leaders.

First, you have the lecturers, who are always there for you every step of the way. The transition from A-Levels to University is quite a big jump, you have to learn to be an independent individual without anyone breathing down your neck. The lecturers play a huge role in guiding you through this transition during your time at University. They are the ones who put in the utmost effort to give the best seminars and lecturers, in order to give you an understanding of your course. They are people who won’t say no when you need help; for example, if you’re confused or worried about something, drop them an email or talk to them in person and they will reply and give you all the information you need. You also learn a great deal from all the staff, students and administrators within the university as they are there to help you too, they are there to make sure you know your way around, meet new people and make your university life worthwhile, which is a useful aspect within itself.

Second, you have friendship an interesting and important step within the university life You will meet people from all over the world, you will get to learn about the different cultures and learn something new every day. It is a chance where the friends you meet will soon become your family. It is not just about the chance of having a family at university, but it is what will make you feel at home and something that will help you settle in nicely knowing you have all these good people around you. People who will help you with your course and will lead you to a successful path.

Lastly, you have the Students Union, one of the most helpful things within the university to get you involved. You have a hobby but is not related to your course? Join the society that suits you; ranging from dance to debating, to henna society. If you don’t enjoy the ones that are already there, you can start your own society, all you need to do is gather a small group of people. It is also a way to meet people who are not in your course and make friends.

One of the student group that I have personally joined is the Democratic Education Network (DEN), a place where you work in teams to build a number of different opportunities, the Westminster magazine, STAR (working with refugees), a conference (write an essay and projecting it to an audience from all over the world) and many more. If you have an idea of your own and want to make it happen, gather 5 -10 people and then you’re all good to go. One of the best things about DEN is that it not only enhances your skills, but it is an opportunity to work with people and make new friends where you can express your ideas. It’s a place that will get you out of your comfort zone and join and make you feel a part of something inspiring and life-changing.

Overall, during my time at university, my perceptions of it has changed, I thought it would be this big place where it will just hand me the work and tell me to do it, but it is not like that at all. It is a welcoming and friendly environment, there are many opportunities to get you involved too. University is a big change, and some may think that it is a scary change. It’s really not. You will make friends for life, build relationships with your lecturers/seminar leaders, and have an adventure That’s what university is all about, yes, it’s about getting your degree, but it’s also about making memories and creating a family there.

Tasneem Fadel

B.A Politics and International Relations (H) (First Year)

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