STUDENT VOICES – Part 2 by Emma Ehimiaghe

Still on the matter!

Latching on our last post by Dupe letting it all out on our STUDENT VOICES BACKLASH, I will take it on from here to give lots insight into matters that would guide prospective students on  choice of career, university choices, money matters and much! I attended Lancaster University foundation and progressed to University of Kent, Canterbury.

Why did you choose your university?

EMMA: Choosing Kent as my university for my undergraduate degree was tricky. I was meant to attend Lancaster, where I had done my foundation but through my foundation year I found it was not suitable for me to spend my undergrad years there. Last minute changes made my options very narrow, but I came across Kent which is quite good. I was well informed about the university in such a short time and it was the most impressive out of the few I had to select from.

What do you want prospective undergraduates to know?

EMMA: I want prospecting undergraduate students to understand that University is very different from what they would possibly imagine. It is not easy to describe the vast challenges, enjoyments and features of taking up a degree at a university. It is quite easy to write a personal statement and apply to several universities and present your best self so you have the best chances, but getting in and maintaining your stay will be the most challenging part of your journey.

Before you apply to any university you need to be critically well informed about the University itself, because universities are very different. Many factors will influence your experience at university, these factors may have nothing to do with the university even but they will have great effects on your experience.

People tend to want to go to the Top 5-20 universities of the area/country they are in, because why not? This is a very good goal but I don’t believe ranking should not be the only feature that determines what university you wish to study at. You should consider the location, cost of living in the area, type of people in the city, work opportunities etc. There are just many factors that will influence your university experience so it is important to consider them before deciding where you want to spend 3-5years, to ensure you get the best and most successful outcomes.

Also the type of degree you wish to study matters when choosing a university, it is the reason why you wish to spend all those years in university so the university has to offer the best features, education, facilities and opportunities that will assist you in getting the full experience of your undergraduate degree. You must get what you have worked towards and paid for so you have enough knowledge in your course to apply it in your future plans that will lead to your career. Essentially, your choice of university must be compatible with your mental, physical, emotional and social capabilities if not your experience will be affected and will not give you the best results in the end.

What do you wish you knew before making choices for your career?

EMMA: To be honest I am not one of those people that were certain of what career to pursue upon graduation from secondary school. I am still very young, I have many ideas and opportunities, I am part of a fast-changing society. Right now I just wish to gain knowledge and be more informed about everything before deciding my career goal. I would like to test various fields, through work experience, internships and courses before deciding what career to pursue. Because I don’t believe the 17-year-old me that applied to university was well informed enough to choose a career path. This is why I am very happy I selected Politics and International relations as my undergraduate degree, it gives me the opportunity to gain substantial knowledge on various fields which I have interest in. Such as, politics, law, public relations, management, etc. It is a very informative degree and I am certain it will enable me to make a good decision on my career choice and further degrees/courses I will take in future.

How do you cope with the stress of university?

EMMA: University life can be very overwhelming, depressing, frustrating etc. It can seriously harm your mental health if you do not take care. I try to cope with these unfortunate situations by seeking professional help from counsellors that work with the university to improve student life. They are well trained to handle issues that may cause students stress and assist you in difficult periods. I also occupy myself with sports, social gatherings, leisure and travels.

What are your tips for managing finances at university?

EMMA: I believe the city that my university is located in really helps me spend little, everything is so affordable, especially groceries! I spend very little each month on needs and save a lot. I think I was able to master the way I spend very fast and it made me able to budget and cut irrelevant cost. Now I save and travel to nearby countries at also very cheap expense. I do a lot of research before spending this really helps. But I think the most important factor of my ability to save and spend less is the location of my university, I feel if I was somewhere like London it would have been tricky.

What is the uniqueness of your University ?

EMMA: My university is a campus-based university so it makes my experience very easy and efficient, everything I need is available on campus and the city centre is 10 mins away from the uni? The key unique feature of my university is the city, it makes my experience really simple.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I plan on taking a year off back in Nigeria to understand how systems here work if I want to pursue my career here and look for opportunities that would be of great advantage. I also plan on doing another degree that will be very beneficial to my career when I finally decide what path I want to take.

Emma, University of Kent.

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