Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Student’s Perspective

Hi, I'm Katie and I'm a second year German and History student based on the Chester Campus. I'm from Luton – and for all you southerners out there migrating north – prepare to start emphasising your vowels! ‘Work’ will become ‘werk’ and you will no longer have ‘lunch’ you will instead have dinner, and your evening meal will ALWAYS be ‘tea’ – just one of those little perks that will come from making a home away from home.

Don’t worry

People always go on about how university is the best time of your life, how you will have so many friends and have such an amazing time blahdy blahdy blah, but when I was applying to university – even though everyone was telling me this – I always had this underlying worry/fear that I would be the odd one out and not have a good time, and not make any friends.

That’s part of the reason why I became a Student Ambassador. Aside from all of the obvious things, there are so many other issues concerning university and your future which nobody really talks about, yet you are secretly feeling – that’s how I felt, anyway. For example, when I was applying through UCAS, I was so stressed by the fact I might not get into any universities – standard, right? – but I was also worried that I wouldn't make any friends because I don’t really drink. There’s this huge stereotype of how students are and I was worried that, if I didn't drink, I wouldn't make any friends – how was I going to deal with Freshers’ week?
I soon found out that living socially at university is so much more than that. I made friends with my house mates and classmates, and even made friends when I went out at night and wasn't drinking. No matter who you are, you will always get into a conversation with someone, anywhere on campus. Whether it’s bonding over your choice of course or comparing Arriva bus services nationwide, it’s a lot easier than you think to fit it!

Visit us

That’s one of the reasons I think it’s good to visit the university Open Days or Applicant Days. You meet the people who are potentially going to be on your course, the tutors and current students. I remember when I came to the Open Day, I got chatting to the German lecturer and when I started a year later in September she remembered me – and after the post-Freshers’ week blues had settled in (I’ll admit I was a little homesick) no words can describe how welcomed that made me feel. Visiting the University on Open Days and the such is also good, because you get a feel for the atmosphere and you can just tell whether it’s right for you or not.

When you visit the University, you get a feel for what the department is like and talk to other students who have done the course. I remember talking to a Spanish student who had just got back from her year abroad in Costa Rica. She was so happy and couldn't fault the University and course. It made me feel so positive about applying – and really glad I had travelled so far. Also, the taster lectures are so fun – when I sit in on the Law one, as a Student Ambassador, it always sounds really interesting.

Ask us

I enjoy being a Student Ambassador as it really makes me feel part of the University. Everyone’s working together to show how great it is here (I'm not sucking up, I really do love it!) and every time I do an Open Day or Applicant Day it makes me remember what it was like for me applying for university. That’s why I try and be there for all of the students I meet. And it’s not just me. All of the Student Ambassadors are there on Open Days and Applicant Days to chat to you about these things. We've been there before; we know what it’s like! Not just your worries, but also what it’s actually like at University: the social aspect, what sort of night life there is and what other things there are to do in Chester.

The Chester factor

I chose Chester because it was far enough away for independence, yet it wasn't too difficult for me to get home if I needed to.  I also fell in love with the city. It was one of those occasions, where once I’d been there, I knew I wanted to live in Chester. I visited other similar universities as well, and although they were comparable, in Chester it just felt right. There’s such a community feel, especially around the University area, and I love the fact that everything is in walking distance.

If I had to describe Chester in 5 words, they would have to be: homely, enjoyable, cold (there’s always this bitter wind in the air, seriously!), loveable and schön (it’s a German word, it means pretty and/or beautiful, I kind of take it as somewhere in between…). Anyway, I'm glad I came to Chester. It was the right choice for me and I hope, one day, it will be the right choice for you!

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