First-year experiences

And yes, in our Peer Mentoring in Practice module – where second-year undergraduate students are teamed up with first-year undergraduate students, not only mentors need to blog, but also their mentees.

Here’s one mentee’s blog post – giving insight on what it sometimes take before taking up study at our university.

I can’t quite believe my first lecture for the ‘Becoming an Educationist’ module was almost three weeks ago. At this point, I have been living in London and studying at London Metropolitan University for three weeks. Although I’ve started to realise while being at university time appears to run completely differently to the normal world. A one hour lecture can feel like five hours, I’ve practically become a night owl and already it somehow feels like I’ve lived here forever. Most importantly I’m astounded at the progression and emotional depth of some of the friendships I’ve made. In simpler words: I love you guys!

I came to London after growing up in Witney (a small market town and David Cameron’s local constituency, which just says all you need to know about it) and it’s been the best culture shock. Everything from the diverse social nightlife to the multi-cultural food has really bared me to the ‘real world’. The energy of London is enthralling. I can genuinely see the law of attraction working here before my eyes. Whatever you want to happen here truly is possible. I’m very aware I sound like a stereotypical bright-eyed 19 year old fresher filled with optimism, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone that knows me well enough would first of all tell you that I suffer with a severe case of chronic RBF (Resting Bitch Face), I’m a cynic and blunt to the point of being offensive. So I can struggle with making friends if I’m not conscious of my facial expression and use a filter for my thoughts.

“like attracts like”

Luckily I’ve seen a tremendous change in myself since starting the Education Studies course at London Met. From the beginning I focused on sowing the seeds of positivity and I’m already starting to reap all of the opportunities. I made it on to the university Netball team, have been made Student Academic Representative (StAR) for my course and have a few job interviews lined up. Really have my fingers crossed for the job at M&M World in the hope of free chocolate!

Initially I was very anxious coming to London. It was a great risk for me as I was already enrolled on another course at a different university in Lancaster. However when it came to August and I had to seriously think about returning into my second year I couldn’t do it. It was only at this point I realised how unhappy I was the whole year. The course was unfulfilling and wasn’t going to take me in the right direction for the future I had planned. I had to admit to myself I felt pressured to stay on the course so I wouldn’t disappoint my family, too afraid to drop out and be labelled a failure.

Over the summer I secretly left my previous university and looked for new courses to enrol on for 2015/16. Nobody was aware of this. I was too ashamed to have my parents, my friends, and my boyfriend look at me as a failure. The people I should have asked for help in my time of personal crisis were the people I was in fear of disappointing. From May to August I acted as if I intended to return to Lancaster, all the while I was looking at different courses and universities. Repeatedly scouring over the same prospectuses everyday online, too afraid to order them to my house. I convinced myself that I was a failure and that no reputable university would accept me. So I applied for full time jobs to start in September and intended to live in Lancaster and work while my family believed I was studying on my second year.

“struggle is what it means to be alive and free” David Budbill

To be completely honest, it was a really crappy year. My grandmother had multiple strokes and was hospitalized all summer, I moved into her house in Cheltenham so I could look after the house and visit her regularly. Which was convenient for me as I didn’t have to face anyone about my internal conflict. During one of the hospital visits she asked me about going back to Lancaster in September. I was actually honest and told her I had my doubts about returning but she reassured me; “I know you’ll do well”. Her speech was still limited but that was all I needed.  Looking at her led in a hospital bed made me think about how lucky I am to be an able bodied young person living in the U.K. with access to higher education. Everyday refugees go through hell to get even a slither of what I have. My problem was I was too worried about what people would think of me and this was holding me back.

At this point I decided to give myself a kick up the bum. After fretting for months about finances and rejection I did my research and plucked up the courage to apply to London Met on results day (I was way past UCAS’ schedule when I had my epiphany). I called at 9 am and received an email confirming my place from the course leader by lunchtime. All I could feel was a great sense of relief after the dangerous gambling I’d been playing all summer, then I was ecstatic.

The course has been everything I’ve hoped for and more. It’s been stimulating and touching on issues that I feel passionate about on a daily basis. I’m enjoying it so much that the reading and even the further reading is something I want to do. I’m not sure if this feeling of belonging is because I’ve just forced myself to dive in head first, or if  I’ve actually found where I’m meant to be. Either way, I’m undoubtedly loving everything about London Met and the course. I feel refreshingly positive about the future and can’t wait to share my experiences on this blog.

3 thoughts on “First-year experiences

  1. Wooowww! This was an interesting any catching blog. Thanks for sharing such experience. I believe you have acted as a spokesperson for many out there, who may still feel shy about sharing their experiences. I hope that when they read this they will get the courage to come up and share their views. Well dine! And keep blogging.


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