If you had said to me three years ago my Sociology degree would go this fast I would have said you were lying! I cannot believe my degree is over, it really has been the best three years of my life, and I am so excited to be continuing my journey at ARU with a postgraduate degree starting in September. To celebrate, I wanted to share with you my top five highlights of my degree:
Getting more confident
One thing I have learnt at ARU is confidence, not only in writing academically and research, but also in areas such as public speaking and group projects. Before coming to ARU I had very little confidence, not only in myself but also my abilities – yet now I can see myself achieving so much, and I owe so much of that to my university.
Another opportunity I have had was to be a course rep in my second year. As course rep I had to speak to my fellow classmates and gather information on how they felt the course could be improved. I then had to deliver this information in a conference with other staff members. This was such a scary experience, but I learnt so much from it – how to speak up about the issues my class were facing, and how much ARU actually listens to their students. Thanks to being a course rep, a big change was made in a course about how and when our dissertation supervisors are assigned, benefiting not only my year group, but also the future students on my course.
Being a student ambassador
One opportunity I will forever be thankful for is the chance to be a student ambassador. When I say working alongside the university has changed my life, I really mean that. Before coming to university I didn’t want to speak up in a class of 5 people, I couldn’t ask a simple question to a waiter in a restaurant, I just had no confidence in my abilities. When I became a student ambassador this all changed! Just over a year ago I was able to speak up in front of a group of 100 parents talking about my experiences as a student, I’ve given hundreds of talks, filmed videos, written blogs and even spoken on panels with prospective students, parents and even staff members from other institutions. Though being an ambassador may not be seen inherently linked to my degree, the growth in confidence I have had in my ambassador work has improved the confidence I have in my academic work.
The Wellbeing Society
Just last September, a friend of mine mentioned she wanted to set up a new society which focused all about student wellbeing – and so two of my housemates, this friend and I took the dive and made this a success! Mental wellbeing is something so important to all of us – we have all struggled with mental health in the past, and this society was a way of supporting others and creating a community. Creating a new society was something none of us had ever done before, however we all jumped into the position and have run loads of fun events.
Completing my dissertation
The final highlight of my degree I wanted to discuss was completing my Sociology dissertation. This big project is something that so many students are terrified from, but thanks to the amazing staff at ARU, it is something I found so enjoyable and rewarding. In my first year I never thought I could complete a piece of work like that, at that time I struggled with just a 1,000-word essay! But I persevered, kept pushing harder and harder and now it is the proudest piece of work I have ever produced. I would say to anyone reading this blog it is possible – you may be currently someone who is thinking about university, or someone who in the first-year struggling. But all I’ll say is, keep pushing on and work hard and anything is possible!
It’s been hard to pull together these past three years into just five highlights, but thank you for reading and coming along this journey with me. I am so sad that my undergraduate degree has come to an end, but boy I am so ready and excited for what the future holds!