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My experience – Speech and Language Therapy at City

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When you’re not making money moves…

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gif of Cardi B saying "I make money moves."

University can be extremely taxing on your wallet, especially if you are moving out or have a lengthy commute. These financial demands are exacerbated when you are studying at a London based university, as London is not a ‘university town’ and many people flock to the capital city each year, so the demand on this geographically-minute area increases. In order to combat these financial woes, here are some of the things I do to save money at university:

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  1. Travel

As I commute to university by bus I purchase a bus pass on my Student Oyster Card. The Student Oyster card saves 30% on adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. I manage to save around £25 per month by buying a bus pass, instead of using pay as you go.

I have also combined my 16-25 Railcard with my Oyster card, which means I save 34% on pay as you go and off-peak train fares and daily caps. Other tips include travelling at off-peak times and avoiding zone 1 on the train. If you are doing a health-related course it may be possible to be reimbursed for travel costs on placement.

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  1. Food

Food is definitely an area where savings can be made, from simply bringing a packed lunch to putting groceries in the freezer so food does not spoil quickly. I often purchase groceries from larger supermarkets instead of their smaller equivalents such as ‘Tesco Express’ where items of food are priced up.

Cooking your own food really helps, and when you’re in the mood for a take-away pizza just bung a frozen one in the oven. I admit I am not the finest of chefs, so I sometimes alternated cooking with my flatmate or split the costs of ingredients to avoid having spaghetti for 5 nights in a row.

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  1. Mentality

A lot of restraint is needed when your overdraft and savings are just a tap away. I have been there holding a flask of coffee enviously staring at barista made lattes, or standing in the microwave queue to heat up my lunch when the aroma from the canteen seeps up my nose. To avoid spending too much, I try not to buy when I am hungry or leave my card at home and take cash.

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There are countless things you can do to save money whilst at university, the key is to stick to your methods. What are some of the things you do to save money?

Here is an entire blog dedicated to finances and being a student: https://www.savethestudent.org/

Reflecting on BSc 3

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In the next academic year, I will be expected to write my dissertation project. That, in itself will truly test me, considering I have amended one sentence in this blog a mere 6 times. In order to embody this dissertation driven persona early on, I have decided to visit a local café to steal their wi-fi, write this post and find inspiration as I stare out the rain glazed windows. The next stage involves excessive latte drinking, furious typing and donning a cap to conceal the sleep deprivation and reported delirium.

Before I further tempt this dissertation related anxiety, I thought I would re-visit the high and lowlights of my third year at university.

In September, I begrudgingly walked off a plane bronzed from a holiday in Morocco with some of my university friends, then I found myself 12 hours later promoting the Speech and Language Therapy Society at the Freshers Fair.

As October was just around the corner, lectures re-commenced and I gradually fell back in to the routine of university. I purchased my monthly oyster card, started obsessing over the different ways I could prepare cous cous for lunch and reduced my leisurely morning routine to prioritise sleep.

I continued volunteering at Aphasia Re-connect throughout November, where I was involved with supporting conversations for people with Aphasia following a stroke. Aphasia can affect a person’s ability to understand speech, speak, read, write and use numbers and occurs after brain damage. Find out more information here: https://aphasiareconnect.org/

December housed countless hours at my part-time retail job, exposing my cousin to the wonderful city of London and completing coursework due in the upcoming year. I celebrated my birthday then welcomed January 2019 with open arms and resolutions that I have shockingly adhered to!

Some of my presents

The Speech and Language Therapy Society tasks really kicked off in February, we started a series of lectures relating to Speech and Language Therapy for anyone to attend. The image below is from a lecture by Richard Cave about Voice Banking for people with Motor Neurone Disease.

In March the society continued on with our efforts, and we participated in the Swallow Awareness day to bring to light difficulties that can be experienced by people on a modified diet. I also received an Academic Achievement Award, and a nomination for the hard work I put in writing these blogs (thanks for this)!

April was jam packed with countless weddings, days grieving on Twitter after Tony Stark died (if you have not watched it by now, you deserve this spoiler) and dusting off my notes from the year in preparation for dreaded exams.

There is not much to say about May; it was definitely challenging to balance fasting for Ramadan whilst revising. Days after our fourth exam we entered June and my summer placement in an Adult Community setting commenced. I refined my clinical skills, and one of my proudest moments during placement was presenting for an hour on the relevancy and need of Speech and Language Therapy in the acute mental health client group.

A doodle drawn during peak revision hours

On the second of July I beamed with joy as I skipped out of my final exam for the year. Next week I welcome a new experience as a helper on an Intensive Stammering course for children and teenagers.

Reflecting has highlighted just how much happens in one academic year, as when you are in it time flies by so fast that there is barely any time to relish in the successes. Writing this blog post has also uncovered some changes I would like to implement in the next academic year – such as increasing my productivity by following soft deadlines and reducing the amount of time I spend completing BuzzFeed quizzes. What would you do differently next year?

Finding love at university – not a guaranteed method

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When exploring my potential university options, I would visit campuses in hope of experiencing a connection and knowing which university was ‘The One’ as soon I stepped through the doors. That did not happen. What did happen, was me increasing my step count on countless university tours, and realising how many Tescos there are in the UK. During the campus tours I found myself consistently hearing this word  – ‘society’.

There seemed to be this mystical thing called a ‘society’. This thing apparently guaranteed friends, fun and free food (occasionally). I kept hearing things like: “Join a society… you can even make your own society… societies are where I made my friends… join this society!”

Having not known many people who went to university growing up, I really was unsure what a society was. Now, three years in to my degree and with one year spent as the finance manager of the Speech and Language Therapy Society I am quite clued up. For this blog I have enlisted the help of Aadam, a recent graduate who has dabbled in a few societies during his time at City.

Thank you for joining me Aadam, I know you’ve been involved in many societies during your time at university. In your words what would you say a society is?

A society is a place for people to make friends and meet new people. In my experience, a lot of the people that turn up to a society don’t have an interest in what that particular society does. It’s mainly about socialising for them.

Which societies did you join?

I joined the Gaming Society in first and second year. During my third year I went to the Pakistani Society and ISOC (Islamic Society).

Aadam on a recent trip to Scaffel Pike with the Islamic Society

How did being in a society impact your university experience?

Being in a society changed my whole university experience. I met one of my now closest friends, and my best university memories are with her. Through her, I was even able to find a part-time job to fit around my studies. The best part is that I fell in love at a society!

That’s adorable, a true university romance! Now to finish off, would you recommend societies to other students?

I would recommend getting involved in as many societies as you can handle because you can never have too many friends. Societies will usually host at least one major event or outing every year, and these do not disappoint. I’d also recommend trying to get involved in the committee of a society if you have the time. That’s another way to get to know the people of your society more, but can also help you to develop transferable skills.

Wonderful, thank you Aadam for your time!

Fun fact: a member of the mountaineering society (I have been told) placed a rubber duck on top of the gazebo in Northampton Square. After being removed one day it reappeared the next and has not been taken down since, and neither has the culprit (or hero) been found! Go see if you can spot it!

If you want to find out more about societies at City, University of London then check out this link:: https://www.citystudents.co.uk/getinvolved/societies/

Come to the Welcome Fair to speak to society members and grab some freebies…

19-20th September 2019
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Angel, N1 0QH 4SP

Things To Do Around University

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Here is a literary masterpiece for you to read,
full of places you might need.
I cannot vouch for this poem’s quality,
But, it aims to reduce exam anxiety.
As the gong of revision harbours fear,
I invite you to explore places far, and near.

Before I start my tour,
do you hold the key to the discount door?
Why yes, I mean your student card,
To forget?! Blatant disregard.
I know that #tbt picture is peak,
Edges absent? Eyebrows off-fleek?
I wish I’d brushed my hair in mine,
the photographer lied, “You look fine!”

Anyways, starting with a beauty (other than me),
Have you explored the art of graffiti?
A sure way to up your insta game,
aren’t we all in it for the fame?
Shoreditch, Camden, Brick lane, Bethnal Green,
Of course, I will rhyme this line with the word ‘seen’.
You’ll get to 10k on your pedometer,
No need to shake your phone – cheater!

Walking not your thing?
Are your calories lost through excessive dabbing?
Core strengthened by laughing carelessly?
Go to Camden Head – comedy shows are free.
Look for opportunities on Eventbrite,
I found a poetry class for Tuesday night,
I should thank my FBI guy,
I’ll defo give that a try!

Most museums don’t cost a penny,
(Most students don’t have many).
The never-ending house of books,
Might just leave you shook.
Rosetta stone, mummies, dinosaurs,
historic toys, 60s décor, and artefacts of war
sitting behind a shield of glass,
an opportunity silly to pass.
If dinosaurs are too ‘basic’ for you,
Pickled specimens are available too.

Or do you prefer throwing shade, sipping tea?
PG Tips; not the Jordyn Wood-esque variety,
Escape rooms, dinner with a city view,
Massages, spa trips with the uni crew?
If parents are coming down,
‘Spoons might encourage a frown,
To hide your budgeting mishaps,
or last weekends judgement lapse,
hopp along to Groupon,
for a student-friendly coupon.

When studying has taken you to the verge of sanity,
Possibly nature is what you need to see.
I doubt these places give you clout,
but the Barbican Conservatory is a good shout.
They have a cactus garden there,
Fen Court Garden if booking Sky Gardens is a nightmare,
I’ve described a millennial dream almost…
I just forgot the avocado toast.

I will keep it a hunna (100) friend,
This awful poem must come to an end.
Well done if you got this far,
Good luck in your exams you star.
Click on the hyperlinks throughout,
AND take studying breaks to avoid burnout!

When the canteen no longer sparks joy

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Are you sick of eating pot noodles for lunch every day, or bringing your leftovers only having to wait ages in the microwave queue? Does the chicken katsu no longer spark joy in your life? Well then here are some restaurant options for you around university:

1.Mother Clucker
Address: 59-61 Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4SD

In this tucked away shop behind Exmouth Market you will discover buttermilk soaked, twice batter fried chicken which melts in your mouth. I recommend the deep-fried halloumi but wait a few moments before burning your tongue like I did.This gem offers students 50% off between 2-6pm every day!


2. Kennedy’s of London

Address: 184-186 Goswell Road, EC1V 7DT

This is a stone’s throw away from university, so you could nip here and back between lectures as I regularly have done. They serve your classic fish and chips, pies and burgers, and most dishes come with hand cut chips (or salad if you prefer). I recommend going during lunch hours as they have a snazzy lunch time menu.

3. Boondocks
Address: 205 City Road, EC1V 1JN

I mainly go here for lunch because you can grab a burger or wrap with fries (or salad once again) for £6.95! They also call all students every Monday from 6-11pm during term time for discounted food and drink with a different DJ every week. What a dream… one hand flossing, the other grabbing a chip, hey I think I’ve created a new dance move.

 

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Cheesy bites, mac n cheese, loaded fries and burgers with cheese… did someone say cheese? 📸@londonfoodee

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4. Exmouth Market
Address: Clerkenwell, EC1R

This treasure will appease any fussy eater’s dream, with a plethora of options to select from you can walk up and down the market taking as long as you want to make a choice about where to eat. If things get too difficult, you can always resort back to the classic places like Pret-A-Manger which are also housed on the same street. Personally, I love a halloumi wrap with copious dollops of hummus.

There are countless other places to eat scattered near university, so go out and explore – most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask about student discounts!

Psychology & Speech and Language Therapy: What else do they have in common, other than rhyming?

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Quite a lot actually – even when we overlook the awful title of this blogpost.

Psychology, as you probably know, is the scientific study of the brain that encompasses various disciplines including Freud’s Fabulous Theories. Many of these disciplines link with what we learn on the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) course, for example social, language and behavioural development, learning, cognitive processes, absences of those cognitive processes – or the possibility of those cognitive processes being there, just not switched on?

At the start of the course, you explore early cognition and development in children. This knowledge proves invaluable when observing children on placement and is a great way to impress the family when watching ‘The Secret Life of 4/5/6 Year Olds’. Once you have grasped the workings of neurotypical children you learn about atypical development, and theories as to why a population may act a certain way. It’s all tantalising stuff; what’s even better in this degree is that you might get to meet, and even work with the populations that you learn about. Countless people who are interested in pursuing other subjects further are deterred by the level of experience needed, without realising SLT placements might get them where they need to be!

The other great thing about SLT placements is that you might be able to try out some of the experiments you learn about in university – just in case you were worried that the evidence behind an experiment was not strong enough. Talking about strength of evidence, we do explore a lot of this in the course which really helps with evaluating journals, writing dissertations (next year for me eek!) and knowing which interventions to use with individuals. The SLT course is so Psychology rich, that at times it is difficult to disambiguate the two.

So, if you are interested in Psychology, then I encourage you to see what doors SLT might open for you.

The Student Experience

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When choosing which university to study at I asked my graduate friends and colleagues their opinions of university, and whether it was worth it. They always started their response with a spiel of how their time at university was the time of their life, before encouraging me to apply. I wondered how an optional three years of studying could conjure such fond memories? I believe they were reminiscing over their student experience.

“What is this elusive ‘student experience’?” You ask. (Well, I’ll pretend you did).

The student experience, according to the MARYAM-Webster online Dictionary, is a unique collection of people you meet, activities you partake in and feelings you have, all whilst in university. Whilst the academia aspect remains universal for every student at university there are various things that can enrich your years spent here. A snapshot of my student experience includes blogging, tutoring and being involved with the Speech and Language Therapy Society.

Here are some things that you could do to enhance your time at City, University of London:

  1. Join a society
    These are typically groups created for people who have common interests, study the same course or want to promote a philanthropic cause. Real examples of societies include the Beyoncé society and the Hummus society. There is a society for everyone out there, and if you don’t feel that is entirely true, well then you can just make one as well just for you!
  2. Get a job
    City is great for flexible work that slots in to your timetable and there is a recruitment agency on site that regularly posts up campus jobs. Moreover, you could join the marketing team as they hire students to help advertise and represent the university at open days and higher education fairs.
  3. Attend events
    When I walk around campus there are events advertised which are open to all students. Why not come to see one of the sports team compete or attend a themed night at City Bar?

So, whether you decide to join 10 societies, or just the one, remember that there is always so much happening at university. It is up to you to shape your student experience whilst you are here.

Dealing with Interview Questions

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So, I assume you are here because you have managed to secure yourself an interview on one of our health care courses, preferably Speech and Language Therapy (but, I am biased). You might have searched over the web for tips, tricks and general advice for how to ace an interview. Unsatisfied with general advice, you might have delved further to blogs detailing the precise angle to place your body in relation to the interviewer, how many millilitres of water to sip every minute and at what tenth of a second does appropriate eye contact become staring?

Let me reassure you that those things generally come second to the quality of your answers. It is nothing like ‘The Apprentice’ where you will be penalised for not knocking on the door (Ruth Badger, series 2) * or questioned by Claude Littner about the 2 pages of potential logos that decorate your business plan before walking out the wrong way (Solomon Akhtar, series 10) **. The academics have already seen your UCAS personal statement and have invited you in for an interview on its merit!

Now you just need to prepare yourself for the questions that you might be asked- so I picked out a few questions that have been asked in past on ‘The Apprentice’ and detail how they might relate to an interview at City.

  1. Why should you be Lord Alan’s next apprentice?

This question serves to determine your underlying motivations for applying and provides you with an excellent opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the course. You can highlight how your skills, experience and abilities have prepared you for the degree and how this degree will propel you in the future.

      2. Do you know what Amstrad sell? 

Even I had to research the answer to this one! Questions like these are partially knowledge-based and require you to have researched the university course beforehand. What differentiates City from the other universities offering the same course, and how does this align with your personal preferences?

     3. Have you ever lied or cheated? 

Do not worry, you will not be asked this during your interview. The nature of these questions is to gauge an understanding of your character, and whether you would be suited to the demands and nature of the degree. It can be a challenge to deal with competing deadlines, placement and having a life.

 

Hence, I wish you all the best in your interview and remember that the quality of your answers is vital in securing a place. Moreover, whilst interviews allow universities to see if you are a perfect fit for them, they also allow you the opportunity to see if they are a perfect fit for you!

 

*Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRluW-7BJYI (19 mins, 18 seconds in)

**Video here as a reminder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_9IlYOgSLQ

Wake me up When September Ends

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Let’s be real for a moment, September sucks! Out of all the months in the year, it is the one month that feels like it goes on for decades. You’re trapped between the crippling stages of new beginning and the exasperating endings of all the chores and errands you planned to finally do this summer. Classes start again before you have had the chance to complete your holiday homework. The entire month is an endless debate of whether you should take out your winter clothes from storage or delay packing away your summer clothes just yet. But in a desperate attempt to cling onto the summer, we’re going to dress for the summer till October.

As difficult as this month is, we have a few things to look forward to in September. I’m sure you don’t believe me so here’s a list of things that make September bearable, evidenced with gifs…

1. Hello Autumn.

The best season of all is somewhat upon us in September. So you know what that means…

Basic Emma Roberts GIF by ScreamQueens - Find & Share on GIPHY

2. Bring out the September playlists!

From Greenday to Frank Sinatra, there are some killer songs that will collectively get us through the antagonising month we dread so much. Turn those tunes up and embrace this month!

September GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

3. New episodes of your favourite shows!

To ease you into the transition from vacation to routine, dwell in the imaginary lives of the characters from your favourite shows or roast everyone auditioning for x factor.

Michael Cera Binge Watch GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

4. Dressing for every season!

As much as we have the indecisive weather here, this month is a great month to mix and match your wardrobe. Layer that dress with a sweater and call it a fashion statement and not a desperate attempt to cling onto the summer.

5. Reunite with your besties.

Back to school and work means back to routine. Yes, that sounds terrible but it also means to get to reunite with your besties because they can’t ditch you and go on holidays! You’re stuck with me forever guys!

Im So Excited Dancing With The Stars GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What ever you decide to do this month I hope you have fun!

The Start of Something New…

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So it’s that time, that time when you will be handed an unnecessarily large envelope that will determine your future (no pressure). For most of you out there anticipating (or dreading) results day, receiving your A-Level or BTEC grades will ultimately determine what university you choose to go to, so nerves are a given. The uncertainty is bound to not just give you butterflies but house an entire swarm of insects, or at least that’s how I remember feeling.

I remember the anxiousness leading up to the day, and the small things that would remind you results day is closer than you think. The awkward “so when are your results coming out” questions you’d get from relatives and friends. The UCAS emails reminding you to get your university stuff sorted. The sleepless night the day before where you and your classmates would hit up your group chat with all the emojis you can find to express how nervous you are.

While that sounds incredibly daunting, it’s also very exciting. I know I know, this is all coming from someone who’s already been through it (and thankfully made it out alive) but it truly is very exciting. You are now at the cusp of a new journey. Regardless of how you do, this is the start of something new (to quote Troy and Gabriella from a respected educational establishment known as East High). Hence, to help you make the most of this pivotal moment in your life, here are a few tips…

1. It doesn’t hurt to have a decent outfit on the morning you go to collect your results. It’s an exciting day for you, your worn-out teachers and your college that have earned the bragging rights to your grades too. Most likely, they will wander around with cameras, trying to piece together a group of cheerful students, representing every ethnicity. If you’re lucky, they might pick you and make you take an awkward photo like mine:

2. On a more serious note, remember not to compare your success with that of your peers. If you are satisfied with the grade you received and achieved your targets, that is all that matters. It’s easy to fall into a comparative spiral and lose faith in your own accomplishments, but this is YOUR hard work! The result of your long hours at the library perfecting your coursework, your extravagantly coloured exam notes that make no sense to anyone but you, and your relentless determination to make it through college. Own it! Embrace it!

3. Most importantly, no matter what grades you receive, this is only just the beginning. Whether you are satisfied with your grades or not, remember that there are so many options available to you from here on out so take a moment to explore them. There is still so much ahead of your journey, so remain optimistic. I’m positive your future is bright.

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City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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