How university has changed me

Anisa is a final-year student studying Law, who enjoys watching thriller movies on Netflix.


Coming to university was scary and daunting especially being the first person to attend in my immediate family. I was worried about making new friends, finding my way through the building, and balancing work life and study.

I always see myself as a shy person who would stay quiet in new situations hence, I knew that I would feel very nervous about attending university.

However, after fresher’s week I realised that my fear was gone and I was eager to start my course.

Boosting my confidence

One of the biggest ways that university has changed me is that it has allowed me to become more confident.

I did this firstly by getting involved in societies through the Students’ Union. I was given the opportunity to become the Communications Officer for the Network Society, which is a society that connects you with other students from different schools across City, University of London and also providing the opportunity to meet speakers from different sectors.

As a Communications Officer, I am required to liaise with members where I deal with enquires. This helped me to become more confident because I was required to speak at events in front of large audiences hence helping me overcome one of my biggest fears. Being a part of the Network Society also meant widening my social circles and making me become more involved with the university.

Secondly I’m also a Widening Participation Ambassador – a paid job that has further helped me boost my confidence. As an Ambassador, I am required to:

  • Inspire young people about university by sharing my passion about studying
  • Provide campus tours for schools that attend our university

“Attending university has helped me to move away from being a shy and introverted person to being more confident. Not only has this helped me become confident but it has allowed me to make new friends whilst earning some money.”

Career Development

Whilst attending university, I knew that I wanted to develop my career so that my CV would be ready once I graduate, so I applied for City’s micro-placement scheme.

This programme gives you the opportunity to explore careers different from those traditionally associated with your degree.

I undertook my placement in the education sector where I was required to create a bank of formative and summative questions for primary schools. This was an invaluable experience which helped me to strengthen my skills and will prove to be beneficial when attending future interviews.

One of the ways in which it has developed my career is that I undertook a project independently and have been able to see the result and progress of my hard work. I was constantly provided with constructive and detailed feedback.

This experience provided me with the opportunity to develop myself but also learn more about the areas that I need to work whilst developing an excellent working relationship with managers. This is the idea that I was provided with the opportunity to work as an Item Writer for the company during the summer which allowed me to gain further insight into an industry which I otherwise would not have experienced had it not been for the placement.

Friendship

As mentioned, one of my biggest reasons for feeling anxious was creating new friends and being able to adjust into university. However my fear was over on the first day of fresher’s week. I was required to attend a scavenger hunt with other students and during this I met multiple people who have since become my friends.

Meeting people on the same course as you is one of the easiest places to make friends and has several benefits: Not only did this encourage me to attend all my lectures but also allowed me to have friends that I could speak to about my modules and have someone that I could get notes from whenever I was unable to attend classes.

One of the biggest benefits of attending university is the unexpected ways that you can make friends.

For example, whilst working as a Widening Participation Ambassador during fresher’s week I had to hand out flyers to promote the scheme. I ended up chatting to a lovely girl in the canteen who was completing a similar course as me. A few weeks later we ended up seeing each other in the Law building and eventually we exchanged numbers. It’s always intimidating to meet new people but always fun to create memories with people.

My top tip

One of the top tips that I can offer to make the most out of the university experience is research the different opportunities available to you and undertake them. I was nervous to undertake the micro-placement, but I am extremely grateful for the learning experience.


Want to read more about students’ experience of university?

Read Niffy’s guide to making friends at uni. Or read Juste’s experience of her micro-placement.

And read more from Anisa about making the most of university careers support.

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