The University of Bath
Starting university, in a way, was different to what I expected. I love my course, the university and Bath as a city. But moving out? It's hard. Freshers' Week was tough for me because I was constantly aware of the fact that I was away from home. But when lectures started, and I had a routine, everything fell into place. Living away became much less daunting and university became something that I was looking forward to experiencing again. I’m glad I stuck it out the first week when I was struggling because now I can see that university is exciting and enjoyable. Before moving to Bath, the thought of cooking and cleaning for myself everyday was something I was not looking forward to! But actually, the transition was easy. Going into Semester 2 is less overwhelming because I know what to expect and I feel prepared for doing assignments and meeting deadlines.
The Gold Scholarship Programme has helped in so many ways. I’ve said it before but applying for the scholarship is a must if you’re eligible. The money is an obvious benefit, but the additional support from Liz and the other scholars is something that I am grateful for. I really do believe that the scholarship has added to my university experience. The networking event in particular has helped to improve my confidence in speaking to people I don’t know. Additionally, the peer group meetings, training sessions and events have helped me to take a step away from work. Studying Sociology, I had a lot of assignments to complete in Semester 1, and I found myself getting overwhelmed because I wasn’t taking a break from work. The scholarship requirements have helped me to take a step back and do something that wasn’t related to my degree. Without the scholarship, I don’t think I would have realised the importance of doing something completely different to research and essay writing.
This semester, I am looking forward to what else the scholarship is going to offer and the different opportunities I am going to use to meet my volunteering hours. I spent Semester 1 focusing on getting used to university life, but for Semester 2 I am looking forward to dedicating more time to volunteering both within the University and within the community. The things I’ve learnt so far, both at the University of Bath and through the Gold Scholarship Programme, have helped and will hopefully continue to help me overcome personal barriers of confidence and independence.