Estelle Produced by
from England

Final year

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Looking back at my time at Bournemouth University, I can acknowledge how much I have learnt over this process and how the experience of university has shaped the career choices I am about to make and the person I am now, four years later.

Coming to BU was an anxious time for me. I did not know anyone and was travelling two and a half hours away from my home to a town I knew little about to study my degree. I made connections with my first year flat mates who had found me on the Facebook group chats made by the university and introduced themselves. Meeting everyone in the flat for the first time made me realise that the university experience is about being open and ready to socialise, it taught me that very often in life you have to put yourself in situations and experiences you are not used to, to better yourself and learn new things.

I took this on board and, during the first week of university, I went into the main lounge in my accommodation where I could see a group of people socialising and they welcomed me to join them. I had already made a group of new friends just like that. This was a direct impact of the first thing university taught me. Step out of your comfort zone.

During my time at university, I studied a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The course allowed me to build on my previous knowledge of the subject and expand on that information. Throughout the course I was able to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of some of the issues faced in psychology by critically evaluating research and topics through assignments and exams. The group projects were particularly useful in understanding how to adapt and include other peoples opinions, knowledge and skills, so that work produced is representative of all the individuals involved. This is a very substantial skill in many jobs in the workplace especially in the career I am looking to obtain, where professionals would meet to discuss the best support and care for individuals.

Not only did I learn these skills in a taught environment, but university gave me the option of a placement year and through various other part time jobs I was able to put into practice what I had learnt on the course, the skills I had learnt, such as communication and teamwork and to see first hand how university prepares you for the future. I was fortunate to find a placement to study within my degree and used this to help me make decisions on my future career path. Having my placement made a lot of difference to which career sector I have chosen to go into and I would highly recommend finding a placement in your subject area or a part time job or volunteering, that would give you the experience of what the type of job you want to do, would entail. The placement also taught me the value of networking and socialising with others as it opens more opportunities that can help you succeed in your chosen field.

However, my learning was not just confined to the subject area of my course. Being away from home came with many new and different responsibilities. Making sure that I was budgeting for food, toiletries, cleaning products, my phone bill, washing, and learning to balance study and extra curricular activities and jobs, gave me a new sense of independence and taught me so many transferable life skills that will be useful in later life.

2020 came with more unexpected events as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and whilst it was a challenging time, we were able to see how society and universities adapted their approaches. Workplaces also had to change ways of doing things and its important to learn how to be able to continue your job in any eventuality. Studying during the pandemic taught me that at times you need to be able to adapt to circumstances beyond your control and was very relevant for future workplace situations.

Overall through my university experience I encountered learning in all areas which had transferable experiences for life, careers, and future work and helped me to become independent and feel more confident in supporting myself and making decisions about my life choices.

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