Former student of New VIc college in Newham talks about university life after finishing A-levels
PUBLISHED: 15:50 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:33 24 September 2020
NewVIc alumni Joelinne reflects on her first year at university after completing her A-levels at the sixth form college in Newham.
Joelinne did her A-levels in English language and literature, geography and government and politics at NewVIc in Newham. She then went on to an undergraduate degree at Essex University doing a BA in International Relations.
Here, she talks about student life at university and NewVIc.
What made you choose NewVIc?
Mainly because of the massive range of enrichment activities, both academic and sports related.
I really liked the teachers I had met when visiting the college open day and I was living locally which meant I had more time to spend at the college and get involved in as many of these activities as possible.
I also didn’t have to worry about long journeys early in the morning or after college.
What is your advice for students considering NewVIc?
Take advantage of all that NewVIc has to offer.
While at NewVIc, I was involved in the Student Council, Student Union, Model United Nations, the Student Ambassador Programme, volleyball team and was a member of the Here Come The Girls Ambassador Programme.
Go to the open days, even if it’s online, to make sure you know what the college has to offer.
Don’t do what your friends do. This is the next important step in your life for you and you don’t want to regret it.
Tell us about your first year at university?
I moved out of my home and was excited about living alone and being independent. I expected to cook decent meals as much as possible, to always remember to do my laundry and tidy my room at all times.
Obviously, this did not always happen.
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I cooked a lot at the beginning but by the second term I never had the time or just didn’t want to and would just eat out, which is not always cheap.
The student accommodation I was staying in was decent but expensive. I had an ensuite bedroom with a shared kitchen and communal area with six other students.
My first year at university had been great until the pandemic struck.
The university kept us informed with changes that were happening around campus from the beginning which was very helpful.
Everything moved online. I chose some really interesting modules to get stuck into and I also moved back home to be with my family.
Overall, my first year was truly a journey of discoveries. I thought I’d have lots of free time to go out with new friends and join seven different societies and do some sports!
I guess we have a lot of expectations when going off to university, and although not all of these expectations can be met, some things do exceed them.
What are your tips on surviving the first year of university?
Do the readings the professors give you.
It is the one advice I can give to anyone in terms of university work.
You’ll find that you do understand what the lecturer is talking about which will enable you to participate in discussions and seminars. Your assignments and exams will be easier to do and revise for, and remember that exams come around, there is no time to catch up on an entire semester.
Make time for yourself to relax and have fun with friends especially if you are living on campus; get to know others who are just like you.
Try and keep to a routine, join a society or a sports team and go to social events (particularly at the start of university) and not just parties and drinking events.
Remember to keep busy - do your university work and have fun. The whole experience counts.
So what’s next?
My career goal is to reach the UN economic, social and development department, so after my degree, I plan to do a Masters in International Economic Development at either UCL or LSE.
Read more student stories here.
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