I came to Kent mainly because of the surrounding location. I came to the decision that Kent was one of the best-looking universities I’ve ever seen. Based on what I saw of the Psychology course, Kent interested me more than other universities I looked at.
It’s got such a great atmosphere and I love Canterbury – it’s probably one of my favourite cities. It’s small, but it’s really compact and has everything I could possibly want in a place. It’s such a nice change from home – I come from Hertford, so it’s not too far away from home. In fact, I haven’t been back home yet and I don’t think I even want to go home. I’m really at home here. I’m really enjoying my time in Canterbury.
How’s your course going?
Psychology is great! I’ve just become a course rep because I felt I wanted to get more involved as it’s a really great course. I’m really into what’s going on at Kent. I’ve thrown myself into all the experiments, completely got involved. It’s fascinating the way they teach Psychology here; it’s a really practical course, it’s very interactive. It’s not the traditional lectures you expect. There are a lot of workshops, a lot of one-to-ones going on with people, and there’s a lot of groupwork. There are few times where you sit there and take notes, but that’s so rare compared with what I thought it would be like.
What’s the teaching like?
The lecturers range from hilarious to fascinating. There are about 200 of us doing the course, but you almost feel that you are talking to the lecturer. They ask you the question. They make you feel really included in the subject. My personal favourite lecturer so far is definitely Dirk Janssen, who teaches the statistical, practical side of psychology.
You can tell that the Psychology lecturers love their subject, they are very into it and they will give you reasons why they are into so much. You feel like you are doing the right thing, you are doing it at the right place and you’re going to go somewhere.
I’ve read that Psychology graduates at Kent have some of the best future prospects possible. The lecturers are very helpful – as a course rep, I’ve talked to quite a few of them and they understand you, they want to help you and help the student body improve the facilities and improve assessment and feedback. They’ve just been fantastic so far.
How about the facilities on campus?
I’m an off-campus student, so I find I have to come to campus quite a lot. I’ve used the Library maybe more than I would’ve done had I lived on campus because I’ve had less access to the material. The Library in particular has been of so much use to me. I was so scared when I first came to get books– I wasn’t sure what books to get and I didn’t have the money to buy the books. I spent hours and hours in the Library using the facilities. They’ve got all the books I need, they’ve got the self-service machines – something you expect to see in Tescos, not the Library!
There’s also the new Sports Pavilion, which I’ve been to a couple of times as a member of the football club. It’s fantastic – it’s almost like going into a stadium. The facilities downstairs in the Pavilion, for example, the changing rooms, are great. The 3G football pitch is absolutely amazing – I’ve played on it a few times and it’s a completely professional pitch.
In my spare time, as I’ve mentioned, I do play a lot of football. Also, I’ve become a course rep so I have more to do with the course. I’m also a musician in my spare time – I play guitar a lot.
I’ve also just joined the Music Society to play professional music and I’ll then join any of the socials that are going on. The societies are pretty welcoming, even the ones that I don’t belong to. I’ve also just recently joined the Kent Snow Society, the Uni’s snowboard society and I’m looking forward to the possibility of going on their tour, because I’m a reasonable skier and I’d love to learn how to snowboard.
How was Freshers’ Week?
I did everything during Freshers’ Week. It was fantastic – there was so much going on. It was so varied compared to other places – I asked people how their Freshers’ Weeks went at other unis and some said, “Well, there’s nothing going on tonight”, and I was saying, “Well, we’ve got five different parties going on here, what do I do?” It was great.
The Freshers’ Fair was great – they gave me loads of information on how to join the societies that I wouldn’t have known about. The Sports Fair was brilliant – I’ve got really into the sports here.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m trying to remain open-minded, but I do have a potential aspiration – I’d quite like to become a journalist. I’m an American citizen so I’d quite like to go back to the West Coast and become a journalist, perhaps with something to do with psychology, or maybe something completely different. It would be great to have two areas of expertise.
After my degree, I might do a Master’s degree if I’m still interested in the area, which I’m sure I will be. And after that, I’m quite keen on becoming a journalist.
Advice for anyone thinking of coming to Kent?
You need to come and see Kent and you need to come and see Canterbury as well. For me, just seeing the place really made up my mind. I had no doubt that Kent was just a fantastic place when I came to visit.
People say anywhere looks better in the sun. Well, I came up to Kent in the rain and it was really cold as well, but I still thought it was incredible! I’d say come up and see it because then you’ll make up your mind. I’d also say talk to people you may know who’ve come to Kent. Or just go and find someone – ask a current student. Don’t be shy! When I came up, I made sure I went round the student reps, the advisers and talked to them about what they did, what the nightlife was like because that’s importan.
But also ask about the course; maybe find a lecturer to speak to about it. You don’t want anything to get in the way of what you want to do at Uni; you really want to throw yourself into the uni experience and get involved from the start.
"It’s not the traditional lectures you expect. There are a lot of workshops, a lot of one-to-ones going on with people, and there’s a lot of groupwork"
~ Benjamin Weeks