Annamae Ballantine

Health and Social Care - BA (Hons)

I absolutely love it, honestly. I really enjoy it. I’ll go home and all I do is talk about university.

Why did you choose Kent?

The course offered a wide variety of modules. I came to an Open Day which was informative and everybody was welcoming. It’s a green campus and is just the right distance from home. I felt that Kent was a place where I could fit in.

How did you feel when you first arrived?

It was completely different to how I had imagined it, but in a good way. I remember after a few weeks thinking how much I had learnt. Not just from the course, but also from being in an environment with people from so many cultures and walks of life. It was just amazing.

How is the course going?

It’s very interesting. We share some modules with people studying social policy, social work and sociology which brings another perspective to our discussions. There are some mature students who have a wider range of experience and it’s interesting to listen to them.

Do you have a favourite module?

I took a social policy module where we had to work in groups to come up with a campaign to implement a law, that could be applied to a person serving time in prison to benefit their health and wellbeing. So, our group’s idea was to stop smoking in prisons. We had to look at existing policies, and say how we would alter those policies to implement our idea. It’s very important to be able to show how you would bring about change. It was fascinating.

I also really enjoyed a module, which covered current policies and issues in health and social care. We were really encouraged to put forward our thoughts and opinions; it was quite interactive. It’s good because if you’re part of a lively discussion, it stays in your mind.

Are your lecturers supportive?

Yes. They’re always available by email, and they have office hours when you can meet them. They’re friendly and there’s lots of guidance and support. They listen to us too and take our concerns seriously.

What about your fellow students?

In my first year I had a mentor, she’s amazing, I don't know what I’d do without her. Even now, if I get stuck I can always go to her. Generally, we all support one another. Sometimes we set up group chats for a seminar, so we can discuss work.

What do you think of the facilities on campus?

The library’s great, there’s lots of computers available and people to ask if you need help. Also, the Student Learning Advisory Service, which helps you to improve your essay writing, is really good.

Socially, there’s lots to do on campus – there are so many societies, it’s almost impossible to choose just one! There are cafés, a cinema – there’s always something going on. I also go into town with my friends, there’s a really nice hot chocolate café there!

What next?

I want to go into social work and work with elderly people. When I’m at home, I work on the dementia ward in a nursing home. It’s hard work, but I love it. I think it’s good to see both sides, the practical side and the academic side, measuring up how things could be, against how they actually are. I think the industry needs people who can combine theory and practice, who understand the background, then hopefully we can come up with better ways of doing things.

What advice would you give to somebody coming to Kent?

I would say, always go with your gut, you’ll know, when you visit a university if it could be right for you. If you like a place don't be afraid to put it down even if you think you won’t get the grades, because you never know what will happen.

It sounds like you’re really enjoying it.

I absolutely love it, honestly. I really enjoy it. I’ll go home and all I do is talk about university. Also I am a student ambassador, which means I get to meet prospective students and talk to them about university. I encourage them to go because I do think it’s the best thing you can do. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but I think it’s worth it. Definitely.