Kent was really friendly but it had a great academic reputation too. I looked at the league tables and my School was high up and that made a difference. Also – and I know it’s a cliché because everyone says it – but the setting is lovely. You have everything you need on a beautiful green campus. So Kent ticked every box for me.
I’ve always been interested in health care. My background definitely played a part; my nan is disabled and so I’ve always been aware of that whole world. I used to see items on the news about the funding crisis so I wanted to understand the political side of things.
I found the transition a bit daunting at first but it was also very exciting! I was eager to start – it was like a new door opening. I quickly met some lovely people and started to channel my energies into my course. I didn’t do an A level in sociology or psychology but the first year lays the foundations for you. They teach you the basics and then you can apply that in your second year of study. At university, there’s a shift because you really learn to be independent. You can go off and look at topics in your own way and do your own research.
The support is great from both students and staff. All of the seminar groups are small so everyone gets involved – all of us share our opinions and it’s quite an informal and friendly atmosphere. We email each other about the work and I can also email my seminar leader if I have any questions – everyone is very approachable.
The lecturers teaching my modules are specialists in that area. It means they all have their individual areas of research, which is great. It’s not something I thought about before I came to university, but now I realise that this is really important.
Mental Health has been one of my favourite modules. I found it really interesting. I’m planning to do my dissertation on whether our GPs overprescribe mental health medication. It’s quite a big topic at the moment and it’s an area I feel quite passionate about.
At Kent there are so many groups and societies that everyone fits in somewhere and feels a part of something. There’s loads going on at the sports centre and I spend a lot of time there. I’m also the vice-captain of the equestrian team. We train once a week and compete against other universities.
I’m always getting emails about workshops and careers events; there are a lot of things on offer. I recently went to a CV workshop which was really good and I’m planning to do a lot more in my final year.
If you’d asked me a year ago, a career in mental health wouldn’t have been for me. But now I’m thinking about going into psychiatric support work. I’m also thinking about healthcare auditing. There are variations and gaps in provision that I’d really like to explore.
Enjoy it! Even if it seems a bit overwhelming at first, put yourself out there, meet different people and embrace it all.