Nicola Oginni

Sociology and Social Policy BA

The Clearing process was smooth and easy – I just filled in a form online. I got a response in less than an hour, and a phone call to say congratulations.

What was the main reason you applied to Kent through Clearing?

I’d originally applied to Kent as one of my five options. I’d already visited and seen the campus. On results day, when I didn’t get into my other choices, I already knew that I liked Kent.

Had you always intended to study Sociology?

Originally, I wanted to study Economics. But A level Maths really dealt with me! It was so hard, so I decided to change what I wanted to study. I always did well at A level Sociology, so I decided to focus on my strengths, and combine that with Social Policy in the joint honours that Kent was offering.

How did you find the Clearing process?

It was really my Dad who pushed me to start applying through Clearing. I only applied to Kent and one other university. The process was smooth and easy – I just filled in a form online. I got a response in less than an hour, and I also got a phone call to say congratulations. It was really nice.

What advice would you give to someone applying through Clearing?

It can be hard, especially if you didn’t get the results you wanted. But you should be proud of all your hard work, regardless of your grades. You still have a new journey ahead of you. Even if it’s not the one you anticipated at the start, it’s still a journey, so make the most of it.

Did you stay in student accommodation in your first year?

I was in Park Wood, and I’m still there now! It was straightforward to get in: once I had my place to study they send me the accommodation application details. It was just like coming to Kent through the standard route.

How did you feel during your first few weeks?

I was scared, because coming to Kent wasn’t my original plan. But it was much better than I anticipated. We had a Welcome Week, and also got introduced to all the lecturers and modules. I soon realised I didn’t need to feel nervous.

What have been the highlights of your degree programme?

I’m doing a module on ethnicities and identity. One of our seminars was based on the Meghan Markle interview with Oprah Winfrey – the day after the interview we discussed it in class, covering the issues behind the conversation. I remember thinking ‘this is why I’m here, to talk about real-life issues’. I really enjoyed that.

Also, when I first came to University, I got my first grade back and I was so disappointed. I reached out to my seminar leader and he was so helpful. He told me what I needed to do differently. Just by reaching out to him, my results went up by two grades. My department have been so helpful in my academic journey.

How supported have you felt, especially during the pandemic?

I can’t deny that things have been very different. At the same time, my lecturers and seminar leaders have been very present. They respond to my emails and essay plans. I really appreciate it because they know the circumstances.

What extra-curricular activities have you been involved with?

I got involved with a Christian fellowship, because I felt it was important to keep up with my faith at University. I’m also a Digital Media Assistant for the University, producing digital content for different marketing channels.

What do you most like about being a student at Kent?

The friends I’ve made – they’ve made the experience better. The campus too, it’s so green. I love coming out of the library and seeing the view over Canterbury – it’s such a beautiful city.

Have you had any careers advice?

I get a lot of emails from the University offering one-to-one advice, and CV sessions. If students don’t get advice it’s because they’re not following up on this. I’ve had a CV advice session which helped a lot.

How do you think you’ve changed during your time at Kent?

I now value myself on how much I work, and how much I push myself. Whatever I do now, I do it to the best of my ability instead of being hung up on grades.