What’s life been like since you finished studying at Coulsdon College?
I finished Coulsdon College in 2017 after a pretty intense yet successful final year. When I received my fantastic A Level results, I was so proud of myself and it boosted my confidence. As a result, I was able to attend the University of Leicester for three years to study Criminology and now, I somehow have a First-Class degree!
What was life like at the University of Leicester?
I chose to attend the University of Leicester because they were placed very high up on the league table for Criminology. Also, the surrounding area is perfect; there is a large shopping centre which is walking distance from the campus, the student accommodations is in the city, and the train and coach stations are situated near-by which is fantastic when getting to and from home during the holidays.
As it is quite a distance away from London, I had to live there for the full three years. At first it was very daunting because it was a new city, there were new surroundings and there were a lot of new people but I settled in quickly after the first week. Living away from home helped me grow and mature even more as a person, because it allowed me to become more independent and self-sufficient. In addition, it is a very multi-cultural university, so I was able to meet lots of different people from all over the country as well as around the world. There were a lot of enjoyable social and course-related events available all year around such as, club events, trips to Leicester Magistrates Court, HMP Leicester, and a mock trial demonstration that helped me learn more about the job roles in the criminal justice system.
Do you have any advice for students looking to go to University?
Make sure that the course you would like to study is something you are interested in and when applying for the course, be sure to check what kind of assessments the course offers to ensure it plays out to your strengths whether that be coursework, exams, or presentations. Similarly, keep an open mind and try and step outside of your comfort zone during your time at university because it will increase your chances of making friends and help you enjoy your time. When it comes to coursework, make sure to construct a plan for each assignment, even if it’s only a brief one; that way you can show your lecturer and they can give you some advice on how to achieve the best grade possible. Likewise, do not be like me and leave most of your work until the last minute, the sleepless nights are not worth that! And finally enjoy your time because the three years go by like three months.
How did the Coulsdon College staff help you get to where you are now?
My Travel and Tourism teachers were Donna, Sarita and Claire across both years- they were all fantastic! All of them are vibrant, enthusiastic, encouraging and have very funny personalities. They also provided me with great support and pushed me to achieve my full potential. I was always the shy and aloof one and I would barely say anything in class so at a parents evening, Sarita persuaded me to join her lunchtime gym session to get me more involved in college activities. The gym sessions were really helpful at helping me relieve stress and even though Sarita was making up the workouts as she went along, it did help me stay fit and become friends with some other girls, which helped me also become more confident!
During your time at Coulsdon College, you expressed an interest in a career in Law. Is this something you still want to pursue?
Initially I was very interested in studying Law at College and University so that I can progress into a career in the industry. However, after partaking in a year of Law at Coulsdon College I realised that I did not enjoy learning about all aspects of the subject of Law, rather just the social aspects. But I have not given up on my interest in law as I applied for a Degree in Criminology which focused more on the social aspects of crime and deviant behaviour. Subsequently, I was able to learn more about the job roles that are associated with Criminology throughout the course and it has helped me keep an open mind in relation to what I would like to do in the future.
Is there anything you’d change or do differently?
I spent a lot of my time growing up being really quiet and paying a lot of attention to other people’s opinions of myself. As a result, I had no confidence. However, every decision I’ve made has made me twice as strong and has helped me gain the confidence to do the unexpected and achieve a First-Class degree so no I wouldn’t change anything, but I wish I would’ve had the faith and confidence in myself as I do today.
What’s next for you?
I am still currently at the University of Leicester, hoping to start my master’s in September. I’m hoping to be able to use my degree and a future completed master’s to help me get a job in areas such as the National Crime Agency or MI5.
Previous school: Archbishop Tenison's C of E School