Friday, 30 June 2017

What University life taught me about myself...

I've just finished my 3rd year in Biological Sciences. I remember my first day. As an international student, it was very overwhelming in the beginning. Everything was new and very different. All I wanted was to try lots of new and exciting things. Now, as a 3rd Year on the brink of graduation, I've realised that everything I've done has been a
learning opportunity and I gained
something from every experience.

I didn't do as much as I would have liked in my first year. The culture shock was a little daunting to get over and it took me a while to get used to the weather! Then I took part in the Birmingham Project and I realised that I really loved a challenge!

My biggest personal challenge was that I was one of the three students from the university chosen to attend the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School in York that summer.
Identifying plant species with my new friend
at the summer school. 
I was terrified at the thought of meeting my smarter peers from other universities, But I enjoyed it immensely and I'm glad I was able to attend it. It was the one defining point that showed me I could do anything. At the end of those two weeks, I was convinced I wanted to build my career around plant sciences and the experience helped me greatly for my third year project as well.

At the PASS Award
I was a Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Leader, a BME Ambassador and I've also worked in the Student PR team for 2 years at the University. I also managed to get an opportunity to blog for an e-clinic. In spite of doing all this, my focus was always at doing well in my course. I missed less than 10 lectures in all my three years, which feels like an accomplishment in itself!

Hard at work in labs! 

In my first year, I joined the Personal Skills Award (PSA), wondering how on earth I was going to make up 150 points. Imagine my shock and my elation when I found out that not only did I get a PSA Advanced award, but I was also nominated for the PSA Student of the Year Award in my final year!

I've always wanted to be the person who makes the most of every opportunity and spends every waking minute doing something tangible. I was never able to be that person.

Or so I thought.

Now, as my time at this University draws to a close, I realise that this is not true.

All of these experiences helped me meet different sides of myself. I had to push myself to come out of my shell and do a lot of things that scared me. I came to University as a timid, shy and nervous person and now I can see myself as more independent, confident and poised.

University isn't just about the course, the placements or even the social life. It's all of it, the whole package. Every single moment, every assignment, exam, project, work, all-nighter...everything shapes us to make us - the Birmingham graduate.

Lakshmi Priya
Student PR Team

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