My name is Alannah. I am 22 years old and I am from the Black Country. I came to Loughborough in 2016 to study English however I transferred to Geography after my first year. My Loughborough journey has been far from conventional however it has been incredibly rewarding and I have loved every second.
I had not clicked with any University that I had seen until I came to Loughborough. I was starting to worry University was not for me until I stepped onto campus and something felt right. League tables were not as important for me, I wanted to feel safe and know I could grow as a person. The open day at Loughborough showed me that it was definitely the University for me and I can now say I 100% made the right choice.
I was surprised at how free you are to be your own person. Secondary school and College carried a lot of restrictions University just does not have. I felt like Loughborough really shaped me to be the person I wanted to be.
Honestly put Loughborough as your firm choice, I promise you will not regret it!
The hall system delegates ‘fresher helpers’ who are second and third years dedicated to making sure you settle in ok in your freshers’ period. I found University quite overwhelming to begin with and I think my fresher helper recognised that, so she took me under her wing and supported me where I needed it.
I noticed in my second year that my mental health was declining so I sought help from the University Support Services and Campus Medical Centre.
At first, I went to counselling which did not entirely suit what I needed so I was assigned a Mental Health Advisor. Whilst it has been a struggle, I have met some incredible individuals both in the Geography department and the support services – this included my personal tutor sitting down with my parents to explain my struggles and how best to support me. I am not just a student to them; they genuinely care about my wellbeing and my potential as a member of the Loughborough family.
The best support service for me on campus was being able to speak to a chaplain at the faith and spirituality centre. I was apprehensive at first as I am not particularly religious. However, they met up with me as regularly as needed and spoke through my anxieties, just listening to what I needed to talk about.
The support I received from the University and my Department enabled me to go on and create my own Mental Health Blog as a place for students to share their own experiences.
Do not be afraid to try new things and seek out unique opportunities. It’s very easy to not try new things if your flatmates won’t go with you however it’s important to remember you’re going to meet new people wherever you go and you can make new friends in any activity you try!
I would also really encourage you to go for a hall committee position if you want to! It taught me so many new skills and made me feel really apart of the Loughborough experience when I was an Action Rep.
Without a doubt volunteering at the Student’s Union. I spent a lot of my early Loughborough days volunteering for Action and taking students into the local community to do tasks such as gardening and organising tea dances for the local elderly. As time progressed, I branched into other sections of the Union including Media and Welfare and Diversity. I was lucky enough to be appointed as the Deputy Officer for Welfare and Diversity this year meaning I get to support the Executive Officer and Association Chairs as they support minority groups and communities across campus.
This all really began when I said yes to volunteering at the Alpaca Farm on my 3rd day of University. It was scary as none of my flat wanted to come with me, however it sparked an array of opportunities and I am so glad I said yes to going.
Geography was always a subject that I enjoyed and excelled in at A-level, I wanted to see where I could take that at degree level and further my passion for human geography.
I love how I am being taught by world class researchers in their field. Often than not I will be writing an essay and I’ll be able to quote a paper or article written by a lecturer who teaches me.
My favourite module was Geographies of Culture, Media, and Representation in my Second Year. I have always loved film and being able to analyse my favourite film through a geographical lens was really enjoyable. I loved the module so much that I decided to take what I learnt and apply it as a research method in my dissertation!