When looking for a university I wanted a mainly campus-based university. It makes it easier to get to know a lot of people and it makes everything a lot more accessible.
For the past 7 years of my life I had been fixated on my XC career; racing in anything from school/club races up to National XC races over the years. Running has always been a passion and it was always something I looked forward to in a day that would be a kind of release in my endlessly busy life. Over the past couple of years I have started doing triathlons. In the end I really wanted to find a university that I knew would have people that shared my passions, other people that were up for a 15-mile run as a bit of fun. However, I also wanted people who could challenge me and others that could take me to the next level in whatever sport I decided to do. I just knew from the moment I walked onto campus on the open day that Loughborough University was the place I was looking for.
Doing a joint honours course (especially with two completely different subjects) keeps my week interesting. I can spend half the hours of my week decrypting complicated mathematical equations then change over from the lecture theatre to the lab and be measuring body fat percentage and bone density. Maths has always been my favourite subject but getting to understand more about myself and how the human body works, especially in the sports I do has led me to think deeper about my lifestyle, balancing training, eating and of course the occasional night out.
My favourite part of my course would be anatomy and physiology. It explains the complicated structural organisation of the human body and how the smallest cells work together creating tissues, organs and systems which all function concurrently enabling us to do everything from having structure to respirating and moving around and everything in-between.
I’m a very visual learner, so I feel I learn a lot more sitting in the lecture theatre with the lecturer in front of me. Admittedly I can’t take in and understand everything that is said in all my lectures which is why it’s great that the lecturers are happy to answer any questions I have at any time
Lecture capture is also unbelievably helpful as well; it allows me to hear my lecturers explain what I have written down in my notes if I don’t understand it. There are also extensive networks of people that are lined up to help me with whatever problems I have in whatever subject I do.
Apart from the support within my course there is plenty of support in other sectors as well. To put it simply, you can find a group of people in the University that can help you with anything you need. Everything from mental health and sexuality to religion or coaching in sports, to how to get to the next level in anything you do.
As a first year student I’ve had people ask me about my course and what I want to do in the future, but in all honesty even if I did have an idea now of what I wanted to do it probably would have changed by the end of my time at Loughborough. I could stay on for longer and get a Master’s or a Doctorate, or I could leave at the end of my four years and go straight into the world of work. All I know for now is that I’m taking a course that opens up plenty of paths for me and to which one I choose is still a mystery.
The social atmosphere on campus was exactly what I was looking for. I like getting stuck into as many things as possible. It was kind of surreal at the start though; everyone just seems so nice, or at least everyone I have met so far. There is certainly a group for everyone here. It’s amazing how quickly you get to know so many people as well. I came to university thinking I wouldn’t know anyone, but I soon found out that people I knew from all different parts of my life were dotted around campus and it’s just such a great feeling to catch up with them. You find yourself meeting up with different friend groups outside of the activities you know them from, and you will just keep meeting new people the more you do.
I love all the opportunities that are available to me and the extensive amounts of societies that pique my interest. My only regret is that I can’t be part of all of them. There’s just not enough time to fit everything I want to do in.
But most of all, the sense of a real community throughout the University. I feel like everyone I speak to I can relate to in some way. We all have been freshers somewhere sometime and we all know how it feels trying to manage everything you want to do into such short weeks, how to manage your money or how to survive finally at university; being truly responsible for your life and everything you do. It’s scary and thrilling at the same time, but it’s all part of the journey and there will be people there to help you through all of it.
Having been within my comfort zone for as long as I can remember, knowing everyone and everyone knowing me, it was nice to start with a blank slate when I came to University. I could be who I wanted to be, not what anyone else expected me to be. I think overall, Loughborough has inspired me to try out new things, stray away from the ordinary and expected, see what I am really capable of.