We asked a variety of students to share their experiences of being a student at Queen's University!
Undergraduate Accountancy Student - Reflecting on First Day at Queen's:
“I am currently studying accountancy and will be going into my final year in September. I can remember my first day as if it was yesterday. I had taken a gap year after school and was on my own for enrolment and registration because all of my school friends had already been at university for a year. I didn’t know anyone and the whole experience was quite daunting, even though I lived and went to school in Belfast. The main thing to remember though is that everyone is in the same boat, especially when you start into lectures, and starting to talk to someone may be as much of a relief to them as it is to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about what you should be doing because everyone will be more than happy to help. Most importantly be yourself.”
Undergraduate Maths Student - Reflecting on student experience to date:
“After arriving at Queen's I quickly became familiar with day to day academic lifestyle, QUB campus and made friends on my course and in my accommodation at Elms Village. As I entered second year, I discovered just how much the University has to offer. I volunteered as class representative to help out other students and through this became much more confident talking to academic staff with in turn helped my studies. In 2009 I went on an internship to Colorado through the organisation Project Children which is based at QUB and offers students the opportunity to spend 8 weeks in America gaining paid work experience and living with an American family. I worked with 03b-Networks, an engineering and telecommunications company and on my return was awarded a Queen's Employability and Skills Award, which also gave me the opportunity to work as a Student Ambassador representing the Careers, Employability and Skills Service within the Student Guidance Centre as a promoter. Queen's has so much to offer students, from social events in the Students' Union and Clubs and Societies to Careers Guidance and work experience, all of which have made my university experience not solely about academic studies, but also about having fun and gaining experience to help you after you graduate.”
Mature Student Studying Social Work - Reflecting on student experience to date:
“As a mature student I was a little nervous about going back to university and felt apprehensive about what to expect. I suppose I felt as though I would stick out like a sore thumb among the younger students, and worried that I would not have anything in common to talk about. As it turned out my fears were short-lived. When I arrived during my induction week, I realised there were many other mature students, ” I was not on my own!!” and that the students on my course were extremely approachable and friendly. I was also a little worried about being left behind the new tech-savvy generation, however some of the younger students were actually really helpful at showing me how to make changes to my assignments on MSWord and how to use MS PowerPoint, I now even have my own Facebook account. I was also able to access study skills courses through the Student Guidance Centre and attended a few social events organised for mature students which were great fun. It took me a while to fully settle in but I now feel much more confident both on a personal and academic level and through group work on my course and smaller tutorial groups I have gained a really good network of friends. When I did have any problems I was able to chat to my personal tutor and he was very understanding and a great help at boosting my self-esteem. I joined up with one of the University sporting clubs and this really helped me to get to know other students at a more social level and in my view has really enriched my university experience so far, I think you need to be open to trying new things.”
Undergraduate Student - Reflecting on student experience to date:
"I spend most of my time round the Botanic area at Queen's. While I wander over to the Chaplaincy a few times a week to meet friends for lunch, not much gets me away from Botanic Avenue except the lure of discount Guardians in the Students' Union shop. I spend most of my time in another Union - the stately grey theology building situated just behind the main Lanyon building. It is around there every morning that I try to find a parking space which won’t involve me having to delve deep into the heart of the ‘Holylands’ housing area.
Queen’s has a compact campus. If I can’t find a book in the Theology library I only have a one minute walk until I reach the main library at Queen’s. This new library overlooks Botanic Gardens. When it opened last year I promised myself I wouldn’t sit next to the huge windows which overlook the grounds, since I would invariably get distracted, day dreaming and people watching. Though I have to admit to one particularly enjoyable Sunday revision session which involved studying the American South to the sounds of a jazz band playing outside! Queen’s has a great quirky culture. It’s coming down with coffee shops, whether in university buildings or scattered nearby. I recommend filling a free hour by wandering into one of the many charity bookshops around and enjoying reading your purchase over a cup of tea."