The week has gone by quickly, again, and it’s already time for another Uni Life interview. The purpose behind this interview series is to give prospective and current students an insight into life at university, what it takes to get there and how to survive.
It’s hard to know what path to take when you’re in college and there’s a lot of pressure to go to university or dive straight into the world of work. I hope that this series will give you a chance to learn from current students about the courses you’re interested in.
This week I’m sharing an interview with the lovely Emma, a Human Rights student in her final year. I hope you enjoy the interview and remember to feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below.
What course are you studying at university?
I’m in my final year of a 3 year course studying BA Human Rights at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).
Did you have to study specific subjects at college to get onto the course?
How did you know this was the right course for you?
I studied Law at A Level and really enjoyed it and debated studying it at Uni, but as I wasn’t sure I took a gap year.
I’d always wanted to have a job where I ‘helped people’ and as I had an interest in law, and also an interest in humanitarian causes and helping people suffering from injustice. When I stumbled upon this course on the ucas website I just thought it sounded really interesting and the sort of thing I’d enjoy. Prior to finding the course I didn’t even know I could do a Human Rights degree.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
I really enjoy learning about injustices that have taken place across the world in many different environments, cultures and situations. It makes me feel passionate about making a change in the world and inspires me to do something. I also enjoy researching for essays as I get to look into areas that although are upsetting and sometimes quite intense I think talking about these subjects is really important and I enjoy doing so.
What do you find most challenging about your course?
Managing the workload, especially in third year. Although, this isn’t anything specific to my course, just a general challenge of university. It can be hard to cope with deadlines when they all come at the same time.
Are internships easy to come by in your field?
Not particularly. International humanitarian work, an area I’m very interested in, is very difficult to get into as you have to have experience working with charities, volunteering in other countries, relevant work experience, or speak another language. The type of job roles that would have a basis in Human Rights would often require some volunteering, and usually this has to be relevant, and that means internships or volunteering abroad which unfortunately can cost a lot of money.
Do you have any career plans in mind for when you’ve graduated?
Don’t ask a third year their career plans!! Isn’t that the rule?! No, I haven’t got any specific plans, I’m hoping to get an internship or job in a charity head office so I can get some insight into what working for a charity may be like.
Do you take part in any student groups or outside activities?
In my first and second year I volunteered with my SU, and I also worked in the SU shop for a while but had to stop in third year due to being too overloaded with pressures of university. I haven’t joined any societies which is definitely something I regret.
What do you do in your spare time?
In first and second year I went out clubbing, or to house parties quite regularly, but this year things have quietened down a bit. I really enjoy nights in with my housemates chatting about everything, or going to the cinema, meals out, shopping, or just meeting up with friends for a chat. I also love blogging and this takes up a fair amount of my spare time.
What would you’ve liked to know about university life before you started?
Not to worry if you haven’t found a ‘group’ within the first few months. I felt like I didn’t have any really close friends as I didn’t have a group within my first few months. This came with time though and throughout my time at uni I’ve been constantly meeting new people and making friends, even in third year.
What keeps you motivated?
Wanting to do well and get the best possible grade I can. I’m a big procrastinator so staying motivated can be hard, but I like to make to do lists and plan my time well so I feel like I’m on top of things and stay motivated to do well. Doing well in an assignment also motivates me, as does doing not so well!
What advice would you offer to prospective students?
If you’re not 100% sure about what to do, take some time out to figure it out, uni isn’t going anywhere you can always apply the next year. Also, everything happens for a reason, and make the most of university because one minute you’re moving into halls, next minute you’ve only got a few months left of your whole degree!
Finally, what is your go to meal after a busy day of lectures?
Cereal. I LOVE cereal. Hardly culinary excellence, but its quick, easy and tastes great!
I want to say a big thank you to Emma for taking part in this interview. Taking some time out before university can help you to grow and figure out what you want to do at university. It’s something I wish I’d done. Are any of you thinking of taking a gap year before university?