My journey through Higher Education

Hi my loves! It has been a WHILE since I last posted! The past year has been such a rollercoaster from starting married life, to completing my final year and also enduring many health and mental health difficulties. Praise to be God, I am in a much better place and things have quietened down enough for me to start blogging again and resume what I love doing and connecting with you all once again!

I have always wanted to share my Higher Education journey once it is was all complete. As students across the UK have received their A Level results and ready to begin University, this blog post will be sharing my personalised advice and tips to navigate through University life. As one of the first person in my family history to have ever accessed Higher Education, my University journey and the decisions I have made throughout the years have been very independent and dependent on the advice given by friends, University staff and pretty much the internet.

Around the same time now 3 years ago, I embarked on a Marketing Advertising and Public relations degree coming from an artistic social science background, which meant I had very little knowledge of my degree subject. I heavily relied on reading blog posts upon blog posts and websites to equip myself for University life and entering a new field and it really made me anxious and felt as if I was taking a huge risk. If anyone reading Is going through the same situation, please don’t be too stressed about starting an unfamiliar degree. The fact that you have got in to study the subject means that the University has confidence in you and in your choice of subject, and in the first year you will definitely learn everything you need to know to ascend into second and third year where the course content and assignments get a little more technical and tricky. So really my best advice for first years is start University with an open  mind, talk to anyone about any problem or worry you have,  try to make a few friends or study buddies and really grab hold of opportunities in your first year and try not to make it an anxious experience like I did. Just remember your faculty, lecturers and personal tutors are committed in giving you the best University experience so take advantage of it!

My University experience was pretty much an emotional upheaval. Life can be so unpredictable at times and Final year was the absolute toughest for me and where I was at tipping point. I feel it is really important to stay on top of your work and keeping track of your grades to have an indication of what grade you will be getting at the end of the year and what you need to do to get the degree classification you want. I say this as in second year I did exactly just this by calculating all my grades (by using a degree calculator via a uni app) and figuring out which modules I could get a higher grade in. I was all prepared until Final year, where my health deteriorated, and i really struggled with my dissertation because of it,  I lost a lot of weight which was a huge deal for me and I went through a whole lot of emotional upheaval. Looking back, I am SO glad I put the work in my second year as my final year module results were not that great and definitely would not have resulted in a First. That being said, it is so important to be prepared before a storm hits, focus on where you want to go because anything can happen

TOP TIPS (the one’s they wont tell you about)

  1. Seriously don’t worry about making friends, even if your going to be in accommodation. You have more important things to be dealing with, in my opinion.  It took me quite a while to break out my shell and make some good friends you just need to give the process some time so you don’t rush in to the wrong crowd
  2. Everyone says first year is the time to have fun and kick back but your degree is not going to look that great on its own. Utilise the time you have in your first year by figuring out the career path you want to take. Sometimes that means researching but most of the time it involves networking, interning in different fields and exploring your skills and talents. The extra work you do now is going to set a great foundation for your second year, placement year and final year too
  3. Also don’t worry about if you haven’t got a career or a title set in stone. To this day I still envy those who know exactly what they want to be, whereas I, post graduation have still no idea where I want to go. Its the mystery of life and it should be embraced rather than it becoming a negative thing. The more you learn about your degree and most importantly yourself, one day you will find a career that you love!
  4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at any stage.  Regretfully I did this myself twice in final year where once I wasn’t recovering in dissertation phase and twice where I fell ill again before my exam. Instead of pressuring myself to the point I had breakdowns I should have really asked for help, changed the submission date or asked for adjustments because all these options were being offered. Please learn from my mistakes! Nothing is more important than you and your health!

All in all, University was absolute amazing, Alhumdullilah i have no regrets, and I feel as if I have done enough academically and professionally. I’ve learn how to connect with people so different than myself and my self confidence and self belief has rocketed

 Advice to future undergraduates 

Try getting into a reputable well renowned university. Research upon your desired industry and find a niche – a sector in that industry that you know  is thriving with prospects and multiple opportunities that are in need of graduates. This becomes a clear pathway for your to enter that  sector looking for graduates with a specific skillset which in the end narrows down the graduate job competition.

However, if in your research,  If you can get into your industry of interest through different pathways instead of a University degree then definitely consider those. University is a huge financial commitment and making smart decisions about what is best for you and your career is important.

Please get in contact if you have any further questions as it was difficult to cover everything in a blog post! I hope that you guys find my advice useful and please share with new first year students! See you in my next post !

Love from Sahibah xx

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