Going back to education at 23 was a struggle but choosing to study as a mature student was one of the best choices I have made. Having graduated in 2019 with a 2:1 Business Management degree I look back on my time at the University of Suffolk with happy memories.
Moving to Ipswich in 2016 without knowing anyone should have made me nervous, but I was keen to make the most of the experience. Living in Athena Hall meant I made great connections with people and I have lifelong friendships for living and studying here. I grew up and worked in Norwich before my studies, already being familiar with UOS and having elderly grandparents in South Norfolk meant I did not want to move far but
Living on the marina with a good group of friends has given me lots of great memories from running to 9am lecture after oversleeping too celebrating our successes with flatmates. Myself and two classmates also started a charity fundraising society while at UOS, the Caritas Society, we arranged bake sales, charity events and a night out with the aim of raising money for a number of charities. Two of us also shaved our heads to raise money for Suffolk Mind, I would not recommend doing this in winter. I also took part in the graduate + programme encouraging engagement in extra circular activities and did a two-week placement as a research assistant for a local recruitment firm, which was advertised through the university.
Support from lecturers, especially during my final year of studies, helped me learn, grow, and plan next steps after university life. I was also well supported by my friends and employer – my dissertation was based on staff life of NHS employees and involved a lot of engagement for a number of areas in the healthcare system.
I worked for the NHS before and during my degree and was lucky enough to gain a management role at NHS Suffolk & North East Essex CCGs in the last month of my studies, three years later I have since been successful in two promotions at the organised, support clinical colleagues throughout the dark days of the pandemic and am currently enjoying my Project Manager position dealing with Children and Young People services.
My favourite memories of university life are Barcoda, during freshers and refreshers, the bar crawls across Ipswich where a favourite of all being out together. Graduation was also very special, celebrating our success with a great group of classmates and our loved ones really makes you realise how much effort, motivation and hard work had gone into the years of study.
I would strongly recommend the University of Ipswich as a place of study, you are well supported throughout studies and post uni life and are able to build wonderful and meaningful connections with friends and classmates. My advice is that despite all the positives, university is a very stressful time; take time for you and to look after yourself and build connections with the right people so you can keep each other going through the journey.
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