Knowing how starting university can be really scary and having someone to talk to can be a wonderful thing, prompted Amy to want to be a mentor.
“I would like to help new chemistry students feel more comfortable within the Department. I’d like to contribute to them settling in quicker.” Amy likes the idea of being helpful to someone and having the power to make them feel a little happier. Amy believes having a fellow student answer questions gives such a great insight into the course as “it’s a viewpoint from someone who is going through it and has just gone through starting university in some cases”. It also means the answers can be more realistic.
Amy chose to do a chemistry degree as she’d had a keen interest in science and mathematics from a young age but it took her a while to finally decide on chemistry. “The transition to finding something I was passionate about wasn’t particularly easy, but in the end what clinched the decision actually lay in the tutors I’ve had along the way. I found their enthusiasm for the subject to be inspiring. It encouraged me to research the subject and its applications for myself.”
UK Top Ten institution
For Amy, the appeal of Lancaster was the fact it was a UK top ten institution. However, she was most impressed by the close-knit feel of the Chemistry Department that was so obvious when she’d visited. “As the Department is so small, it makes it feel more familiar and friendly – it’s nice when tutors recognise you from class, something you might not get from a larger department.”
Amy loves how challenging the course is and the fact they are constantly being pushed to do their best. “My favourite element is the learning and problem solving – being given coursework to spend time working on and practising.” Amy also likes being made to feel comfortable with the tutors as they allow their students to ask questions to aid their understanding.
Of the social scene at the University, Amy is very impressed that there is something for everyone because there are so many societies to choose from. She also likes the fact it’s also easy to find a great group of friends even outside societies and clubs. “I would say keeping social is very important to separate yourself from constant studies, as at times it can be overwhelming.”
Through studying at Lancaster, Amy has gained massively in confidence, something which she’s always struggled with. She’s also gained time management skills as the workload can be heavy at times. The skills learnt in the first year have really helped Amy manage everything efficiently in the second year.
Idyllic campus setting
Amy believes that Lancaster was the best choice she ever made. “The campus setting is idyllic and the Department is excellent. I can’t imagine a faculty being any better.” For Amy, it is the friendliness of the Department which really impresses her. “It’s so comforting to have the majority of tutors stopping for a chat, being so approachable and making you feel like an equal.” Amy is also impressed with the facilities within the Department which she says are “first class!” She’s also impressed with how immaculate the labs are and also likes the study areas which are lovely and quiet to get some work done.
Choosing a university was quite stressful for Amy and she actually ended up in clearing where she says she “definitely landed on her feet with Lancaster University”. Her biggest piece of advice would be to get organised early and make absolutely sure that the universities you choose as your top choices are definitely right for you.
If you’re going to choose chemistry, Amy says, “It’s worth it”. At the beginning of her first term, she remembers feeling very overwhelmed and felt that everybody knew so much more than her. “It was quite intimidating but even after a week, you soon realise everyone is in the same boat and the understanding does come”. Although chemistry is considered a challenging degree, Amy believes if the passion for science/learning is there, then pushing through the trickier spots will happen. “And for every module, you don’t think you like, there is at least two more that you find great!”