Kurtis chose to be a student mentor because he believes it will provide new students with an authentic voice about the university experience and will provide another point of contact. He wishes that such a support system had been available when he was starting university.
“I think it’s nice just to know that you already know somebody at university before you’ve even got there, as well as the benefit of being able to ask any questions about things before and during your time at university.”
Kurtis chose to study chemistry as it’s a subject he’s always enjoyed. “I found it was quite a challenging course that forced me to think and analyse the information given to me to be able to solve a problem.” Kurtis also sees his problem-solving skills being used to good advantage in other aspects other than just chemistry.
The homely feel
Kurtis really enjoys the close nature of the campus and the fact it is separated off from the city. He believes it “makes university life feel very homely”. He also enjoys the social scene offered in Lancaster even though it is a relatively small city.
Of his course, Kurtis likes the fact the work-flow is mostly pretty consistent; "You always know what and how much you have to get done."
Kurtis is impressed that there are a lot of different social groups at Lancaster which co-exist and there is no hostility. He says of the University, “No matter what it is you’re into there are people that enjoy it too. Everyone is friendly, everyone wants to be here. So no one really has a reason to be hostile."
Kurtis feels he has learnt a lot during his time at university. “My course has taught me how to critically think about things.” He also believes his time management skills have improved as he learns to work to deadlines. However one of his biggest areas of development is learning to survive away from home, “I’ve learnt to live independently and budget properly”.
Kurtis is very positive about his experience at Lancaster particularly in how the department is very good at not making you feel just like another statistic.” I feel a lot more welcome by being here. This I think is mainly due to the friendly nature of the university.” He is also enthusiastic about the University’s collegiate system which he sees as a great way to connect with people, especially in the first few months.
When thinking about what to study, Kurtis offers the advice he was given at school. “I was told if you don’t know what to do then do what you enjoy and that way you will enjoy what it is you’re doing and have a passion for it.” Kurtis’s advice to prospective students is to know what your expectations of university life are. “Consider what it is you’re going to be getting out of university, not just your degree - all universities give degrees. Think of what else it is you’re going to do and learn during your time at university.”
Kurtis also advises to try not to let the results get you down as your well-being is worth more than that. “You always have more options than you think. Once you get to university remember you’re there to study, but also to enjoy yourself as well.”