Sarah Bligh

History Major, Graduated 2014

Coming from Blackpool, Lancaster was ideal. It was close enough for me to become independent but not too far to pop home for a Sunday roast every now and again! Not only that, the History Department offered a diverse range of modules meaning I would be able to pursue my interests and discover new ones.

The first-year course ensured that everyone was on the same page, which, for me, was a huge benefit. Having studied Classical Civilisation at A-Level, instead of History, meant I did not have the same knowledge as my peers, therefore, being able to extend and widen my understanding was a huge bonus. Although there was a huge leap moving from A-Levels to University, I felt fully supported in the process and loved the new challenge of independent research and seminars (and even conquered the challenge of 9am lectures!) 

The breadth of knowledge gained in the first year meant I was able to make informed choices on modules to take during Part II (second and third year). It meant I could focus on what I enjoyed, including HIST284 Total War and HIST286 Restless Nation. In my second year, I also started working as a Student Ambassador for History open days. I loved giving prospective students the opportunity to see how amazing Lancaster is. I was often asked what the best feature of Lancaster University was, to which I always responded – the community feel! Whether as a campus, college, department or society, there was always a sense of community and belonging.

The best part of third year was the Special Subject. Having chosen HIST351 How the Camera Changed the World, I thoroughly enjoyed studying a different aspect of history as well as a different way of thinking and researching. The dissertation was something I dreaded but I was put at ease by my Dissertation supervisor and the support and advice of other tutors. I found myself wanting to write far more than 10,000 words! Sadly, at the start of my third year my grandad passed away, however, the History department provided the most amazing support, forwarding me onto the best people possible and making sure I felt no pressure to rush back to university but also ensuring I kept on top of my work.

Also during my time at Lancaster, I joined an amazing society, Canoe Club, and volunteered through the Student Union at a local Specialist School as well as spending three weeks on an exchange in India. My time at Lancaster has not just been about achieving my degree but about the amazing experience and friends I have made along the way. It has been these experiences and friends who have supported me into achieving a first-class honours degree and securing my place on a graduate scheme with Teach First, I’m off to New Zealand in the meantime!