Hey! My name is Phoebe Teasdale and I’m a first year student at Lancaster University studying Politics and International Relations.
I’m in Pendle College, I’m not going to bore you by talking through our colligate system but being placed into a college really does give you a community and a base of supporters that in my experience made the adjustment to life at University much easier. I actually had quite a difficult start to University because upon arrival I quickly discovered the degree I had chosen was not the degree that was right for me. If this happens to you, don’t panic, there is a community of staff in every department that will help you make the right choice of degree for you and make sure that you are on the programme that really interests you and will benefit you in the future.
One of the key differences between school and university is that the staff at university really feel part of your community. They are there not only to ensure you succeed academically but also to empower you, give you future advice and to learn from you. Someone once told me that there is a reason that lots of academics dedicate their books to past students!
Another example of community in Lancaster are the people that you meet in clubs and societies, I have met some amazing people in both philosophy society and Labour club. It is amazing to meet likeminded people who become like a family away from your family. I have found that this has made the adjustment to life at University easier. It is also useful that the people in societies and clubs are spread throughout all years, so you meet people who are going what you are going through or who have already been through it and can support you throughout first, second and even third (or fourth) year.
There are so many examples of community at Lancaster. I have no doubt that when you arrive you will find your own community, if you have any questions about Lancaster, the daily life of a first year PPR student or student life in general don’t hesitate to drop me a message on my twitter which is @phoebeEteasdale
Degree: Politics MA
Home is where the heart is and the PPR department has turned into that space for me as a student. Having studied an Undergraduate degree in History & Politics at the University, I pledged allegiance to the department this year to continue with a Master’s degree. Lancaster is where I learnt not only that the ‘personal is political’, but also, I am well within my rights to carve out an academic space from this interest. I have enjoyed working with visitors, staff, and students in many part time positions to effect change for marginalised communities and taken the lessons from the lecture hall to heart.
The continuity of structure has also allowed me to thrive. As an Undergraduate student, the minor module system and interdisciplinarity of a department that combines multiple specialisms helped broaden my horizons and connect dots between different areas of scholarship.
Above all, it is the confidential support and backing I have received in office hours and personal discussions to trust my instincts that made a difference. As an individual and as a scholar, I have gradually grown my own voice and the possibilities of where my passions might take me next in the near future are exciting.