Out of all the universities I visited, Bath was where I could see myself best. I like the fact that it’s a small campus because you get to know a lot of people and the Chemistry Department seemed really good as well. I liked the different modules available and having lots of lab hours, because it meant we would get more lab experience for when we get a job or go on placement.
The peer mentor system
Soon after A level results day, a group chat is usually made on Facebook where you can find your peers that you will be studying with for the next three or four years. You can speak to lead peer mentors who’ll be able to offer advice and answer any questions you might have before coming to University, whether it’s about textbooks or the best places to hang out in town. You will be informed of your tutor group prior to arriving here which will consist of about six other students and you’ll all share the same peer mentor. These students are the same people that you will attend tutorials with every week, so you end up forming very close friendships with them. I can personally say that I’m very good friends with everyone in my tutor group. Your peer mentor can support you, help you revise for your first set of exams and help you find more extra-curricular activities to go to. I joined the Women’s Rugby team in my first year and made a lot of friends through it.
Your peer mentor can also help you choose modules and what programme of study you’d like to be on. I was originally on the study year abroad programme but I realised this wasn’t what I wanted, so after speaking to my peer mentor and personal tutor, I switched to the industrial placement programme.
After seeing how much support I could receive from my peer mentor, I decided to become one myself this year. It allowed me to meet lots of people and offer them advice on how to make the most of their time here, especially when it comes to getting that social balance with your work and studies.
Plans for the future
I think I want to go into further academia, probably a PhD, as I enjoy the research side of things. When I was applying to universities in Year 13, I never would have thought that I would want to become a lecturer! I find it amazing how each lecturer has one topic that they know inside out that they focus on for their career, and it’s really nice when you have lecturers that really enjoy what they’re teaching. It really comes across in how they lecture and you just learn much better. They make it so enjoyable and that is what inspired me. There are certain topics I find really interesting and if my job was to speak about them for life, I would be pretty happy.
Skills I have learned
I think a chemistry degree is really useful because you gain so many skills, including analytical, lab and research. It means you can go into a variety of fields, not just chemistry, so you’re prepared very well for life after university. One of my highlights of first year was doing the drug discovery modules. I always found it fascinating how exactly the different drugs work in your body. University has been better than what I expected. I really appreciated how we got to learn about so many different topics. Labs did seem difficult at first, but I find them enjoyable now: it’s amazing how you can synthesise the compounds you learn about in your lectures.