I'm from Northern Ireland and have always had an interest in working with children as I have a lot of home and voluntary experience in the area. There have always been young children in my family and I have got experience in schools and working with children in summer schemes and dance classes.
I decided on Leeds as my place of study as I know the city is very multi-cultural, which interests me. I have family in Leeds which made moving away from home easier and the variety of clubs and societies to join in the University Union makes it easy to mix with new people and follow up current hobbies and interests.
I have really enjoyed all previous experience working with children and therefore feel that this is an area of study I will thoroughly enjoy. Through voluntary experience in summer schemes I have seen how children can grow and develop through giving your time to them.
I am aware children come from a variety of backgrounds and believe they all deserve the chance to flourish and feel that this course gives me a strong foundation on which to build a career based on that.
I have enjoyed my course thus far and although it can be challenging at times it allows you to push yourself to gain more knowledge, skills and independence in learning.
During my first semester, I have found my lecturers extremely helpful and willing to give their time for extra guidance when it was needed which is reassuring, especially as it was my first semester. It has been interesting studying childhood in different contexts and looking at how it has changed from past to present.
I find the university has good learning facilities as there are so many computer clusters to use and a number of libraries that are open for use.
The thing that has surprised me the most is how well I have been doing living away from home as before I came I didn’t think I could do it. Of course home sickness comes into it at times but through joining clubs and societies and meeting friends on my course it has made it much easier to deal with.
Outside of study
There are so many clubs and societies available for students - there is something for everyone, from Dance to Faith to Politics and Volunteering. I have tried out Zumba at the Brazilian Dance Society and the Irish Dance Society. I thoroughly enjoy attending both these classes and find they enable students to grow in confidence, have fun and meet new people.
Outside of studying I enjoy just relaxing and going for walks in the nearby parks and visiting my family. I love to chill in the evenings watching my soaps which I just can’t do without.
Leeds is definitely a vibrant, multi-cultural city with lots to do as a student and I feel it caters for everyone’s needs. There are so many bars and nightclubs for all those who love to party, plenty of places to shop ‘til you drop and lovely parks to walk around to clear the head when the stress begins to build.
There are various places close by to visit for a day out as a change of scenery such as York and Castleford.
I'm unsure at this stage what I'd like to do once I've finished the course, but I have an interest in both early years teaching and play therapy. I feel that by the end of the three years of studying such a variety of modules I will know what I would like to pursue.
If you have a strong desire to work with children in the future but are unsure of which field, I would definitely recommend this course. It is so broad and gives you an insight into all areas of working with children including the educational, social and psychological aspects. By the end of the course you will know which area you'd like to go into.