Jodie is about to begin her second year of the Education Studies BA. She describes the multitude of things there are to do at UCL, despite having a love/hate relationship with the London Underground.
What were your first impressions of UCL?
If I’m honest, I was at first entirely overwhelmed by the scale and reputation of the university. As a mature student, I felt it was such a privilege to have been given a second chance to study and didn’t want to waste a moment of it. Touring around the vibrant and historical London campus, packed with such potential and knowledge, filled me with great excitement. The initial feeling of being out of my depth quickly subsided – luckily!
What do you enjoy most about your degree?
The Education Studies BA has so far fuelled in me a desire for learning that I didn’t know I had. This is in part, thanks to the dedicated team of lecturers and seminar tutors running the course, who are both knowledgeable and infectiously passionate about their subjects. This is probably what I enjoy most (I end most sessions with aching fingers from typing, because I worry that I won’t catch all that was said!).
“We are continuously encouraged to share our opinions, explore the module topics in ways that are then tested creatively."
With regards to the future, I’m expecting to thoroughly enjoy the work placement module centred around social justice next year, as well as potentially studying for a term in a Scandinavian city during my third year.
What do you hope to do after graduating?
My initial plan is to become a primary school teacher at an inner-city London school - I have a great desire to help improve the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I would eventually like to work my way towards being a Head Teacher.
Where on the campus do you prefer to study?
There are so many libraries at UCL, but the only one I have used is based in the IOE. There is every book or journal I might need in there, so it seems sensible to utilise it. I’m fortunate enough to have a laptop so I am able to work upstairs in the quiet area, however I know some people who don’t bring a laptop in, and so make use of the ones provided by the library – they have been very happy with them.
“If I have work to do that is a little less study intensive, I enjoy making use of the Student Centre. I like the relaxed vibe, the occasional cake-sale, listening in on intellectual conversations, and most importantly the coffee shop!"
Can you tell us what it is like to live and study in London?
I was born a Londoner, so friends, family, nightclubs and parks have all stayed relatively consistent and familiar during my university transition. However, after travelling for a year and a half prior to starting at UCL, and then moving north of the city, I have a new-found love for the place I call home. A multitude of resources like museums with ever-changing exhibitions, libraries and theatre, as well as influential figures you can pay to see ‘in conversation’, are all within reach. Within all of these examples, a focus on education can always be found, and usually for free.
“London’s cultural diversity, with its’ underpinnings of tolerance, acceptance and desire to push boundaries excites me.I feel proud to be at a university which represents an international demographic within a city that caters to that too. All this being said, I think I will always have a love/hate relationship with the London Underground!"
What do you do when you’re not studying?
I was a kid in a candy shop (quite literally at some stalls) when I visited the Freshers Fair and, not unlike me, signed up for most societies. After recognising that I was never going to be a candidate for the hockey team or able to commit to learning five new languages, I decided to use both my experience in and love for Musical Theatre to apply for the role of Assistant Producer for the UCL Musical Theatre society’s version of ‘American Idiot’ – the Green Day musical.
As well as this, to support my module in British Sign Language, I joined the Sign Language society, within which I have made some wonderful friends. I also occasionally dabble in the Yoga society’s classes (for £30, you are able to attend a year’s worth of yoga!), and make use of the many talks available at the university (these include educational debates at the IOE, talks about feminism through the Women’s Network, and a series called ‘Beyond the binary’ run by the Centre for Gender and Global Health).
I have a great social life outside of university too. I love to dance at music gigs and cry unashamedly at live theatre, I am also part of a book club, and love to go for long group walks around the city. I work at a day camp in Camden during the school holidays and teach English virtually once a week (we are currently reading ‘Little Women’ – one of my favourite stories!).