My first Year So Far

Bethany Mchugh first year BA English

Our first year School of English students have just completed their first semester and have settled into University life. We thought now would be a great time for them to let you know how they’re finding life at university and what they’ve been up to so far.

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First year BA (Hons) English student, Bethany Mchugh shares her experiences at the School of English so far.

How have you found life at Birmingham City University so far?

I have really enjoyed it so far. I have met some amazing people and the tutors here are really lovely. They have been so helpful and also make the course itself really interesting. I feel settled, even though it has only been a few months, and the fear of starting university passed very quickly. I'm enjoying every minute of it!

What has been the most fun or interesting project or activity so far?

Freshers week itself was filled with very fun projects. On the final day of Freshers, we went to the Custard Factory and worked in teams within our tutor groups to present something about Birmingham. It was within the span of a whole day and we walked around the city to collect our findings. It was really fun as we were able to become closer to people in a group and also have a bit of a laugh whilst doing it.

Have you been on any interesting trips yet?

 We have been on a few trips within the creative writing part of our course. In the third week, we went to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to learn how to write with artifacts. And in the 10th week, we took a trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to work with templates. I really enjoyed the Botanical Gardens as it was intriguing to learn the characteristics of many plants and try to involve characteristics within a character. 

Have you learnt anything unexpected through the course?

What I have learnt that has been really unexpected in the course is the different ways to write creatively. I have never done creative writing before so it was all new to me. But I'm enjoying it immensely as it's really nice to just sit and write in different styles and look at the world around me in detail. I didn't realise I would've been such a lover of the creative writing side of the course but it has been really good so far. 

How have you found your tutors so far?

My tutors have been so amazing. Each one of them is really easy to talk to and extremely helpful. You can tell that they have a lot of passion for their subject and they really want you to enjoy and achieve in it. 

Is studying at a university much different to studying at college?

It is a little bit different studying at university compared to college. A lot of the work is independent as you may only have one seminar on a text or topic (compared to college were you may study a text for months). However, this means you gain more of a wider reading in a few weeks and you're introduced to a world of genres and topics. 

What advice would you give to students who are thinking of studying English at Birmingham City University?

 If you are anything like me, you might be worrying about meeting new people at university and worry that nobody is going to like you.  But please rest assured, you will meet a lot of amazing people and will gain friendships with them really quickly. Everyone is in the same boat as you and everybody is feeling just as worried about this new chapter in their lives. However, I promise you will settle really quickly and it will be amazing!

Also, please go and see your tutors in their office hours if you feel unsure about anything. They are there to help you and make sure you're on the right path. Once you've seen them, you will feel less in the dark about assessments and will feel a lot more confident on writing them up.

Read our conversation with Laura Seddigh, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing first year student 

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