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Lyle Farnell - PE and School Sport

Lyle Farnell

Hi! I’m Lyle and I’ve just completed my first year on BSc (Hons) Physical Education and School Sport. Preparing to start uni is really exciting, but can be overwhelming too. I've shared my advice and tips to make your transition to uni life as smooth as possible and hopefully ease any anxieties you might have.

The best discovery I’ve made since starting the University

The network of connections that university opens up still amazes me after a year here. Despite studying P.E and School Sport, I’ve had the opportunity to and continue to meet people who I wouldn’t have met had it not been for the University. This has been a huge help when I’ve faced with some sort of problem. Meeting people means that you are never alone at uni – there’s always someone in a similar situation to you, and even more people willing and able to help you, from fellow students and lecturers to the brilliant (and criminally underrated) library assistants. I’ve also had the incredible opportunity to spend a week studying abroad at The Hague University in the Netherlands. This allowed me to enhance my learning, and has left with me new friends and important contacts.

My favourite thing about BCU

Personally, I think the lecturers are phenomenal. They show a clear passion and love for what they do. What really stands out though is their ability and dedication to helping students. I needed some extra support with a module this year and I was nervous about having a one-to-one chat with my lecturer. However, he emailed back asking me to bring along as many questions as I could. His eagerness reminded me that lecturers want you to succeed and will always help.

What I love about the city

I've lived in Birmingham all my life, so for me I love the city because it’s my home. However, Birmingham is also fantastic for its cultural diversity; all walks of life are celebrated here. An important thing for any city (particularly from a student perspective) is to be littered with pubs, bars and a good night life. It’s safe to say Birmingham ticks all those boxes - areas like Digbeth, Moseley, and Harborne, as well as the city centre itself, have a bit of everything. Birmingham is a fantastic city with some many things to do and see. We even have a café in Grand Central which is a home to cats (although it’s not the best place to study because you inevitably get incredibly distracted!) All this plus we have more canals that Venice!

My top tips for new sport students

Do not miss the day of kit-sizing! This is (as far as I’m aware) the only day you can get sized up and order your kit. The kit is an essential and an absolute must have! Join a society (come to rugby … we’re lovely) and get involved with a sport. Academic life can be quite stressful, so its important to be able to let loose from time to time. For me that is where sport comes in – it’s what I love and genuinely helps me clear my head. Take the opportunities that come your way. BCU is great for giving you chances at things you might never get to do otherwise. So many voluntary opportunities have been offered out this year – there is always something exciting on the horizon. I’d advise you to act quickly when they come along though because places are usually limited, and everyone wants to be a part of it (so keep an eye out on Moodle and your University email).

What I didn’t know before starting my course

Attention to detail is key! Academic writing can be tough, but once you start to get the hang of it, it comes naturally. Related to this I would say it’s important to read and fully understand assignment briefs. These often contain requirements that you must stick to, or face grading deductions. Don’t let your hard work be dragged down by missing minor details. You can get help with virtually anything! Don’t worry if about a skill that you may or may not have. There are so many departments that are dedicated to helping you become a more capable student including the Personal Development Department (PDD), Centre for Academic Success and the library. So if you’re uncertain about how to reference, it’s no problem – just ask!

My uni essentials

I love my OneDrive account; I can’t be without it. I can access it on any of the computers at uni. I have it on my own laptop, and even on my phone, just in case anything should happen to one or the other. I found that Anatomy TV was a great tool during your anatomy module – it can be a wonderful help. I also found that using voice notes on my phone or laptop was incredibly useful. This was particularly the case for any revision that I needed to do as I just plug in my headphones and go over notes I’ve made. My voice gets boring after a while, but it was also one of the reasons why I passed! Oh making a big flask of coffee in the mornings goes a long way!