Olivia Hanlon 900x600 I Am BCU

Olivia Hanlon

Psychology with Criminology - BSc (Hons)

Moving away from home and gaining independence was something Olivia couldn’t wait for. After visiting at an Open Day and an Applicant Taster Day, Olivia and her parents knew this was the place for her.

"University has always been an exciting prospect for me; moving away from home and gaining independence was something I truly couldn’t wait for. 

Since studying Psychology at A Level, I knew I had to carry it on into further education. I started researching different courses around the country, and I wanted to find something that sounded both fascinating and intellectually stimulating. I came across the Psychology with Criminology course at BCU, I came to an Open Day and the rest is history. I attended both the Open Day and Applicant Day with my parents and they loved the uni just as much as me, which was really important for me.

One thing that enticed me to the course was that it was accredited by the BPS (British Psychological Society) and was a BSc, meaning I was able to go into Psychology academically if I wanted to after my degree. Many of the joint honours courses at other universities didn’t have that, so I knew BCU was perfect for me.

I really wanted to go to BCU, and knew I had to step up my game in terms of exams and assignments  so I was worrying about my A-Level grades before results day. I think the biggest challenge was de-stressing and keeping calm on the run up to getting my results. If you try your best (which I definitely did!), there is no point in worrying about it because you’ve done all you can.

There is so much I am proud of since starting BCU; I’ve been a department ambassador for two years, mentored students from lower years, started a society with one of my friends, organised charity events and generally just got involved with the BCU life. It’s hard to believe it’s over so soon because I felt like I was just getting started with my social life. I’ve had the best time meeting people from all around the country, and have grown as a person so much. I’m more outgoing and confident now compared to when I started, which I know will benefit me going into employment. I’m proud of myself for trying my best and excelling in my subject area, especially since I have such a passion for it.

The staff at BCU are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. There’ve been times when I’ve laughed until I cried with my lecturers, and I couldn’t have wished for a better welcome to BCU. I think it’s all about getting involved with the community and making a name for yourself. Before you know it, everyone will know you and want to help you when you need it.

Support is never far away at BCU, even if you’re worrying about the smallest things, your department and the university as a whole will always be there to show you the way. Obviously, uni requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but I do also feel like having such a fun-loving and supportive environment makes everything better. It can be nerve-wrecking completing a piece of work (I’ve been doing it at uni for three years, and I still feel like this!), but the lecturers and academics are more than happy to help you out.

I’ve been encouraged to reach my potential well beyond I ever thought I could. I’ve had support from various departments as well as Graduate+, Careers+ and the Centre of Academic Success – and they all provided the best quality support possible.

‘I AM BCU’ is about more than attending university and getting a first. It’s about coming out of your shell and making friends for life. It’s about excelling in your subject and meeting some of the most inspirational academics. I’m graduating with such a heavy heart as I leave a whole life behind in Birmingham, but I couldn’t have wished for a better place to set me up for the future. ‘I AM BCU’ is me and I am BCU. I’m pretty sure I will be forever."

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