Today I will be writing about the personal growth and development you undergo whilst in University. Throughout maintaining a rigorous academic schedule, you are also transitioning into adulthood: developing new interests, building relationships and discovering more about yourself. It’s both exciting and daunting because it can provide the opportunity to move away from home, live in a different city and meet new people. But through all of this, University provides a powerful platform to embark on a new adventure. I will share with you the experiences I have learned throughout my adventures and hopefully by the end of it, you will be excited to start your own.
6 May 2015
My experience with University first began in 2009, and will finally be coming to an end in June, six years, two degrees and two different countries later. When I was 18 years old, I began my first degree at Queen’s University in Canada where I studied a BA in English Literature and Political Science. This meant moving three hours away from home and initially living in a dorm room shared with two other girls. I had requested a triple room because I did not know anyone else going to the same University and hoped that having two roommates would create two guaranteed friends. Thankfully, I became really good friends with my roommates and lived with them throughout the rest of my time at Queen’s.
I will always remember move-in day with my dad’s car packed to the roof with everything I thought I would need. My stomach was in knots the entire drive but when we pulled up to my residence building and saw crowds of students and their families doing the same thing, excitement started to overcome my fears. Like any new experience, it was a little scary at first; but the moment I made friends, everything seemed to fall into place. It was surprisingly easy to meet people and the friends I made in the first few weeks of University became my best friends for the next four years. Our shared experiences throughout some of the most exciting and challenging times of our lives created a deep bond.
Throughout my years at Queen’s I got involved in extra-curricular activities, and worked a part-time job. These experiences contributed to my ‘University adventure’ and allowed me to develop new interests. After the best four years of my life I didn’t think it would be possible to top this experience. But I always wanted to study law (in Canada, law is a postgraduate degree), so I knew my University experience was not yet over.
In September 2013 I moved to London, England to study an accelerated two-year LLB degree at Queen Mary. This was my first time traveling to Europe and apart from looking at pictures on Google street view (I would recommend this if you haven’t had the chance to visit the campus), I had no idea what to expect. I chose to study law at Queen Mary because the programme was ranked highly, and I had always wanted to live in London. Also, since my experience at Queen’s ended on such a high note, I wanted to do something new and exciting. Again, I will always remember the flight over, with two of the biggest suitcases I could find and my dad accompanying me for the first week. I was yet again a little scared of the unknown ahead, but the excitement of studying law and living in London was overwhelming. I lived in halls on campus for my first year, in a single-room in a shared flat with 10 others. The past two years have far surpassed all my expectations. I have continued to push myself outside of my comfort zone, which led me to run and subsequently be elected as President of my law programme this past year. The last year of my University experience has certainly ended on a high note.
Six years ago I began an adventure that has shaped me into the person I am today. My experience at University has not only provided an academic education, but it has also afforded a journey of personal development. University has allowed me to move to a different city in a different country and meet people from all over the world. Throughout my adventures I have learned the importance of independence, responsibility, and the value of friendship. I have developed courage, confidence and a clearer idea of what I want from life and the qualities in people that are important. University has provided me with best six years of my life and I look forward to the next chapter of my adventure.
- Carolyn Minaudo is a final year student at Queen Mary, studying an accelerated two-year Law degree. Originally from Toronto, she also has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Political Science from Queen’s University in Canada. Carolyn came to London for the first time to begin studying at QMUL and hopes through sharing her student experience you’ll be inspired to join her!