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The best thing about first year

Second-year Physics student Habibah takes a moment to reflect on her first year at Queen Mary.

It wasn’t something I’d planned to do from the beginning.

Had it not been for the senior students who motivated me by presenting their experiences during an assembly in my first month, I wouldn’t even have worked up the courage to apply!

But I did.

Despite my terror, I applied to the place as soon as the process opened and passed the interview stage with a heart beating too fast to breathe. I became a Physics Ambassador. And that made all the difference to my university experience thus far.

I was over the moon to be representing the School of Physics and Astronomy. I began to put myself down for as much as I could.

I helped at open days and taster days. I led campus tours even though I barely knew the campus myself. I got to help with science events about pioneering research that I’d never heard of before, like discoveries in machine learning and sustainability.

Thanks to the Physics Ambassador scheme, I even got to host an exhibition at the Science Museum in London on behalf of Queen Mary about the sound of space!

I also chose to deliver physics workshops to year 8 students in various schools across London. One day, I realised the more I spoke to younger students about being passionate about physics, the more I believed in what I was saying, and that sharing with others had helped me love what I was studying even more.

Through being a Physics Ambassador, I was able to meet physics students from all years, who offered their friendly advice, even helping me with CV’s and internship applications. I’ve opened my doors to experiences that would otherwise be closed to me, like encouraging young adults to pursue science.  Academics aside, the Physics Ambassador position was how I met some of my closest friends at university and developed relationships with the very students who inspired me to become an ambassador in the first place.

I am still a Physics Ambassador now and intend to continue until I graduate, taking every chance to build new connections and develop my confidence.

If you want to develop your passion for any subject, my advice is to go out represent it. Be an ambassador. You will find yourself getting more out of it than you put in.

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