Your proud moments!

This year has its challenges but that doesn't stop you guys from being proud of your academic achievements! From navigating online lectures, to submitting your dissertation.

We'll be updating this page with your stories over the next few weeks so watch this space!

And here's to the next academic year! 

I’m Oli, and I’m studying International Events Management at the University of Brighton and about to enter my third year this September. 

Before I enrolled, I worked by day in an office but by night for the past 20 years, I’ve been in bands, a DJ and a promoter around the south east, playing pubs, clubs and the festival circuit. I got made redundant and wasn’t willing to pursue another boring unfulfilling office job, so I applied to University and was accepted. My prior experience meant that I could start on Year 2. 

I was slightly apprehensive about being twice the age of my co-students, but they made me feel right at home and there was plenty of support on hand to help me adapt to student life. My course is the last to be taught at the Eastbourne campus, so the strikes didn’t affect me. 

However, the outbreak of COVID-19 meant that a lot of work experience placements I had organised and even our live event we had planned as part of one of our modules were cancelled. The online delivery of the rest of our lectures worked pretty well, although there were a few technical issues around connectivity to WIFI. We could still book tutorials which were done over Microsoft Teams and contact our tutors if we had any queries. The online library was still available despite the physical premises being closed. 

After I graduate, I’m looking to study a Masters Degree with a view to either teach at Further Education or work within music history and heritage within the tourism and events industries. 

I'm Kyira, and I'm currently in my second year of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). It has been a passion of mine that has been instilled in me since choosing my GCSEs and even before that when looking after younger family members!  

Coming to university was the best decision I made for myself; especially as I was the first in my family to get into and love university life. I enjoyed all aspects of university life: the nightlife, making amazing friends, my eye-opening placements, getting my first job through Freshers' Fair and pushing myself to make the most out of growing as a person.  

This semester for my placement, I chose a children’s ward in a hospital - this was my biggest placement of 120 hours so I was excited to learn and develop but on my second day in, I was sent home because of Covid-19. I was sad about not being able to continue and soon after, lockdown hit, and online lectures and support were put in place. Thankfully, assignments were adjusted to meet our needs. 

However, being stuck at home, not being able to see tutors, friends and being immersed in that student life proved difficult to me. I have never been tech-savvy and so when my assignments could not be hand done, I had spent nearly every day, for hours, doing assignments, observations and audits to ensure it had been completed by the deadline. I was never good at motivating myself before, so being stuck in has its benefits! 

The isolation affected my mental health; I would breakdown nearly every time I even thought of my laptop and assignments. Friends, tutors and family would support me, and the constant reassurance helped to snap me out of the vicious cycle of not taking a breather from work. I completed my poster assignment, despite feeling so stuck, with such pride and it has certainly helped me realise that it’s not been the easiest, but I certainly need to believe in myself more.  

Being a student can be lonely sometimes; specifically now, but by having a support network, a goal in mind (small or big), snacks, music 24/7 and that belief in yourself - it has certainly shown me that nothing stands in the way of my degree! University has proven how supportive and encouraging our community of students are, even across year groups and courses!   

After I graduate, I hope to be in a job that I love. I have yet to decide what that is, but I am mostly intrigued in working in a hospital as a Play Specialist - this would require further study, but I will figure this out over my final years at University. 

My name is Charlotte and I've just finished my first year studying Primary Education 5-11 years with QTS. I hadn’t planned to go to University, as I am local and had always wanted to go further from home to get the “true university experience”. 

Having finished my A-Levels in 2018, I fell ill over the summer. I underwent six brain surgeries before 8 months old, and my parents weren’t sure what I would be capable of. Between early August, and October 2018, I had three brain surgeries for my medical condition. I began to feel as if University was too big of an ambition despite having achieved the required grades in my A-Levels. Across my unplanned gap year, it took until the beginning of 2019 to feel as if I was getting my life back, but this all slipped when I spent a subsequent two months in the hospital between from March to May 2019. 

I felt like the universe was completely against me, and despite my best efforts, maybe university just wasn’t for me. Across the summer in 2019, I rediscovered what made me want to become a teacher, a goal I had decided on since I was 10. I'd transferred to Brighton through clearing which allowed me to be very close to home which gave me a lot of reassurance. 

I managed to get back to studying relatively easily despite surgeries in my gap year. However, a week back from Christmas break, I found myself having emergency brain surgery, I thought it was game over. I spent a week of term in hospital, but luckily a further 2 weeks recovery at home were during the winter break, so I didn’t miss much. I’m not sure how much faith I or anyone else had in me being able to return to my studies so quickly, but determination made it possible, I’ve always said, just because I have a medical condition, it doesn’t have control of me. 

Just as I returned to my studies the course was in a second wave of strikes. Because of the way I learn best I found having more to do by myself, especially when having assignments due in subjects where tutors were striking. There were occasions I felt the teaching of our course was severely compromised. 

Unplanned surgery meant having to pause my School-Based Training placement and complete an extra Occupational Health Assessment. The timing of this coincided with the start of all learning becoming virtual, and all placements being halted, so this year I wasn’t able to spend any time on placement. I feel like I learnt a lot from the resources we were provided with and new means of assessment that were put in place instead of our School-Based Training, but it hasn’t been the same as getting a first-hand experience in school. 

I hope to teach at a primary school, but as yet I still don’t feel able to decide which year group I would enjoy teaching most - hopefully, the next two years of my course will help make this clearer for me!