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Student View - An Insight into Criminology

by YPU Admin on June 9, 2020, Comments. Tags: criminology, HUM, Humanities, HUMS, student life, and student view

Introduction

Hi, my name is Rodaba and I am a final year student studying Criminology at The University of Manchester. I decided to study Criminology because the course includes aspects of all of my favourite subjects, Psychology, Sociology and Law, two of which I studied at A-Level. I chose Manchester because I really love the campus and how close it is to the city centre, as I grew up in Greater Manchester I was already very familiar with the city and all of the great aspects to it. I am also a Student Ambassador which is one of my favourite aspects of being a student at the University.

What is it like studying Criminology?

Most of you may have heard of Criminology before, or may even study this at college. For those who may not know what the degree entails, it is basically the study of crime and how different processes could mean that someone is more likely to commit a crime. You study aspects of Psychology, so the chemical processes that may increase the likelihood of someone committing a crime. Sociology, how society plays a role, and also the Law. Although this may differ depending on the university, Criminology will involve a mix of the three as well as some coding. As my degree is coming to an end, my favourite part has definitely been the law aspect of it, I was able to pick all of my own modules in final year and as a result of the law modules that I picked, I was really able to gain insight into very current issues. Miscarriages of Justice was definitely my favourite module, learning about how someone innocent could be found guilty of a crime was very insightful, especially with the many guest speakers sharing their experiences. With most humanity degrees, you have a lot of time where you’re not at university so what I found has been really useful is to get involved in different things. Whilst at university, I have been able to get involved in different societies both Criminology and non-Criminology related, as well as being a Student Ambassador. If there is anything that interests you, whether it is sports, languages or culture, I would highly recommend you doing so!

Career Prospects

A lot of questions that people ask is ‘what can you do with a Criminology degree?’. The good thing with most careers is that it doesn’t matter what the degree is, it’s about the skills you gain whilst completing it. With Criminology, a popular career choice is working in probation, policing and social work. For me personally, I am actually going to hopefully start my PGCE this year and train to become a teacher. As you can see there are so many options and possibilities with most degrees, and I can use the skills gained during my Criminology degree to complete the PGCE and train to become a teacher. So, if you’re still unsure as to what career you want in the future it’s okay to not know, I definitely didn’t until last year. I also tutor part-time which is where my passion for teaching started.

Going Further...

For some more information on the different topics mentioned, click on the links below:


 

Student View - Managing Your Wellbeing at University

Introduction

Hi. I’m Eve. I’m 20, a third-year Law student at UoM, and I have a mental health condition. There’s so much I wish I could tell my first-year self about managing my condition around University, so I thought I’d share some tips with you! Here’s how to manage your wellbeing at Uni.

Social life

Don’t worry about being ‘cool’

  • I spent lots of time in my first year of University trying to seem cool. I felt the pressure to socialise rather than spending some much-needed time alone, because I didn’t want to miss out on anything or lose potential friends. As much as socialising is great fun, don’t worry so much about constantly being around others especially if you’re an introvert who likes time alone. Good friends will understand the need to balance socialising and resting, and won’t make you feel bad about it, either!

Do what you want to do

  • A healthy social life will look more active for some, and less active for others. It might involve sports, or chess, or computer games – no two people are the same! If you prefer watching a film to playing football, choose accordingly. There is a society for everything at Uni, so take advantage of this opportunity to meet like-minded people and make good friends. If you love classic films, go to film society and skip football. And, don’t make apologies for it!

Try new things

  • If you’ve never tried needlework before, or photography, or creative writing – but you’ve always wanted to give it a go, now is the time! University is about dipping your toe into the water of adult life; and making your own choices. Trying new stuff is great fun, and you might develop a new interest you’d never have experienced if you hadn’t tried.

Look after yourself

  • Eat a balanced diet, exercise, and get enough sleep. Have a routine you follow each day and make looking after yourself part of it. This will help promote a stable mood, which is so important especially in Uni. You’ll enjoy social interactions so much more when you feel good. Something I’ve learned is that skipping an event to re-charge and rest will make the next event you do attend even more enjoyable.

Give it time

  • Uni is a huge transition. It is often the first time in your life you’ve lived away from home, not seen your friends’ every-day, and this first taste of independence can be very hard to swallow. It’s normal to feel awkward at first. Just remember – everyone feels the same way, and this alien territory will be your new normal before you know it.

Academics

Take it slow

  • Assessments and deadlines can be very scary. Days at sixth form are much more structured and controlled than at University, and sometimes independent learning can feel so overwhelming and can trigger anxiety. You will get better as you progress on your programme, and you don’t need to ace your degree in your first semester or even your first year. Your academic performance isn’t a measure of character or intelligence. You got onto your course for a reason – remind yourself of this in moments of doubt.  

Schedule

  • In first year, I worked excessively and I burnt myself out, which had a really negative impact on my mental health. If you plan your deadlines, assignments and exam dates onto a calendar and work for a specific amount of time a day over a longer period, you’ll be doing more than enough. This will also leave plenty of time for self-care.

Speak to someone

  • When I first started my degree, I didn’t even consider informing the School of Law of my mental health condition – that felt like asking for special treatment. It was only in my second year that I reached out for support; informing the Disability Advisory Support Service (DASS) of my diagnosis and difficulties. I wish I’d done it sooner. UoM wants to support you. DASS offers confidential advice, additional learning resources and can put measures in place to help you perform to the best of your ability such as podcasts, deadline extensions, and exam support. If I could go back, I would have been upfront about my condition from the start. UoM don’t consider mental health conditions to be weaknesses, and neither should you.

Most importantly...

Be kind to yourself!

  • UoM doesn’t consider diagnosis as a part of your identity. Mental illness is something they work with you to manage to maintain a normal, happy life. So, don’t be ashamed. Prioritise your mental wellbeing when applying to a University in the same way you would other factors such as course modules, accommodation costs, and campus facilities. Ask questions - do you have a counselling service, a DASS department, what’s your view on mental health in the student population? And, when you get to Uni, be open and honest and they will support you. Remember - you deserve to enjoy and fully participate in University just the same as any other student, and with patience and self-awareness, you will lead a happy ‘student life’.

Below are some resources that help me maintain good mental wellbeing during Uni:

  • https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/my-possible-self/ - This app allows you to track your mood, then collates the data and provides insight on any patterns in your moods (helps identify triggers). Also lets you focus on different topics which might be helpful to you, such as overload, low mood, etc.
  • https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/student-health-app/- Student Health App. Includes tips and resources for physical and mental health support, actions to take, self-care tips, and resources for emergencies. Turn to this in a crisis or to inform you about the link between lifestyle and mental wellbeing.
  • https://moodspace.org/ - A great app designed to change your thought patterns and improve your mood based on CBT strategies. Includes small tasks to be done once a day to improve wellbeing.
  • https://www.elefriends.org.uk/ - A lovely platform where you can share stories and experiences and connect with others who have mental health conditions. Helpful for when you’re feeling lonely.


 

Student View - The 'Living At Home' Experience

by YPU Admin on May 21, 2020, Comments. Tags: Humanities, Law, live at home, stay at home, student life, and student view

Introduction

As soon as you get the confirmation that you have been accepted into university, your mind goes all over the place - planning what you will do. For many, it is sorting transport and moving away to your very own place. However, the side of this journey that is not always seen is those who decide to stay home, like me. When I got accepted to the University of Manchester, I knew immediately I was going to stay home. I am not a very adventurous person and have never even left Manchester without my family. I had no idea staying at home would be an adventure in itself. My name is Faryal and I live at home with 8 other people whilst studying Law at the University of Manchester.

The Ups and Downs of Living at Home

Staying at home does have many positives. I do not have to pay rent, bills and I do not need maintenance loans. I help at home when I can but it costs considerably less than having my own place. Travelling to university comes at a cost but compared to travelling home on the weekends, it is much less. I personally believe staying home has helped with my mental health, being surrounded with people I am comfortable with and have lived with my whole life.

Staying at home, however, is not all money-saving and family time. It does come with its struggles. Peace and quiet are pretty much non-existent in my home. It is also more difficult to make friends when you do not live with other students. Travelling to university can be hectic in itself as there are specific times you must be there and busses coming on time is as rare as sunny British weather. The biggest issue is definitely how to make the most of university when living at home, how to live the true university experience.

How to Make the Most of Uni

These disadvantages can be overcome. I cannot stress the importance of these tips and wish I really took full advantage of the opportunities. The most obvious way is to join a society or volunteering. Freshers Fair at the University of Manchester is full of societies signing up new members. There really is a society for everyone. The best thing about joining a society or volunteering is you are surrounded by people with the same interests as you, whether it is Mixed Martial Arts or Accounting you are interested in. The Manchester Students’ Union lists all sorts of different societies. Listing the societies you are interested in as well as being spontaneous and trying something new is the best way to go for Freshers.

Seminar groups really push you to meet new people. The best advice I could give is when you talk to people in your seminar group, ask for a way to contact them. Whilst you may seem shy, they probably want to ask you the same thing.

As a home student, seeing other students already knowing each other, it could really affect your confidence, not only in making friends but also speaking to people in general. During the beginning of my first year, I found myself barely participating or asking for help. It is so important to push yourself within the first few weeks to participate in seminars and ask for help when you need it because you can then fall into a habit of being withdrawn and quiet. It can be really daunting at first and you feel like everyone is watching you but it soon becomes second nature. It is so vital to ask for help when you feel your mental health is not the best it could be. The University of Manchester counselling support is amazing and really can make the difference. University is such a special experience and getting into university is a fantastic achievement so you should really make the most of it.

One thing I love about the University of Manchester is the campus. The greenery, the libraries are all great places to spend your time. Instead of rushing straight home, go to the library or even take a walk around the campus and just enjoy the experience.

Staying at home is as ‘boring’ as you make it. It can really be the best experience if you take full advantage of all the opportunities you have. For me, whilst the beginning of university was really difficult, once I pushed myself and became more social around the university, I really loved it and cannot wait to start my next year, surrounded by my family when at home and by friends when at university.

Useful Websites


 

Student View - The Power of Mentoring

by YPU Admin on May 20, 2020, Comments. Tags: BMH, mentoring, speech and language, student life, and student view

Introduction

Hi. My name is Abi and I’m a final year Speech and Language Therapy student at the University of Manchester. For the past 4 years I have studied communication and eating and drinking impairments! Throughout my course I have also had clinical placements, working in hospitals, schools, clinics and patient’s homes.

I am also a student ambassador which means I represent the university on campus tours, school visits, and open days. I’ve loved my time at the University of Manchester and want to tell you about something that has massively helped me during my studies – mentoring.


What is my experience of mentoring?

Mentoring is a relationship whereby one person shares their knowledge, skills and experience to help someone else to progress in their life, study, career and so on. A mentor could be a friend, family member, leader in your community, academic staff etc. Whilst at university I have both been the mentor and the mentee!

I have mentored younger students by sharing my experience of university life. For example, I started a society to inspire students to pursue social justice and later handed the leadership on to a girl called Amy. Mentoring Amy looked like going for coffee a couple of times per term and being at the end of the phone if she needed advice.

I have also been mentored myself, both personally and academically. Through my faith community I have received regular mentoring from inspirational leaders. They have helped me to think through decision making processes, like what career opportunities to pursue and how to spend my time whilst in Manchester. During my first year it was also great to be mentored by a peer on my course, they lent me textbooks and answered any questions I had about the course. Being mentored has made me more confident. I have learnt so much about myself and the world around me by listening to wise mentors!

How can you make the most of a mentor at university?

Hopefully those brief examples have shown you how helpful and game-changing mentoring can be. Mentoring can be informal or more formal, it’s really what you want it to be. University can feel like a big step up, both academically and personally. I want to reassure you that there are ways to reach out for help and surround yourself with amazing, supportive people.

I’m now going to share a few handy mentoring tips:

  • Ask someone – it sounds obvious but ask someone to be your mentor! This can be someone at home who you’ll call or meet up with a few times a term, or it could be a person you meet whilst at university. They may say no (this has happened to me!) but that is ok, another person will be delighted that you’ve asked them! Do you have an older sibling, club leader, family friend you admire and want to learn from?
  • Create an agreement – Mentoring takes commitment, so it’s a good idea to make a plan with your mentor. When will you meet/call? What do you want to get out of mentoring? Pinning down the details should leave more time to discuss what matters during your meetings.
  • Share stories – If you’re stuck for how to start your first mentoring session why not share your story. For instance, what drew you to studying your course? Why did you pick your university? What are some important moments for you from the past year? Even if your mentor already knows you pretty well it’s powerful to tell your story. This sounds deep, but you will get so much more from mentoring if you can bring your whole self to sessions. Maybe your mentor will also share their story with you too!
  • Ask questions and hang out – Hopefully your mentor will be ready with some probing questions, but you can also ask more about their experiences. I was once mentored by someone who had similar passions to me, and I loved asking her questions! For example, who has been most influential in your life? How did you balance work and play? I agree with the experts who say that most of mentoring is ‘caught not taught’. Spending time with a mentor can make a lasting imprint on you. So, hang out with your mentor, observe how they live their life, and be inquisitive!

Resources/Links