Alice's Story

Hi everyone. I’m Alice and I’m a first-year undergraduate studying for a BA in Digital Media and Communications at UoB. It’s Birmingham’s first year running the course, so I’m beginning to learn that I’m a bit of a guinea pig...but I’m loving it! 

Alice's Story

Coming to Birmingham

Coming to the University of Birmingham wasn’t always the plan for me.

I’ve always been interested in pursuing something creative, and I didn’t feel as though University was a necessary requirement or the most ideal option to get that ‘hands-on’ creative experience. After taking a year out after school and applying to UoB just to keep my options open, I decided last minute to give University a go. I was worried that, as a relatively academic person, the people who knew me would be disappointed if I passed up the opportunity to go to UoB.

Although I didn’t want to give in to that societal expectation, I was also worried that if I took another year out with no immediate plan, I’d lose my way. Even though University didn’t feel like the perfect option, it was going to provide structure for the time being, which was what I was craving. Even then, I came to the conclusion that there was no harm in dropping out if it wasn’t for me. And I can confidently say that I’m so glad I made the decision to come here because I love every second. UoB has provided the perfect environment to get my love for creativity rolling again. 

Back home in Dorset

Back home, I come from a little village right down south in Dorset so it was a bit of a trek (and a culture shock!) coming to Birmingham. 

I experienced the same homesickness in the first few days as most, but I distracted myself by getting stuck in with the unbelievable number of freshers' activities (plant pot painting was a personal favourite) and, within the first few weeks, I’d signed up to so many societies that I had to have a bit of an extra-curricular cut down! I’ve been getting involved in extra-curriculars that I haven’t done for years and have missed immensely so I feel incredibly happy to be doing them again. Everyone tells you to get involved as much as you can when you get to University, and I can confidently say that this is the best advice I have been given. Even though you might have to drop a thing or two, there’s no harm in saying yes and seeing where it gets you. Just know yourself, and take a break if you can. I’ve met some of my closest friends by saying ‘why not’ to society tasters, from Film Society to Korfball.  

Studying at Birmingham

I spend most days scouting out the most picturesque study spots (the window seats on the 3rd floor of the Main Library are a high contender!) and trying to conjure up new food recipes to give me something to look forward to after a long day of lectures. Independent living has definitely been a challenge but one that I was expecting and have enjoyed coming to grips with. I haven’t shrunk my clothes yet, so I like to think I’m doing okay.

The great thing about starting University in halls is that everyone is in exactly the same position. You’re all learning how to fend for yourselves, lending each other oven gloves and laundry power. Facetime has been my best friend and I call my Mum and Dad on a regular basis to ask them questions I should probably know the answer to by this stage in my life. I expect they’ll be receiving the same calls for the next couple of years. It can be daunting but somehow there’s something so fun and amusing about this way of living, especially in a place as unique as Birmingham. 

It's still early days in my UoB journey but I already feel as though I’ve learnt so much from time-management to self-sufficiency. It already feels like home, so much so that I often refer to it as home to my friends now (sorry Mum!). Considering this was never my plan, I feel so grateful that I decided to give UoB a try. I’ve always been big on planning and this whole process has taught me that some of the best decisions can be impulsive. I feel like I’m already discovering the me that I want to be. 

Got a story to tell? We're looking for students – part-time, full-time, undergraduates, postgraduates (taught and research) mature students, and distance learners – to share their authentic stories of studying at the University of Birmingham. Share yours today.


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