Erin's Story

Hi, I’m Erin and I’m currently a third-year student here at UoB studying Sociology.

Erin's Story

When I’m not studying, I spend my free time reading, singing and going to the gym. Reading is my main hobby where I usually read a book every 2-3 days and my housemates are likely sick of listening to all of my bookish rants! My favourite books to read are usually romance and fantasy novels. I will say, it’s usually pretty easy to find me as I spend the vast majority of my time in my room with my nose in a book. Some of my favourite books and series would be both the ACOTAR and Throne of Glass series’ by Sarah J Maas, both of which I think about every single day; the Boys of Tommen series by Chloe Walsh; and the Chestnut Springs series by Elsie Silver. 

Choosing my degree

I study Sociology here at UoB and I chose to study this after studying Sociology at A-Level and falling in love with the subject. Sociology has always been something I’ve been passionate about and therefore seemed like the correct path for me to follow as an undergraduate. I decided to choose UoB after knowing several people who had also attended here and loved their experience. I am not the first person from my family to go to uni, however, my older sister who has already graduated from a different university didn’t enjoy her experience at all, so I was very set on having a different experience to her. I can easily say that I made the right choice with Birmingham because I have had an amazing time here, enjoying my course while also making lifelong friendships.  

Back home

When I’m not at University, I’m at home in Somerset. In Somerset, I live in a tiny little village which I have grown up in since I was 8 years old. I was super excited to start my studies in Birmingham as, while I love the quiet countryside lifestyle in Somerset, I was definitely ready to experience the hustle and bustle of a big city. I was mostly excited about all the new food opportunities in Birmingham. In Somerset, being in the middle of nowhere, there aren’t many options for different kinds of cuisine, so coming to Birmingham and seeing the wild variety of different cuisines has been super fun to explore. I had also luckily visited Birmingham a few times over the years, whether it be for school or seeing family, so when I did move here, it wasn’t completely unfamiliar to me.  

Overcoming challenges 

Since coming to UoB, I feel I have overcome many personal challenges, the primary one being learning how to be independent. Being the youngest of three siblings and obviously having not lived away from home before, I wasn’t wholly used to doing things for myself or really being in my own company. Uni has helped me grow up a lot in that aspect. Before, I was very used to spending most of my time with my older sister and my miniature dachshund Digby, who I always miss deeply when I’m away.

I’m also very used to going to my sister or seeking comfort from my dog whenever I struggle with my mental health, so being away from them at uni has encouraged me to find some self-soothing techniques for when I’m struggling (such as reading, journaling, and even baking), but also still reaching out and talking to my housemates and family when need be.


I now feel very self-sufficient and have learnt to enjoy and embrace spending time in my own company. However, being at UoB has also taught me to put myself out there a bit more and make new friends, which I am particularly grateful for since me and my housemates are practically like a little family. I’ve also learnt a lot about balance at uni, learning not to overwork myself and understanding when I need a break.

It’s definitely important to acknowledge that as a student, while it is imperative to meet deadlines and complete work, it's also important to make time for yourself and be in tune with what you need, whether that be a quiet day at home, or a fun day out with friends to take a break when needed. That is my main piece of advice for any students, because I think it’s so easy to get overwhelmed at uni that it’s important to factor in time in your week where you can just relax and unwind. Remember, life really is a journey and it's inevitably to encounter ups and downs but you can always make it through. That's the most important lesson I've learnt at UoB.

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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