How I Made the Most of my Essex Experience

Okay, so you’re about to start at Essex and you’re pretty excited (and just a little bit nervous!) to begin the next chapter in your life…even if it does mean doing your own laundry. Two years ago I was in the same position and it’s safe to say Essex has not only lived up to my expectations but exceeded them. However, you get out of university life what you put into it. You’ve got to get out there and look for things that interest you even if it means leaving your comfort zone. I’m going to share with you a few things that I’ve done and taken part in throughout my time at Essex that have really made it amazing!

Playing hockey

12573089_10208194951062307_6458267663564310674_n My hockey team after winning yet another match!

In my second year of Essex I decided that I wanted to try something I’d never done before. After going to some”come and try” sessions of different sports in freshers’ week, such as ultimate frisbee, rounders and tennis, it turned out hockey was the one for me. I’ve had so much fun with the club both on and off the pitch. Our socials have a different theme each week (including the ever popular tight ‘n’ bright) which makes us very recognisable at Sports Fed in Sub Zero! Being so close to London also means that we’ve played a few of our games on the Olympic pitch used in London 2012. It really made me think about the players who have been there before me and particularly with Team GB’s gold medal win in Rio, I’m so proud to be part of such a welcoming and friendly club.

Getting a job

20684655891_c548ab25d8_z One of our very busy Essex open days

If you think getting a job at uni can’t possibly be as much fun as staying in your flat and watching Netflix all day then you’d be very wrong! Not only does the extra cash help with nights out and treating yourself to some Ben and Jerry’s, the experience itself is invaluable. I love working at open days and visit days where I get to meet potential students and tell them all about life at Essex, they can be very hectic but a lot of fun. I’ve also worked in the SU Store on campus, it’s always great to see familiar faces coming and having a chat whilst they buy their lunch. I think my favourite job has to have been working in the Undergraduate Admissions Office as part of my Frontrunners placement. It really provided me with some great experience of what my working life could be like after university and there was never a dull moment in the office!

Being involved with my department

26783552036_1261e5c830_z All the presenters and attendees at the Government Student Conference

Whilst coming to university and experiencing the social side of things is great, we all wouldn’t be here if we didn’t actually want a degree! The Department of Government at Essex is one of the best in the country and I’m lucky enough to be a part of it. With staff who are experts in their field it would be a shame not the use them! If ever I’ve needed help with an essay or wasn’t sure about something mentioned in a lecture, I would always contact my lecturers or visit their office hours. Getting to know your lecturers can really help with asking them for a reference if needed in the future as they’ll be familiar with you. I also took part in the annual Government Student Conference where students are given a chance to present some of their work. Presenting one of my essays really helped with my confidence when speaking to a group of people and I thoroughly enjoyed it too!

So, there you have it, a few ways that I’ve made the most of my time at Essex. Now it’s almost time for you begin your own Essex experience; jump in at the deep end and most of all enjoy yourself!

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