My favourite things about studying on Eastbourne campus
More time on campus
Last year my course Occupational Therapy got about 6 days on campus, in the whole of the year, due to the pandemic! Not ideal when you’re studying a practical health-based course, but the university made the sensible decision to prioritise our practice placements. This year should (fingers crossed) be different, already in our first three weeks I’ve had more days on campus than I had last year, and it is so nice to see all of my cohort in person!
There are some people who make me think “have I met you before?” or “are you on my course?” So clearly these are the ones who are quiet, with cameras off, on MS Teams. Classes are just a lot more productive in person. My course is very collaborative and we spend a lot of time in ‘Problem Based Learning’ sessions, where we work as a group to figure out solutions. We also do our own research based on a case study (“trigger”) for a week. It’s much easier to do this when you can talk in one room, share ideas and continue chatting during breaks.
Developing practical skills
We also get to take part in skills sessions, where we try different activities which could be used therapeutically and we think about how we could use and adapt them for different patient groups. Other people in my cohort are doing pottery, creative writing or running skills group but I am in the garden. You may not notice the allotments hidden away at the Darley Road site in Eastbourne but they are there tucked away between buildings and hedges. You will, however, probably notice the abundance of rosemary plants across the campus, which have been planted by Occupational Therapy (OT) students in the past.
So you’ll find us OTs there, planting, potting, making cuttings and learning outdoors – definitely not something you can do over MS Teams. It’s something that makes Brighton’s OT courses different to a lot of other universities. We still get to learn the practical skills – it’s not all theory! We get to learn just how much it hurts the back and knees when weeding for hours and how much patience you need to let your plants grow. These skills sessions are definitely something I had missed during lockdown.
Swimming breaks around my studies!
Of course, the other great thing about being back in person in Eastbourne is being able to walk 10 minutes down to the beach after lectures finish and chill on the pebbles. Some of us even go for a swim! As a commuting student, last year felt isolating at times being away from the groups living in town. So it’s lovely to be able to spend time with my course mates again, relaxing together in the fresh sea air after a busy day of classes.