What I’ve found: studying a psychology degree at University of Brighton
I’m Sheriza DMello and I’m studying a Psychology BSc degree. Here I’m going to tell my experience – from lectures and research to gaining independence, employability skills, making friends and exploring this wonderful city!
I study my passion at uni
If it’s any consolation to anyone that hasn’t made up their mind, I was unsure of what I wanted to pursue for the longest time. I took an unconventional route, doing a foundation year in social sciences after completing my iGCSEs in the UAE. I chose psychology on a whim, with no prior knowledge of the subject. I knew I felt strongly about social issues, and how to improve the wellbeing of marginalised individuals. Having looked further into the modules and content of the course, I felt assured I would be studying topics I was passionate about.
I’m excited by uni research
The great thing about psychology is that it’s broad, and you get to choose what area to specialise later. I also joined a few online events, where I recall learning about the different campuses and facilities. I’ve had many moments where I’m sitting in a lecture, and I think there’s nothing else I can see myself doing. We once had a lecturer talk about ethnographic research they conducted, and I felt a sense of excitement. I’ve even started to fantasise about what my name would look like referenced in a research paper.
I’m becoming an independent learner
University has been more independent than college, as your point of contact with lecturers is less and lecture halls are quite large in comparison. It can be an adjustment at first, but seminars and office hour sessions can help ground you. One of the challenges I faced was keeping up with the readings, due to the volume and its academic language. To manage readings, I started to take notes of important information and the pre-seminar tasks to help create a goal as I was reading. The great thing about the University of Brighton is the dedication to accessibility- there are a variety of resources that explain services, alternate mediums for readings and learning support plans.
I’m gaining skills at uni
So far, my course has taught me employability skills of ethics, presentation skills, and academic writing. One module, Contemporary Social Inequalities, is assessed through a presentation, which gives people who don’t prefer written assessments to shine. The university also has CareersConnect, which is an incredible tool for accredited placement opportunities which I plan on using soon. I did some volunteer work at Oxfam, which I would highly recommend because it’s such a positive and fun work environment.
I feel more at home in Brighton
Living independently has been a great experience. It feels like I am getting to know myself better and hone my skills, especially when I travel on my own or cook for myself. Sometimes it requires a lot of patience and the ability to reach out and ask for help. As an international student, my support system is abroad, and it can feel alienating, but finding friends that are likeminded has helped me make the UK feel like home.
I adore everything about the city of Brighton
It’s a really great place to live and study. Personally, I love window shopping around The Lanes whenever I can, peering into the lives left at the antique stores. Everyday feels like a little adventure because you have no idea what or who you’ll come across. It has this vibrancy and character, and there’s something for everyone.