Insight Project will be publishing a series of blogs over the coming weeks. The second week's blogs focus on the experiences of its team transitioning through education.
This blog is written by Simren Parihar, Insight Project Team Lead
Abstract: Starting a new chapter in life can be scary, in my post I discuss what helped me transition into higher education. I cover an academic tip that changed my studying and what it was like adjusting to life in a new country.
My individual transition to higher education:
Starting a new chapter in your life can be daunting, but at the same time an enriching experience. For myself, pursuing two different degrees gave me the chance to gain two very different experiences and my transition into higher education taught me more about myself than I could have expected.
My first transition into higher education occurred when I completed secondary school in Canada and started attending a local university. Before starting, I asked older students about what advice they had on how to survive first year and what pitfalls I should try to avoid. I received a variety of tips, but the best pieces of advice I got was not to be afraid to ask for help. Often, students refrain from asking questions in class or even approaching classmates out of the fear of embarrassment. Despite being given this tip, getting used to reaching out was still a challenge for me. I was fairly shy and still possessed that fear of being embarrassed in front of my peers. I would always contemplate asking questions and try to build up the courage to do so until one day I forced myself to approach a group of students I recognized from class to ask for help. I quickly found that those students shared the same concerns as I did and that together, we were able to pinpoint specific questions and work out our issues. After taking that leap, I understood what the older student meant–if you feel uncertain about concepts, don’t be afraid to reach out and discuss it with classmates as they most likely share similar concerns. By reaching out, you not only solve your concern, but that conversation can turn into a lasting friendship and make the rest of your time at university better.
After completing my bachelor's degree, I made the decision to start law school at the University of Leicester. In the weeks leading up to moving, I found myself getting nervous about my decision to study abroad and was worried I had made a mistake. Upon my arrival, I wanted to resolve any discomfort I had about living far away from home so I decided it would be best to get to know the city around me. I started out by finding places I could go to for basic items I would need such as groceries or medication, and slowly began exploring different areas of the city to see what it had to offer. By getting out and exploring, I familiarized myself with the city and where to go, and this allowed for Leicester to start to feel more like home. In addition to finding my way around the city, it was also important for me to get to know people within it. I made friends by attending various events held on campus and networking with as many students as possible. Over time, these students and I would study together and would even hang out off campus in our free time. These friendships helped to make my transition to a new country and school easier as I was able to build a network of support.
As I approach the end of law school, I am thankful that I took the leap to ask questions, make friends, and gain new experiences by moving abroad.