June 26, 2019

University Life – The Next Step

Khalid in a group photo with student



Can you remember the day you left college/Sixth form? I can. It was as if everyone else knew the direction in which they were headed, whether it be university or work, yet I still hadn’t decided what was next to come in my life. It was a time of mixed emotions. From one perspective, it was a joyous moment to have finally finished and from another it was quite daunting to leave such a supportive environment, clueless as to what steps to take next.

Although I had applied to university, the impression that I had of higher education wasn’t a good one. It was because of this that I was unsure whether I truly wanted to work towards further academic qualifications. I was bombarded with negative comments about life in higher education and felt as though once entered into the system I would become lost and forgotten, no one would care for or support me. One of the more frequent comments made was, “be ready to work 10 times harder or you’re going to fail”.

October Approaches:

By this time, the enjoyment of the summer holidays had relinquished my mind of any worrying thoughts concerning education and university life. It had been taken over by fun and relaxation! No university conversations here please! The agenda for each day was “what am I going to do today?”

As fun as it was to forget about university and UCAS, I knew this feeling wouldn’t last forever. Pretty soon I started receiving messages from former friends informing me of their acceptances into their favourite university and asking me what I had decided to do. I kept seeing what felt like endless Facebook statuses of students all finding their way, feeling full of confidence and celebrating their acceptances.

Meanwhile, I had been turned down by 3 universities. All hope was lost… or was it? Just as it was starting to seem hopeless for me to try and salvage this situation, GSM London had sent me an acceptance offer. Things were looking up. I was accepted into an institution that could provide me with the level of care and support that I needed. I am still thankful to this day that this happened, as I wouldn’t have had the depth of experience that I have had at GSM London elsewhere.

 Day 1 – Here I go

From the first day of attending GSM, I came to find that all my fears about university were in fact untruthful. The supportive staff and lecturers made sure that all went well for me during the induction week, and were welcoming not only to me but all the other students. We all felt right at home.

Courses were designed to develop not just our theoretical thinking but also provided the opportunity to gain an insight into the practical side of our chosen field of study. GSM London provided a level of understanding and experience that is hard to find elsewhere. Each module helped to hone our business skills and was successful in boosting my self-confidence.

One of the first modules I had to undertake was Study Skills in which I had to break down my time at Uni in the form of a Personal Development Plan (PDP) in order to ensure that I understood what was expected of me throughout my time of study. I couldn’t have asked for anything better, a simple and straight to the point guideline on how to study at university that I wrote myself with the support of my lecturer. I had gone from being unsure about attending university to having a set plan of action.  One of my peers on the module who had previously studied at another well-known university, informed me that Study skills at GSM was so much easier to grasp and understand in comparison to his previous experiences, confirming my thought that GSM London was the place to be.

Working on the PDP was very beneficial, as it allowed me to highlight the skills I already had and discover how they would help me to achieve success in my studies. So long to those who told me ‘you’re on your own in Uni’!

Day 1 is now long behind me and I can honestly say, I don’t know what I was so afraid of. My advice is give it a go, and don’t let others put you off.

Until next time!

Written by Khalid Al Soufah

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