Q: What is ‘the student experience’?
A: It’s what you make it!
This week, I held a workshop at the University of Glamorgan about ‘the student experience’.
I’ve mentioned Glamorgan in the past for their brilliant Glam Insight, where students write about their time at the university and their experiences while they study.
The students make clear how different their lives are, how varied their experiences are, and how wide-ranging their opportunities are.
In the workshop, I asked four questions. They are covered in the presentation below. But if I could sum things up as briefly as possible, here’s what I’d say in a nutshell:
- What IS ‘the student experience’?
Nothing in particular. Reclaim it as your own. Ask what you want and why you want it.
- What should young people consider when applying?
The bigger picture first, and only then the fact that they would like to live in nice halls.
- Why do students leave?
Not enough subject research and not enough knowledge of what’s on offer.
- How do students make ‘the student experience’ work for them?
Be selfish, open up to change, and be prepared to fail.
Question 4 is the big one here. If you want to skip the Prezi presentation itself and get straight to the good stuff in the archives, I’ve got the top 10 tips on making the most of your experience underneath.
How do you make the most of
‘the student experience’? 10 Tips
- Don’t compare yourself to others. The Student Experience is YOUR experience.
- Be involved!
- Seek out new opportunities and experiences rather than waiting for them to come to you.
- Embrace failure.
- Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, keep going.
- Take your experience seriously, even when you’re having fun.
- Enjoy the benefits, but do remember you can have too much of a good thing…
- Embrace the unknown. Prepare for the unknown. But don’t fear the unknown.
- Look beyond employability. Look beyond the piece of paper you get at the end of those years.
- Focus more on yourself, less on the degree. “Your degree isn’t the source of awesome. You are.”