During my first year I didn't really do Fresher's Week properly. I managed the Fresher's Ball (which is always great fun), and a quick whizz around the sports and societies at the Fresher's fair, but I didn't really follow through on anything that I signed up for. I was too busy to do societies and too nervous to do sports.
If there was one thing that I really regretted not doing, it was certainly a sport. In my opinion students who do a sport have a far more enriching time at university, whether you take it seriously or do it just for fun and social. You social network at university will stretch far and wide across courses and campuses. And of course you will be a lot healthier and fitter.
At the start of my second year I banished my nerves and tried out as many free sports club taster sessions as I could around my timetable during the first week of the semester. I managed to do two sessions of netball, a few hours long each, a two hour session of ballet and two hour cheerleading session. Cheerleading by far was my favourite! I'm really glad I overcame my anxiety to find out how much fun sports at university are. However Kingston University offers extracurricular like an all you can eat buffet, the only problem is that you'll only have room for so much. And that was my problem; I had to choose between cheerleading and doing a free language course in mandarin. In the end I chose to go along with the Kingston Language Scheme. Sometimes you have to know your limits as to how much you can take on and prioritise.
If there was one aspect of Fresher's week that I definitely wanted to repeat, it was the Fresher's Ball! That final night of Fresher's week where you can dress up and enjoy yourself without having to think about an assignment or set reading, because the following Monday is when the hard work begins.
Hello beautiful people!
I hope everyone is well. I'm pretty good, despite pulling out my hair over all the readings I have for classes. I am definitely feeling the pressure because I am in my final year and it counts for 80% of my degree *cries*
I am also trying to complete my application for a place on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) - which is required in order to become a Barrister. For those of you who are interested in becoming a lawyer, and not sure whether you want to be a solicitor or Barrister, then check out the differences here: http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/Articles/469
What attracted me to become a Barrister was working at a law firm back at home and me wanting to act on behalf of others before a court and being able to argue for them! It is not an easy road and requires different stages.
The first stage is the academic, i.e. obtaining your LLB (Bachelors of Law) - or those who have a degree in a different subject can do a one year GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) which converts your non-law degree into a law degree. The LLB & GDL are designed to provide the core modules which are necessary in order to qualify (such as Contract Law, Criminal Law, Law of Tort & etc.)
The Second stage is what I am applying for - the vocational Stage. To become a Barrister this entails getting a place in the BPTC. You also have to apply for place in one of the 4 Inns of Court, which are there to provide support to future barristers. (Find out more here http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/about-the-bar/what-is-the-bar/inns-of-court/ ).
This year the Bar Standards Board implemented another compulsory test - the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) that tests a student's ability to think critically. As a barrister you have to know to be creative and think quickly on your feet. It sounded scary at first but thankfully there is a practice test for it online. I plan on taking it in a couple weeks (wish me luck!!!).
To be honest I am so nervous about all of it because it is so competitive, especially the 3rd stage which is -pupillage. Pupillage is a yearlong 'work experience' where you apply what you learned at the academic and vocational stage and apply it to working in a Chambers, where you learn even more about work such as processes for court documents. From different articles I've read, each year about 1200-1500 persons are 'Called to the Bar', yet there are usually about 500 or so pupillage places. That is a big deal because if one doesn't get a pupillage within 5 years of completing the BPTC, then it becomes null and you have to do it over again.
So every time I do a campus tour, I always always ALWAYSSS stress the importance of getting involved and participating in extra-curricular activities that improve skills that employers are looking for. For those of you that wish to become barristers that would include opportunities such as mooting, mini-pupillages, and volunteering with pro bono legal centres.
To find out more check out this lovely site https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/qualifying-as-a-barrister/ which gives you all the information you need to become a barrister! And wish me luck!
Posted 5 Dec 2013 by Laura
I signed up to take part in the Universities Business Challenge last month. It started off ok as the group got on well, and we started working on the first tasks and began reading the company profile we were acting for.
It was very interesting as it really did put you in the real business environment. The team were acting as a company which supplied solar power systems to countries in need of development. Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the process as my compulsory work was getting heavier so that had to take priority. This was a shame as I knew the UBC would have looked great on my CV but this is a situation anyone could find themselves in at University - extra curriculars can't take priority over the compulsory work!
Even though assignment briefs are starting to be handed out, I can't escape the fact its nearly Christmas soon! I'm very much looking forward to being at home but also I am off to Iceland for a few days with my Mum in December. I'm so excited because we are hopefully going to go husky sledding which would be awesome! Fingers crossed we will see the Northern Lights too. I will upload some photos of that trip soon...
Before I go though, a couple of those Disneyland pics I promised you -
The Kingston University Knights Park student union bar on a fundraiser night.
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
Sport at Kingston
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
My Hobby - Photography
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013