Student blogs: Meet Chidinma
Hello, I am Chidinma Okorie, from Nigeria and I am currently studying M.Sc. International Relations. Having graduated from Nigeria’s premier university with a First Class Honours Bachelor’s degree in English, I desired to gain a Master’s degree in International Relations, which I expect would enhance my understanding of global political, economic and socio-cultural interactions. I’m interested in politics – global politics, precisely – and a Master’s degree in International Relations offers me a broader perspective to understanding and analysing global politics.
Why Loughborough University?
When asked why I chose Loughborough University, I simply answer: “because it is the best university for me”. This is because as an international student desiring to study International Relations I had certain expectations, and Loughborough University was the ONLY university that met my expectations.
These expectations include: conducive environment for learning (check), good quality education (check), warm, welcoming and professional staff (check), great student experience (check), funding (check) – yep, I was offered a full-tuition fees scholarship towards my Master’s programme. So, when I say Loughborough is the best university for me, this is what I mean.
Enough of my academic life – oh no, not yet – one more thing: I’ve heard some people call me names like ‘nerd’, ‘geek’, ‘bookworm’, and I often wonder why. I don’t know exactly what they mean by those, not sure whether or not to believe them. Okay, I admit that I read a lot, and can get really engrossed with academic work, but that is not to say that I don’t play/have fun when I can; in fact, methinks, no one plays harder than I do, I only just choose different times and occasions (which, admittedly, may not be the ‘conventional’ kinds) to have my own fun. Haha!
Speaking of having fun, it’s been an interesting first term of studying hard and playing hard too; that is, having fun amidst the academic rigour. May I forewarn that my definition of fun may, understandably, not tally or be synonymous with yours.
Nonetheless, the point is, Loughborough offers me the complete package from which I have a spectrum of options to identify and choose my own kind of fun.
My hobbies include reading, writing, travelling, socialising with friends, and cooking; thus, events and activities that involve these are potentially going to be fun for me. The few weeks, following my arrival at Loughborough, were occupied with such fun-filled events, which afforded me the opportunity to not only make new friends but also have a taste of variety of foods; oh, I loved the ‘food sessions’ – most of which were, directly or indirectly, affiliated to potatoes.
By the second month, reality had started dawning on me, the weight of coursework began resting on my shoulder. Play time was over, it was time to get to work. Ever heard of the adage: “there is time for everything”? Well, I reminded myself of that, as I always do, especially when I notice I’m beginning to put in more time into something at the expense of a more important thing. So, I readjusted my time to accommodate academic and extracurricular activities, and when I noticed the work pressure was mounting and becoming too much, I took a breather.
As aforementioned, I have so many options to choose from that ensure I get to do my hobbies during the course of my study and stay in Loughborough: reading – my course demands so much of that from me; writing – academic (essays/courseworks) and non-academic (blogging); travelling – Need I say that I have travelled from Nigeria to the UK in the first place and, within the UK, I have visited a number of places as part of my programme, I’m expected to go on a field trip to Brussels in second semester.
I have loads of opportunities to socialise with friends – from classroom/group activities and hall committee events and activities (I am currently the Welfare and Diversity Representative for John Phillips Hall), to Student Union and church events and activities – lest I forget, I also work with the International Office Team, which is yet another great opportunity to socialise; and, finally, cooking – I stay in a self-catered hall, which allows me to do my cooking myself.
All of these sum up my definition and description of great student experience and for this, and many other reasons, I love Loughborough.