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My experience at the 2020 University of the Year – Seyi Asa

14 July 2020

5 mins

My name is Seyi, and after four years, I’m finally graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

To top it all off, as I am about to become an alumna, the University has been awarded ‘University of the Year’ at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards – ‘proud’ would be the biggest understatement of the year, I couldn’t have imagined ending university like this.

My student journey, like anybody else’s, has been unique to me. But what has made it more unique today is the fact that I’ve spent those times at Loughborough. The accolade is very much deserved, and I thought I would share my experience at the 2020 University of the Year with you.

For someone whose ambition has been to go to university based on the career path I’d like to follow in life, I initially had no idea as to what to expect. Speaking to my teachers, family and older friends, there was always this running theme of ‘my time at university has been one of the best times of my life’.

However, 16-18-year-old Seyi would roll her eyes every time she heard that phrase and think what an exaggeration, how could it be? You’re in education, learning, going through assessments, what could have possibly made it so great?’

After four years, I get it. It wasn’t the stress and challenges brought on by academia, but the university experience outside of getting a degree: the life lessons; the people you meet; the ‘pushing me out of my comfort zone’ activities you undertake; the societies that become your own mini-community inside the big community that is the Loughborough family. It’s the growth you experience.

Receiving my golden ticket was my first indication that I’d become a part of the Loughborough family. On 18 August 2016, I joined this special community and not once have I been disappointed.

To me, the facilities and resources available at the University are second to none. The quality of teaching on my course surpassed my expectations; the lecturers were not only friendly but helpful, devoting their time and resources to dish out the knowledge and skills needed. Their style of teaching involves collaboration and teamwork both within and outside the University.

The support I received during my time at Loughborough was incredible, ranging from career advice, access to mock assessment centres, to CV checks. These were extremely helpful when applying for and undergoing the two summer internships I was able to complete whilst at University.

Outside of the University bubble, students are constantly going through their own issues and problems and being in an environment where pastoral care and wellbeing are emphasised upon can be such a soothing relief.

Whilst at Loughborough, my family experienced the death of a loved one and I truly cannot quantify the support emotionally and academically received from not just the friends I’d made at University, but also the University itself.

A family doesn’t take care of only one aspect of your life, they do their best to help in all areas. The same applies to being a part of the Loughborough family – it is a community that cares for all.

Now I could go on and on as to why I’m so proud of Loughborough University. From the beautiful and well-cared for campus (massive shout out to the University gardeners, they are brilliant!), the five-star accommodation (I know very few would disagree – I lived on campus for two years, so that says something right!?), the iconic fountain in front of the Hazlerigg and Rutland buildings, to our very own VC Bob.

The celebration of individuality, culture and community were all rolled into one. But really and truly, I’m very proud of the connections I’ve made and my personal development in being a well-rounded individual.

For anyone reading this, whether you’re considering studying at Loughborough or maybe you’re already a student here, I’ve put together my three top pieces of advice:

  1. Collaboration and teamwork are two of the most important life skills anyone could ever acquire. Working with people is essential to a progressive environment, so aim to develop upon these skills during your time at university. You can do this not only academically, but by taking part in Loughborough’s extracurricular activities by joining a sport or society. I’ve been involved in kickboxing, the Loughborough Women’s Engineering Society and a Christian society called Radical Youth.
  2. The Loughborough Careers Network Team are not one of the best kept secrets of the University but make the most of them! They provide 1-1 appointments, workshops as well as events to meet with potential employers throughout the academic year.
  3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. My university experience has taught me that a well-educated individual isn’t one that has many degree certificates, it’s the individual that has been exposed to different people and cultures, learning and growing from those interactions.

Overall, reflecting on my time at Loughborough, I have to admit it was a worthwhile adventure studying at one of the UK’s greatest universities and I now understand why people say being at university was some of the best years of their lives. The conducive environment gave me all I needed to excel academically and achieve all-round development, and for that, I thank everybody in the Loughborough family who helped me get to where I am now.

Now, I’m ready to see what the future brings!

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