Name: Shenae Williamson
Course: Law LLB (Senior Status)
Year (18/19): Final Year
As I prepared to come to the University of Leicester I was filled with anxiety and nervousness. I had never been on a plane by myself before. Always accompanied by my sister whom I would be separated from for the first time since I was born. Till now we had done the moving countries thing together. We went from Jamaica to Canada, leaving our father to join our mother and though I was terrified then at least she was there.
I had done university before but this time it would not be a twenty minutes’ drive home but instead an 8 hour plane journey. People said I was brave and so I tried to be, though I felt alone. As I boarded the plane, landing in Gatwick, I left the airport and boarded a bus to a city I had never been, in a country I had never been. I had certainly over packed which my cab driver reminded me as he helped me pack into his cab when I finally got to Leicester.
After reaching my flat and meeting my wonderful flatmates, I embarked upon a week filled with nuisance. I remain grateful for those who helped me when I got lost on my first trip to town, guided me through the 15 minute walk to campus, and directed me through visa check in and registration. Soon I made so many friends it almost made up for how homesick I still felt. There were so many societies to choose from on campus, more than I could actually join, even though I tried. I joined choir, Leicester University Voices became a pillar in my week. I also, joined Canadian law society, and Pro bono, which I thought were going to be purely academic past times, but actually combined a good time with some great networking. I am eternally grateful to all those upper year mentors who gave me tips, event information, and told me the books are in the library. You were right. Now as I go into my second and final year I hope to bestow my knowledge on others.
I hope to encounter eager first years to tell them to join societies, especially for music lovers, LUV choir, though I may be bias as I am now the president of that society. I also urge them to make sure they sign up for peer mentoring and attend the events, the scheme will not only give you information but emotionally give you security. The truth is you will feel homesick, even if home is only 20 minutes train like my housemate. It is important you take advantage of every chance to meet new people, get some support and realise you are not alone. This will not only help you, but can be shared with your friends who SHOULD also join. Then you may share with those coming behind you perhaps as a mentor as you successfully move to your second year and realise, like me, you were never alone.