Noureen Lakhani, BSc Psychology, Student Ambassador

My time at Birmingham

"My lecturers are so passionate about the field of Psychology they are teaching, that they have inspired me to engage in the subject and want to learn more."

With Birmingham being the second largest city in the UK and having such a warm, friendly environment on campus, I was certain from my first visit that I wanted to come here.  Coming from a big city, I knew I didn’t want to lose the buzz that it gave me.  I also wanted to be part of a campus university with everything close to my reach.

My first year has been such an adventure and I wouldn’t change anything about it. I’ve found it really easy to settle into the university life, with great support from my tutors and the School of Psychology always there.  I’ve taken on new challenges, been part of societies that I never would have thought I would and have already made such great friends, I don’t know how I can beat an already great first year!

I love coming out of every lecture and genuinely thinking I’ve learnt more than one new thing in that time.  My lecturers are so passionate about the field of Psychology they are teaching, that they have inspired me to engage in the subject and want to learn more.  I never thought that I’d be able to relate Psychology so much to my everyday life.  I can say with certainty that my lecturers are the reason behind my success and enjoyment in Birmingham. 

One of my favourite things is walking onto campus in the mornings with hundreds of students around me rushing to places they need to be.  Simply walking in with the student crowd reinstates that spirit of student community that’s so strong on the Birmingham campus.  The campus has so much open space that sometimes I find myself just standing by the clock tower to get the best view and thinking to myself just how lucky I am to be part of such a beautiful campus.  Above all, I can physically see how valued Psychology is as a subject, proven through its prominent, central location on campus, making it easy to get to and from other places. 

There is so much to do in Birmingham that you can never get bored.  From restaurants to bars to cinemas and even the simplest Secret Garden in the Birmingham Library, there is always something to do.  From the day I knew I was coming to Birmingham, I made a ‘bucket list’ with all the things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my three years here, and as the year goes on, I find myself adding more and more to the already endless list!

My future plans

In three years' time, I’d like to see myself proud to have graduated from the University of Birmingham with a strong Bachelors’ degree as a foundation to my next venture onto a Masters course to become an Educational Psychologist.  

Being a student ambassador

Of all the things I’ve done, becoming a Student Ambassador is probably one of the best things.  I’m already so passionate and honoured to be part of the Birmingham student community that the fact that I’ve now become part of the Ambassador Scheme to spread that passion seems too easy!

Becoming a Student Ambassador also gives me the chance to show other people applying for university how much better Birmingham is than they already think they know.  There’s only so much you can learn from reading the prospectus and I would like to think I could be that personal touch to someone’s journey in choosing their university.  I’ve been involved with many applicant open days, giving tours of the unique campus to leading question-answer sessions and have an informal chat with prospective students.  The Scheme has really made me feel proud of who I am and all that I have achieved at Birmingham.

Being a Student Ambassador is such an honour because it gives me the chance to represent the School of Psychology and the University of Birmingham to the larger society, to show them why Birmingham is the place to work, study and have fun.  I’ve also had the opportunity to be an ambassador alongside Psychology students across the year groups, which means I’ve been able to talk to older years about what projects they’re currently undertaking, as well as get any advice they can offer to me as a fresher.  The peer support from students who’ve been through exactly what I am doing now is invaluable.  Of course, there is the added benefit of limitless cakes and biscuits after every open day – can’t say no to that!

My top tips for prospective Birmingham students

  1. Seize the moment and every opportunity that comes at you at Birmingham 
    There’s something for everyone so don’t shy away from any new challenge that comes your way.  Birmingham provides the platform for you to try new things and you don’t want to have regrets for not taking that opportunity. 
  2. Explore new places
    Birmingham is such a big city that there will always be corners you haven’t seen before.  If it’s a new cuisine or attraction (like the Birmingham Botanical Gardens or Cadbury World), which you haven’t been to before, embrace it and take a look.  You’ll be surprised how close you live to such iconic places.
  3. Step back and make a simple decision
    Sometimes in all the rush, you forget to step back and make a simple decision. Just spend a moment or two standing on campus and think ‘Can I see myself here this time next year?’,  ‘Can I see myself walking into the Psychology building for my workshop or walking past the clock tower for my lecture?’, ‘Can I see myself relaxing on the grass outside eating my lunch with my friends?’.  If the answer is yes to even one of those questions, you know that Birmingham is the place for you.