I’m Laura, and I’m the North Eastern contingent on this year’s officer team. I decided to run for the role of undergraduate academic officer due to the struggles I had during my own degree, both as a disabled student and a joint/combined honours student. As the undergraduate academic officer I hope to support disabled students and liaise with their departments and the disability service to make their academic experience at Durham run a bit smoother. I also aim to encourage more communication between departments of students who study joint or combined honours courses, a lot of whom currently feel like they are caught in a middle ground with no ‘home’ department. I hope this year I can be a motivating force within the union and inspire real changes that will benefit students. Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to lay the groundwork for my objectives for the upcoming year.
My favourite part of being a fresher was definitely the amount of events I had the opportunity to attend. Something new was happening every week and there was never a shortage of things to do! My least favourite thing about being a fresher was probably the struggle I felt to try and fit in. I didn’t drink alcohol so felt like I was excluded from many of the activities the other freshers were taking part in, and spent most of my time away from my college mates. I had to learn to be mature about it and not let the peer pressure get to me – once I did that, I wasn’t bothered so much about feeling like the uncool outsider. If I could give new freshers one piece of advice, it would be to take every opportunity that comes your way – you’ll never know what it could lead to, from a new hobby, to a job, to some friends for life.
I want to communicate to incoming students that I can be a point of contact on all things academic. Whether it’s an issue with the content with your course or an interest in higher education policy – talk to me about it!