Stephanie Miller is studying Forensic Psychology BSc here at Newman and wanted to share her experience of what it is like to be a first-year student.

As a first-year student my experiences of studying at Newman University are far and few between. However; there are many opportunities that have been offered to me by Newman already which have allowed me to develop a sense of belonging and acceptance along my new peers. The feeling of belonging is something every student fears, I know, I had the same feeling and so did every other student I met in my first few weeks!

During the Open Days, information was given out about a two week course offered by Newman university called HEADstart. This course ran for two weeks before Welcome Week, allowing new students to meet current ones and to explore campus. I spoke to the leader of HEADstart, Leoarna that day and told her about my fears of not belonging and not fitting in around others. After having a conversation with her I decided to do the HEADstart course and I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made! I met second year students who became close friends of mine and that I talk to on a regular basis, I learnt how to find my way around campus making the transfer into my course a lot easier. Through the HEADstart programme it became clear that every student in that room was worried about not fitting in, not feeling like they belong, and every one of us afterwards, felt like we had a place at Newman. The jump from college to university is hard, especially when a gap from education has been taken. So to be part of something so inclusive is an experience I will never forget!

My Newman experience so far has been positive on all accounts. The support from students and staff is unreal and after feeling like university was out of reach for me, I finally feel like I am able to make a difference and become someone I can be proud of!