Leeds Trinity taught me new levels of independence and self-sufficiency, as well as the meaning of community, and I would love to come back one day!
Why I chose Leeds Trinity University
I chose Leeds Trinity University as it was one of only two universities at the time that offered Counselling Psychology. I liked that the university wasn’t huge and was in a nice quiet location. The size of Leeds Trinity makes it a friendlier and more supportive place in my opinion. Plus, when you are ready to venture out of the campus, Leeds is only a ten-minute train journey away and it’s a great city. I also attended an open day in which I was able to meet the module coordinator, Bruce, who gave a good insight into what to expect from the course and the degree itself which ultimately sold the course to me.
The best things about my course
Personally, I found the lectures themselves to be the best thing about the course as I found them so interesting. In the majority of the lectures, students were often given the opportunity to discuss relevant topics which occasionally led to student debate. The debates really resonated with the way I perceived things in comparison to other people’s perspectives which I think is a good thing. Also, the lecturers on all of the modules I completed throughout my degree were excellent as they had a real interest in the areas they were teaching, which consequently made the lectures far more engaging from the get-go.
The value of my placements
I completed my second-year placement at OPAL (Older People’s Action in the Locality) based in Cookridge - which was not too far from campus. This placement gave me the opportunity to work with vulnerable people of an older age and support them with any difficulties they had. Many difficulties they faced were related to loneliness and isolation (often related to Alzheimer’s), and so I supported the regular staff in trying to alleviate these barriers for people and try to implement solutions.
I worked in OPAL’s drop-in centre in which OPAL members and the general public were able to come in and discuss any problems they may have had, such as struggling to make their own GP appointment, and I would support them with their queries where possible. This placement brought the many difficulties that this group face to my attention, as I had no prior experience or exposure to the difficulties they endure on a daily basis. Thus, completing a placement at OPAL was very important to me as it developed me on a personal level in which I feel I am a more considerate and compassionate individual.
How placements set me up for the world of work
The placements I completed during my degree set me up for the world of work by teaching me about the different ways in which you can support people, whether it be in a residential setting, or a setting where vulnerable people come to you for support. Placements offer the opportunity to work in an area they are pursuing their studies for, and for some students it may also be the first time they have experienced a work environment. Without placements, I think a lot of students would feel slightly lost after graduating. They may not have had exposure to the kind of work environments they want to pursue careers in, thus making it hard to putting their degree into action.
There were lots of opportunities during my degree that were volunteer-related, such as working for crisis helplines. However, the opportunities were highly competitive, so I would encourage new students to get straight into it. I made the mistake of weighing up my options with the voluntary work and found the opportunities to be taken once I’d made up my mind. However, I was still able to work for Mencap during the entirety of my degree, so it wasn’t too bad.
My degree itself has led me to the amazing opportunity of applying to continue my studies at MSc level, as without a great grade in my undergraduate degree, I would find it harder to find postgraduate courses that would accept me – and that is all thanks to the amazing lecturers at Leeds Trinity!
My advice to others considering studying at Leeds Trinity
I would encourage students to take advantage of all opportunities offered to them as well as the support the lecturers offer including drop-in sessions. In my first year I felt my work wasn’t good enough to show to lecturers prior to handing in assignments, so rarely attended sessions in which they offered advice and support. I gradually gained confidence in my work, and realised the lecturers are there to help you – they don’t want you to fail or struggle! I would also encourage students to go to the library and do the extra reading that the lecturers advise – it will feel so much more gratifying at the end of your degree when you know you put the extra effort in. Finally, I would encourage students to go and have a good time while at University, but don’t miss lectures because of it.
Why I love Leeds Trinity
I love LTU because it was a safe, supportive, and encouraging place to live and study. It may be a small campus, but the sense of togetherness you feel when there is lovely. You are constantly encouraged to make things happen for yourself and your degree, and they make it clear that they will support you for every step of the way. Leeds Trinity taught me new levels of independence and self-sufficiency, as well as the meaning of community, and I would love to come back one day!