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Rachel Stockey BA English

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Hi, I'm Rachel Stockey and I studied BA English within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

No one can tell you which university is right for you, but if you want a course with flexibility and variety, if you want to be located on a beautiful campus with an active students' union and you want to feel part of a really inclusive and exciting community then look no further than Southampton

 Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rainham in Kent.

What made you decide to study English?

I always enjoyed reading from a young age, an interest which only grew while I was at school. When it came to choosing my degree there was not really ever a choice, every career path I had ever considered led to a BA in English being the best option.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

Southampton was the first open day I went to and I fell in love with the university, after that nothing else seemed to compare. I loved the campus and all that SUSU offered plus there were not very many universities that offered such a wide variety of module choices for English.

Are you enjoying your studies? What do you like most about your degree programme?

I am really enjoying my studies at Southampton; I can definitely say that this course and this university was the right choice for me. I like the flexibility that Southampton offered in terms of module choices; I did not feel restricted in my choices and I really appreciated the chance to explore module options from outside of my discipline. Because of this I was a little adventurous - I did Stage 1 Latin in my first year and Stage 1 Spanish in my second year.

Do you get on well with the academic staff?

All of the members of staff which I have had as tutors have been approachable and very helpful. It is clear that they thrive on teaching students who show a genuine interest in their specialities. I particularly appreciate those members of staff who know me by name and know my work; in consultations I feel that I am truly an individual in their eyes and not just a nameless student number. I think the English department excel in this respect.

What's the best thing about living and studying in Southampton?

I think the best thing about living and studying here is that it has given me the space for me to become truly mature and independent while being surrounded by support and encouragement from both friends and staff.

What has been your favourite moment so far?

I don't think I can pick one individual moment that has outshone the rest so far. I have enjoyed being able to give guided tours around campus to new potential students and explaining everything Southampton has to offer. I have loved meeting likeminded people and sharing an enthusiasm for literature. I have loved discovering the aspects of English Literature which are of special interest to me, to the point where I am even looking forward to writing my dissertation in a few months! The list is endless and therefore all I can give is a very diplomatic answer: I think all of my experiences so far have accumulated into the best experience of my life so far- simply being at university.

How were the first few weeks at Uni? Was it easy to settle into your studies, make friends etc?

My first few weeks were chaotic! I think it helped me to talk to everyone by reminding myself that everyone else was in exactly the same situation as me, no one knew anyone so you just have to put yourself out there. I had always expected a big jump up from A-levels to degree level so I think I found it easier than some to adapt. Most importantly I think for the first time in my academic life I was totally focused on my favourite subject, so I wanted to do the work.

Are you involved in any clubs, societies etc?

Although I am not in any specific clubs or societies I make regular use of many of SUSU's facilities. I use the Jubilee Sports Centre at least three times a week for the gym, the pool and for exercise classes. I am also involved in the School of Humanities as a Student Tour Guide on open days and this summer I am working as a Social Organiser for the Pre-sessional International Students who have come from all over the world. This is a brilliant opportunity for me to get some events related experience as well as meeting an entirely new group of friends.

What are you planning to do after graduating? What steps have you taken towards achieving this?

I still do not have a concrete plan of what I want to do after graduating but I am considering a few different options from applying for graduate schemes, to doing some internships to get a clearer idea of the types of work I do and don't enjoy, or even travelling to teach English as a foreign language. The world is my oyster as they say!

Do you have any advice for people considering studying English at Southampton?

I think I would say that your choice of university is a very individual decision; no one can tell you which university is right for you but if you want a course with flexibility and variety, if you want to be located on a beautiful campus with an active students union and you want to feel part of a really inclusive and exciting community then look no further than Southampton. I will never regret coming to the University of Southampton.

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