Interview with Megan Skuthorpe
Name: Megan Skuthorpe
Home town: London
Uni: De Montfort University, Leicester
Degree: History (BA Hons)
Employer & Job description: The Royal Star and Garter Homes, HR Administrator. It’s a charity nursing home caring for ex-servicemen and women who have severe disabilities.
How long were you at uni?
How does uni life change over the years you are there?
In the first year everything was new and an adventure. ANnw town to live in, new social life, new friends, new studies! Every week it was something new. As exciting as that was, it was quite tiring! I didn’t really work very hard as everyone knew the grade you get at the end of your first year does not count towards your final degree mark. I skipped lots of lectures, did the bare minimum to pass and did a whole load of partying! The second year felt more stable. I had a great group of close friends at De Montfort University and we had a nice routine of which social nights we all went out on. We still explored new adventures but as I grew more confident in this new life I relaxed more. I took more of an interest in my course than I did in the first year, as this year actually counted towards my degree! In my third year I became more serious about my studies. The social life was great still, but it was definitely more about the work in the final year.
What advice do you have for prospective students considering university study?
Jump in head first at the deep end! I didn’t know what to expect at all. I had never been to Leicester before, so when I arrived everything was completely new. It was a real culture shock! But by just going with the flow, meeting everyone, attending all the lectures, nights out, etc, you quickly learn what you do and don’t like.
What did you learn the most at uni? Did it help and relate to your employment since graduating?
In terms of employment, my degree probably helped in the smallest of ways. For example, attention to detail when doing work and learning to write to a certain standard. The thing I learned the most at university was the stereotypical answer of ‘life skills’. For example, renting a house to live in, managing a budget for food and going out, and managing my own time when it came to work. Everything was my own responsibility which was new to me.
What was your accommodation like during your time at uni? How did it change?
I had different accommodation in each year. In my first year it was student halls; which although the standard was not great (I think I went without hot water for the first 3 months!) it’s where I made my first friends at uni, and seven years down the line we are still the best of friends attending each other’s weddings! In the second and third year I rented privately with a small group of friends – one year I was in a lovely little house and then a flat the next year. The standard was always quite high. I had nice bedrooms in each place and a great location to both the uni campus and the town centre.
How did you budget throughout your years at uni? Any advice for prospective students on managing their finances?
I was given advice by someone already at uni when I started – work out the amount you have for the term (whether that be your student loan, a loan from the bank of mum and dad or your own wages) and work out how much per week you have to spend. This helped me greatly. I think I had roughly £50 per week to spend – this had to cover food and going out costs (which when you go out 4/5 times per week can add up!). I was very fortunate that my parents were able to help with accommodation costs so this is not something I had to worry about.
What were some of the best events/clubs/societies you got involved in during uni?
Every year they had a Fresher’s bar crawl with approximately 3,000 students. Your ticket was a coloured t-shirt which you had to wear on the night and this determined which ‘group’ you were in. You visited around four or five bars across the town centre ending up at a big club. It was the biggest night of the year and always kicked the start of term off with a bang! I did not actually sign up to any groups or societies whilst at uni – probably by influence of the group of friends I made… none of us signed up to anything.