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Why did you choose St Mary's University?

I came to an open day and the moment I stepped on campus, I just thought 'wow, this is where I belong'. Everyone was really friendly and it felt like a place I'd be accepted and be able to be my true self.

The feeling just got stronger from making new friends, joining societies, being a part of the Psychology course. I came to the induction day and that's where I met my best friend. They were just in the corner on their own and I thought 'I'm gonna go and chat to this person' and we've been best friends ever since.

What are your favourite things about St Mary's?

The fact that it's small. The small class sizes mean you get to know the people you're with rather than just walking into a room where there's like 500 people. The lecturers get to know you one-to-one. You can always get the support you need. If you want to book a tutorial, they’ll always have a free 10 minutes to see you and sort out whatever problems you’re having.

Do you have any favourite memories as a Simmie?

I’m part of the psychology society, I’m going to be the Vice President next year. I think my favourite [event we've run so far] has to be the end-of-year picnic. When the third years do their dissertations, they make a poster [with their research] and they chat to us about it and then afterwards we just celebrate with food and cake.

The students and the lecturers both come, so it’s a good opportunity to meet other students and connect with the lecturers.

How has St Mary's helped you personally?

When I first came here, it was just after covid and I wasn’t really in the best place. As soon as I spoke to my personal tutor – she was really helpful – I got directed to all the right places. And the Wellbeing Service – they’ve been really great. They’ve supported me through my entire journey. And also just the opportunities I’ve had, I’ve really built my confidence, just met new people. I’m in a better place for coming here.

What do you want to do in the future?

Since I’ve been here, had the opportunity to be a research assistant for one of my lecturers and I’ve really enjoyed that. I’m thinking of going into academia myself.

I have an international conference next week – I’m very nervous but also very excited. We’re doing a virtual presentation. It’s qualitative research on something called shared parental leave. So, basically, you get your however many weeks of leave but you can split it between two parents, regardless of their gender. So, not necessarily having the mother take a year of maternity leave – the other parent is (it's not just for heterosexual couples) can take some time. So, it’s all about gender norms and parenting. It's really interesting.

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