I’ll be honest: being a student can be extremely tough at times, but that isn’t to say that you won’t enjoy it – you will. Maybe even a bit too much at times. You will learn about how to become independent, how to deal with your finances (or lack of), and how to make new friends in the city.
When I was applying to university, I was stuck on which degree would best suit me. Initially, I was choosing between my A-Level choices – English Language, History, and Psychology – but I couldn’t envisage a real career after university that I wanted with those subjects. I knew I enjoyed writing and had the necessary skills on social media to engage with the public, I just didn’t know there would be a course suited to that.
It was because of an old friend that I found out about PR, and I was instantly fascinated with the concept of it. It was everything I enjoyed about writing and media, combined with the social aspect of communicating with the public. I knew that this was the course for me, and after researching, found that Leeds Beckett University held the best reputation for teaching Public Relations.
Now, one thing you’re going to need to get used to, is constantly being asked “what is PR?” – prepare a simple explanation, to save those confused looks you’ll most likely encounter. But really, PR is simple and you will find it everywhere you go! It is all about communication between an organisation and its publics.
The course is so diverse in material; you are never short of fresh information. Some of the modules include accounting, writing skills, social psychology, the media, and global business practices to name a few. I won’t lie, assignments can be tough but if you keep on top of your workload and read around the topics, you will be fine. The energy you put into your work will certainly reward you in return and grant you the grades you need.
Getting settled into your accommodation and making new friends can seem daunting at the time, but don’t be afraid. You have to realise that every single person you meet is in the same boat as you! The best thing about university is that no one comes with the judgemental attitude you may have had to experience in school or college – you can honestly be whoever you want to be. No one cares. It is a chance to introduce yourself as the person you truly want to be known as. Remember, the only way you’re going to make friends is by being confident and pushing aside that shyness. Say “hi” to somebody, I guarantee that they will talk to you. This is how you end up making friends on your course or in your accommodation, and whether you speak to some of them after freshers or not, it is nice to start the year off with a lot of friendly acquaintances.
Work isn’t something you have to base your entire life around, you need to have breaks and fun too. Leeds is fast-becoming one of the country’s most popular cities for students to both study and go out. There are always events on in the many clubs and bars around the city, and student nights are so cheap if you want a low-budget night out, but if you do not drink there is still so much to enjoy. Plenty of restaurants are situated in the city with student discounts galore, and there are free museums and galleries to visit at your leisure.
Check out Skiddle’s guide to Leeds nightlife here. There are hundreds of shops around the city, and you are never far from a shopping centre. From the Trinity centre, the Light centre, the Core centre, St. John’s centre, Merrion centre, and White Rose shopping centre, you are spoilt for choice! You also have the lovely Victoria Gate, Victoria Quarter, and Leeds Corn Exchange if you want to splash a bit more cash.
Leeds Beckett University can provide you with all the support that you need during your time at university and you can go to your tutors or the student union for any help you may need. They also offer great societies to join and there are constantly student-oriented events going on around the campuses. So put yourself out there and remember to just have fun!
For more information about the course, go to: https://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/publicrelations/