alumni share valuable advice on university life

Friday February 14, 2020

Earlier this week, three Concord alumni returned to the college to provide valuable and insightful accounts of the realities of university life. Held annually in Concord’s theatre, the hour-long session – which is part of Concord’s current PSHE provision – enables Concord’s 6.2 students to gain a deeper understanding of university before they make that exciting step later in the year. This year, the speakers were Cheryl Lee (2017-2019), Jozka Soeprapto (2017-2019) and Zhao Yan Sin (2018-2019). Cheryl studies Law at the University of Sheffield, Jozka studies Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bath and Zhao Yan studies Business Management at London School of Economics. Concord’s Mrs Vanessa Hawkins – Head of PSHE – who organised this year’s event said: “As in previous years the aim of the talk was to help our current sixth formers to prepare for life after Concord. “Being at university will bring many exciting opportunities and challenges from managing the academic workload to keeping on top of your laundry. Cheryl, Jozka and Zhao Yan talked about their own experiences as first year students at three very different universities and gave lots of practical tips for surviving ‘Freshers Week’ and the first term.” Speaking of their visit, alumna, Cheryl said: “Firstly, it was really nice to come back and visit Concord and also great to catch up with friends currently in 6.2. “Whilst we alumni have all experienced similar presentations before, I don’t remember exactly what was covered, so this inspired me to clearly highlight the issues and obstacles students face when moving onto university – and hope they’re memorable! “I tried to tailor some of my presentation to the main issues you might not foresee as problems whilst in Concord but are likely to face during your time at university.” Said Jozka: “Like Cheryl, I’m still close to many of the current 6.2 students, so I was keen to help them prepare for the higher education experience, and I remember last year’s talk. “By hearing it from recent leavers, I think you learn way more. University is a completely different lifestyle, so it’s good to be able to share such insights in advance.” Zhao Yan added in agreement: “University life is very different to what students experience at Concord. Different communities, different motivations, overall independence and lifestyle differences… “From my perspective as a current undergraduate at LSE, many Concord students end up studying at top London universities, so I’m glad I’m able to share my knowledge of London life in general, to those ready to apply. I think these sessions really highlight the togetherness of the Concord community. “My top bit of advice to the current 6.2s is to still be yourself at university – don’t ever be afraid to be who you are, or to backdown to peer pressure.” Concord’s Alumni Network thrives on fulfilling the ethos of helping others in the Concord community, so alumni are encouraged to volunteer and help in similar events in the future. Mrs Hawkins added: “I am very grateful to the alumni for giving up their time to come back to Concord as they brought the reality of what the future holds for our current 6.2s into sharp focus, right down to remembering the essentials, like buying toilet paper!”