Charlotte Snelling is a 3rd year BA Political Studies student, and a member of the Student Ambassador team.
Please tell us a bit about yourself, and your background.
I came to university straight out of school, having completed A Levels in History, Sociology, and Government and Politics.
Why did you join the POLIS Student Ambassador team?
It seemed like a great opportunity to meet new people. I also wanted to encourage more people to come to Leeds because I have really enjoyed my time here and would recommend it to anyone.
Did you have anyone to talk to and support you before applying to University?
I benefited from a good UCAS department at my school that gave me lots of advice about university, both on an academic level and social level. It also helped that my parents had been to been to university, as had my brother, so I could turn to them for advice too.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
I took Government and Politics A Level at school and really enjoyed it, and I have always had a strong interest in current affairs.
Initially, I chose Leeds as an option because I had visited it before and really liked the city centre and I had heard good things about the university as a whole. I then chose Leeds as my first choice after visiting the university on an open day.
The students that showed us around the campus were really friendly and it seemed like a nice environment. The course also appeared well organised with a clear structure, which gave me a good idea of what I would actually be doing if I came to Leeds. It also looked like there would be room for choosing modules, which I felt was important.
What do you think of your course so far? What aspects of the course have you enjoyed the most or are looking forward to the most?
I have enjoyed meeting new people and being able to learn about a variety of areas of politics. Despite it requiring a lot of work, I am also enjoying working on my dissertation as I have been able to choose my own topic and research something I'm really interested in.
Is University really that different from school?
Yes and no. You have to do more independent reading and be more organised. Plus you obviously have to get used to living away from home; for many people, this is the first time. On the other hand, there are similarities. The Politics and International Studies department at Leeds is really supportive and I always feel able ask lecturers for feedback on work or advice with essays, like I did with teachers at school.
What do you think of life on campus?
There are loads of things happening on campus and there is also something to do. Most people are really friendly and it feels like a real community.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?
There are so many societies and opportunities to get involved. I have been a member of Scottish Country Dancing for three years now ,having originally only gone along for a taster session. I have also been a POLIS ambassador going out to schools to talk about university life and talking to prospective students on open days. I am also a member of the POLIS Student Representative Committee and, through this, you can have a say on your education. On top of this, there are sports societies, the student newspaper and the student radio and TV stations.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to university?
Make your choice based on a number of factors. Look at both the reputation of the university and the city or town. You are going to be there for three years or more so it is important that you think the university is in a place where you can live.
Any top tips before starting university?
Do not be scared to talk to people: everyone will be in the same boat and everyone else will be apprehensive. Also try out societies or activities. They are a great way to make friends and look good on a CV. Take advantage of all the support networks that are available such as Careers Fairs because once you leave university, you will not have access to these types of resources.
What do you plan to do once you've finished your course?
I plan on taking a gap year, as I never took one after finishing school. During this year, I hope to travel but also build up some work experience in an area of politics, for example, helping at an MP's office. After that, like most students I know, I have no idea!