Jack Gardener is a 3rd year BA Political Studies student, and a member of the Student Ambassador team.
Why did you join the POLIS Student Ambassador team?
When applying to university, there seemed to be very few students you could actually talk to about their course and student life. After hearing about the Ambassador programme, it made sense to give others the advice I had not received - plus, it looks brilliant on the CV.
Did you have anyone to talk to and support you before applying to University?
My college did organise talks but they were general and not course specific. The only advice I received was from family friends already at university.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
I have always loved politics and originally applied for the BA Politics and Parliamentary Studies course but, unfortunately, did not get on it. I was offered BA Political Studies instead, which I took because I knew I wanted to go to Leeds for the student life and the department is very well respected.
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?
So far I have really enjoyed my course, especially the international dimension. The theory is hard work but, ironically, I generally do better in it. I am looking forward to writing my dissertation on China and its perception of its role in the world.
Is university really that different from school?
There are far less contact hours and less people reminding you of deadlines. You definitely need to plan your time better and not just leave it to the last minute, which I have predictably done again this term.
What do you think of life on campus?
There is so much for students to do at Leeds. The real advantage of a campus university is that it is very sociable and you see your friends regularly; although it can be a bit claustrophobic at times.
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 loads of societies, events, elections, committees and sport teams to get involved with and you can organise brilliant parties and meet loads of people. It is definitely worth getting involved in as much as you can. One key thing to remember is that future employers will want to see what else you have done so being on the executive for a society or a student representative is really good for the future.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to university?
Definitely go. It is a great experience and really worth the time; but make sure you chose a course and university which fits your needs. Don't just follow the crowd.
Any top tips before starting university?
Work hard in your A levels and enjoy your home comforts as student food isn't the best.
What do you plan to do once you've finished your course?
I want to become a lawyer, which requires two more years of studying including a conversion course.