It’s Care Leavers’ Week 2017 and one of our LAC (Looked After Children) Champs shares her thoughts on university and her highlights to uni life so far…
I always knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. That meant I had to go to university and I’m glad I did. I never thought it wouldn’t be possible for me to go because of my background; I didn’t know anyone else in care that was going to uni and it didn’t even cross my mind. I knew I would get a student loan so funding didn’t worry me. Being a LAC Champ and talking to other students, I know that is a concern for many people. Don’t let that worry you though. Surprisingly, without a sticker on your head saying ‘I’m from a care background’ nobody will even know and it won’t affect your chances of going to uni. I’ve had so many opportunities at uni and here are some of my highlights:
Travelling the world
In second year I was awarded a Global Scholarship meaning I was able to study in South Korea for a month with travel, accommodation and tuition fees paid by University of Sheffield. After a month back in the UK I then went on my Year Abroad to Slovenia. As Slovenia is so central in Europe I visited at least 10 different countries (my favourites were Italy, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina). After 2 weeks in the UK, I went to Ghana to volunteer as a Business Support Associate on an International Citizenship Service (ICS) placement for 10 weeks.
Presenting a case at the Supreme Court in front of Lord Phillips (former President of the Supreme Court and a huge deal in the legal industry)
Mooting competitions (or mock trials) are where you get given a fake case to argue for your client. You are against another team sometimes from a different university. I got all the way to the final of a national competition beating Oxford and Cambridge. We didn’t win but still, I mooted in the Supreme Court and that’s pretty cool. This year I’m competing in an International Law Competition.
Part-time work is something a lot of students do and if you work for your uni the pay is usually pretty good. Now working isn’t always fun, but if you find the right job it can be. One job I have at uni is working as a LAC Champ (Looked After Children Champion). As part of this job we help primary age children develop maths and literacy skills, which is really rewarding. Other events I involved taking children on a theatre tour (which meant I could try on the costumes at the Crucible in Sheffield); chatting to people about uni and eating pizza. Yes, I got paid to eat! I also did an internship where I sat in front of the judge (like an actual lawyer) and watched a murder trial.
I don’t like to sit still and have nothing going on in my life. I get bored! Uni has given me the opportunity to keep busy as there are so many things to get involved in. You do have to study (sometimes it can be challenging) but you can do so many extra things. On top of studying you can get involved in so many societies. Currently, I’m President on the UK Board of the Network for International Law Students… pretty cool title. I also wanted to join the Chocolate Tasting Society and the Baking Society but sadly didn’t have time in my schedule.
Uni is full of so many exciting opportunities and that doesn’t stop because of your background!
Katie will also be taking over the Snapchat and Instagram account all week starting on Monday 30th October – follow and like to see what her typical week at university is like