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New (academic) year, new me: students share advice on making a 'fresh start'

Alex Cramp, Fatima Kashtwari, Leander Bischof
Student Interns with Student Knowledge & Information

04 October 2023

Much like on New Year’s Day, students often return to uni after summer determined to have a fresh start. We’re ready to take the bull by the horns: coming to class prepared and signing up to all the societies that gave us freebies at Welcome Fair. All this comes with a mixture of emotions.

Fatima, Leander and Alex chat about how they’re feeling about the new academic year and what advice they have for fellow students.

How do you feel about coming back to King's this year?

Fatima Kashtwari (she/her) – BA Liberal Arts – Faculty of Arts & Humanities: As a third-year student returning to King's, I'm feeling a mix of excitement and anticipation. There's a sense of familiarity and nostalgia coming back to a place that's become a second home over the past two years.

Leander Bischof (he/him) – BA International Development, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy: I mostly feel excited to come back for my final year at King’s. Time flies and I want to make the best out of this final year.

Alex Cramp (they/she) – Management and Modern Languages (Spanish pathway), Faculty of Arts & Humanities: Last year, I was studying abroad in Madrid so I’m happy to be back! However, I’m also quite nervous to come back after a year away. A lot of my friends have graduated so settling in might take some work. I’m on the lookout for new friends, so I’m planning to join some new societies. I’m going to try Taekwondo this week – it’ll be exciting to do something outside of my comfort zone.

What are you most looking forward to this academic year?

Fatima: The opportunities to specialise within my field of study, Liberal Arts, and being on campus a lot more. I’ll be spending a lot more time at the Maughan library – it's a chance to delve into more advanced coursework and explore my specific research interests – like South Asian literary and artistic cultures!

Leander: I am most looking forward to going to events, meeting new people, and spending time with the friends I made at King’s.

Alex: I’m very keen to get back to my business modules after studying Politics in Madrid for a year. I’ve got some great classes this year, like a leadership module which will be interesting to learn about (and pretty good for my CV!)

Outside of academic activities I’m excited to discover more things to do at King’s, such as going to exhibitions run by King’s Culture like “AI: who’s looking after me?” at Science Gallery London. I’m also the co-president for the King’s LGBTQ+ Society this year; I’ll be planning lots of events, like a crafternoon, and I can’t wait to meet a bunch more LGBTQ+ people at King’s.

What are you going to do differently this year?

Fatima: Reflecting on my previous years, I've learned the importance of balance. So, this year, I'm planning to maintain a well-structured schedule that allows for dedicated study time and involvement in different kinds of extracurricular activities. I'm also eager to explore more of London's cultural and social scene, making the most of my time here!

Leander: I am going to do less extracurricular activities and try to enjoy student life in my final year as much as possible. Last year, I spent a lot of time gaining professional experience and developing new skills, so this year I want to enjoy the fun bits of being a student, like hanging out with my classmates or going to socials run by KCLSU societies.

Alex: I’m going to be more proactive in taking care of myself. In my second year, I had a lot going on in my personal life which affected my uni experience. I found sessions with the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service at King's helpful, but I still struggled. Being a student in London can be extremely difficult and this year I want to “prepare for the rain” so that I have support in place if I need it. I’ll reach out to Disability Advisers for help navigating my final year as a neurodivergent student. I also want to give King’s BeActive classes a go to keep my wellbeing in check and fulfil my – often failed – new year’s resolution of exercising more.

Do you have any advice for any new or fellow returning students?

Fatima: My advice for first-year students is pretty simple: keep an open heart and mind! University is your chance to connect with people from all walks of life. Also, please join a society. It’s a great way to make friends and have wonderful experiences.

Leander: Make use of the opportunities at King’s! It requires some exploring, but will it be worth it. I would really recommend the King’s Civic Leadership Academy scholarship programme to first or second year students. Applications are open now by the way. Also, download the King’s Student App!

Alex: I’d encourage students from any year to make the most of the services the Career’s and Employability team offers. I’ve had appointments for general careers advice, help with applications and practice interviews – which helped me land the internship I have now!

If you’re looking for a part time job – there might be something on King’s Talent Bank, the university’s on-campus job agency, that’s perfect for you. Just remember to follow what feels right and you’ll probably end up somewhere great.