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Amy Henderson

Winner of the second ORE Catapult Aspire Bursary

Blog II: Isn’t it great to be back?!


AH - Library

“It’s so good to be back to normal”, “ I’m glad were back to in person”, ”isn’t it wonderful to be back face to face?”. These are all things I have heard my lecturers say over the last semester, but truthfully it isn’t wonderful to be back in person because there is no back for us. I’ve never done in person University before, I’ve never sat in lecture theatres with 200+ people in them, and I’ve never had to think about in person University exams. 

I was always told University is so different from high school and to try and prepare for this, but what I was never is told that as soon as you feel like you’re finding your feet, it will be turned on its head and you will have to readjust all over again. Obviously, this couldn’t be helped but it doesn’t make it any less daunting. This coupled with the fact that our lecturers are “over the moon” to be back to what they deem as normal has made this semester feel like first year all over again, but just much harder. 

I was sitting in a class a few weeks ago as our lecturer realised that we had never sat a proper University exam before. The shock on his face when this clicked for him really made me realise that while our whole University careers thus far have been strange and new, it is only a minor blip in most lecturers 10+ year careers. Although it felt like I was the only one panicked over this new change I slowly realised that almost everyone in my year and the year above was feeling the exact same way and really it was the lecturers that were the odd ones out.  

Blog I: Talking to strangers isn't always bad


The dreaded goodbye with your parents when moving into University. I was expecting this to be the hardest part, that I would bawl my eyes out for hours.

Instead, I went up to my flat and decided to use the tactic of avoiding my feelings and sit with my new flat mates. My thoughts being, “I couldn’t cry in front of these strangers, so I would have to be fine”. I’m not a very outgoing person so this was a big jump for me.

Little did I know in the next 24hrs these perfect strangers would become my best friends. That one split second decision set the foundations for the best friendships I have ever had. The comfort that came from knowing we were all in the same situation was immense. We started of talking about the basics, “where are you from”, “what are you studying”, but because we were all in the same emotional I-have-to-make-friends mind set, we were talking about our greatest hopes and aspirations in no time.

You should always talk to those perfect strangers, especially in the beginning, because you never know when you’ll be saying the first hellos to your new best friend. 

amy henderson 1

STEM & Community Engagement at
ORE Catapult

As a world-leading organisation with engineering, innovation and technology at its heart, ORE Catapult is passionate about STEM and community engagement within its local communities to deliver inspiring, meaningful and impactful social benefit.