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If you’re in the last year of your GCSEs you’ll be thinking about where to study next. Perhaps you’ve picked up a prospectus for Bath College, browsed our website online or added the date of our next open day to your calendar. All of this will give you a good idea of what it’s like to study at Bath College, but what do our students think?
Over the course of the year, we’ll be interviewing current students about their time at Bath College and finding out what student life is like. Our first interview is with Katie, a Level 3 student studying music performance. Katie has just returned to college as a second year student and is volunteering as equality and diversity officer as part of the Students’ Union team.

Do you remember coming into college as a first year – what was it like?

It was quite daunting, mainly because a lot of people on my course knew each other. A big group of them came from the same secondary school. I thought it was going to be quite hard to make friends but it was a lot easier than in secondary school.
I did a year of A-levels and I didn’t get on with it at all. It’s hard to motivate yourself if you don’t enjoy what you do. I found this course at Bath College and it suited me better.
It’s a lot better at college because you’re treated your age. Unless you misbehave, you’re going to get treated as an adult. Your tutor will help you if you’re struggling, but you have to ask for help – which makes you a lot more independent. After a while you start to learn quicker because you’re learning independently.
What’s the best thing about returning to college – what are you looking forward to this year?

I worked a lot in the summer, so I was looking forward to coming back to college and getting on with things. It’s been good to catch up with friends.
I’m looking forward to my Final Major Project. You can do whatever you like, as long as it’s a large project. Most people do an EP launch but I’m going to try and do a big student party. Kez (Students’ Union President) wanted to do an SU party and a lot of people will use it to launch their EPs.
This year, we’re doing a lot of community work. After my course finishes, I’d like to study music therapy. It’s good to get things to put on your CV to show what you’re interested in.
What have you started to do in class?

We’re doing music and film, which takes a lot of patience. We’ve been given a silent film clip and we have to put sound effects in. Getting it perfect is painstaking. The aim at the end is to have a 30 second film clip with sound and we have to compose our own music.
We’re also doing song writing lessons once a week. We get given a different genre to explore. The first one is hip-hop! It’s going to be a challenge, especially because we have to record it ourselves, but I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun when we get in to it. It’s good because it widens your appreciation for music.
Can you tell me about being part of the SU – what are you planning for this year?

My position is equality and diversity officer. My job is to make sure everything is available to everyone and to be a point of contact for people. I’ll be doing quite a bit round anti-bullying week and mental health awareness week.
I’m hoping to set up a peer support group, but it might take a bit of time because there isn’t one at the moment. Having something run by students might make people more comfortable talking about issues. At my secondary school we didn’t have anything like that and I would have benefitted from it.
What was the freshers’ fair like?

Freshers’ fair was a success compared to last year. It was busier than last year and we have a few more people signed up who are looking to join the SU. Hopefully another girl will be interested because Kez and I are a bit outnumbered in the office – we need a bit more girl power!
At first it was quite hard to coax people in to talk to you. But once you got a group talking to you, other people saw it was ok. Hopefully the NUS card numbers will go up as well. There are really good places like Apple who will take the discounts. And it’s really cheap – it’s £12 for the year. You don’t realise how much you can save until you have it.
Do you have any tips for new students?

Just to do as much as possible. If someone asks you to do something say ‘yes’ because a lot of things only come up once a year and in the 2nd year you’ll be a lot busier.
Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know. Getting involved in things that aren’t course related is really good fun. We have an Airhop trip coming up in October and there will be more trips like that throughout the year. I can’t wait – the foam pits should be interesting!

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