My name is Ilona, and I am in my 2nd year of my MLaw degree. I am currently on the integrated masters course at Pearson College London.

How did you find your first year?

If I had to sum up my first year in one word, it would be “relief.” I know this might seem like an odd choice however it is the most accurate I can think of. During first year there are always going to be doubts over whether you did right thing about going to university, whether you picked the right subject, whether all the time and money invested is worth it. I realised that I picked the perfect institution for how I learn and the perfect subject to keep me interested and engaged. Also, half-way through the year the coronavirus pandemic took over the UK and all of our studies were placed online. Despite this vast change, I managed to carry on my studies and complete my exams to a high standard, which reassured me that any obstacles arising surrounding my studies can be overcome.

What modules did you get to study?

In my first term, I studied tort law, contract law and English legal system. My timetable for this term allotted me two days a week with lectures and seminars from 9-5 on both days. I really liked this timetable as it gave me plenty of time to prepare for both my lectures and seminars, and it minimised my expenses for travel. In my second term, I studied civil litigation, self-managed learning, and personal injury and clinical negligence. This timetable was different, I was in three days a week, for 3 hours each day, each topic on a different day. This timetable remained the same when we switched to online learning.

What are some of your highlights?

When I reminisce on my first year at Pearson College London, I cannot help but be struck by all the new friendships I have made. As someone who is quite introverted, I was shocked that I made one friend let alone more than I can count on my fingers. We were always told that the friends you make at university are the ones that stay with you forever, and I was very sceptical about this before I joined. However, now I believe it to be true.

Another highlight would be my travel into university. I commute from home and taking the train into London allows me to see most of the big attractions around London which I love.

A third top highlight would be the sheer amount of external and interesting opportunities that I have been given from being a student at Pearson College London. I took part in a coding class that was run on campus which gave me an opportunity to learn a skill I would not have usually learnt, made connections with individuals I wouldn’t have met in my law classes, and considered an alternate line of work which was never a possibility until then.

How did Covid-19 impact your first year studying a degree?

Covid-19 impacted everyone in a big way. I think that it was really lucky that Pearson College London already had provisions for online learning in place, so our studies were not disrupted. I have friends at other universities that had a tough time with online learning because the university was not prepared for the change. The transition was relatively smooth however it was difficult to be motivated when you were stuck at home all day. The Work Fitness events were still running throughout lockdown, and these really helped as they gave tips on how to make the most out of online learning and tips in order to help with motivation.

Pearson College London were also really active in terms of keeping us updated with what was going on regarding campus, online learning, and exams. This was really helpful because a lack of certainty would have made the experience a lot worse.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first year at Pearson College London, and I hope that each year that follows is just as good!

-By Ilona Munn (2nd year MLaw student)