I am proud to be Marjon

maddy and phil at graduationI actually never thought about going to University. In year 10 at school, we had to do a week’s work experience, I remember myself and one of my friends signing up to do it at different Veterinary Practises as that’s what we wanted to do when were older – we both wanted to be Vets. Safe to say that I think the work experience might have put us off as neither of us are Vets!

In 2015, I attended my first open day at Marjon University. I’d seen the Sport Development course online and immediately thought ‘this is what I want to do’. I attended a few open days speaking with both the Sport Development team and Student support. Both teams where amazing and talked in great detail about the help and support they could offer me to make my University life with a disability much easier. At school, you have to fight for everything, whereas Student Finance are more generous. – I received a number of hours mentoring, study skills and note taking support, 3 different software packaging to help with writing, recording lectures and making mind maps, and I also got given a printer for my room.

Here is some of the amazing work that the different teams at Marjon did:

The Sport Development team:

  • I had an amazing Course Leader and Tutor – Phil. I could normal email Phil and get a response straight away (even at 11pm), which was a great reassurance when in a panic!
  • My amazing lecturers as well – Aaron, Ryan, Aaron, Erica and Kelvin (sorry if I missed anyone off!), always really supportive – adapting practical sessions and assessments, and always there to go over an assignment if I didn’t understand it.
  • Phil’s door was always open! You could be walking past on the way to a lecture and end up having a 5-minute chat! I’ve laughed and cried in Phil’s office – and it doesn’t matter because they are there to listen to your problems/concerns and to help you solve them.

Student Support:

  • Mentoring – I saw Tory frequently. She always kept a smile on my face even when I was really down. I could talk to her about anything and seeing her was always a highlight of my week.
  • Study Skills – Karen/Howard/Nadine. . It was good to have that extra support going through work or checking on assignment – planning them and making sure I knew what I was doing.
  • Note taking – Marion. I was fortunate to be able to be offered a note taker for all my lectures and great to have the reassurance that she would have noted something I had missed.

Futures team:

  • Philippa – Always there to help find volunteering opportunities and to talk about future career opportunities as well. I can still go to them for support now even though I have left.

Marketing:

  • Katy, Laura, Dan, Shirley, Terry, Kari, Helen and Rachel (again sorry if I missed anyone off!) – I had the opportunity to work as a Student Ambassador. These amazing people helped and supported me whilst I worked at Open Days, Summer School, Taster Days and other events. I was also fortunate to be asked to write a few blogs and speak at Graduation.

Estates team:

  • I was on campus all 3 years of my studying and the crew were great at doing adaptions to my accommodation.

All these members of staff don’t get enough credit for the amazing support that they give their students. I am writing this blog because whatever year you are in, whether you have a disability or not – you can get through your course.

Having a disability means I have found things tough at times but the staff are so willing to help and support. I know how hard you might find it and especially at these difficult and scary times but know that there are people here to help you – whether it’s to do with academic work or you just need someone to talk to – please talk to someone!

I also want to say I massive THANK YOU to everyone I have mentioned for not only helping me get through my degree, but for helping everyone else and for all your continual hard work in this current situation. I am proud to be Marjon!

With the added guidance of a great VC Rob Warner, Marjon will survive and thrive and I feel so lucky to have been part of it. These are dark times, not knowing what will happen but there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will get there!

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Maddy Hopson

BA Sport Development, Student Ambassador. Platform Diver and Coach. Part-time Skier. Ambassador for CP Teens UK. Patron of North London Aquatics.

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