‘Independence is empowering’ – Past Student Rand on her Reach Cambridge experience
We all want adventure, but sometimes the idea of going abroad to study or travel without your family or friends can seem a little daunting. Rand studied English Literature and Performing Arts at Reach Cambridge in Summer 2017. It was her first experience of being properly away from home and thinking about what life might be like at university. Although unsure to start with, by the end she didn’t want to leave!
‘What on earth I am doing here?’
One of the first thoughts I had when walking in was: “What on earth I am doing here?” My uncle left at this point and the only comforting thing about the first night was my corridor supervisor. She had the biggest smile on her face and promised me that I would love the experience. I didn’t believe her at the time, but little did I know that she was going to be 100% right.
I really tried to enjoy myself but I was finding it difficult being in a new country without anyone I already knew. On the fourth day, I was talking to my friend over the phone and discovered that I really wasn’t doing that badly. I was enjoying my classes, the supervisors were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I was staying in a comfortable room. Life was good. Yes, I may have been experiencing some difficulties in making friends, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I still had two and a half weeks left, I decided to look at it from a different point of view and lo and behold, it worked.
‘I made my first friend and slowly I began to make more.’
On our London excursion, I saw the best play ever. It was a production of Twelfth Night at The Globe, Shakespeare’s theatre. It had everything that I’d ever dreamt of; music, dancing, comedy. One of my classmates was standing next to me as we watched it and we bonded over the eccentricities of the play and how theatre has changed over time. I made my first friend and slowly I began to make more. By week 2, I was fully enjoying myself. Independence is empowering and I was doing quite well with no one standing over my shoulder telling me exactly what to do.
At this point, I had the greatest adventures. I got to splash my 7 foot supervisor with a water balloon, I was able to participate in a party where we played ‘Pass the Parcel’ and ‘Musical Chairs’, I learned how to play drums, dance Ghana-style; and my lips were painted the colours of the Ghana flag! It was the best experience ever. I learned how to let myself go, and to just live life without worrying too much about what people may think. I also managed to explore my passion for writing, I was inspired by new topics that I did not know I would interested in each day. I wrote some of my best work in Cambridge and without it, I wouldn’t have been able to make my decision to apply for a double major or a minor in creative writing.
Overall, this was the most thrilling experience I’ve ever had. It really prepared me for university, so much so that I actually called my mom and said, “You don’t need to come pick me up, I’m good.”
If you, like Rand, are thinking about University and want to know what it might be like, Reach Cambridge is the place for you. And if you’re nervous about arriving on your own – like Rand was – and want to bring a friend, you can benefit from our Refer a Friend discount… which is TRIPLED until 31st May. More information & terms and conditions here.