I recently got a chance to write blogs for this Official Student Blog of University of London International Programmes. So I just thought I’d introduce myself with the struggle through which I finally got into UOLIP and some quick tips on subjects that you rarely find on this blog.
High school for me was quite a nightmare. As a science student, I was usually just average. I did not really want to be a doctor and that was, for a long time, hidden beneath many layers of parental pressure and the ‘not-knowing what else to do’ feeling. So there came a time when I completely lost my sense of direction. When I was constantly bombarded with failures. And the sad part was, it was only the science subjects. No matter what I did I was unable to score well, despite working very hard. I am one of those whom you call ‘hard working’ rather than ‘intelligent’.
Hard work pays off. Yes it does. But when your hard work has a weak foundation, especially in your heart when you really aren’t sure about what you’re doing, sometimes it disappoints you. I really wanted to do something unique, something different, or, to be more specific, something that I would always love to do in my life. Not something that would be a burden or a nuisance for me. My aims and ambitions have never had earning money in them. I just want to do something with all my heart’s content.
And then I dreamed of studying Sociology from LSE through the University of London International Programmes. I was completely in love with the subject. It was not the fact that I found that I could prove myself through it. It was Sociology that found me; somebody who would make a huge amount of effort to prove her love to it.
Being an international student in a country where there were institutions offering coaching for the degrees, I began my quest of finding the right place for me. I joined “Roots College International“, an affiliate centre for the UOL IP in my city and began studying for BSc Sociology.
It was through months of constant effort and wonderful experiences of studying the subject I loved, that I regained my lost confidence. It was as if I could make myself shimmer with the faith I had gained in myself. For a person like me, who had her self-esteem absolutely shattered since high school, it was a dream come true! And of course, I cannot forget the hard work of my teachers who have been my backbone.
How I managed to prove myself to my family and the way I restored faith in my own self was overwhelming. The basic foundation on which I built my aspirations, my dreams and my self confidence was being in love with what I am studying. I realized after struggling at medical science that I was a misfit there. I was not a person who could commit everything to memory and pen it down as it is. I was somebody who knew the power of words and wanted to do something creative, something worth talking about, something worth reading, and something unique. Studying Sociology has enhanced my knowledge about society today, how it revolves around us and shapes our lives. I have plans to work for those who are disadvantaged in the social system and to strive to make my society a better place to live… in its true sense.
Therefore, the best thing that Sociology taught me is that whatever you do, do it with all your heart and it will surprise you!
Many people consider Sociology as a very ‘dry’ and ‘indigestible’ subject. But it is only the ones who truly possess the depth to perceive things in a thousand possible ways, that might be the crazy lovers of this subject- like me!
It’s my first year currently and I have learned a lot of stuff that I would really want to share with all other students of the UOL IP studying theoretical subjects.
Social sciences, as well as other theoretical subjects need to be studied through the close reading of the key texts. No matter what happens, never overlook the importance of READING. Reading not only provides you with the stuff to write, but also teaches you how to write it. Vocabulary and expressions are like a treasure box, hidden inside books. And to open the treasure box, there’s only one key – READING.
A key element in the reading step is that, if it’s possible for you, do go through all the essential texts listed rather than relying on one. Even though it is usually only one that is required by most subjects, I would still advise to have a look at all of them. The main reason for this is that, for a specific topic, you usually get better information from a different book than the one you’re currently studying. For instance, for the module, ‘Introduction to business and management‘, students usually use the key text by Mullins (2007/2010). However, the secondary text by Daft (2008/2012) has excellent information, particularly with recent examples that are extremely important in this subject. For instance, the chapters on ‘Strategy Formulation and Implementation’ and ‘Decision Making’ have quite good explanations, descriptions and examples. So do not in any case overlook the importance of all the key texts – listing more than one of them is for the right purpose.
The next step is obviously writing. Many students are unable to even complete their exams just because of not being able to manage the time. So time management is extremely important. It’s like the only magic wand that you need to keep in your hands; you keep it, you win. But if you don’t, you might be disappointed.
The best part about my degree is that it is very flexible. I have a range of subjects that I can choose from. Also, I have a compulsory quantitative subject, Statistics, which is essential in the sense that studying about the society and then researching on different phenomena needs statistical analysis.
You might wonder the point of me discussing Statistics. Well, I really need to focus on something. For most quantitative subjects, there is a proportion of students who usually do not study the subject guide provided carefully. This is a big mistake!
The theoretical bits of the exam require you to know those tiny facts and information that are mentioned in the subject guide for quantitative subjects like Statistics and Mathematics. Thus, a vital element of your studies should be following the subject guides and past examination papers.
So, with some tips for the subjects that I have almost never found on this blog, and for which I’m sure many students really need some motivation, I would end up with saying that nothing in the world is impossible. All that you dream of or want can come to you, provided that you think positive, stay organised and keep struggling!
Sundus is studying for the BSc Sociology in Pakistan with support from Roots College International. The BSc Sociology is not available to new students from 2014, however you can still study for a Diploma for Graduates in Sociology.