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Fritha Galley

Social Work

Bsc Social Work Student Frithagalley 255Where are you from?

Gateshead

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

I originally wanted to move away from the area that I had been brought up in, but when I looked at other universities and their Social Work course, nothing appeared to be as good as Northumbria's after talking to staff and students at other places. So, I decided in the end, Northumbria would be the place for me!

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

I love Newcastle, I always have. If I hadn't been brought up in the area it would have been my first choice university city! I love the fact it's a jam-packed city centre, but you're just minutes away from the countryside. There's amazing arts and culture, which is really important to me, and the nights out are pretty good too! I love having walks along the quayside, and spending the day mooching around the Baltic Art Gallery in Gateshead and then crossing the water and ending up in the Ouseburn, with plenty of great, friendly pubs playing wonderful live music, and with a farm just on the doorstep too to pet the animals at!

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

What's surprised me most about living in Newcastle itself is that it doesn't feel like a big city - although I was brought up in Gateshead, I lived right out in the countryside and the city centre had never been a place I spent much time as a child so I knew it's nightlife as I got older, but that was about it. I love the fact it's got everything that cities like Leeds and Manchester have, but in a compact space where everyone seems to know everyone!

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

The University itself has been great - although I study at Coach Lane, I generally use city campus facilities, and I still don't feel like an outsider! I feel it's not been as easy to make friends up at Coach Lane due to the limited social side of the courses up there, but City Campus has been nothing but great for me, particularly having the union slap bang in the middle of the campus!

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Being at Northumbria over the three years I have most enjoyed volunteering in the union - meeting new people, helping other students and getting involved in societies and student council has been incredible!

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

Since coming to the University, I made a lot of friends in the LGBT Society and they have been incredible support for me throughout my time here! The Academic Advice team have been great in the union as well, when I had some difficult times in second year they were amazing at supporting me through my PEC application when my tutor knew little about it!

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

The most inspiring person for me at the university have been Hannah Horne and Jamie Thompson, the two Vice President for Equality and Welfare in the Students' Union whilst I've been here. They've been incredible supports, shared their struggles and inspired and supported me to carry on when I've felt things be a bit difficult!

What is your favourite place on campus?

My favourite place on city campus is probably sat on the bean-bags in Escape.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?

I've been part of the LGBT Society as a member, then President, and currently the representative for Trans* Students. I was also the Students' Union LGBT Equality Representative for part of my 2nd year, meaning I sat on Student Council. Both student council and being part of the LGBT Soc has been amazing - I have met my best friends, support network and made my 2nd family through these things. I can't advice students more than to get involved with the union properly to make your university life as good as it can be!

What is the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my course is placements - lots of them for good amounts of time!

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

My most valuable lesson is probably to get involved in extra things, like societies, groups, teams or the union as a whole. My other one would be not to give up, I think everyone does at some point during their time at university, but I'm so pleased I powered through!

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

My end goal is to be in a position to use the arts as a tool in Social Work, but that's a long way down the line! My initial goal upon graduating this summer is to get a job as a social worker, probably in Child Protection. My biggest (useful) skills that I've learnt have been communication, assessment and organisation! Along with that though, knowing to have down time and chill out when the pressures on is also going to be very useful!

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences?

I've had a placement in each year of my course, to a total 200 working days. My most memorable experiences have been teaching a 15 year old boy to tie his shoe laces and being told I am the only person a little girl can trust. That was heart breaking but will stay with me through my entire life!

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Do it! It's a great city and a great university with a good reputation!

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

Since being at university, my confidence in my ability to achieve has improved dramatically, but generally I feel I've just grown up. It's a city that gives you freedom to grow up in whatever way you wish and at any pace and there's always somewhere for you to go!

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Incredible. Tiring. Friends.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes!

 


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