Before I came to Edge Hill, I think I was living in a bit of a bubble. I’d never been away from home before and tended to rely on my parents for a lot of things. I’d never really mixed with many people outside of my own community in Blackburn, so I hadn’t experienced the different opinions, cultures and world views that you get at university.
Studying at Edge Hill has opened my eyes and my mind to a whole range of experiences and ideas that I didn’t expect. I expected to learn loads of new things academically at university, but I didn’t think I’d learn so much about myself or about other people too.
Something that had a real impact on me was the trip to Amsterdam in the second year. We visited a nursery to see what teaching was like compared to the UK. The teachers were highly qualified and their teaching standards were quite different. This included babies being encouraged to sleep outside in the playground for fresh air because it is good for their immune system. We also went to a university and attended a lecture about child policy and prostitution. It was so interesting as well as a bit shocking.
Studying this degree has given me the opportunity to explore subjects that I would never have come into contact with. The trip made me become more open-minded and tolerant. I’d never thought about the issues around prostitution or child trafficking before.
My understanding of childhood and children has changed since I started this course. It makes you acknowledge the social factors that affect childhood and I feel we’ve created a society that doesn’t really listen to children. I understand and believe that children’s voices should be taken into consideration and that they should be treated properly and with respect. I now plan to use what I’ve learnt at Edge Hill to have a positive impact on children’s lives through education and am planning on doing a PGCE when I graduate.