A fresh perspective on my first term at Lancaster – Guest Blog – Faraz Khokhar

As my first term at university has just finished, I think this is the time to reflect on my experiences so far and how I have found it. I have had a brilliant first 10 weeks at Lancaster! One of the things you should know about me is that I am a non-drinker, and I can definitely say that drinking is not at all necessary to enjoy your time here as there is plenty of activities to get involved in!

Reflecting on my first term, also reminded me of the reasons why I choose Lancaster. One of the main reasons is because my father came here a decade ago as an international student. His experiences influenced my decision to come here. In particular, he told me about how the student services really helped him during his initial time of settling into life in the UK. It made me understand how the staff here are so courteous and caring, no matter where the student comes from.

Apart from sharing a personal connection, I had attended both the general open day and the Management School applicant visit day before starting here. First and foremost, I think it is vital to visit if you can as it affirms your decision as to whether the place suits you. I attended with some family, so they also got to see where I was going to study and get a feel for the place. Similarly, they loved it as much as I did. If you can visit I would highly recommend doing so, you’ll love Lancaster!

Also, I think a theoretical approach is essential to pass exams but what I’ve realised is that the Management School at Lancaster is much more than that. In my entrepreneurship minor, we learn theory in the classroom but to aid that understanding, the university employs over 50 people as Entrepreneurs in Residence who increase our real-world knowledge. The module is very much practice based getting us to do several challenges throughout the year. Read more about EiRs: here: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/business/community/entrepreneurs-in-residence/

I am career-focused and have come to university to increase employability skills, so this approach suits me. The University also encourages forward career planning from day one. There are many workshops available, which are delivered by the careers team and help students with expanding their knowledge of the job market.

I have found the collegiate system at Lancaster to be distinct. You can make the experience as competitive or as least competitive as you want. There are plenty of inter-college competitions that make students part of a collective identity and the sense of belonging to one of nine colleges’ appeals to many. A common conversation opener (‘what college are you in?’) gets the dialogue going especially in the first few weeks. I picked my college as the idea of being the smallest college appealed to me for various reasons. The fairly central location was also perfect for me as it is in close proximity to where my lectures are held. Finally, the college offered the room type I wanted. Personally, I feel very content with my decision, therefore; it is my advice that you should do your research looking at the factors I have mentioned. To find out about our nine unique colleges and what they offer, follow this link:

There are lots of student-run societies that you can be a part of, which ultimately helps make your transition into university smooth. By joining a few societies before coming university, I was able to integrate into the Lancaster community and find like-minded friends right away. I highly recommend attending the freshers fair in the first week of term to find out all about the societies on offer! Read more about societies on the LUSU page: https://lancastersu.co.uk/about-societies

Looking back, I’m glad to say what I had expected before coming to university has been exceeded. Being an introvert by heart, I was surprised to settle in so easily as I thought I’d feel more homesick. But there is plenty of support around you to ensure you enjoy your time here.

Ultimately, my experience so far has been shaped by the amazing people I have met and collaborated with. I feel valued to be a student here, surrounded by incredible people.

I look forward to the next few years at Lancaster!