Student Q&A

Student Q&A

First year Questions & Answers:

Ailsa Gardyne 

What do you wish you had known about law before studying at Aberdeen?

I wish I’d known how much extra work went into Law. I knew it was a tougher degree than some others, but I didn’t realise how much extra reading and research you needed to do to get a good mark. I wasn’t used to having to do so much extra reading and it was hard to get myself into a routine of setting aside time to do the reading. I ended up doing loads of it last minute while trying to revise for exams and realised after my first semester exams that I’d only get average grades without all the extra material they tell you to read.

What have you found to be the best way to meet people?

A mix of law society events and tutorials. I met most of the people I’ve become closest too just by being in the same tutorials and sitting next to each other because they force you to talk to one another and it takes away that awkwardness of getting to know someone. It is really nice getting to know people that way because it helps to know someone in tutorials. The law society events were really good too, as I felt like people were so easy to get on with and especially the Freshers White T-shirt night where you got put into a group with random people which ended up being quite a good situation, as I met a lot of people I might not have otherwise.

How different is it studying at university compared to school and how did you adjust to the new teaching style?

University is a lot more self-taught than school. I did 2 Advanced Highers at school which made the transition slightly easier because they involved a lot of do-it-yourself, but it was still quite a jump when I started university level. I found I had to learn how to self-discipline myself a lot more and force myself to work between lectures and if I finished before 5pm, for example, try and do tutorial prep or something until then so I was making use of my time and it meant I didn’t end up having a huge workload the night before a 10am tutorial. I also found that talking to people is really beneficial too, sharing notes with other people and talking questions through made the work a lot more manageable than doing everything alone.

Where did you decide to stay and why?

I decided to stay at New Carnegie in Hillhead. I didn’t really consider any other options because I had heard that it is a lot harder to meet people in privately owned student accommodation because there’s a variety of years in one flat etc. I also wanted my own bathroom because the thought of sharing a bathroom with a load of strangers didn’t appeal to me. I’m really glad I stayed there because the social side of Hillhead is unmatched, loved my year there and I was so sad it was cut short I would’ve loved another pint at The Works.

Have you joined any sports clubs or societies and what has your experience been of these?

I only joined the Law Society for my first year because I wasn’t confident enough to join much else but I had heard that joining the law society was a must. I wish I had joined a few more societies and I definitely will be expanding in Second Year. I found the Law  Society events were such a great way to meet people and everyone on the committee was so nice and welcoming from the very first event and it made me feel so much more at ease that there was this society full of people in older years who all seemed so nice and gave advice about the course and offered help. I really enjoyed my experience with the law society and it has made me feel so much more confident in joining more societies after the summer.

Describe your experience at Aberdeen so far in Aberdeen in three words?

Surprising, amazing, and FUN.

George Hilton-Rhind

What do you wish you had known about law before studying at Aberdeen?

I wish I had known how much extra reading I have to do in order to achieve the highest grades. It is quite hard to condition yourself to read around the subject in order to get into the higher grade thresholds.

What have you found to be the best way to meet people?

The best way to meet people is to put yourself out there - whether it be joining societies or a sports team to make friends or trying to socialise with people on your course.

How different is it studying at university compared to school and how did you adjust to the new teaching style?

It is a very different learning approach at university. At school you get extra support and help from teachers and tutors with your studies, whereas at university a much more independent learning style is expected. I adapted by making sure I kept up to date with lecture notes and went over them after lectures to consolidate my knowledge. The standard of marking is also extremely high, especially in the Law department which can differ from the marking at school. You have actively engage with the Common Grading Scale and treat it as a tick box when writing essays and exams to make sure you have included everything a marker wants. 

Where did you decide to stay and why?

I stayed in New Carnegie on Hillhead. I decided to stay here because I thought it would give me a better chance of making new friends and because of the communal atmosphere it provided.

What have you joined any sports clubs or societies and what has your experience been of these?

I was the first year representative for the Law society and I also joined the cricket team. Both gave me a really good opportunity to meet new people whilst also engaging with university life. 

Describe your experience at Aberdeen so far in Aberdeen in three words?

Challenging, Engaging, Enjoyable.

Second Year Questions & Answers:

Anna Andráskó

What is your favourite spot on campus?

When it’s sunny, then it is definitely the little hidden memorial garden with the fountain. Otherwise nothing beats getting coffee in Kilau. For studying, it must be the 6th floor of the Rice Cube, looking out through the huge windows onto the sea.

How is the support system within the law school?

I have never experienced such a supportive educational environment, especially as I come from a very different system in Hungary. Our feedback is not only always welcome, but it is a very essential part of forming our experience. We all have a personal tutor, who supports us academically and personally. We were also assigned a Law student peer who helped us navigate through first year. The library staff are always very helpful, as well as all the lecturers. I am also a class rep, which means I participate in Staff-Student Liaison meetings. It is great to see how the feedback that I collect from the class actually has an impact on the decisions within the Law school.

Did you live in Hillhead in first year and where did you move to in second year and why?

I did live in Hillhead. While it was a great experience, I found that I am not really a student housing kind of person. So, in second year I moved in with a very good friend, which is the best decision for me. I like having a flat where we can have friends over whenever we want, but also just chill or study when we’re not feeling that social.

What surprised you most about studying Law?

Law is surprisingly interesting in the details. I went in thinking I will love criminal law, because it’s so exciting. But I found that I can get amazed by some random weird detail in property or delict or constitutional law, and this makes the whole studying and researching progress actually fun for me. Another surprising thing is just how much law there actually is. I feel like in the first two years we go pretty deep into the material, but we are still only scratching the surface. I think once we start taking honours courses in third year, it will get even more intense.

Did you do work experience before you went to university? If so what was it and how did you get it, was it helpful?

I worked some summer jobs, but nothing in the field of law. During term time I cook in Kilau, a coffee shop on campus. I am also a Student Ambassador at the Uni. This makes my schedule pretty busy, but I think any work experience is very helpful (and I actually love my job(s), so it’s win-win).

How do you balance your studies and social life?

I think I need to work on this part a little bit, as I tend to choose working on my studies over going out sometimes. I love going to society events, I am very active in one society and go to socials for a few others. Living in a flat with a good friend really helps because we can hang out anytime or just have some friends over. I think turning working out and studying into a social event is also a good idea, even if you sacrifice a bit of efficiency for a bit of socialising.

Describe your experience at Aberdeen so far in Aberdeen in three words?

Unexpected, joyful, adventurous

Jamie Fraser

What is your favourite spot on campus?

My favourite spot is the fountain memorial, it is a hidden gem on campus.

How is the support system within the law school?

The law school staff are always really friendly in my experience. I know them by name and we have a very good relationship. They are always eager to help with any questions we might have.

Did you live in Hillhead in first year and where did you move to in second year and why?

I stayed at Unite Students King Street Exchange in first year. I enjoyed it and decided to also stay there during second year, because it was cheaper than staying at halls.

What surprised you most about studying Law?

The most surprising thing is that when you study law it makes you think differently. Although they are sometimes very different, laws have to work together in some way to create a coherent system. Therefore, they all link back in some way, and it is very exciting to discover the full picture.

Did you do work experience before you went to university? If so what was it and how did you get it, was it helpful?

Yes. Worked on a building site. It was local to me so I contacted the manager. It was great. It’s an unusual job to have, but still had to talk to some clients, so helped me to gain people skills that are needed for law.

How do you balance your studies and social life?

Balancing work and social life can be tricky. What works for me is to plan it in a calendar, give myself days to look forward to with pals, maybe keep each Friday clear after a certain time or play sports on a Wednesday. Take advantage of the half an hour or so at lunch each day to talk with your mates, have a laugh. Be disciplined about it though and try to keep to times. And just work hard using study days knowing if you do so you can let your hair down and have a good time with mates on the days you're not studying.

Describe your experience at Aberdeen so far in Aberdeen in three words?

Rewarding, Interesting, Exciting.

Third Year Questions & Answers:

Victorie-Anne Gomez-LLorens

Is there a big jump from second year to third year honours courses?

Students are being warned of a gap between high school and university. It seems not all students feel the difference. It depends of the school they attend, their culture, their personality. However, no one warns us about how big the jump can be from second year to third year courses. Of course, it depends (e.g.  which courses a student selects, who is teaching the course, ...) but generally, it seems the levels of engagement, reading, reflection and expectations are significantly higher.

Are you in any societies and are you on any committees within those?

Being a member of different clubs and societies is a part of the “uni experience”. I love being involved and making a change so I have been part of several committees during my second and third year and will be next year too. 

Have you used the university careers service when searching for internships?

I did. The university is giving us tools to be more successful in our applications, how can I say no? I had different meetings to improve my CV, to review some application forms... 

Do you work alongside you studies and do you find it manageable?

I do work alongside my studies however I set my own hours. There is no pressure which makes it very manageable. 

How is your social life within the law school?

I have made some friends in my first week of university (flatmates and friends of flatmates) and, even though my friendship circle has expanded, they are still part of it!

What helps you during exam season. 

Food. Diet Coke. Library. Those are the words that came straight to my mind. But I think what I need the most is people. Seeing people studying is motivating. Seeing people stressing as much as I do is reassuring. I missed those during the last exam session.

Describe your experience at Aberdeen?

I LOVE IT. That is probably not the words you were expecting. It is a relatively safe city, full of students, where everyone is welcome. There is all you need in one place, and you can walk everywhere so your monthly expenditure can be low if you want to save money. The University of Aberdeen itself is really good. A well-ranked university (especially for Law) with very good lecturers who are happy to give you support whenever you need. 

Fourth Year Questions & Answers:

Trixia Denisse Suarèz Quezon

How do you feel about your studies coming to an end?

A mix of emotions really. Happy in the sense that I have finished this chapter and am moving on to the next – the working world. Sad in that I would miss my friends as they go on to pursue other dreams of their own, and the lecturers who have provided me with great support and have made my studies very enjoyable. I still find it unbelievable to think that four years have flown by just like that. But in a way, my studies consisted of a rollercoaster of emotions from highs to lows too – but this experience is definitely something I would never trade for the world!

What would you tell yourself when you were applying to law school?

I would tell myself three things. Firstly, be more confident and take all the opportunities you can either through work experience or meeting new people as many doors will open for you once you start law school. Secondly, be resilient as there are a lot of challenges you will face during the course of your degree – from advocacy, intense research, to three-hour exams and balancing these against your extra-curriculars so don’t let them get you down! After all, these will serve as your cornerstones when embarking your legal career. Finally, and most importantly, do not be afraid to ask for help from your lecturers and personal tutors. Doing so might seem nerve-wrecking on the outset, but had I not done this, then I would have never obtained the crucial advice I needed to improve my analysis and writing skills throughout these 4 years!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to apply for the Civil Service Graduate Stream or for research assistant positions with the Law Commission!

Where can you be found mostly on campus?

In campus, you can normally find me in the Hub where I’ll be having lunch or coffee with my friends. When I need to do course reading but am in a relaxed mood, then the Sir Duncan Rice Library is the best place to be for its design and comfort! Otherwise, when it comes to intense revision i.e. exams – then the Taylor Library is the place to go!

What’s your favourite memory from your time at Aberdeen?

My favourite memory is King’s Ball 2019! Because apart from celebrating with my friends at Bookends until midnight, we won awards showcasing our commitment to charity and performance as a team! Not only this, but having won an award myself makes the experience very personal and heart-whelming too. This made me feel ecstatic to be appreciated by my friends and vice versa!

Describe your experience at Aberdeen in three words?

Friendships, eye-opening, challenging!