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Bethany Davies is an Associate Lecturer teaching modules in the first year.
Last Friday I viewed the new Waterside campus for the first time, and my overwhelming thought now is… it’s a really exciting time to be a student at the University of Northampton.
Leading up to my visit, I had seen a few pictures and people had told me a few things about the campus, but to be honest I kind of let the worries of ‘change’ affect how I was viewing it in my head. I pictured it as a huge and daunting place and that I was going to feel like I was teaching for the first time even though it’s been many years now.
When I arrived, every fear and worry I had about the new term, training and changes I was going to face… just slipped away. I was blown away by how beautiful the place was and I felt like I was having flash backs to the feelings I had when I went to an open day at Park Campus as a student many years ago now. This feeling however was on an elevated level. The way the university seems to balance the old with the new and the large feature of natural surroundings almost seems like it’s a signature style of the university as it’s carried these aspects to the new campus.
My reason for attending was for training on the new system which will allow students more freedom to work all around the campus and also some new creative interactive features. Some of these might not be as crucial to criminology lectures and seminars as other classes, but seeing the scale of what can be done is testament to the university’s aim to advance the student experience. Following the training, I wandered around and located what would be my new space for teaching in the Senate building. I decided to let myself in to take some pictures and I was really pleased with the room and the view from the window. The space is modern and I could picture the debates and discussions and the group work that I could plan.
There is a sense of familiarity with the campus, which may sound silly if it is your first visit, but to me it felt like a safe and motivating environment with student life at its focus. The ‘student village’ and the facilities such as the hotel, shops and many places to eat, made me feel rather envious of those experiencing student life at such a place.
There will be learning curves and bumps in the road as everything new does, but ultimately what has been created is a fresh start for the university and everyone in it. It’s an exciting time to be a student at the University of Northampton and I am excited to be a part of the journey.