University of Chester: 175 years of the transformative student experience

Last year I was asked to write 175 words to sum up what it is like to be a student at the university of Chester as part of the 175th anniversary celebrations.

I forgot.

Then I remembered.

Then I realised how little 175 words is so I decided to write a poem.

Then I lost the poem* and now I have found it.

*Please be warned that I am not an english student and that it works best read out aloud in received Burnley pronunciation.

University of Chester: 175 years of the transformative student experience


When the higher education journey began in 2009
A dream of becoming a hairdresser had always been mine.
“But what about the university experience?” they said.
I guess I could give Hollyoaks a go instead?
A degree in Law and Journalism could be the one?
And the applicant day was second to none!
So off I went across the Lancashire border
With two cars full of a classic wardrobe ‘hoarder’.
Scotia House was my first student halls,
A group of boisterous girls, our drink Echo Falls.
We worked all afternoon and partied all night,
Our photos on Facebook gave our parents a fright.


It’s fair to say, we caused a great deal of trouble
hiding traffic cones, dressing up; nobody could burst our bubble.
Until one cold night in November whilst walking to town,
I headed straight into the freezing canal – man down!

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The best choice I made in my Freshers year,
Was to join a sports team acquaint to the odd beer.
Wednesdays were football days (despite what timetabling said),
And Thursdays were for recovery, to rest the poorly head.
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End of third year celebrations got a little out of hand …
Egg and flour on the 3G equalled a 4 week ban.
Followed by our poor little mascot George butternut squash
smashed on the sports pres dance floor – like, oh my gosh!
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In the 3 long years what stuck out for me
was the unique experience not covered by the 3 grand fee.
From playing sport to teaching in schools,
to working in CH1 with a team of fools.
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The journey was fun but had to come to an end.
Team of the year and sports personality, who could pretend
That I was ready to give up, the thing I loved the most
Elections it was and first past the post!
The night I was elected - the first time!
I had to give back to those who saw me more than just a pain,
The students, CSU and of course our Jane!
Election results were close with only 11 votes in it,
I have never taken for granted how blessed I was to win it.
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It was an honour to serve 2 years at Chester SU,
Living in presidential palace, stuck to Badman like glue.
Number one in the North West for two years on the trot
National points winners, we achieved a lot.
I can never begin to thank CSU
For making the difference in everything you do.
A number of times as a student, I was ready to leave,
Back to square one and replacing weaves**.
You showed me who I am and what I want to be,
To make a difference on all sides of the Dee.
To always reach out and offer a good deed
to embrace everyone irrespective of religion, race or creed.
I have one wish this celebratory year
that Chester continues to help students whatever their fear.
Because UoC changed my life for the better
As soon I opened the acceptance letter.
Lets look to the future with vision and hope,
That we can help our students do more than just cope.
Because the class of today, are our leaders of tomorrow,
so let’s make their experience worth more than the money they have to borrow.
** Disclaimer: before somebody starts to think I am shunning hairdressing: It has been an important learning journey for me not to leave university, not because university is better than hairdressing but because it gave me the opportunity to adapt, change and discover who I want to be. If i still had the choice the ‘what would I be’ would still be a hairdresser. Perhaps one day, but then my DIY hair do’s have always been a complete disaster!!

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