First Year Reflections

We asked some of our students for their thoughts on studying here at Newman. Here are the thoughts of Bryannah Collins – First-Year Societies Officer.


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I came to Newman as a passionate history student, hoping to discover new topics of interest that I hadn’t covered before and Newman’s history department definitely delivered.

The first year has taught me that I’m 100% awful at ancient history, but mainly because I can’t handle everyone having the same name nor can I cope with all the guesswork! Ancient history is interesting, but in terms of essay writing, I couldn’t cope with combing through historiographical babble in order to find out that something “was believed” to have happened with little proof, my mind simply cannot cope.

My specific areas of interest this year have been Modern history such as America, and England ranging from the complex Tudor reign to the Blitz. I enjoyed the Tudor module as it allowed for wider study, not just on England but the links England had internationally. This was similar in the American module as we could look at international relations, much of which I recognised from previous study so this module made the transition from A Level to Undergrad much smoother, as did the British history module.

It is definitely worth mentioning here that the transition is made so much easier by all of the supportive staff at Newman, who make themselves as available as possible to aid you in development and progression. If you make use of this coupled with student support such as essay writing workshops, then you’ll find that you really can make the best of your skills during your degree.

This year has left me optimistic for the next two years, so much that I have ensured I am as involved as possible around campus. In the first year I took positions as a student trustee, a course representative, a student ambassador and have recently been elected as Societies Officer. This just proves how much university can develop you both professionally and personally, and I am thankful for all the support our smaller campus offers.

Another highlight which we are very proud of this year as a class is our newly ratified history society, which we can begin using fully in September. This society will provide all students with an opportunity to help each other with assignments, get to know others on the course from all year groups and also, for non history students to discover history in a way that isn’t sat in a library reading. (We are trying to prove that history students can be fun geeks) but we will see how this goes!


Bryannah Collins


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