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My study journey: be the best or amongst the best

From the guidance of my parents to the support from the University of London, my study journey has been influenced by others as well as my own efforts. 

Written by Ismeria B. |

A road leading into the distance
"The most challenging part of my studies has been trying to balance my competing priorities".

As a child, my Mom always pushed me to do great things and my Dad always told me to ‘be the best or amongst the best’. This advice from my parents led me to the decision to study the Master of Laws programme, which would enable me to master the law in such a way that I could positively enhance the lives of others.

Having perused the program, I knew that it was going to be an intellectually rigorous avenue that would lead me to my dreams.

I decided to study through the University of London’s distance and flexible learning program, because the University boasts an online environment that is just as distinguished as traditional means of study. I was delighted to learn of its enviable reputation and international presence, and wanted to be a part of it.

The most challenging part of my studies has been trying to balance my competing priorities. The overlap of being a graduate student and a proud stay-at-home mother to my vivacious 3 year old daughter has brought on a unique set of challenges. During the time that my daughter is awake, I’m usually not studying, so balancing my tasks is a serious commitment. As a result, I’m often exhausted, but I tend to make weekly and monthly goals instead of daily ones in order to stay on track.

The most rewarding part of my studies has been the engagement with my peers, and the personal and professional connections I’ve made. Since the summer of 2018, I’ve been a member of the Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC), and it’s truly been a wonderful experience. Being in a student group wards off isolation, and not only does the group hold you accountable, but your peers will keep you on your toes too. Such interaction creates a sense of community, where you’re able to share ideas and experiences with people around the world who are going through it with you.

I’d highly rate the level of support I receive from the university. There’s always room for improvement, of course, but over the years, throughout my study, I’ve seen a major shift in the additional resources that are available to students. From the Student Cafe forum, to the social media channels that inform students of what’s going on around them, to the Support and Development tab in the Student Portal for professional management, to the revision forums held by course convenors, and everything in between. The University has done a great job at providing us with webinars in order to equip us with useful information, as well as those that are geared towards enhancing our CVs and employability.

I find the University of London’s distance and flexible learning program highly recommendable. For starters, it is well-established, its programs are competitive and the level of experience from instructors is extensive. Not only that, but it has a fantastic record of academic success, and an extensive research library! And, don’t get me started on the flexibility, convenience and affordability of the program, let alone the 30+ specialisations available or the intellectually stimulating courses being offered! Honestly, the University’s administration has done a tremendous job at not only investing in the interests of its current and prospective students, but also in regularly improving the student experience for all.

As far as advice goes, all I can say is if you want it badly enough, go for it! There really isn’t any expiration date to one’s dreams and aspirations, nor is there a magic formula or one-size-fits-all approach to distance-learning. Everybody eventually finds what works for them, you just need to put in the time and effort to succeed. Who knows what’s in the works for me after I complete my LLM — the opportunities are endless! Having a legal education is so advantageous, because law is applicable anywhere. 

The University of London has been a godsend to me and my circumstances, so I’ll leave you with this:

“Do not allow the fear of falling to stop you from jumping. Do not allow the fear of responsibility to stop you from committing. Do not allow the fear of exposure to stop you from shining” – Najwa Zebian.

Ismeria is studying the LLM via distance learning in Canada. 

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