My name is Lois Carson, I am 21 years old and I come from a little seaside town in Northern Ireland.

Some facts about me: I am engaged and getting married soon! I love singing and playing the guitar. I love photography, shopping, make up, going out for dinner, spending time with family and friends, hot chocolate and winter nights wrapped up watching movies!

Hometown: Portstewart, Northern Ireland

Year of Course: 4


About you

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU? 

I choose to study Occupational Therapy as I knew I had a passion to care for people. I loved the idea of helping people to have the best quality of life. My mum is a nurse and is in contact with occupational therapists and so she told me about the profession. I looked into myself and it was sold for me!

I choose QMU as my second choice as I wanted to stay at home to study in Belfast. I did not get accepted for my first choice, but QMU was a new option for me! I knew it was renowned for studying Occupational Therapy and it has such a big department. I am glad that I had to move away to study and wouldn't change it! QMU is an ideal university for me and the staff on my course are so supportive. I love Edinburgh, it is such a beautiful city to live in and it is great to gain independence but still not be too far away from home!

Living Away from Home

What are the top three items that you packed that you wouldn’t be without?

1) I wouldn't be without my Bible to help me through each day.

2)  Hot water bottle - It's a given for student life in a cold city and no longer having free heating!!

3) Polaroid camera to capture the journey and those treasured moments with my best friends.

Life in Edinburgh – what’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

The best experience I have had in Edinburgh so far is meeting my lifelong best friends on the first day of freshers week. We have just clicked from the very beginning and I would not have been able to do these four years without them. I have loved the journey with them and we have shared some amazing memories at QMU that we will never forget!

There are far too many hidden 'gems' in Edinburgh: it is just such an amazing city! For me the main gems involve eating -here are a few:

  • Ting Thai Caravan
  • Indigo Yard
  • Eteaket
  • Mary's Milk Bar - This is a MUST!
  • Leo's Beanery (anything in the Stockbridge area is worth trying!)
  • Burger
  • Kama Sutra (Best Indian ever!)
"I would strongly recommend studying Occupational Therapy as it is such a meaningful course and grounds you in life with very beneficial transferrable skills. Not only has it taught me how to be an occupational therapist, but how to challenge my thinking and completely change my way of looking at situations. I believe I have matured in how I view others and identifying how I can contribute to providing a better quality of life to others."
Lois Carson

The Course

Did you attend an open day? If so was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you?

Unfortunately I could not attend the open day for the course, however, some of my friends did and they found it really useful to picture some aspects of uni life at QMU!

What’s been the highlight so far?

The highlight so far I would have to say is being in fourth year and being able to focus on my chosen area of interest for the rest of the year and what I hope to do! Seeing everyone else in my class and how far we've all come since first year is another highlight It is really nice to see everyone else's passions and what they aim to do next!

Any future plans after graduation?

I am returning home to Ireland to get married which is very exciting!! I then aim to apply for jobs once I graduate. In the future I would love to work as an occupational therapist within the homeless community. This is something I have developed a real passion for since moving to Edinburgh and having heard stories from the heart of those who are homeless, right on our doorstep in Edinburgh.

Life as a Student at QMU

Are you a member of a QMU club or society? If so, what was the reason behind your choice and what do you enjoy most about it?

 I am a member of the Christian Union and have been on the committee for three years. I joined the CU in the beginning of freshers week. I have valued sharing the good and bad experiences of uni with those who have the same faith as me. I enjoy meeting with my friends and getting involved in planning our events on and off campus. QMUCU has grown in presence on the campus and we have really good links with the Students’ Union, which is great for getting to know others and running events in the Uni!

I am also a member of the Occupational Therapy society, which was set up by a couple of girls in my class! This is a great way of meeting people from each year who study OT and for getting amazing opportunities to further your studies and CV!

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

I would make the most out of the time you have! Get involved in fresher's week and look out for societies you can get involved with! Take each opportunity to meet people! When you move into halls, get to know your flatmates and people in your block; it makes living away from home so much easier. Lastly, enjoy the journey, because it’s one you’ll back on with amazing memories! 


Story published 2016-2017

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