Home: Northern Ireland

Year of Course: 4

 

About You

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My interests and hobbies are similar like many other 22 year olds. I enjoy socializing with friends and especially enjoy meeting and getting to know new people. I have a love for food, and a flare for cooking (and eating) and experimenting with new foods. I enjoy good music and good company- even better if they’re together! I have a special interest in people and healthcare and I get real satisfaction from helping people and trying to make their day better! I also enjoy reading and writing and have recently began writing a blog (a form of final year procrastination really!)

Why did you opt to study at QMU?

I visited Edinburgh a few times as a younger teen and so, I have always had a sense of familiarity with Edinburgh. Also, being true to the “younger sister” stereotype, I followed in the footsteps (copied) my older sister who also studied at QMU many years ago. However, I feel if you are stepping foot in Edinburgh for the first ever time you’ll fall in love, become obsessed and never want to leave. It is just beautiful and it genuinely takes my breath away whenever I am out and about. Edinburgh has the best vibes; it is just such a chilled out and relaxing city with weird and wonderful people and will satisfy everything you could possibly want in a city (and much, much more!)

Living Away from Home

Did you stay in halls?

I am originally from Northern Ireland so I stayed in halls during my first year at QMU, and had one of the best years of my life. It was fantastic and made some amazing and lifelong friends.

I now live in a student flat on Leith Walk in Edinburgh with four other girls who I met at halls. I lived with one of them in my first year but the other three girls were from different blocks. Our flat is a student flat in every respect- no insulation, no double glazed, no luxuries (we don’t even have a functional TV). But I wouldn’t have it any other way. My friends and I made it our home- honestly all a drab student flat needs are fairy lights, scented candles and a pretty floral lamp and voila - your student haven is complete!

What three things could you not live without?

The three things I could not live without in a student flat are a HDMI cable to watch movies from the laptop; a full length mirror as very few flats come with any mirrors at all; and an extension lead, because one socket in a room is not okay. I realize they’re all very practical and mature things to pick but they are the TOP three. I feel if you have those three items then you’re pretty much set to ace uni!

I have so, so many magical and unforgettable experiences during my four years at uni. I have loved every minute of living in this city, and would do it all over again in a heart beat. I am extremely jealous of anyone who has yet to embark on it. My experience would not have been the same at all without everyone who I met along the way who were blessings and or else taught me lessons. My fondest and possibly simplest memories are the days that you think at the time are insignificant, but looking back they provided some of my happiest memories. Easter Sunday last year for example, my friends and I ditched the uni books for a day to pack up a picnic and head to the Botanic Gardens to lap up the sunshine and to just lay about. It was really simple but the walk past the Water of Leith and through Stockbridge is just so stunning! Edinburgh in the sun really is something else!

Have you found any ‘hidden gems’ in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is packed full of hidden gems. It has so many quirky, bohemian and original coffee shops and I enjoy finding and trying them out! Stockbridge is lined with them. I especially love The Pantry and Wellington Coffee shop! I also loved The Bakehouse on Broughton Street than sadly is no longer there- I used to work there so perhaps I am a little biad in saying it was The Best coffee shop!

"In relation to Podiatry, the highlight for me has been what the course on a whole has taught me. The Podiatry staff have made learning every aspect of Podiatry applicable and engaging. I feel they are not “lecturers” but rather “teachers.” They have helped us along every step of the way and have always assured us that they are only ever an email away. I love how diverse and varied Podiatry is, and that is what first drew me to the profession, but I definitely admit the lecturers and staff have maintained the diversity and variety and have really inspired and ignited my passion for further pursing my career!"
Una Hamill

The Course

I attended a Podiatry open day at QMU; even though I was 99% sure I wanted to study in Edinburgh I took the chance to bunk school, come to Edinburgh for the weekend and to make sure I was making the right decision.

I immediately loved the university; how clean it was, how small it was and how friendly and open the lecturers and staff were. I obviously was scared and apprehensive about moving from home without any of my school friends but I had a feeling QMU was going to be as homely and friendly as I imagined.

I have my fair share of struggles, like every other student, throughout my time at university. University has challenged me, not just academically, but as a person. I have grown up and learnt so much about myself and others during this time.

Advice I would give future Podiatry students or students thinking about studying Podiatry is to firstly talk to a student at the university who study it. But I will try and do just that in case they do not know anyone. I will be completely honest as well. Podiatry really is a fantastic career, and to be a podiatrist is both challenging and rewarding. I would definitely take the opportunity to shadow a podiatrist for a day or two before embarking on the course and ask them as many questions also. I would also say, do not be afraid! You are not expected to know every muscle, ligament, pathology or medication before studying it! That is what university is for, you are going to learn it! So do not be put off and don’t be intimidated- instead be inspired! Every expert in something was once a student also! (That is a mantra I live by)

I have no concrete plans following graduation quite yet. I have my flat in Edinburgh until August so I am planning to really enjoy my last few months in sunny and beautiful Edinburgh with my amazing friends and working full time at my current part-time job! I will definitely seek podiatric work in that time but if nothing comes up I do not mind chilling out in this city for a wee bit! I definitely plan to get a podiatrist post and begin building my career and doing what I love!

Life as a Student at QMU

I am part of the QMU Podiatry Society, and it’s a really great way to engage with the students in other years. I like this because I gave me the opportunity to help other students and to reassure them if they are worrying about anything!

I don’t have just one top tip for being a student because once I start I’ll not stop- I have SO many tips for being a student! My best advice would be to ENJOY it and EMBRACE all! Being a student is amazing - it’s just an experimental time of your life where it’s totally acceptable to make mistakes, laugh them off and to get on with it. It’s a time to figure out and work on what you really want in an environment that encourages it and which has all the resources you need; free databases, expert clinicians on the 2nd floor and staff that are willing to help with all queries. It’s okay if you’re in your overdraft and that you can’t afford to buy the latest fashion trends; its okay if you haven’t got out of your PJ’s all day and it’s certainly okay if you’ve ate your weight in pasta. You will have crappy days where you’ve sat staring at a computer screen and feel totally defeated; you’ll have days where you just want to give up, go home and cuddle your dogs. But the important thing to remember is everyone at some stage will feel like that and talk to someone if you’re feeling stressed, upset or down!! The main thing is that you’re having fun and you reach your deadlines and try your best!

I am only too upset that my student days are coming to an end, no literally, I am near in tears writing this and only too jealous of anyone who has yet to embark on it. The four years have gone by so fast that I can’t even comprehend it! I don’t wanna grow up!!!!

Podiatry as a profession is continually progressing and expanding to meet the increasing demands of podiatric care in this day and age. I feel the staff and course at QMU have changed and evolved with it; preparing and exciting us for our future careers. The field of podiatry is extremely wide-ranging and varied, with many areas to specialise in and I feel the course at QMU has given me great opportunities to gain the fundamental clinical skills in each of these areas. As well as this, the course has challenged and developed many of interpersonal skills, such as my communication skills, problem solving skills and time-management skills.

The staff at QMU have evolved with the profession and teach us the most up-to-date and current scientific knowledge whilst detailing past experiences of their own; making learning personal and bespoke. The staff at QMU definitely reflects the diversity and variety of Podiatry as each member of staff has their own differing areas of expertise. The Podiatry staff, as a team, is extremely responsive and have worked really closely with us throughout the four years; tailoring their teaching skills and adapting their teaching styles to ensure that we get the most out of our time at uni. The course is hands-on challenging and innovative and the staff and facilities make learning every aspect of the course engaging. We get to apply our theory to the clinical aspect of the course weekly which makes learning rewarding and effective. I have loved my time here and feel I have received great support.  The course and staff at QMU has definitely inspired me and excited me for my future podiatric career!

 

Story published 2016 - 2017