My first term at Bellerbys College

11 February 2021
Bellerbys student ananda at a restaurant with palm tree in background

Hello everyone. My name is Ananda and I am from Indonesia. I am a Bellerbys student ambassador and I am in my Y12 A Levels, currently undertaking 3 subjects: computer science, economics and mathematics. I have just finished my autumn term a couple of weeks ago and I am going to tell you about my first term experience at Bellerbys College.

Studying online

Studying during a pandemic is not easy, especially as an international student. I started school on September 2020. Going in I had several concerns in mind, one of them being, “How do I manage my time with 6-7 hours’ time difference?” Considering that I am not very good at memorising time differences. If you still struggle to remember when the time of your class starts, I have a trick that helped me not to miss any of my classes. I put the class schedules on a weekly basis with the UK time and my local time written on it. Eventually, I ended up remembering what the time in the UK is.

Involvement in enrichment activities

Now, you might be thinking, “Three subjects? You must have a lot of free time”. I am currently involved in two extracurricular (enrichment) activities, Model UN and Global Social Leader. I am given a task every other week from both of my enrichment activities, research for the Model UN activity, and participating in a global competition. I choose to involve myself in enrichment because not only will it be good to gain experience, I also think it gives me more chance to socialise and network with more people.

Managing mental health

I know I am not the only one who tends to neglect mental health to focus on my studies. I have seen a lot of people struggle during the pandemic and I think it has not been said enough. I personally tend to ignore issues relating to mental health, as I always thought that I already have other things to worry about, such as getting good grades. However, I think it is very important to have support from people closest to you. When I start to struggle with things that may affect my mental health, I would confide in my parents. The result is that I tend to focus better on my studies.

I would highly recommend you to try and open up to the person you are most comfortable with whenever you feel down, although it may be different for everyone. Some people choose to open up, some choose to meditate; if you do not know what works for you yet, perhaps try different methods to find the one that works for you.

Reflecting on my first term

To conclude my first term, I had the opportunity of being a student ambassador as a first-year student and the experience I have gained has been great, as I get to see other people’s experiences from different International Study Centres across the UK. Besides that, my favourite memory was when my Global Social Leader team and I would discuss ways we could implement our project. I loved it when everyone in class would talk and laugh together. I remember thinking “This is going to be fun” considering we tend to get shy to talk or turn our cameras on. The experience I went through during my first term has been great, the excitement of knowing that my future is out there and being able to make my own story through Bellerbys College is one of the things I am looking for in my life.