LIFE AFTER HANDSWORTH GRAMMAR SCHOOL The period between the end of A Levels and the end of your first year of University is always a shocking one. Shocking in the sense of how much you have managed to accomplish both academically and personally. This year has been especially busy for me as you’ll find out. I believe that Prom was the perfect way to end my seven years at HGS as it was the last time I felt truly connected to my youth and my fellow peers. The venue, decor and DJ were amazing – a brief shout out to Aliyah and Riju for organising such a wonderful event – and it was incredibly nice to have both students and academic staff that we had grown up with there. The award ceremony for “best couple”, “prom king and Queen” … kept us entertained all evening. However, personally the best moments were when staff joined us on the dance floor for a night to remember. I have to admit I did feel sad saying goodbye, yet excited about what the future entailed. The summer of 2017 came and went in a blur – working, getting ready for University and preparing to enter the job market through apprenticeships. For me a certain amount of trepidation had set in in the weeks before Freshers’ Week commenced and many ridiculous questions were going through my mind. Nonetheless, I found a lot of comfort in the transition period that the University of Birmingham gives you and the University of Birmingham’s Islamic society had prepared a week’s long event list for me to attend. By the first week of term I was completely exhausted! I have joined around 14-16 societies on campus meaning I pretty much had an event every day of the week. I DO NOT recommend doing this for your entire year, as strangely enough, going to lectures and revising does help with passing your exams! For those of you who are interested in what types of events are on offer here is a brief list of possibilities: Balls/Galas (Masquerade and many other themes), Dinners, Debates, Movie showcases, Puppy (and other fluffy animal) petting, House Parties (maybe don’t advertise this to your parents), Ted-style Talks, Comedy nights and many more. Besides academic life I have expanded my involvement in politics by being an assistant commissioner for the WMCA and working with Parliamentary select committees The PPE society decided to take a trip to Paris this year – subsidised by the University – which was my first experience of going abroad with friends rather than family. I cannot describe to you how fun this was as we attended career-focused and course relevant events such as an evening in the British Embassy and visits to the Louvre, Hôtel de Ville and other classic French tourist spots. However, in the evenings we enjoyed the nightlife of Paris including a LATE evening/ early morning meal underneath the Eiffel Tower. This has been a roller-coaster year and it’s not over yet! At the time of writing I am planning to visit the European friends I have made on my course and continue with work. I wish all of you who are starting this journey the best of luck and encourage you to enjoy university as such as possible. There are a lot of HGS alumni on campus (mainly situated in Nuffield) so don’t hesitate to ask us anything should you need any advice or support. For now, I bid you all adieu and look forward to letting you know how my second year goes. Tukeer Hussein MOVING ON 46