We Are Essex

James Bicknell's story

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"I’m proud of her and she inspires me with what she’s done and what she’s gone through."

I remember when I came to look here, I think a lot of people have this when you go to a uni and you can just feel it’s the right one. I remember thinking if I didn’t get into Essex then I’d apply anyway through Clearing as I just really wanted to go here. It’s quite homely to me and I love that I have friends from all different cultures and that’s really interesting. There’s just something about it, it's easy to live in and I like Essex as a county as well.

I found out in the first year that I wanted to go into lecturing. Originally I wanted to do teaching but I like the idea of being able to go off and do your own research and teach, you’ve got the best of both worlds then haven’t you? For my next year, for my dissertation my little sister has got chronic fatigue syndrome, so I’d really like to look into research to do with perceptions of it. Because it’s one of those illnesses that because you can’t physically find it in bloods and things like that a lot of doctors might say “oh no, it’s not real” and other doctors say it is, so it’s a bit of a grey area. My sister was very lucky to have a doctor that understands it. So I’d like to see what charities, other doctors, people themselves with the illness think of it and how it affects them.

 My sister told me early last year that she wanted to go to university, which we never expected at all so it was really, really good to hear. Now, she’s got into Plymouth College to do illustration which is really exciting for her. Because she missed a lot of school due to her illness, I think something like this to give her a new start is good, and she’s really looking forward to it so that makes me happy. I’m proud of her and she inspires me with what she’s done and what she’s gone through.

My girlfriend also inspires me, she works really hard and she’s always been there for all of her friends. Also, my mum and dad too, I could go on and on! I’ve got lots of friends who have done some brilliant things as well so yeah.

 I do like the cheesy quote from the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “life moves pretty fast but sometimes you’ve just got to stop and have a look around” and just take everything in. It’s so easy to think “the future, the future, the future” but just step back and look at everything and evaluate everything in the past. I think that’s very much what sociology is about as well, not just going with it but questioning it and looking at the situation you’re currently in. I had to take a couple of exams before uni so I was a year back. As I didn’t have to be in full time I worked a couple of days. Then, just before I started uni I was really worried like, oh, am I cut out for it? But it’s best to think just go for it, that’s what I’ve learnt now I just go with these things and make the most of it. If you do try really hard and you’re enthusiastic about what you do then you’re more likely to do well.

I’m really happy with how I’ve done. But also, Lucy my girlfriend and my friend Kate and lots of others are doing really well too, and work really hard and we sort of all just bounce off each other, and I think that’s why we are all doing so well.



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