Portrait of Justine wightman

Justine Wightman

Originally from Leicestershire, I moved to Leeds in 2010 for university. In those 4 years, I’ve become a lot more independent and truly ‘found myself’, no matter how cheesy that sounds! Now I’ve graduated, I’ve moved back home but aim to return to Leeds soon.

When I came to visit the University on an Open Day, I just fell love with the campus and it just seemed the right place for me. A big city, but with all my university needs on one campus. Although what really helped my decision was that for the French part of my course, I learnt that I had freedom to choose modules that interested me, and could avoid those that didn’t. This was perfect for me.

The year abroad was one of the most enjoyable aspects of my degree. I spent seven months in Brittany as an English Language Assistant, and although I now know that I never want to teach again, I had a fantastic time. Apart from that, I actually just really enjoyed learning the content of my modules.

My fondest memory of my time abroad was accompanying staff and students on a week trip to London, far from being relaxing, but it was a lot of fun and a great way to spend one of my last few weeks. The experience has provided me with something else to talk about in interviews instead of just academic performance or social activities. And even though, I no longer want to be a teacher, the experience has provided me with a set of skills that I can apply in my future.

There are so many societies at Leeds which cover such a wide range of interests, it can actually make it difficult to decide which ones you really want to be part of as there is not enough time for them all. In my final year, I joined the Mind Matters Society and facilitated the Mental Health Peer-Support Group, this allowed me to make friends and help people at the same time which was brilliant. Despite the amount of activities available within the University and the Union, I would encourage others to find something to do outside of the University too. I joined a local choir, which has definitely been one of my best decisions and when I return to Leeds, I’ll have something to go back to. In addition to this, Leeds has got so much going on, it’s really difficult to not find something that suits your tastes.

My fondest memories of Leeds has to be the people I’ve met, both at the University or elsewhere. The lecturers and support staff have been amazing and have done whatever they can whenever I’ve had a problem. I’ve made friends on my course, with whom I’ll hopefully keep in touch with for many years to come. It is difficult to forget people who’ve made such an impact on your life.