We're already in our third edition of Coachee Catch-Up! Here we interview Jemmar - a passionate ex-coachee ready to make a difference in the world!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Jemmar. I’m 20 years old and I’m a student at Brunel University London studying Politics and Sociology. I’m an activist and black feminist. I hold a variety of positions in a handful of organisations - I'm a GirlGuiding Delegate, Black Cultural Archives Youth Forum member and newly elected African Caribbean Society Liaison Officer.
How has university life been for you so far?
I’m writing this after completing my first year of university. I would say it was challenging, awesome and worth it. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t consider dropping out. Early mornings, late nights, lots of reading and meeting deadlines - a challenge indeed. I made a lot of friends, dropped about half of them, learned a lot (as one is supposed to at university), developed some new views and reaffirmed others.
If you could give a heads-up to prospective university students out there, what would your advice be?
Advice I would give to prospective university students is during the summer, try your best to develop as much independence as possible. If you don’t know how to already, learn to cook, clean and so on. Make sure everything university related is sorted; all the forms are completed, everything they asked for is sent off, they have all your contact details and student finance is completed.
TALK TO YOUR LECTURERS! I hate research methods and I personally saw politics as my weaker side, yet my best module grades are in my politics research method module. This was simply because I was constantly speaking to my lecturers (this was also due to the fact that I caught a virus which threw off me completing assignments and attending essential lectures so I had to!).
How did you find the transition from school to university?
The transition from school to university was bittersweet. I was going to study topics that I loved but at the same time, I had no one to push me and be on me to make sure I was making the most of my university and its resources. I also think learning to be self-reliant was key. If I didn’t like a lecturer, I had to talk to someone. If I wasn’t feeling well, I had to take my own initiative and eat some fruit or drink some water, and if it got serious I would go and see the GP. If you think you need to talk about your mental health, seek help through counselling. Don’t understand something? Read around the topic and talk to your tutor. I had to learn to make the effort for myself, by myself.
You were on the Advocacy Academy and had coaching, how did you find it?
The Advocacy Academy was an amazing experience, it really cemented in me my love for politics and fighting for social justice. Without it I would have probably ended up studying Psychology and then dropping out of university because I didn’t like it. Having a coach via CoachBright was ridiculously fun. My coach was a feminist like me and being paired with someone who shares similar opinions helped to shape what I’d like to do and be involved in during and after university.
Is there any particular coaching that still resonates within you?
One thing that really resonated with me was that my coach would email and check up on me. Having someone requiring updates and showing interest made me happy and want to achieve my goals even more. Another thing was the way I could tell my coach a dilemma and we’d make a plan to sort it out together. I am quick to panic so I really enjoyed that.
Lastly, do you have any plans for the future?
I have a ridiculous number of plans for the future. I will continue to write, to create, to film. I could go on and on. Definitely finish university with a 1st and possibly do a postgraduate degree in Political Sociology. Potentially work in Parliament, maybe the Civil Service or charity fundraising. I really want to work to develop the Caribbean and West Africa.
Are you one of our ex-coachees? We'd love to catch-up with you! If you're interested in being interviewed, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.