A Cornish Student’s Experience at Penryn

Written by Kira BA English student studying on the Penryn campus

My name is Kira and I am an undergraduate studying English on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall. In September I will be going into my second year of study, and I wanted to share my experience with the Penryn campus and why I believe it’s such an amazing place to study.

As a student who has been born and raised in Cornwall, when it came to deciding my university my first thought was to what was beyond the Tamar. I did all sorts of research for universities outside of my home county but eventually decided that the University of Exeter, not so far from home, was the perfect university that suited what I wanted to study. A research-led institute, an amazing English course with interesting modules, and an atmosphere that I loved. I visited both the Streatham campus and the Penryn campus and applied for both. I successfully received two offers and was determined to study with Exeter, so confirmed Streatham as my firm and Penryn as my insurance.

As the summer of 2019 progressed and some major life events naturally occurred, I slowly realised I wanted to stay in the beautiful Kernow countryside. I made the decision on results day to study at Penryn rather than the Streatham campus. A decision I am glad that I made.

I applied to live on-campus so that I wouldn’t miss out on any of the classic ‘university experiences’, and to still gain that independence that would have come from moving far away from home. I met so many amazing people within my first week, mostly from my course. Joining various social media groups full of people who would be living in Glasney Student Village, taking the same course, or just generally being on campus, I felt I already knew so many even before arriving.

Something I was so shocked at was the fact that within my circle of friends and flatmates, so few of them were from the southwest. I met perhaps one or two who were on different courses who were from Cornwall, however, the majority of people I know are from further afield. Being someone from Cornwall going to a Cornish university campus, I expected to bump into people I’d known through my whole education, however, this was not the case for me. It felt like a fresh new start surrounded by so many new friends, but in a place I knew and loved.

With beautiful countryside and coastline, it’s hard to be dissuaded from living in this amazing county. It is definitely different from bigger cities that people may be joining from, and that perhaps is an experience in itself! Whilst Falmouth, or Cornwall in general, may not have a huge nightclub and nightlife scene, it does not mean there is absolutely nothing for that genre! Falmouth is also abundant in local pubs hosting music events and places for you to relax with friends after a particularly hard week. There are also many restaurants that you can take family or friends to when they visit!

Falmouth and Penryn have such a vibrant community, only a quick bus trip from the campus, with many independent shops and beautiful waterfront scenery. With a slightly longer bus trip from the campus, you can travel to Truro, Cornwall’s capital and only city. From its parks and cathedral to the classic retail stores, Truro is a beautiful place to explore.

One final comment from me is that I highly recommend everyone consider studying at the University of Exeter Penryn Campus, as its atmosphere is uncontested – it’s homely and friendly. Everywhere is within a short walking distance, and there are bus stops nearby for trips further afield. It’s a beautiful campus to work on with many places to relax or study. Don’t underestimate this wonderful campus; truly do come and visit to see just how lovely it is! I am aware that during this unfamiliar time with Covid-19, physical visits are impossible, however you can tour the campus virtually and if you have any questions you can get into contact with the university using this link.

Studying from home

Written by Hannah BA English and Creative Writing student

An endless supply of tea, easy access to peanut butter toast and the option to work in your pyjamas; studying from home can be great, especially when it means avoiding a soggy commute to the library and helping to reduce carbon emissions. An endless supply of tea, easy access to peanut butter toast and the option to work in your pyjamas; studying from home can be great, especially when it means avoiding a soggy commute to the library and helping to reduce carbon emissions.

However, speaking from experience, it can come with procrastination pitfalls; Netflix, sleeping and baking to name a few. If you are used to studying with friends home working can also feel a little dull and lonely. That said, when you’ve got a 3,000-word essay to write there’s no better place to get it down. Not convinced? I have nine tried and tested tips guaranteed to help you get the most out of studying at home.

1. Set up a separate study space – Keeping your work and relaxation areas separate can help you switch off at the end of the day. Try and set yourself up somewhere quiet, away from other people and distractions – ideally not in bed as this may cause your brain to associate bed with study not sleep!

2. Wear whatever works for you – A plethora of articles dedicated to home working claim that wearing workwear at home may boost your productivity. I can see the logic and if that works for you go for it! Personally, I like to be comfy when I study and relish the chance to wear outlandish, uncoordinated and oversized clothing.

3. Log out – Make it harder to procrastinate by logging out of your social media accounts and removing the sites from your bookmark toolbar.

4. Work out when you are most productive – I’m not a morning person, the alarm clock is my nemesis. Evenings, however, are when I find myself most inspired. I therefore plan my study schedule around this ebb and flow of productivity by setting myself easier tasks in the morning and harder stuff later in the day. If you are an early bird, make sure you maximise your most productive period by eating your frogs* straight after breakfast.

*In the words of Mark Twain: ‘If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.’



5. Take a walk – Because studying at home eliminates our commute it can mean we can spend less time exercising and being active. I combat this by getting out at lunchtime for a run or a walk – I find it really helps me to stay motivated and energised.






6. Give yourself screen breaks – Sitting in the same position and staring at a screen for too long can leave us feeling tense, tired and sluggish. Extend how long you can be productive for by getting up regularly from your desk for 5-10-minute breaks. (Don’t tell anyone but I find a burst of bad dad dancing helps to get the creative juices moving).

7. Reward yourself – Avoid the guilt inducing hole of Netflix binging by setting targets and rewarding yourself with an episode of your favourite show when you meet them. Be strict though, get back to work once you’ve had your allotted time out.

8. Let the people you live with know when you are studying – Tell partners, parents or friends when you are studying so they know when not to disturb you. Telling someone I plan to work also makes me feel more accountable and committed to getting my work done when I say I will.

9. Celebrate small milestones – Don’t wait till the hand in to celebrate, keep yourself motivated by setting and celebrating small milestones with chocolate* (*insert snack of choice).

10. Bonus point – Do the above and you’ll also benefit from the smugness that comes from watching gales whip away umbrellas while you drink tea and power through assignments.