I’ve been at LSE for almost two terms now. An accumulative total of 20 weeks to be exact. In my time I’ve gone through my motions and phases – where I count years instead of weeks in terms of personal change, where I’ve felt really tested about what it means to be me, and where I want to be in the future.

Taking part in LSE Groups has helped to shape who I am as a person.

LSE Groups is an opportunity offered by LSE, which gives students the chance to take part in a 12-week research project based on a general theme. This year, I took part in the 2017/2018 term-time programme which was based on the Five Giants that Beveridge had devised, each tackling a major social issue. One of these was education and, given my interest in education policy, I was really excited to take part and explore a research question based on it.

Early on I felt encouraged by the support given and the connections that I made with fellow group members.

As time went by and the project progressed, I felt a real sense that I was growing the project with our group, into something that felt precious and personal for us. Everything was up for discussion, and could be fleshed out into a tangible plan: we talked about making surveys, going out to interview key academics and analysing our findings; and inevitably at 4pm in the evening, wishing there were some treats to eat.

Eventually, we created our final product. Very proudly, we had our academic poster, which people were invited to see as part of the Beveridge Festival. I felt proud of myself, I felt proud of my group, and I felt part of something bigger that had overcome the tumult and change I’ve experienced in my first year at LSE.

As the project had reached its finale, it makes me feel sentimental about taking part, and I will miss taking part in LSE Groups (until I possibly apply for the LSE Groups Summer Programme too.) However, its influence has stretched much more than several months, because it’s made me interested in what we can learn from social science methodology, and shaped what I want to pursue as a career later on in life, in the direction of a career that incorporates social research methods.

If anything though, LSE Groups was a great way of creating something meaningful, learning something new and making new friends. Taking part in LSE Groups was a highlight of this year – I highly and strongly recommend anyone to take part in it too.