My motto for 2021 is “take your dreams seriously.” As a first year university student in the middle of a pandemic, that is definitely easier said than done. Taking your dreams seriously is hard work.

Working from home has given me a lot of distractions that a classroom setting would have eliminated. Some have been positive – don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty happy to have a cup of tea and a biscuit alongside my lectures. But it’s difficult to keep focused. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in assignments that I don’t have the knowledge to complete. Other times, I feel like I’m going to be the world’s best audiologist in three years’ time.

I’ve always loved a challenge, and my goal for this academic year was to do something that put me out of my comfort zone, so here I am with the BAA!  I thought a blog post would be a great way to introduce myself but having read some of the other blogs on here, I feel a bit underqualified to be writing one. Seriously, read through some of the others – everyone has amazing illustrations which they compare to their experiences and they sound so motivational! I’ll try my best to compete.

Think of a relatable illustration Brooke… umm … – life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Actually, that was true of my experience. Jumping from GCSEs to A-levels was hard. I had no idea what my next step would be after college, but there was so much pressure to choose the ‘right’ subjects for whatever degree I chose. So, I went for a pretty mixed bag. I studied Biology, English Literature, Geography, and History (AS level). I thought it would be great to keep my options open and study the subjects I enjoyed.

When second year started, I had to open that box of chocolates and decide which one I was going to pick (this is such a good illustration, thanks Tom Hanks). I always knew I’d love a career involving helping people, whether it was a teacher, charity worker, or something in the medical field.

One day, I was scrolling aimlessly through social media and I saw a video of a baby hearing their parents for the first time after getting a hearing aid fitted. Something just seemed to click when I saw that video, and I knew that was the job I wanted.

So the research into audiology began. Between my college lectures, I undertook some work experience at my local hospital’s audiology department over a span of about three months. I applied to university by December 2019 and was offered a place in my first (and only) choice university.

Despite Covid-19 struggles, I have thoroughly enjoyed my university experience so far! From day one, I knew I’d made the right choice. Building on my previous knowledge from A-level, and being able to adapt and learn new skills has been such a positive for me. I feel so much more computer literate, which I think will prove to be an advantage in future and have also been fortunate enough to be able to continue with clinical placements, as scheduled.

I’m so excited to be a part of the Early Professionals Board with the BAA, and I can’t wait to get stuck in! For anyone reading who may be in a similar situation to me, or anyone who might just be curious into how a healthcare science degree is going in a pandemic, I’m excited to give some insight into the highs and lows of each year! Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, too, @audiologybee, to never miss an update. Life is like a box of chocolates, and so far it’s been pretty sweet.

Stay safe everyone!


Brooke James

Swansea University