Science and health always fascinated me and that originally led me to study Biochemistry as a first degree. The realization that Biochemistry wasn’t the career path for me was disappointing and confusing at first, in fact for a very long time, I wasn’t sure what career path was meant for me. But one thing I was sure of was that I was not proud of my hearing and from a very early age, I always wondered if there was something I could use to enhance my hearing. I would always think that if people with eye problem could wear glasses, then there should be something people with hearing loss could use as well. My father was the one who introduced me to the world of Audiology and what an Audiologist does. I began to research on the course, and I said to myself “this is the career path for me”. A visit to the Audiologist for my hearing assessment and hearing aids a few years back solidified my interest in studying Audiology.

Studying Audiology is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because not only am I studying a course that I’m passionate about, there’s also this feeling that comes with helping other people. I’m six months into studying this course and it’s been amazing and overwhelming at the same time. I’ve learnt a lot over the past six months and my favourite is the practical sessions, going into the lab and carrying out hearing assessments, my course mates and I taking turn assessing each other’s ears, it’s been amazing! Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, classes have been online, and it’s been great to some extent for me because I can always rewind and re-watch the recorded videos if I missed what the lecturer said.

Being miles away from my family has been very difficult especially in such unprecedented times. I get homesick sometimes but hearing their voices everyday when we call each other makes me very happy. My journey so far at the University of Southampton has been an exciting one, although, my first few weeks was not very easy, getting to know my way around, settling down etc but looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I learnt a lot and it’s all part of my experiences now.

Hearing is often taken for granted, yet problems with hearing can be severely detrimental to a person’s entire life. While on taster placement, it was fascinating to observe the Audiologist in both adult and paediatric department, as well as interviewing and assessing the patients. As someone who uses hearing aids myself, I want nothing more than to make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve had a great experience so far and I’m proud of how far I’ve come, I also can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me as an Audiologist.

Rabiat Garba

University of Southampton