Why did you come to Leeds?
I chose Leeds because it's a good university for Law. I wanted to stay at home for family reasons, but I still wanted to go to a university that would set me off on my career - I was concerned about the university and its status. Before I arrived staff from the University came to school to talk about the Access to Leeds and Pathways to Law schemes.
I got to meet some of the lecturers and to sit in a pretend lecture so I got a head start and felt more connected. I chose it more than just because it was local; it was really friendly and the tutors seemed to care more about the students. The effort they put in convinced me to come here.
Tell us about the funding
The staff were really helpful. They tell you about scholarships and other financial aid you might get. It's not all about debt if you're wise; there is help out there. The support from Leeds was good because you could talk to someone which was better than being surrounded by 6 prospectuses trying to work out if you could survive financially, on your own.
How do manage your money?
I get £3,000 scholarship a year. I have two bank accounts which are for my living expenses to pay bills and my "play money". It's easier to keep it separate so I'm not tempted to just take £10 out every now and then. So when my "play money" runs out - it's gone. It's not confused with everything else.
I've got a yearly bus pass which is cheaper than a day rider; I make a packed lunch each day and I worked over the summer and saved money.
How do you juggle part time work and Uni?
I have a part time job in term time. I work 8 hours at Hobbs in Leeds and I split my wages between going out and buying books. I find it ok - I can work early at the weekends, and then relax in the evenings. You've got to balance things so you have fun.
Are there other costs?
Because I live at home, food is my biggest cost (but it could be accommodation). When you first join the University, societies are a focus for your social life, but it can be expensive so look for bargains; join the gym on campus and go out on student nights when it's cheaper. You need to budget over the summer because when you're at home you can save money for books for the next year which is a big chunk no matter what subject you do.
What advice can you offer to students?
Get a part time job; be wise; get a pizza with friends at home occasionally. I've been able to enjoy myself but I won't have a huge debt at the end of my studies. You need to do some research about what funding is available and don't treat it as free money; understand what you have to pay back.
I didn't get an overdraft and I'd advise students not to because you're playing with money that isn't yours. At the end you have to pay it back with high interest charges and you'll end up working for very little. I want to leave a happy person with a great degree and know that when I get a £30,000 job I can buy a new car and I'll know it's all mine!