Harriet Lyon, 18, from North Yorkshire, has recently moved from the farm in Malton, North Yorkshire, to attend the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
We will follow her over the course of the year to see what life as an agricultural student is like.
I am now nicely settled in, fresher activities have calmed down and the normality of lectures and tests has come to the forefront, reminding me university is not a holiday. I particularly enjoyed visiting a local estate for a tour with its land agent.
Being a student has its challenges for definite, from time management to homesickness. For me, however, as lovely as it is, the Royal Agricultural University is not home and sometimes it feels like you are in more of a bubble than the real world. There is a lot of talk about encouraging good mental health at university, and I have found the odd lift back to Yorkshire has been a real tonic. Simple things like riding my horse, sitting on my boyfriend’s tractor and chatting away, as well as catching up with old friends at a YFC ‘do’ have been a real boost. There are a lot of overseas students too – I am in awe at how they manage being so far away from home.
It was also good to be at home to talk my course wobbles through with my mother. There is quite a bit of math’s involved in my course, which is not my strong point. I chose this degree because I had really enjoyed work experience at Ruswarp Livestock Market, near Whitby, but the course seems a million miles away from the banter and characters of the mart. So, I have been wondering whether a business degree would suit me better.
I have always been entrepreneurial minded. Aged eight, I started an egg delivery business called Harriet’s Happy Hens.
The journey back from my last journey home ended up being rather eventful to say the least. A broken-down car left myself and the two Yorkshire pals I had shared a lift with stranded near Sheffield. We laughed the unlucky situation off well, however, it did mean I missed an important module test. But that is what is good about university - you do not get told off, it is just a question of being upfront when things go wrong.
Now back at university, I have spoken up about my course worries. There was plenty of support available and lots of staff happy to talk things through. I have got a particularly helpful personal tutor. I might sit in a business lecture and will look more closely at my course modules to see if the valuation math’s will ever end. There is lots to look forward to and I am really enjoying being on the hockey team.
And by the way, I have finally learnt how to use the washing machine. It cost £3 and you needed to be a brain surgeon - never mind a wannabe land agent - to be able to work the app.