Telephone Campaign – A touch of déjà vu

Telephone Campaign 2017 room

By Katie B, 2017 caller

I’m a fourth year MMLer and I’m taking part in the Telephone Campaign this year as a returning caller, having first worked on it as a fresher, and I have been hoping I would be very confident picking up the phone again. I remember in first year I was quite intimidated by the older students working on the Campaign, they seemed to know exactly what they were doing and had a much greater wealth of experiences at Trinity Hall to draw form, and more of an idea where they would be headed after graduation; what sort of career they’d be pursuing; which alum’s path they might be following. It was with this in mind that I felt enthusiastic to face the challenge again, and I’m glad I chose to do so.

It definitely hasn’t been as scary as first year, though not knowing the outcome of each number dialled continues to be a little tense. I’m always hoping to get to know the person on the end of the phone, and hear some intriguing stories of their time at College, and if they are able to support the College that’s an added bonus. Not everyone realises how much money Trinity Hall needs to raise to continue supporting all of its students, and I personally think it’s something that current students need to be made more aware of. Many assume because we are already paying such high tuition fees then everything should be covered! This isn’t the case and besides that, College needs to be able to better support its students that may struggle financially. I think that is the most important aim of the Telephone Campaign, to raise money for student support. I received a bursary in first and second year, so I know how essential they are for students who may otherwise struggle with money. College life here is so busy and demanding, if I had been worrying about money it would have detracted hugely from my experience. With the financial help of the College, we can instead focus on studying and making the most of our time at Trinity Hall through extra-curricular activities and the like. Since I received my bursary, the government has cut maintenance loans, so students need even more support! This issue really needs to be expressed to current and previous students alike, so that we can raise more support for the cause.

It’s been three years since I last took part in the Telephone Campaign, and it’s quite a nostalgic trip to look back over that time, from first year to fourth year at Trinity Hall. In first year, a four year degree (with a year abroad as third year) seemed like it would last forever, of course it’s gone by so quickly. I spent my year abroad in Barcelona and Colombia, desperately trying to improve my Spanish but also just having an amazing time, enjoying a year off from studying and English weather. I’m always eager to talked to ex-MMLers about their years abroad and whether they went off again after they graduated. I’m currently torn between staying in the UK and getting a ‘proper’ job next year, or heading back to Europe for more ‘language practice’. I’m also interested in finding out from alumni what they think of postgraduate study, whether that’s something that has contributed to their career, or if they think it’s unnecessary. Any advice I get is much appreciated and I look forward to asking you about your careers and where life has taken you since your Tit Hall days!