Graduate Stories | Angelika Napierała

Angelika Napierala, a Sports and Dance Therapy graduate, shares her story and reflects upon her time at London Met

Date: 02 September 2019

From a difficult start to studying at London Met, all the way through to graduating with First class degree, Angelika Napierala tells us her university story.

More than 1300 London Met students gathered at the Barbican, London, for their graduation ceremonies earlier this week. In our Graduate Stories series, we share a selection of their stories and find out what they plan to do next.

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Before moving to London for my studies I lived with my parents in a small, lovely town called Gniezno in Poland. Although growing up there really helped shape me into the person I am today, there are not many opportunities for people with my passion and personality - which is to say, people who love dance and are over-energetic.

‘More than a dream come true’

My life was very much focused on dancing. I mainly danced urban styles, like hip-hop and house, but also danced contemporary styles.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been in love with dance, movement and human anatomy, especially in terms of how the body functions when dancing. My parents had hopes of me pursuing medical-related courses at university but, after researching courses in Europe, I found out about the Sports and Dance Therapy at London Metropolitan University.

To find a course which combined all of my biggest passions was more than a dream come true, and I applied straight away.

‘Changed for the better’

I have felt constantly supported during my studies, especially during my last, crucial year. I had Karl Grainger, a lecturer in Sports Science, as a supervisor for my final project and through his guidance, my perspective on research, and what it takes to do well, was changed for the better.

‘Keep on pushing and not give up’

However, when I first started at London Met I found life quite challenging, given that I come from a non-English speaking background - which made my first anatomy lecture very terrifying.

I actually visited the Student Hub to talk about withdrawing from the course, just to give myself some time to settle in life in the UK and improve my English. But, an amazing friend I made, Rashae Peart, convinced me to keep on pushing and not give up. After that, I became more familiar with the lecturers and modules, and everything began to feel much more enjoyable.

Now that I’ve graduated, with first-class honours, I hope to do a master’s in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Queen Mary University, but I will need to obtain at least one year of clinical experience. I’m really excited to get out into the world of work and put my new skills into practice.