Nikos Papanikolaou

"When I entered the room, I saw people of different ages, nationalities, backgrounds. I saw a room full of colour."

The real London

"For me, London Metropolitan University is the place where I have regained my self esteem. It is the place where I’ve met some great people who I consider friends."

The real London

"It's an environment where I feel comfortable, safe and respected. It's a place where I’ve met people who have faith in me, and that drives me to become better and better."

The real London

"When I grow old, I want to be able to look back and be happy about what I've achieved through my career."

The real London

Nikos Papanikolaou

My name is Nikos and I'm from Greece. I grew up in a suburb south of Athens called Alimos. Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a passion for writing. I still remember my teachers telling my mother about the quality of my essays, so I consider myself one of the lucky people who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up. And what I wanted to do is to become a journalist. This is why I’ve decided to study journalism at London Metropolitan University.

Outside of University, I would say that I'm a quiet guy. I really like cooking; I think it's a way to take my stress away. When I'm cooking, I also have some series I'm watching at the same time, such as Friends and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The reason I'm watching these series is that they give me a feeling of comfort after a stressful day. As they say, there's comfort food and comfort TV. I try to combine both and somehow it works. I also love travelling, watching football, going to concerts (in overdraft we trust) and listening to music (or just The National to be honest). 

My biggest passion in life is writing. I can't really determine when it started or how it started. I think it probably happened when I was a kid (nerd!). I always found it easier to express myself through the written word. I believe words have this magic power of capturing feelings and moments. Words are staying, through time... to remind you of moments. What else can last through time as good as words, eh?

My passion for writing is to tell stories worth being told. When I grow old, I want to be able to look back and be happy about what I've achieved through my career. I want to leave my mark in the field called journalism. I want to look back and be proud of my work, my achievements. "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one", as John Lennon once sang. At the end of the day, as long as we are in the game, we owe it to ourselves to keep trying to become better, day by day. 

Like most students, I decided to visit the University on one of its open days. I was not sure if I wanted to study. You see, I'm older than most students, and I always thought that studying had an expiry date. When I entered the room, I saw people of different ages, nationalities, backgrounds. I saw a room full of colour. I saw people who have grandkids, being there because they wanted to study.

I sat down with Professor Simon Cadman and we had a fantastic chat. I still remember that Simon never treated me as a customer. He had a genuine interest in me, my background, my experiences. I felt appreciated; I felt welcome. I felt sure that if I were going to study, London Metropolitan University would be the place where I would go to do it. Two years later, there has never been a moment to regret my decision. 

The proudest moment of my life was last June when I got my grades. It was an exhausting period where I had to spend tens of hours in the library trying to finish with my assessments. At the same time, I had a morning job, where I had to wake up at 4am every single day. The combination of studying and working, it was mentally and physically challenging. However, when I got my grades, they were great. That was the moment when I felt really proud of myself. Despite my hectic schedule, I was there doing my very best, achieving things I never imagined I could make. I would never be able to do that without the support of the people who truly believed in me, even when I stopped believing in myself.

For me, London Metropolitan University is the place where I have regained my self esteem. It is the place where I’ve met some great people who I consider friends. People who share difficulties, struggles, disappointments. Situations that brought us together. I met lecturers who believe in me and keep pushing me to achieve the very best of me. It's an environment where I feel comfortable, safe and respected. It's a place where I’ve met people who have faith in me, and that drives me to become better and better.

Diversity is one of the main reasons I chose London Metropolitan University. It's a place where all have equal opportunities, despite your nationality, your religion, your sexual orientation. It's a place where we respect each other, a place where staff and students have formed a big colourful family. We live in a diverse city, and universities should be no different than that. I love being part of this environment. Being a student rep and representing all of my fellow students, sharing their concerns, being happy with their achievements – it's something that only someone who studies at London Metropolitan University can fully understand. It's a lifetime experience. 

London Met graduate Nikos Papanikolaou

"Being a student rep and representing all of my fellow students, sharing their concerns, being happy with their achievements. It's something that only someone who studies at London Metropolitan University can fully understand. It's a lifetime experience."

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