I wont shy away from the fact that prior to my UCAS application, Plymouth was not my first choice. Many of my friends had their eyes set on larger city campuses far away from home, with some even considering university abroad! At the time I feared that staying locally in the South West would confine me, and that there would be more opportunities in the bigger central cities (particularly in the increasingly competitive field of law). As you can guess from the fact I am writing this post, my misconceptions of Plymouth not ‘stretching my limits enough’ were quickly eradicated and now I cannot imagine myself being anywhere else!
The biggest turning point for me was definitely an Open Day I attended. My tutor at college always told me that when I step foot into a university I’ll know within minutes whether it was ‘the one for me’, which at the time I brushed off as one of those nonsense ‘meant-to-be-inspirational’ comments that teachers make, the type that you’d see plastered all over the walls of the careers adviser’s office. Yet merely after registering in the Roland Levinsky building and having a coffee with my dad (he’s the type to always arrive to any event super early so we were one of the only applicants there!), I knew that Plymouth was ‘that place’ even though the day had barely begun. Despite the drizzly grey sky of a January morning, the vibe was lively and bright; student ambassadors drenched in their raincoats were still full of smiles and eager to help my clueless self navigate around campus using our now damp map.
The Law course also attracted me to Plymouth. Having elective modules allows me to narrow my studies, so my degree is personal to me. Additionally, the student Law Society seemed appealing – membership allowed me to take part in debating, negotiating and client interviewing, all of which would advance legal skills such as public speaking. Since joining Plymouth, I have signed up for all of these competitions (so keep posted for blog posts on those!)
Aside from the university, Plymouth is a truly gorgeous place. The compactness of the city creates a perfect contrast; one minute you’re in the hustle-bustle of a city centre, a two minute walk later you find yourself in the serenity of the Hoe, it doesn’t feel like you’re in the same place!
As mentioned, my main worry with Plymouth was whether being so close to home would restrict my independence. I’ve always lived in a little town all my life, and vast change has always daunted me – until I was 12 I was convinced I’d never ever leave home! For me, the 70 miles between my new life and Plymouth and what I’d always known was a comfortable distance; I was free, yet knew that a few short train journeys and I could be with my family and friends. When considering university, I should not have underestimated the opportunities available in Plymouth; it is a city truly blooming with chances for me to prosper both at university and in my future.