Fulfilling Study, Fulfilling Life...

 An underwater shot in New England Quarry as part of my dive training.

An underwater shot in New England Quarry as part of my dive training.

Choosing where to study for your degree is a hugely important decision!

“Does the university have a good reputation in my field? Do the students give good feedback on the teaching content? Am I capable of achieving the necessary UCAS points?”

This is enough of a mine-field, but on top of that we’re moving away from home and making a new start in a completely new place.

“Will I like the city? Is it safe? Can I make good friends here? Can I fill my time with new and exciting hobbies?”

Thankfully this was an easy decision for me (despite moving the length of the country… nearly!). I knew that Plymouth University would not just fulfil my study needs, but that I would also have a very fulfilling lifestyle here as a student. We can get so bogged down in making the best choice academically, but the lifestyle elements are just as important, if not more important than the study itself. I needed to know that I would feel at home here, relaxed enough to feel happy and content. As long as you have that, the study elements will fall right into place.

I came to Plymouth with a very close-minded outlook. I had decided before I arrived that I would “absolutely hate the city and the university”. I could not have been more wrong. I fell in love with the place as soon as we arrived.

I have studied at Plymouth University for just over 6 years now and I began this journey with a BSc in Ocean Science, arriving into halls on my birthday! As part of my undergraduate studies I trained as a commercial diver, fulfilling one of my modules in second year, and this was truly the highlight of my time here. As well as gaining a new qualification, working towards my degree and making lifelong friends through diving, I also gained a brilliant new hobby and the confidence to go with it.

 A sunset view over Plymouth Sound from the top of Plymouth's Mount Batten Tower. just a short ferry ride across the water.

A sunset view over Plymouth Sound from the top of Plymouth's Mount Batten Tower. just a short ferry ride across the water.

I had never lived so close to the sea before and was ecstatic to be able to make use of it for my studies and recreation. BBQs on the Hoe became a regular occurrence as the weather gets warmer (and in the winter if you’re brave – the view is just as spectacular). Plymouth University has the novelty of being close to the water and to the city centre, nothing is ever more than a 15 minute walk away.

It was important to me when choosing a university that the city was not too big. I came from a small town and didn’t want to get lost in all the hustle and bustle of a heaving city. Plymouth really fulfilled this for me, it had the best of both worlds. Plymouth offers plenty of space to breathe, but a good atmosphere when you crave it.

 An example of barnacle samples used in my master's work - a collaborative project with Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

An example of barnacle samples used in my master's work - a collaborative project with Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

For all you party goers out there, do not fear, Plymouth also fulfils this (although admittedly after 6 years of studying I rarely get the chance to utilise it anymore). My undergraduate memories are filled with the joy of drinks and dancing with friends at Plymouths selection of bars and clubs… the notorious ‘North Hill’ (shhh – they let you dance on the bar in Cuba!).

Plymouth soon became a home for me and 6 years have wizzed by! I can honestly say that I would not change a thing about my experience here, my study and personal life both filled to bursting.

I would love to write in another post about my postgraduate experiences studying MRes Marine Renewable Energy, so watch this space!