The journey leading up to my results day was far from conventional; being from a high achieving grammar school in Plymouth, my teachers had their hearts set on me going to a Russell Group university to study a STEM subject. Of course, not all of them were like this, but it was generally seen as questionable to not be reaching for these kind of goals. My initial application to university was actually placed in the aim to study Chemistry BSc at Cardiff University.
Funnily enough, during my final year of sixth form, I despised Chemistry. I couldn't do it for the life of me – my old teacher had relocated, thus I was left without my trusted tutor. This was a good thing, because it made me realise that I wouldn't have someone to hold my hand through a Chemistry degree. University is all about independent learning, so I knew deep down that it was always going to be off the cards. Despite being an anxiety filled high achiever, I entered the exam hall laughing because I knew absolutely none of the content, nor did I care, because all passion had died inside of me. As hard as I tried, myself and Chemistry just didn't click. It wasn't a match made in heaven after all.
This prompted my friends to ask me; 'so, what are you going to do with yourself?' After an incredibly intense secondary school education and sixth form experience, I was well and truly burnt out. 'I don't know, I'm sure I'll figure out something.' This was very disturbing for the people around me; I was always the girl with the plan, I always had to have my ducks in a row.
Initially, I was going to have a gap year, but I knew that my part time job in fast food would have sent me right over the edge. Unless I really thrive at something, I can't stay motivated for longer than 10 months or so. So naturally, that was also out of the question. 'What do I enjoy? What am I good at?' These are the questions I asked myself over and over. It took me a surprisingly long time to face the answer right in front of my face – English Literature.
I was an incredibly creative child, always making things and having my head buried deep inside a book. It was a subject I was so naturally talented at during my school years, so it made complete sense. After looking at a few courses, I found exactly what I was looking for – at home! Plymouth had the perfect course for me, with lots of 18th and 19th century literature, complemented by many additional exciting modules. The choice of trips and setting was also really enticing, not to mention I was completely in love with the sports and societies on offer. As I'd selected Plymouth University as my insurance choice anyway, I made an appointment with the head of the English Department, who was happily convinced of my dedication to the subject. I contacted UCAS, who contacted the university, which resulted in my first choice being English Literature BA (Hons) at Plymouth University.
Results day came, and I no longer cared what my results were; only that I got into Plymouth. I checked my UCAS status, and I'd been accepted! It was a great day. Even better, I actually achieved A*AC in my A Levels; funnily enough, the A* was in English Literature, and the C in Chemistry.
This was just the start of an incredible journey with Plymouth University. Because of this university, my passion for learning has been reignited in a whole new way; I've learnt how to sail, become so proficient in writing that I've been able to write for a myriad of magazines, newspapers; even creating my very own publication, and I've received a full scholarship to study in Spain for the summer, all expenses covered. I've gone from an apathetic, burnt out grammar school kid to a thriving young adult. Plymouth University can do this for you too – if you want it to!