So if you’re reading this and you’re getting your A-level results today and thinking about university, good luck and congratulations! University will be a time in your life where you really do discover who you are and what you want in life. Before I go all philosophical on you guys, let me share a bit about my university experience.
This time, two years ago, I was at my college getting my A-level results at 8am praying I’d got into my first choice uni, Salford. When I got my results, I started to panic. I needed 3 B’s for Salford, I’d only got 3 C’s. A teacher pulled me aside and helped me to calm down and told me to log onto the UCAS website. I have never felt so relieved to see that Salford had accepted me! I could’ve hugged that teacher! I was also waiting for a friend to get their results for the same university as me but they’d done a lot worse and didn’t get onto the course that they wanted to. Instead, Salford had offered them another course option and he knew he just had to accept it.
So for the last weeks of August, I finished my job and bought everything I needed to move into student accommodation. Move-in day consisted of my mum, dad and I transporting a million boxes from Hull to Salford in a lovely road trip. My parents were staying in Salford overnight at a local B&B so we could go gather any other bits and bobs I needed for my room/kitchen.
My first night at uni was far from good. I was knackered from travelling all day so wanted an early night. I’d found that a couple of girls who I’d been chatting to on Facebook actually lived in the flat opposite mine but we were all too tired that night to do anything. However, my flatmate decided to have a huge party and made noise all night long. My bedroom was opposite the kitchen and next to the front door so not ideal at all. She also left the kitchen in a right state and I refused to clean up after someone else’s mess.
The second night wasn’t much better. My friend from home finally arrived and we spent the night hanging out in my kitchen with another flatmate and a few of his friends. Then he invited more and they invited their friends and soon enough there were about 40 people stuffed into my kitchen. I get really bad anxiety and don’t really like hanging out with people I don’t know very well so I ended up going back to my room and crying myself to sleep. I hated feeling like this and knew there was only one option- I had to go home.
The following morning, a tearful Sian rang her dad who took the day off work to come and pick me up. Many people had a huge go at me for not sticking it out but at the end of the day, I left before I’d even registered on my course so someone could easily have my place on it. I really wanted to my Journalism course but knew that if I didn’t leave then, I’d leave at some point anyway.
So the day after I got home, I was just thinking about my options and realised it was either finding a full-time job or going to my local uni. It wasn’t ideal but I rang up Hull Uni and they offered me a place on their Business course straight away.
Now I’m getting ready to go into my final year in September but think I may have made the wrong decision. After starting the Business course, I discovered some college courses that offer journalism. However seeing as I’ve nearly finished my degree, I might as well finish and then start a journalism programme.
My point is that if you don’t get into your first choice uni, it’s okay. If you do and you hate it, it’s okay. Over the past few years, I’ve realised that it’s okay to quit if it’s going to make you happier. If I didn’t quit uni the first time around, I’d either be stuck in Salford still, probably unhappy or I’d be at home probably still wondering what to do with my life. Now I’m very fortunate to be at uni, have a part-time job, I have an amazing boyfriend, family and friends and finally I have a plan for my life.
For those of you who think you have to go to uni, you really don’t. For most careers, there are other options that don’t have to involve going to university. And if you want to wait to go to uni, then wait. There’s nothing wrong with taking a year out to discover what you really want to achieve in life or a few years. Careers don’t always have to start in your twenties; look at how many people change careers later in life. So what I’m saying is make sure you do what you want or you won’t feel satisfied or happy.