Blogs, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Studies

I’m off to university

Those of you that have been following my blogs regularly will know that over the past couple of years I have been attempting to take my life in a whole new direction. My passion and enthusiasm for writing has been the real drive behind this venture and since setting out I managed to gain both my Maths and English Language GCSE’s. The English one I was particularly proud of, having not barely just scraped through but passed with great aplomb.

The plan then was to move onto the ‘Access to Higher Education’ course that my college ran. This was to be a two year course that covered a wide range of modules in order to best prepare students for the challenges of studying at degree level. I did actually enrol and begin the course, but after a few weeks it became increasingly evident that I had made a mistake. The ‘Access’ course didn’t capture my attention or inspire me to want to continue learning in the way that I had hoped it would.

After discussing my feelings and my options with my tutor I made the tough but ultimately sensible decision to withdraw from the course. After all, there was little point wasting any more of my tutors or my own time on something that I had no investment in.

My tutor had suggested I speak to the programme leaders at my chosen universities to see whether they would be prepared to accept me without having completed the access course or without having any of the usually necessary A level qualifications.

So I registered to attend a virtual open day at my first choice of university where I attended a number of talks about my choice of degree. I also managed to speak to the course leader who, having listened to my situation, encouraged me to apply. Things felt positive at last.

I spent a good amount of time completing my application. Particularly my personal statement, which I really agonised over. Every example of a suitable personal statement I researched online appeared to be full of enthusiasm for classic literature and performance, something that I have very little interest in. In the end I decided that I should just write something that accurately reflected what I’m about and demonstrated my personal writing style.

A few weeks after submitting my application I received a request for some examples of my written work. So I put together a varied portfolio of pieces from my GCSE English course, several chapters of the novel I began writing last year, some examples of my mental health focused writing and a number of pieces that I have had published on Huffpost, Big Blagger and MNTL. Off they went and the waiting once again began.

Then out of the blue last week, I got the result that I had been hoping for.

I have been offered an unconditional place at the University of the West of England in Bristol to study Creative and Professional Writing this September!

To be honest I was absolutely gobsmacked to be begin with. The thought that I might be good enough to attend university is, to me anyway, really strange to comprehend. I know that I can write reasonably well, but at University level? Surely that’s beyond somebody like me who has never really achieved anything academically beyond a GCSE?

I guess my soon-to-be programme leader must have seen something amongst the pieces that I submitted. Whatever. The fact that an underachiever like me has managed to get into university makes me feel incredibly proud. Who knows where it might lead?

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