It’s never easy having to open that brown envelope, mid-August after two years of hard work throughout an intensive A-level programme, with the expectations of your teachers, family and friends burdened upon you. I’m a type-A neurotic, who always places a huge amount of pressure upon myself in all aspects of my life, even more so in my academic career. With the prediction of AAA and a place secured at UCL, where my Mum went to university, I had never felt the pressure like I did now. When I logged into UCAS on that terrifying Thursday of August 2013 and was greeted with:
I was stunned. Not even for the reasons you’d expect, I was genuinely happy. At that moment in time, one of the first times ever, I didn’t actually care what letters were in that brown envelope awaiting me in college; I had gotten into a university I actually really liked. People always think I’m lying when I say it, but it’s true. I had secured a place at a Russell Group university, joint first for research with Oxbridge, located in the East End of London where I am initially from; in a really odd and horribly cliched sense, I was going home!
However, the reaction from my teachers and peers was one of disbelief. Each person I spoke to on that day made me feel like I hadn’t succeeded when, in reality, I was on top of the world.
For some of you this will be your reality. You would’ve discovered today that you were going to QMUL as an insurance student or through clearing. People will begin to doubt your choice, you might even begin to doubt it! All I can say is please don’t! I’ve honestly had the best year of my life. QM is such a fantastic university and the geography department is so friendly and supportive; you’ll fit in right away! The friends you’ll make in your first year, not only within the department, but throughout every aspect of your QM life will soon become your closest friends! By the end of the year you’ll be huddled with them at the last ever drapers of the year, your last as a “fresher”, wondering how did Mondays and Wednesdays become such an essential part of your social calendar and why you didn’t appreciate it more in the first semester.