Sunday, 16 August 2015

BIG DECISIONS


Since I can remember I have always dreamt of going to the University of Sheffield to study Philosophy & Religion, so 3 days ago when I logged on to UCAS to discover my dreams had come true you would assume I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, this was not the case, as I read the words 'YOUR PLACE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD HAS BEEN CONFIRMED' I felt empty, a sense of dread and I could feel my eyes watering up. I was shocked and surprised by my reaction but I knew deep down the reason for this. Over the past few months I feel as though my life has finally fell in to place, I have never been this happy. I have the most amazing relationship and its taken me a long time to finally be able to feel content with how my life is going. Going from an anti-social anxious teen who would spend all her time locked in her room I have blossomed into a young lady who is now excited for each day, not to mention all my relationships whether it be with friends, family or my girlfriend have improved massively. And honestly I wasn't ready to leave all that behind. My insurance university was Liverpool Hope and over the past few months it has appealed to me more and more. I love Liverpool having spent every weekend there growing up as I have family who live there, I love the people, the city and the culture. The city is special to me because it also happens to be the place that me and my girlfriend started our relationship so even now thinking of us starting our future there seems fitting. Now conveniently my girlfriend is also going to a University in Liverpool and I would be lying if I said that this hasn't played a huge part in my decision that I will get to in a little while. Now I know straight away this is ringing alarm bells, I've already had the speech from numerous people that I shouldn't base my university choice on my relationship because no one can predict the future of what will happen. However, before my girlfriend made the decision to move to Liverpool in September, I was already doubting my happiness in Sheffield. People won't believe this and that's fine, I can't make them believe it and I can't reassure them that I'm making the best decision for me because if people don't wan't to listen they won't. All I know is that when I saw that Sheffield had confirmed my place, I pictured my self being in a new city that I've never even visited, on my own and being in halls with people that I don't feel comfortable with. Even little things began to annoy me, as silly as it sounds numerous times I Googled 'Good things about living in Sheffield' and after hours of scrolling none of it appealed to me, all I could think about was the endless list of reasons as to why I love Liverpool. How I see it is that I am happy, I'm the happiest I've ever been and I wasn't ready to give that up, happiness is the most important thing to me.Whilst authority figures were telling me I was silly to give up my place at such an amazing university, especially since it is 5th on the league table for my course, I couldn't help but roll my eyes because none of that mattered to me and when the only thing that appeals to you about a university is its place on a league table you know there's something seriously wrong. God all this rambling and I'm yet to even tell you my decision. 

Back to the morning of my results, I called my girlfriend upstairs and told her that I had got in. She put on a brave face and said 'congratulations' but even now she admits that she wanted to cry. The mood in the room wasn't happiness from either of us. She told me that we would work it out and that distance wouldn't break us, that she would find it hard but having started our relationship long distant we had experienced it before and we got through it then so we could do it for one more year. I felt like my world had come crashing down from feeling so happy and settled I now felt what I can only describe as chaotic. For months I had imagined us moving to a new city and starting our future together and now all that excitement was taken away. I felt restricted like I had no control over anything until I thought about it...why was I putting myself through this? I was paying £27,000 to be taught at a university that I didn't even want to go. I had forgotten that actually I had the control to choose where I was going. If that means in a few years time I regret this decision then so be it because at this current moment it feels so right. Now the inner snob in me developed, I wasn't going to give up a Russell Group/Red brick university to go to Liverpool Hope but Liverpool is where I wanted to go. So if I combined both my wants together, going to a Russell group University and being in Liverpool the clear answer was the University of Liverpool. In eagerness I went online and typed in my course on their website, 'no matches', all my excitement had once again vanished. After a few minutes of researching I found they actually did a Philosophy degree (remember I wanted to study Philosophy & Religion) I read the modules they covered and it sounded perfect for me, it made me eager. The only problem was I want to teach religious studies in a secondary school after uni and I was unsure as to whether I could do this with a Philosophy degree, I emailed my religious studies teacher who taught me both at secondary school and college and got her approval that in fact I could. Straight away I rang the University of Liverpool's clearing hotline wanting so badly to hear a Yes, I got excited but I couldn't help but fear for the worst. I was put through to the Professor of Philosophy, my hands shaking as he greeted me, I froze because all that I was concentrating on was his final decision...'I've just seen your grades from this morning, you did brilliantly. And so all I have to say is of course the answer is yes, I look forward to seeing you in September.' After moments of thanking him A LOT and probably sounding a little too eager. I got off the phone and jumped into the arms of my girlfriend, all my dreams had come true. I felt on top of the world. So as of September I will be a Philosophy student at the University of Liverpool.

Going through clearing is hard work and for anyone who has done it will agree, after months of setting everything in to place to move to a certain city and to then change your mind and have to re-apply for everything with only 3 weeks until you move is stressful. All this only happened on Friday so since then I have been on the phone constantly sorting things out, I also have a list of things I need to do tomorrow, thank god for weekend closing hours on University phone lines because if not I'm sure my weekend would have been consumed with endless calls. Along with all this I also had the decision of where it was I was going to live, was I going into student halls, a student house or even finding somewhere to live with my girlfriend. After a lot of talks and looking at our financial situation we decided that actually student halls were costing a ridiculous amount, £135 a week to live in one room and sharing a kitchen and bathroom with 8 other people just didn't seem reasonable. We worked out that actually if we put our money together that we would be spending on student halls it would surprisingly be cheaper for us to rent a flat together. Liverpool is a place that we both picture our future being, we both love Liverpool and can imagine even after university being here so getting on the property ladder now and trialling it wouldn't be such a bad idea. So we are currently flat hunting, gosh I never thought at 19 I would be saying that. We need to view a couple of places but we have a few places that we have fell in love with. We are working with a lovely estate agent who has found us a gorgeous studio flat, which is newly built and in the middle of the city centre. It also has a cinema, games room, gym and study room in the building which definitely appeals to us. Its so weird thinking in 3 weeks me and my girlfriend will be in a new place we can call our home. But as for now I need to get myself to Ikea and H&M and kit out our new place with some gorgeous home d├ęcor, no matter where we end up living. To conclude all I have to say is...I'm happy, I'm so happy.  

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