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Bethany Corbett

Photography student

Bethany

Bethany Corbett

I had 3 unconditional offers for photography, and two conditional offers. I had chosen in the Midlands as my first choice after months of choosing between there and Suffolk. As I'm from Suffolk, there were a lot of pros to choosing that as my main choice but I felt like I wasn't pushing myself enough, and so I chose a university in the Midlands.

I prepped myself for months for living so far away thinking it would be fine. The plan was for my boyfriend and family to visit once every couple of months, and the thought of that was horrible but I wanted to put my education first. I arrived at my chosen university in September and instantly hated it. My mental health is really affected by my surroundings and I felt as if I was in a prison.

I stayed for four days and despite being in group chats for freshers, I felt so alone. Watching my parents and my boyfriend walk away from halls knowing I wasn't going to see these people I was so close to in months broke my heart. I cried for those 4 days and messaged my mum that I couldn't stay and I needed to be around those I love and who bring me comfort for my mental health, which had plummeted in those few days, and we sorted it out together.

Suffolk was almost my first choice so I knew it was the uni I wanted to attend. I live in Suffolk, all of my family is in Suffolk and so is my partner. For my mental health I needed to be close to these people. Luckily, Ipswich is still 45 minutes from home so I still have space from my parents and I don't feel stuck with them as such, but I can still visit home very 1-2 weeks.

Living in Ipswich still gives me that independence without being so far away. However, it wasn't just the distance. I stayed for the uni experience week one summer where we had taster sessions and really loved how the university is small. I was told that the Photography course never had more than 50 people in a year and that was comforting to know I'd be able to get lots of one-on-one help.

Going through clearing was far easier than I thought. I had to make my original university aware that I'd be quitting the course, and let Suffolk know I wanted to transfer. The process was super easy as I already had an unconditional offer previously and so I was more or less automatically accepted. A couple of phone calls and it was all sorted. I arranged a tenancy takeover so I could move into Athena and I was a student in Ipswich within a week or two.

Make sure you are sure about your choice, but if you are then go for it. Do what you know will make you happier. I knew I couldn't put my all into my work if my mental health was low, and so I knew I had to move. It's okay to change your mind late, and you'll make friends super easy once you're here!

Find out more about clearing