I left school and started working in admin for a GP, and I knew that I wanted to do something other than that. My parents had gone to university, and it was more that I wanted to go, but it was more a question of when. I didn’t do any A Levels, so I wanted to see how I could get to uni without any A Levels. I did a course with the Open University and contacted the University shortly after.
I applied to a few universities locally and I wanted to walk to university, so because I live in Ipswich, that’s so much easier. It also worked out better financially, as I wouldn’t have had to get the train. I contacted the University here, as I wanted to know what support I could get because I only have 25% vision.
I met the support services here and they seemed really proactive in trying to help me out, even though I wasn’t officially coming here at that point. The University also put me in contact with the course leader, and she invited me to an interview after chatting to me on the phone, and it all went really smoothly, so I accepted a place in early August.
I was so impressed by the Student Support team when I visited. There’s also only 20 people in my cohort, so you get to know people a lot better and you get a lot more contact time with your lecturers. We get 12 contact hours a week, which is quite a lot, as other universities that I looked at only had about 8 or 9.
I remember the Clearing process being really straightforward. I just phoned up and after a few questions, they put me through to the course leader. It was really easy and switching my finance to here was really easy too.
The smaller class sizes are a highlight for me. I've met lots of people, also through being a Student Ambassador which I’ve really enjoyed doing. At the open day I went to, I never thought I’d be confident enough to be a Student Ambassador, but I’m quite happy to do that now.
My advice is to be open minded about what course you want to do. I was considering a few different courses when I applied. The lecturers are happy to chat about what you want to do. Make sure you visit, if you don’t visit, you won’t know what to expect.
Sometimes people see Clearing as a negative thing, but it’s not! It might be that you didn’t get into your chosen University, you have changed your mind or things might not go to plan.