Around Summer 2015, I was asked to write a short piece about why I picked my university, Manchester Metropolitan, where I started studying in September 2014. It’s strange to look back at it now, another year on. I feel as if some force has stuck the accelerator on full pelt and I’m holding on for my dear life. It’s also equally as strange to think that in this short period of time again, I will be graduating and (hopefully) have a science degree. But here you go, here’s a quick little read into my 18 year old’s perception of uni (in just a few hundred words of course).
(p.s. this picture here was on my very first day moving into university! How embarassingly cute!)
“I think the main thing I’ve learnt from university is how big and diverse the world really is. It’s okay to be different – quoting Dr Seuss, “You have to be odd to be number one”.
One year ago, I embarked on the biggest rollercoaster adventure of my life to date: university.
Expectation: Lots of studying. Long, hard hours in lecture theatres with lecturers secretly performing sleep hypnosis. All – nighters fuelled by Tesco value coffee trying to finish the ever ongoing list of assignments. 18 year olds everywhere. The odd night out or two.
Reality: well…. that — but so much more.
Studying Nutritional Sciences is one of the best things I have ever done. My love of food and nutrition throughout school was always thought to be a bit strange by others and when I decided not to apply to a Russell Group University like all my other friends, I think I caused a little bit of a stir.
My course is so unique – it’s not just about endless lectures and the amount of 52p jotters you can fill in a semester. We get endless hands on experiences, lab work and practical sessions, as well as getting to explore the city with many events and workshops that are available. We even get to bake the odd loaf of bread or two… or forty in the case of one of our seminars!
Of course, not everything is for you (I once slept… sorry sat in a two hour presentation about protein levels of insects), but you get to choose and shape to how you want to learn, something I found so different and liberating from school and a-levels. I also found not everyone is a school leaver and have a different story to tell. A large proportion of my course are mature students – one of the most intelligent and passionate women on my course worked in bank for thirty years prior to becoming a student. And they are all equally friendly and passionate – they were even the ring leaders of organising the end of exam pub trips!
To me, university is an opportunity like no other: not only is it just delving into the big wide world for the very first time without the safety net of mom and dad, but it’s your first home away from home. You get to learn for something your passionate about, but also learn about the world (as cliché as that might sound). Living with 9 other flatmates can at first seem daunting, but everyone’s in the same boat as you. If there’s one time you just hold your breath and make the plunge then university is it. And next thing you know, you’ll be participating in endless glitter parties, having trolley races against the flats on the floor below and strolling down the main road to fetch pizza in giraffe onesies.
My course and university have given me confidence and passion that I never had during my time at school. At school I was just another name in the system and my grades were just another letter in the statistics, but at university, I am a person. You don’t have to conform to what everyone else wants to do, you do what is right for you and what you enjoy.
Two years ago I was a shy, lost, 16 year old studying subjects that did not interest me with my passions not accepted by others. Two years on, I have just finished my first year at university in a city I adore, with heaps of confidence and experiences on my back and a lot more to gain on my journey of pursuing my dreams and ambitions in the dietetics and nutrition industry.”