Where did you grow up?
What did you study in higher education?
English Literature at the University of Glasgow.
Why did you decide on this subject?
It had always been at the back of my mind that I wanted to go to university, but by sixth form, where I was studying A Levels in English Literature, History and Philosophy and Ethics, I was still chopping and changing my mind about what sort of job I’d like to have. I always loved English at school so it seemed like the natural choice.
Has your career / education taken any unexpected turns?
I was worried about studying something that didn’t set up a clear career path, and about whether I’d be able to afford university. I went to Newcastle University’s Open Day with school (mainly so I could have the day off) and then to Manchester with my friends, and although I loved the cities, the courses just didn’t feel right for me. What I really got out of the Open Days was the realisation that I definitely did want to go to university – getting a glimpse into what student life would be like made up my mind, and the talks on student finance stopped me from worrying quite so much about money. In the end, I chose my five UCAS choices by weighing up which cities I thought I’d like to live in and how matched to my interests their English courses were. I got an offer from the University of Glasgow first, so went to their Applicant Visit Day, where I fell in love with the city, the university and the people. Coming home on the train, I knew that my decision had been made for me.
My time at university wasn’t always smooth, and on more than one occasion I considered dropping out. I had applied to study a joint honours degree in English Literature and English Language, but almost immediately after I started the course I realised that English Language just wasn’t for me. I was struggling to motivate myself and found myself falling behind, and I also found that I was really homesick. I also had a difficult time with student finance, and spent my first few months constantly worrying about whether I could afford to stay, until the issue was eventually resolved.
Thankfully, Glasgow is very flexible in its degree structure, so I swapped to a single honours degree in English Literature, finding my passion. I became an editor on the student paper, took on work experience I’d never have dreamed of, enjoyed Glasgow’s night life, made friends I know I’ll have for life, and a place to call a second home. The experience was far from a smooth one, and was a completely different experience to the one I’d expected, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change it for the world.