I had originally planned to attend Stirling University back in December when I submitted my application! I had even drove out to visit the campus (which although nice, had a rather humdrum atmosphere). I had it planned. Coming from my HND, I would go to Stirling – straight in to 3rd year and leave university with an honours degree in two years time.
Yet here I am now, having just made the conscience decision to go back to year one at the University of Glasgow. I know on paper that it doesn’t sound like sound investment, given that I had received 5/5 offers from the universities I’d applied to, but for me, it’s just right.
Originally, my advice to anyone from my college who wanted to go backwards study wise, was that they were mental. Why work hard for two years (don’t under-estimate how intense college can be sometimes!), to essentially throw it away and go back to the start? For me, it didn’t make sense. I now see what benefits can be had from doing this, and more importantly, how they outweigh those benefits of going in to a university at Year 3.
Maybe I ruled out going back initially because the people who were set on going back were doing it purely for the reputation of the university. They were dead set on how employers looked at your university before anything else and that your university alone will make or break you career wise. Of course, this isn’t true. I do believe the university you attend does play some part (i.e. it could grab the interviewers attention) – but I disagree that at interview, your incompetence/flaws will be overlooked because of what uni you attended. It’s simply mad to think along those lines.
I took a lot of things in to consideration before making my decision. The main one being; what course is better for me? Glasgow seemed miles a head. The opportunity to partake in the ‘Small Business Placement’ – where you go into a small business, carry out a SWOT analysis and identify areas for improvement/implement change was one module that swung the whole decision for me. Another being classes like ‘Art of Influencing’ – who wouldn’t be intrigued by that! I also looked at the student facilities, again, Glasgow seemed the best. Boasting two student unions, countless societies and a gym membership (including: gym, sauna, swimming, tennis, squash, clubs/classes) for the grand total of £50 per year. There were other things to consider too; like staying 10 minutes away from the campus and the overall student experience.
But my favourite part about effectively going back 2 years, the thing that makes it all seem worth it – ERASMUS. The opportunity to study abroad. Of course, going in to third year at any other university, I would be giving up this chance. But if I go back to Glasgow, I can follow through with it. It’s always been a dream of mine to explore Europe (too cheesy? I think so too). With the student exchange programme – ERASMUS, I can do it while I study! Who needs a gap year anyway?! I’ve researched heavily in to this (well, I’ve emailed a couple of foreign universities) and I could be eligible to do this in Year 2! So that’s what I’ll spend my first year at uni working towards, I’ll then come back and continue to do years 3&4, gaining my honours degree and branching out to the big wide world!
That’s the plan anyway… Watch this space!