July 24, 2017, by Guest Blogger

My last summer – Adnaan’s story

As I anticipate my final results day, which ultimately determines whether I graduate as a chemical engineer, I can’t help but think back to the start of this journey: A level Results Day 2012.

I remember the whole UCAS process: personal statements, degree choices, university league table rankings, the “student satisfaction” tab for each … as I am sure most of you already know. I was able to decide on my course after my work experience within an international company – which is something I highly recommend all students pursue if possible.

For me, there was only one choice: University of Manchester.

Everything about it made me excited; the vibrant city, the home of Manchester United Football Club and the sheer size of the place. I attended several open days, spoke to family and friends, discussed with employers and, as a result, chose to put Manchester as my firm choice, while letting my dad decide on the insurance (I was simply set on Manchester or nothing at the time).

My dad decided on Nottingham as a back-up, as it offers a similar course, ranks equally as high and would fit my personality more.

As results day approached, I started getting very nervous about the prospect of missing my grades and ultimately missing out on a great university experience. I started regretting not researching more universities and keeping an open mind. My dad suggested visiting Nottingham (he was quite eager) and even offered to let me drive up – how could I say no to that?!

Even now I still remember entering the university via East Drive.

I was greeted by the “Beasts of UoN” – the campus geese crossing the roads. Driving further in, the entire campus was filled with havens of large green fields and even had its very own lake with rowing boats. I couldn’t fathom the scale of the university grounds and found this overwhelming.

I later learned that UoN is ranked number 1 as the most sustainable university in the world! There was a real sense of community about Nottingham on a grand, diverse scale, with campuses in China and Malaysia, developing a truly integrated international student experience.

This felt like home.

RESULTS DAY! I saw my results and had achieved the grades to attend Manchester – I was over the moon! But I started to think very seriously about the prospect of Nottingham instead. The idea of studying in a large campus environment, with options to study at the Malaysia Campus and excellent industry links.

I took this opportunity! Five years later I look back with no regrets for making the best decision of my life by turning down my dream for a better one.

If I had to give myself advice five years ago awaiting results, then I would say the following:

  • Don’t stress! – You not getting what you want might be the best thing for you.
  • Take life as it comes, and with a pinch of salt – Make an informed decision, but, if something doesn’t go to plan, then create other options for yourself.
  • Be open-minded – Better opportunities might arise from a situation just by simply saying “yes”.

And finally, but most importantly, don’t forget to have fun – wherever you go and whatever decision you make, university is a life-changing experience and one of the best moments, so just remember to enjoy it all!

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