July 30, 2015, by Gemma Coleman
To be or NOTTS to be (that is the cringey tagline)
The one piece of advice my form tutor (and probably your form tutor too) gave me when applying for university was not to apply based on the jazziness of its prospectus cover. Oopsie. 2013 was a great year for the Nottingham prospectus, so hats off to the marketing team because that’s the reason I picked it up and took it home.
However, despite my brief and passionate relationship with the application literature, I admittedly didn’t want to go to Nottingham. It wasn’t my first choice uni and after being rejected by 3 others, I considered taking a year out before grumpily agreeing to attend an offer holder day with my Mum and open my mind to the possibility of studying here. As much as I would like to say that is what sold Notts to me, I was still incredibly confused and even tried to switch my degree to the Malaysian campus (probably because it rained so much that day- another thing your form tutor will tell you not to judge a uni by).
I took my place up at Nottingham after results day, though, and to anyone on the outside looking in, I appeared to be having a great time. I was even louder and more talkative than usual and had a big smile on my face anytime anyone from home asked me how uni was going. What they didn’t know is that every so often, I’d have a good cry down the phone to my parents – homesick, and still uncertain about whether I’d made the right choice coming to Nottingham.
Now, at risk of sounding like a Drew Barrymore film, everything turned out good in the end. By January, suddenly something clicked. I’d made great friends, many whom I know will be friends for life. I’d started the Nottingham Advantage Award and was really enjoying that. I’d even discovered that our accommodation block had its own cat, Sir Clive Granger. By second year, I’d become a student ambassador, student blogger and found out I’d be doing a semester abroad in Paris. Most importantly, I’d met my wonderful boyfriend Stuart and now, couldn’t be happier.
Life has its fair number of sliding doors. Seemingly minor decisions, like picking up a prospectus, can colour your future and paint a completely different and unexpected canvas to the one you’d always imagined. So embrace the unexpected, because for me, that has been the best decision of all.
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