The things I wish I had known at 18

Kathryn

Faculty: Medical Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science
Category: Allied and public health

19 June 2017

Whoever said that university was easier than A-Levels is certainly correct. You get to focus on one subject rather than stressing out whether you’ve managed your time equally between each subject (sorry Chemistry A-Level, I liked French better).

young lady in black dress

18-year-old me

A-levels were not the best time for me as I was certainly not in good health, which impacted my results a lot (but that’s a long and boring story for another day). 

I vividly remember declaring my life ‘over’ on 13 August 2015 after receiving my A-Level results. I have a tendency to be melodramatic at times but I truly thought I was out of options. To me, Clearing was a ‘faff’ and something I doubted that I’d ever have to do – and Medicine definitely never entered Clearing so what was the point?

The whole clearing process baffled me. You're in a massive, sobbing, 'I'll just be a cat lady for the rest of my life' frame of mind where the last thing you want to do is call a random person, begging them to let you in. I'll admit, I was a massive pansy and got my mum to ring up for me as I just couldn't really string a sentence together at the time. But I’m so glad that we went through the process (thanks to my wonderful head of sixth form), and I ended up on my BSc Healthcare Science degree. Clearing isn’t as bad as you think it will be and also opens your eyes to different courses that you never considered before!

I wish that I realised at the age of 18 that there is nothing wrong with taking the scenic route in any situation, travel or life. The scenic route has arguably equipped me in so many skills. Not only have I had a good introduction to higher academia, I have been able to gain clinical experience that puts me above many applicants should I decide to go for the end goal of a medical degree.

I can also assure you that you will outgrow that quiet phase you acquired in sixth form. University is such a different environment to high school, you’re all in the same boat so meeting new people doesn’t seem so awkward. I was lucky that we are all destined for a career in healthcare, so we are naturally approachable people who can form connections pretty quickly!

You may think missing your offer is the worst moment in the world, but believe me, something will come along that will completely upstage that moment, deserving the title of worst moment ever, like stepping on a slug barefoot…

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