A Levels: The next steps to University

In prep for University

Nick DavisWorried about being the first one to go to uni in your family? Geography Graduate Nick was in the same situation and has shared his experiences in a candid, honest blog. Read on, you might find some of this very familiar…

I graduated from the University of Northampton in 2014 with a 2:1 in Geography.

Never would I have thought I would end up with a high class degree as I was always the one who struggled through school and Sixth Form.

As the first in my family to go to university I felt a sense of pride when I was handed my degree certificate on that hot summer’s day in July. My parents were always supportive of my decisions; and deep down I secretly knew they always wanted me go to university as they were never given the opportunity.

I didn’t go to Uni straight away

Following my A levels I decided to take a year out. I needed a break from education to clear my head. During this time I gained some valuable work experience and saved some money for when I was finally ready to apply for university.

When I was finally ready to apply it was safe to say a rather late decision, and I had to apply through Clearing. But I found the process so simple. I had already researched the right Geography courses for me and one call to Northampton later I had a place at university!

Worried about how I would fit in.

Settling in to university will always be scary…or so I thought.

I felt at ease at Northampton as I joined the Facebook group before I arrived and talked to some lovely people before-hand. It was great to be able to strike up a conversation about anything – like the trials of packing all your ‘things’ for university into one car! Again, this made me feel more comfortable as I understood that other people were in the same boat as me.

Building amazing memories

My memories from university will always stay with me: From the treasure hunt around Northampton as an ice breaker activity the first time we were all together on our course, to the amazing field trip to America with 30 of my course friends in my second year. Deciding to go to university was the best decision I ever made and has enabled me to enter a career that I enjoy, where I am learning new skills, utilising my love of Geography by travelling as part of my role.

As a final note, my advice to any student who is the first in their family to go to university is that university is what you make of it and untimely it’s your decision. You will be amazed at the doors a degree will open!

Written by Nick Davis – Marketing Officer at the University of Northampton and Alumni.

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