Describe a time in your life when everything turned out fine, despite the odds.
I applied to three universities after my A Levels. I wanted a combination course of Geology and Archeology. I could think of nothing I wanted more than to dig around in holes and lick rocks and unearth ancient treasures. One university, out of all of those in the UK did the course I wanted. It was in Birmingham and I made that university the head of my list, followed by Leicester and Keele.
I did my A Levels (they were bloody hard) and ended up with a bunch of grades that I’m not best proud of but just managed to do the trick. Well… I thought it did. When I called up Birmingham university to check how if I could get in they told me that, unfortunately, the grades weren’t good enough.
I wasn’t going to Birmingham.
I’ll never forget that feeling. My world ended in those days when I was trying to figure out what to do. There was nothing I wanted more than university (except for writing), but I had no contingency plans. I had no clue of what options were open to me and all of the ‘helplines’ to take students through their choices weren’t really helping either.
I cried in those days. I cried a lot, mainly because I knew that my grades weren’t good enough to let me into any university.
After recovering from the disappointment and the knowledge that I’d only let myself down I started putting together what to do. That meant calling up the rest of the universities on my list and ‘begging’ to be allowed in. That was my intent anyway but it turned out that there was very little begging involved. Despite my grades Leicester University was more than ready to take me. They told me the grades were by the by and the fact that that Birmingham University wouldn’t take me on only made it so much the better for them. They were impressed with my personal statement and my earlier interviews during the open day. Things that I’d completely forgotten about!
Long story short, even though I’d planned and geared myself to go to Birmingham I ended up in Leicester. The degree wasn’t the combined course, it was just Geology, but I had Archeology modules in the first year which was plenty to tide me over. Then I discovered that I absolutely hated Archeology anyway, so that worked out quite nicely. :p I also discovered a fabulous cluster of friends, and later a fantastic boyfriend, a steady job and general satisfaction in my life. I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t have been able to get the same in Birmingham, but I wouldn’t swap what I have right now for anything in the world. I have incredible friends, a great, comfortable house, a wonderful partner, two beautiful (if loud and unsettled) boys and a life that I just can’t complain about.
Its weird thinking that if I’d gone to Birmingham I wouldn’t be where I am today, but from those days of sheer, blind panic to now its certainly worked out better than I ever could have imagined.
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.