This may seem an odd place to start, but all I can say is the reason I chose Birmingham has lived up to its expectations. But the reasons I did not know about have played an even bigger part in my enjoyment of my time here. And maybe that’s the case for a lot of people.
Actually, I did not know I was heading to Birmingham until very late in the process. I had accepted a place in America. But ultimately I did not feel I was ready to spend four years in America straight out of school, so decided to apply to the only university in the UK that I thought was a good fit for me… Birmingham.
I’d spent my gap year in Birmingham with my athletics training group, and with a sister that attended the University, I was not completely in the dark. I could see the great time my sister and her friends had at a university in a big city outside of London, with a great sports programme and sports teams. My passion being sport, I poured my life into the application to Birmingham as I knew it was the place for me. So that’s the bit I guess has lived up to expectation. Plus I met the best friends I could ever have imagined.
However, the way Year 3 is panning out, my biggest regret is not trying more things in my first two years, so I’d recommend to anyone to explore many different avenues with an open mind.
My Year 3 now has the potential to be the best year by a long way, which is uncommon, as the first year is pretty much made for fun. But for me, in Year 1 I trained for athletics and went to (some) lectures…. and that was it!
Year 2 I cant lie, I did not enjoy. Again I did not immerse myself in anything at all and my social life was minimal, all my fault. I was struggling mentally due to sports injuries, and thought the best thing to do was to get zoned in and stick to one or two activities.
So I decided big changes were needed and I know now I actually enjoy and thrive off a busy life. I started up a small website business with a housemate. I gained a job at the university in a career similar to what I would like to do in the future. I joined 3 new societies including rugby and American football and recently began working at a record label in the city. Not to mention naturally expanding my social life and applying for masters degrees in the US.
These changes have made my life very hectic. I thought that growing up meant settling down, but I do not see it in this way anymore. All this was potentially on my doorstep, but it took me over two years to realise. Throughout this time the university have supported me all the way by linking me to business start-up programmes, teaching me key enterprise skills, allowing me to mix sports, making the application process to the US swift and simple, and obviously offering me a job in the digital marketing team at the university, which has been great fun and an amazing learning curve.
The University has brought out a side of me that I never thought I had. I had no idea how broad my range of activities through my three years would get. I guess am fortunate to have enjoyed the best parts of university almost down to luck. But I suppose you make your own luck, by getting out and trying new things.