On the 13th of August, 2015 I received the grades for my resat A-levels. Eager to deliver the bad news, the exams officer sent her email of disappointment in the early hours of that unfortunate Thursday morning. It nagged at me for the hours to come until I finally decided to rip the band-aid off and confront the marks. I was aghast to discover that my performance was consistently poorer than the atrocious marks of the previous year. Admittedly, I had been growing increasingly despondent however even the most pessimistic of my predicted eventualities was not as bleak as reality.
The next few days were filled with thoughts of self-pity, acts of self-indulgence and a surprising amount of motivation as I began to think about alternative courses. Despite joking to a friend that my inability to apply for Medicine at this point in my life would lead to a life in a minimum wage job, I had no intention of not studying.
But what to choose?
This was a difficult decision. There was no obvious answer for me. I felt equally dispassionate about most fields of study as my focus had been so centred on Medicine for the previous few years. I tried consulting various friends but soon realised that the decision was too personal; one that could not be delegated to another.
I hate essays and for this and other reasons, I realised that I strongly favoured the STEM fields over the arts and humanities.
Great! Now just half as many choices…
After much consideration, I narrowed my choices to Mathematics (with Music), Computer Science and the various Biological Sciences. I finally settled upon Mathematics only to have a complete change of heart and choose Biological Sciences once I realised I lacked the aptitude, finesse and requisite interest to make it through an undergraduate Mathematics degree.
My UCAS application was a pain to complete due to the amount of data entry required and writing and perfecting my Personal Statement was no useful task but I managed to get it all sent off by the end of September; obtaining acknowledgements from my 5 chosen Universities on the 2nd of October.