On finishing college in 2014, I had a big decision to make. The decision of getting a job or going to university to get a degree.
Maybe you can tell, I’m a Gryffinclaw. All this talk about school and college but braving my way through it. After finishing college, I had to decide what to do. Get a job or go to university.
Majority of the advice people gave me revolved around employability. Some were advising me to acquire a job or get an apprentice, saying that employers look for experience. While others were saying that I had to go to university, believing that you couldn’t get a successful job unless you complete a degree.
Students went in their own directions; applying to do the foundation degree at college, applying for apprentices, getting a job or taking a whole new career path.
It’s a tough decision and I think a decision that only the person concerned can make, especially as there is so much conflicting advice. So I decided to do what I wanted to do as apposed to what other people wanted to do.
My life, my choice.
I chose to go with the university option. I had to look at UCAS—the University and College Admissions Service to see which out of over 300 universities or university-funded colleges did the course that I wanted to do. Then narrow those down to just a few for open days, selecting only 5 for my application.
There were times where I wanted to back out as the application process was very stressful. I also had concerns about whether my disability would prevent me from going or cause any problems. Luckily helpful people who knew me and had done this process before surrounded us.
Along with writing a personal statement, getting recommendations from tutors and sorting my student finance, I had to go through other stages to be able to go to university. This included forms to acquire Disabled Students Allowance and speaking to Birmingham Social Services about getting my care budget put into place.
DISABLED STUDENTS ALLOWANCE (DSA)
As I have a disability, I received a grant prior to me going to university. This was called Disabled Students Allowance.
Through this, I acquired equipment and software to help me with my studies. As I was studying Media at degree level I received a MAC with all the software such as Final Cut Pro, which I needed for projects and other practical exercises.
They also supplied me with useful software concerning the academic side of my chosen course.
The Dragon Dictation Programme helps as I am a slow typer and I would struggle to get a 15000 – 2000 word essay submitted on time.
I also got ClaroRead, software, which read content out loud. I found it most beneficial when it came to reading work out loud.
This allowed me to hear my work and be able to construct a better essay or piece of writing.
LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES
This part of the process was very difficult. The services weren’t familiar with the process and didn’t know the best way to support me and help me receive my care funds. However, I feel that they will get better with every child who has needs that have to go through them to get to university.
LIVING AWAY FROM HOME
Choosing to go to university was a very big decision for me. But then, came another very large decision.
The decision to study a course at a university close to home or whether I had enough courage to live away from home.
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