25 April 2013


The Choice

Back when I published
THIS POST (My freshers experience)
THIS POST (My Semester 1 experience)

I promised you that I would write about how I felt this year generally after my final semester concluded.

This week I am writing a 3 part series of 'University Posts' as I feel they will be particularly helpful to anybody in a similar position to myself, anybody starting university in September and anybody wanting to do a journalism course.

Before I begin, I would just like to say that this is just my experience of the first year.
Everyone has a different take so please, read along with an open mind.

This is a tale of three pieces.
The series will cover:

1. How I Ended Up In Liverpool..
- How I chose a university to study at
- The problems that arose
-Why I never went to London

2. My Univerisity Experience..
-Living in halls of residence
- Freshers week
- How I adjusted to a new city
-Holding onto a long distance relationship
-The daily grind

3. My Experience As A 1st Year Journalism Undergrad.
- My highs and lows on the course
- My outlook on becoming a journalist
- What next…?


This post will focus on how I ended up in Liverpool….
.. grab yourself a cuppa…
This is a long one!

In the beginning…
Just over 1 year ago….
Applying for the best journalism course was always up there in my list of priorities…
Afterall I am throwing over £27,000 at it!
Back then, I was all set on one of the following universities to study journalism.

University of Sheffield
Nottingham Trent
Leeds Trinity

After making many lists of Pro's and Con's for each
I talked myself out of all of them…..
*Here is where my extremley odd decision making process began....

Nottingham Trent was always my favourite university.
I loved the city and I loved the feel of the university, I could have seen myself living there comfortably.
The only problem being was that when I was applying you could either pick
 Print Journalism
Broadcast Journalism as seperate degree's.
In my personal statement I had banged on about being a 'well rounded journalist' and decided
that it was better to do both aspects of journalism to get the most out of the degree in order to become a more employable journalist.
The thought of studying broadcast next year terrifies / doesn't currently interest me so that makes a mockery of that decision.

Leeds Trinity…Ahhh Leeds Trinity.
I said goodbye to you because you were a campus uni, too close to home.
All I can say about this is… What a plonker I am.
 Something that I would find out 3 weeks after moving
into halls of residence in Liverpool...

I decided against Northumbria as I felt the course hadn't been running long enough to be as well equipped as some of the more long running courses.
Northumbria's journalism departments also failed  to wow me at the course open day.
Because of the kind of person I am…19 going on 90..I am glad that I didn't opt to live in Newcastle anyway.

I also applied to Sunderland…
But I was never going to go there….

And finally...

 I struck Sheffield off due to them putting their grades up and the course open day being a very negative experience.
This was due to a very 'charming' chap with an extremley adverse attitude to journalism.
He said: "Don't do journalism, do something else."

Due to the rise in tuition fee's last year, UCAS allowed applicants to decline a university and choose another one off a designated list once all of the uni's in the country had announced the amount they were setting their fee's at.
In the January of 2012 I vetoed Sheffield and chose Liverpool John Moore's to be a back up.
This was done on a complete whim….

All of the uni's I chose are essentially fabulous for journalism and I am proud to say that I recieved
5 out of 5 offers..

However, this made the decision making process worse.
At this point..I had been talked out of applying to any London universities due to
the financial implications for somebody not very well of living and studying in the capital.
Plus at this point I had no idea what help was available to me regarding that.
This is why all of my choices were northern choices.
But.. more..on this later..

With Notts and Northumbria gone I had decided
it was Liverpool or Leeds.
Leeds or Liverpool, Liverpool, Leeds, Leeds, Liverpool, Leeds, Liverpool, Leeds,
Liverpool, Leeds, Liverpool, Leeds, Liverpool, Leeds, Liverpool.
Those words would go around in my head night after night.
I simply did not know what to do.

Move away.
"Yeah, move away Hollie, struggle to find a job at home in summer and at Christmas.. have no money ever.. miss your family like crazy.. have to travel backwards and forwards for 2 hours on a train.. Be the party animal you think you are (you're not) Live crazy uni life woooo"
Stay at home.
"Why would you do that Hollie? Stay at home???!!!! Stay in Leeds? Are you crazy, everyone is moving away you need to do the same, get as far away from home as possible, you are independent."

On February 16th 2012 I tootled off to look around Liverpool John Moore's University.
I was also having an interview for their journalism course.

I arrived there and told myself that I liked the city and the course was out of this world.
Without anymore thought I was going there and that was it.
My parents were a little shocked as I had never mentioned Liverpool JMU before.
Where had all of this come from?
I didn't know really either.

In reality I didn't think the above.
I just told everyone I thought that because it was the only uni that I had left that was far away from home and did a full journalism course
and a great one at that..I must add*

I can remember telling my dad something that made him shake his head...
"I am going to move away and live 'uni life' and never come home again"

I never clicked with Liverpool the day I went for my interview and to some extent I still haven't.
I hope that next year I do more so now it is less unfamiliar.
It is a great city and I have met the greatest people there, but there's something not quite right.
I chose Liverpool John Moore's university originally because I thought that the course looked great
and it was away from Wakefield.
Other factors hadn't come to play when I made that choice.

A few weeks after firming my choices I had learnt more about the university application system, why I was going to uni, what I wanted to become and my life interests had changed, parically because of this very blog and my eyes being opened up to a career I really liked the look of.

Everything about my career goals changed.

I had a definate direction (the one I follow avidly now)
and it certianly wasn't the one I had between year 11 and the February of year 13 when I was choosing universities and a 3 year life plan.
If I was going to get anywhere in beauty, fashion, journalism, magazines, PR, advertising, editorial etc
I needed to be in London.
Literally everyday right up until my A level results I would hop onto the London College of Fashion course page and sit and kick myself why I hadn't felt the way I do now a year ago when it mattered.
I would wish that I hadn't firmed Liverpool and that I hadn't listened to anybody saying I
couldn't afford to go.
I wished everynight that a miracle would happen and I could somehow get there.
My dream course. 
Fashion Journalism at LCF was there, and I hadn't taken it….
There was no going back…
But Liverpool was obviously my fate and calling..

My University Experience…
Will be the next post in this series to look out for.
The tale continues….
How did you find the application process? 
Do you wish that you had done things diffently?
Love, Holl

Click HERE for more information



  1. GlitterandGloss25 April 2013 at 17:59


    I think this is a fantastic idea for a post, choosing which uni to go to is such a huge part of any students life, and probably the most important decision.

    I didn't know you were from Wakefield though, me too! I chose to go to uni in Manchester mainly to get away from home and try something different and I have to say it was the best decision I ever made. I ended up moving back home as I couldn't afford to stay after graduation and even after two years being back and getting settled again, I would still rather live in Manchester. I know not everyone feels the same about being away from home, but for me it changed my life and really made me grow up.

    I still don't know what I want to do with my life even now, and I wish I had taken more time to think about it before I went to uni, I'm not sure I would bother if I could do it again now, but it was the best three years of my life!

    Glitter & Gloss

  2. GlitterandGloss25 April 2013 at 18:58

    Crigglestone, if you know where that is! Where abouts are you from? I know I keep telling myself that, it just doesn't seem to have done me any good at the moment, but I don't know what I'd have done instead! I did really enjoy it, its just a shame things are so hard for graduates at the moment! x

  3. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 19:00

    Yeah :) I know there my nan lived in Hall Green… I'm from Outwood.. I know that is my next worry!!! What did you study? x

  4. GlitterandGloss25 April 2013 at 19:06

    Really? Haha small world :). I did Psychology at Manchester and I'm just finishing my MSc in Occupational Psychology, but its so hard to find jobs in that area with no experience! You sound pretty sorted though, you know what you want to do, I hope theres a happy ending for you after this post though :) are you liking uni now, apart from not enjoying being away from home? That was the hardest part for me sometimes, I lived in a different city from my boyfriend for 3 years so that was pretty rubbish! x

  5. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 19:14

    Thankyou so much, me 2 :) Yeah I'm in a long distance relationship and he loves uni and it's really been tough for me…turned my emotions upside down! Have you any advice? x

  6. Hi Hollie,

    I have been following your Uni experience with your blog for the past year as I am literally in the same position as you. I am just about to finish my first year doing Print Journalism at Nottingham Trent ha! I love the city but being from Leeds myself nothing quite beats home. The course was the best match for me as I really didn't like the idea of doing broadcast journalism I am much more of a writer. I never looked when applying at any of the other Uni's you applied too. I was looking for an NCTJ focused course and still wanted to live in a city.

    Looking back over this past year I have really enjoyed Uni but being away from Leeds and befriending people that I never thought would be my type and like you said I have made some brilliant friends. I'm really glad you have done posts like these as its nice to hear about other peoples experiences especially on a Journalism course like myself.

    Abby xxx

  7. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 20:48

    Hi Abby :) Oh you are at Nottingham Trent?! Awh fabulous! I would have chosen print too! I am so glad you have had a good experience! That's really nice to hear. I will be doing a post on how I found my course on Saturday so it will be good to see how you compare yours xxx

  8. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 20:49

    That is lovely :) x

  9. Hey Hollie,

    I had a really similar experience to you (I am now about to finish my third year!) Tbh, from my experience things definitely get better the longer you stay, get involved and get used to things BUT if you are still yearning to go to London then I think you should seriously consider it! It's the things you don't do in life that you look back on and regret, not the things that you do.

    If you really want to go you should apply for next year, then take a year out to work and save up money and gain more experience in the fields that you love.

    I don't think you would regret staying at Liverpool, I certainly haven't regretted staying at uni although it is something which is not my passion and I do it because I feel I should. If you have an opportunity to apply for London and do something which your heart is truly in why not?

    Hope you're well!

    Lots of Love

    Holly x

  10. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 21:34

    Hi Holly, Awh I'm great thankyou, how are you? Thankyou for your comment! Which uni are you at?? It's good to hear that sticking it out makes things better...It's sadly a bit late for me now..I would have to start all over again and would have wasted the money it's so sad though because I would have snapped up London so much! Boo xx

  11. I'm good thanks, I have a lot of deadlines for uni though - waaa! I'm at Bristol Uni! That's a shame about London, but if that's the case then maybe make plans to move there after? Best place to be as a uni graduate and so much fun! Yeah my second and third years have been a lot better. I think the key is to try and not wish you weren't there (not that you would - but you know what I mean) throw yourself into everything you can - uni gives you so many opportunities. Join a society, write for the uni newspaper...etc Liverpool is your oyster! Thanks for replying! xxxx

  12. Hey Hollie, thanks for sharing your experience its really interesting to hear!

    I'm also a first year student and have had doubts and, to an extent, regrets about my University choices. Its so hard knowing what to chose and what will be best for you when you are still at school.. so I think this post will be really useful to others going through the same experience! I honestly believe that you will succeed with the decisions that you have made. Everything happens for a reason, and although it is easy to say "what if..", the best thing you can do is make the most of the opportunities you do have. I love reading your blog and I think you will make a great journalist, all the experience you are building up online will be so useful to you in pursuing your dreams in the future.

    Good Luck with everything you do, best wishes

    Sophie xxx

  13. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 23:29

    Hi Sophie, I am glad you enjoyed it…I love that you said everything happens for a reason :) exactly be positive for what I have! Thankyou so much for your kind words, it is greatly apreciated xxx

  14. goodgollymisshollie25 April 2013 at 23:30

    Thankyou so much :) xxxx

  15. It's so difficult to know what you want to do at the age of 17 when all the UCAS applications are getting going! I always knew I wanted to get into journalism, but ended up doing an English degree because that was what I was good at. I think everyone has doubts about their university/course choice but in the end you just have to make the best of what you're doing! Not being in London is not the end of your career - I'm sure you know just as well as any of us aspiring journalists that it's all about experience - work hard on your degree, get a good grade, ENJOY YOURSELF, then concentrate on internships and work experience placements in fashion areas. Failing that, LCF do a Fashion Journalism MA and PGC - both of which are fantastic courses. I've applied for the PGC to start in October and plan on combining that with as many work placements as I can. You will get there in the end Holly! xx

  16. goodgollymisshollie26 April 2013 at 12:27

    Hi Natalie :) You are so right, it was so hard to know at 17! Thankyou so much for your advice there. very, very helpful! xx


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