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

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