Sunday, 21 August 2011

Rise From the Ashes

I've been busy dealing with exam results and university admissions over the past few days and the powers that be have finally reached a decision about my application: I'm not university material this year. Not unexpected but still galling news all the same.

Despite being unable to seek treatment for major depressive disorder over the past few years and difficult life circumstances I managed to achieve an A in classics, a C in physics and a D in maths. My university made me an offer of ABB for the physics course I wanted so I was three grades down with hardly any chance of being accepted. My second choice had given me an offer of BBB - they refused me as well but at least they had the decency to make a quick decision rather than leave me in academic limbo for several days.

Yes, I was upset about the refusals but after reflecting on it over the weekend I'm starting to think taking a year out might be quite beneficial to me. I can finally seek treatment for depression to lift the weight off my shoulders and I'm now living with supportive family members who do are willing to help me with this. To be honest I don't think I would've got the most out of university in my current state: very reserved and often tearful even when I'm not being subject to any stress. I'm not sure whether I would've coped with the social side of university very well as things stand, getting my health sorted out before I go is the wiser option here.

Rather than go through clearing I've applied for three Scottish higher qualifications at college which I'll be attending on a part-time basis to ease myself back into studying. My chosen subjects are maths, physics and philosophy which are fairly similar to my A-level choices.

The dream of physics 2011 might be dead but physics 2012 is another matter entirely. Bring it on!

16 comments:

  1. You're far too intelligent and just all-around wonderful not to get where you want to be in the end. Sounds like you've got a great attitude about how to go forward, too. (Which isn't surprising.)

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  2. What can I say? Things are improving greatly now I'm surrounded by brilliant people. :)

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  3. You're a great person and you had very trying circumstances. Hang in there. I think things will get better, we all go through awful periods and it can be hard as hell, I suppose only by helping each other can we make progress, we flourish like a butterfly opening it's wings and all. X.

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  4. I've been wondering over the last few days what results you'd got, and I was going to ask you about it on CiF, until I just read your comment to Meph on AB's Catholic post. In my mind I was hoping you'd be snapped up by a great uni.

    It's very sad to hear you did not get in. You're an intelligent and witty person and you've dealt admirably with some tough breaks - you're the kind of person who could really add a lot to a uni campus.

    I'm glad to see that you're continuing to deal with tough breaks in a punchy and robust manner. Good for you; and I hope the coming year will be beneficial.

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  5. This doesn't happen to me often, but in this case I happen to be in a place where I could possibly offer a glimmer of hope in such matters. I came here from CiF, and reading this post I couldn't help but be reminded of how I felt back in 2003 when I was in a similar situation.

    I got a C in Business Studies, a C in A level physics, and a D in Maths. I was absolutely crushed at this, as I wanted to go on to study physics like you do.

    I was very lucky, however, that the university I wanted to go to offered a foundation year scheme that allowed me to start studying and then go on to do an MPhys in Theoretical Physics from which I graduated with a 2:1. I'm now finishing up an MSc in Particle Physics, and hopefully I'll be able to go on to do a PhD at some point in the future!

    The road to doing these things is long, difficult, and stressful as I can certainly attest to (crunch time on an MSc thesis = not fun), but it's also fun and there are more opportunities to get back onto it after seemingly getting blown off course. If you want to do it, and you're determined like you are in this post, you can!

    Hope this has helped a bit...

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  6. @ChinaBounder: I've had a few people tell me they're disappointed in me for failing, I know people are seeing this as weakness on my part. All I can do is work with the current situation and try to rebuild my confidence - I'll be needing it in the future.

    @theanswers42: Very good advice and encouraging too. I want to follow a similar path, I just hope I'm successful this time.

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  7. I hope you're successful next time around as well.

    On the maths side: as far as first year maths goes, you'll probably do a course called something like Mathematical Methods I where they go through a lot of the stuff that you'll need in quite great detail, and it's amazing how much you'll pick up and develop during the first year.

    Second time around, it's much easier as well!

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  8. You advertise yourself as a critic of Pseudoscience. Put some of that critical research into to overall value of a university placement in this modern era, and instead save yourself insurmountable debt and apply to place you would like to work with a confident cover letter, it's worth more than a degree.

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  9. Nonsense. Getting into the field she wants to requires a degree.

    http://www.salford.ac.uk/clearing/

    They will accept you with a D in maths and are a haven for people who don't particularly enjoy the university experience. As for whether they are high level research, they do a lot of solid state theory and serve as a launching pad for a lot of very, very high level theoretical research.

    Unfortunately, it's Salford, but Salford isn't as bad as people make out. I enjoyed my time there.

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  10. I would also like to add that the mathematics tutor there (Graham McDonald) is one of the highest level mathematicians I've ever met in my life and he will teach you A level in about 6 weeks.

    And you'll get it.

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  11. I went to Salford Uni Briefly. I got out.
    ThePaladin is obviously caught up in the concept of required university, but if you do indeed have your heart set on University (the life experience of university is worth more than the paper you get at the end), please don't settle for Salford. Work your bum off for the next year, get better results (as I understand form your writing you've had a tough couple of years that have affected your grades) and get into the University that YOU wanted to get into. Otherwise you'll always regret settling.
    There's a reason Salford accepts lower grades.
    Best of luck!

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  12. Morning, Paladin. I did consider Salford but I can't apply to any English universities because of a complicated financial situation - I've applied through the Scottish finance board and I'd have to wait several months before I got the money through because of appeals process.

    Do email me though, I hope things are looking up for you since we last spoke to each other.

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  13. I want to get into university to gain a solid grounding in physics and hopefully get into science journalism one day. I qualify for free tuition here in Scotland so the only debt I'd be left with would be living costs by the end of it - very much worth it in my opinion.

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  14. Ah well if you're Scottish that's different, make use of free university as much as you can before that gets taken away too!

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  15. I went to Salford Uni Briefly. I got out.
    ThePaladin is obviously caught up in the concept of required university, but if you do indeed have your heart set on University (the life experience of university is worth more than the paper you get at the end), please don't settle for Salford. Work your bum off for the next year, get better results (as I understand form your writing you've had a tough couple of years that have affected your grades) and get into the University that YOU wanted to get into. Otherwise you'll always regret settling.
    There's a reason Salford accepts lower grades.
    Best of luck!

    ________________________

    Salford accepts lower grades because it accepts lower grades. The "university experience" is overrated nine times out of ten, especially for social misanthropes like myself.

    I'm sorry to sound so combative, but at the end of the day I'm coming out with a Masters in Physics having studied under two of the top minds in non-linear optics. I certainly wouldn't study at Salford for the vast majority of subjects, but the technical ones (Engineering, Physics and Health/Social care) it's a superb university with exceptional connections.

    You lose a bit of the university experience, but come on. Manchester's two miles down the road.

    Will email you <3

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  16. Please do - you know where to find me, keen to see how you're getting on these days.

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