My path to studying Mathematics at Bath was far from straightforward. I didn’t follow the typical path of knowing what I was going to do and where I was going to do it. Both of these things changed a lot in the years before I became a Fresher. This is my story:
From an early age, I’d known I was going to go to university. My parents had gone, my sister went (and is still going) and it seemed like the right thing for me to do. The only problem was that I never knew what I was going to do, and my mind would change from one subject to another. My career prospects have been a baker, an accountant, a museum tour guide and a primary school teacher, to name a few. Each of which fell by the wayside. The one subject that I always reverted to after each job phase was maths. It was the subject that I excelled at throughout primary and secondary school.
Anyway, when it came to picking my A levels, I had no idea what to choose. The only subject I knew I was going to do was Maths (and Further Maths), as at GCSE it had been the only subject in which I got an A*. The other two subjects were up in the air. At the time, I was helping to run a small youth group called the ‘Young Archaeologists Club’. I enjoyed archaeology, and so I decided to pick History and Geography as my other two subjects.
At the end of my first year, I had:
- an A in Maths (My college did Maths in the first year and Further Maths in the second year)
- C in Geography
- C in History
Now, at this point, you’d expect me to have realized where my strengths were. In both my GCSE’s and A level’s, I’d achieved my highest grade in Maths. But, I still felt like Archaeology was what I wanted to do. Everything I did in the following year was Archaeology-related:
- I went to a UCL Summer School, where I created a video about Urewe Pots
- I went to talks by Archaeology professors
- I also took a more active role in the Archaeology Department at the National Botanic Gardens
BUT, I did go to a summer school at the University of Bath…..and I LOVED the University. Everything about it was amazing:
- It's a campus uni, which means it's easy to get everywhere
- It's in Bath, which is an awesome city
- The Student Ambassadors actually looked happy, not putting on a smile just to get students!
Unfortunately, since I had decided to go for Archaeology, I couldn’t apply here. Instead, I received offers from the universities I did apply to. As I was about to select my firm and insurance choices, I realised something. I didn’t like Archaeology as much as I liked Maths.
At first, rather than feeling happy that I had realized that, I was nervous. I wasn’t sure whether I’d still be able to go to university if I gave up these offers. Now, I’m so happy that I did.
The days leading up to results day were nervy but I did some research and found out that the University of Bath was offering clearing courses. Even better, Maths was one of those courses.
Applying to Bath through Clearing
On results day, after collecting my grades, I raced back home so I could call Bath straight away. I was so nervous to call up, but I was also excited. The man that I spoke to on the phone was so friendly and clear. He made sure I knew what I needed to do next. The rest of that day is a blur. I was so happy that I had not only picked the right course for me but also the right university. Within a couple of weeks, all I had to do was move in.
What I hope this has shown you is that it doesn’t matter the journey you take to get here. The fact that I wasn’t sure for so long that I wanted to do Maths, only strengthens my desire to do it now.
This is the video I made for UCL on Urewe pots. (When going to present this video, I broke the pot while holding it!)