Hello and welcome to my blog. I am now finally, a recovering agoraphobic, after suffering with it and generalised panic disorder for over 22 years. Up to this point I wrote about my trying to recover. Now it will be about my new life as a social work student, in a new city and region of England and life in general and how I cope or sometimes not with being me. Thanks for reading. :)
It's been a a while since my last blog post and one in which I made pronouncements about regular updates and photos. I totally failed on the those promises didn't I. :D
Many of you know what has been happening in my life since the last post, but some do not. So I will try and do a brief round up.
The trip to Scotland was mostly fantastic. It is a stunning country, some where I would like to live one day. I met some awesome friends, who I had known only online up to that point, and their lovely families. We stayed in Arbroath for a week. It was here where the not so good part of the trip happened. Given we were in Arbroath, my good friend and local to the area suggested I should try an Arbroath Smokie, for those that don't know what that is, it's a smoked fish. I wanted to and did and it was lovely.... Well it was until a couple hours later when I began to feel really really ill. I suffer with IBS and for some strange reason my body no longer tolerates white fish. To cap it off, we were due to move on to Hamilton, Glasgow, the very next day and the day after meet friends and the next 3 following days, uni open days at Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian. Luckily I recovered enough to not miss anything.
View from Dundee Law, looking over The Tay.
From Arbroath we visited the open day at Dundee university, which I loved and a uni I wanted to study at. We did brief visits to Aberdeen, Blairgowrie, Lunan Bay and Broughty Ferry.
After a five day stay Hamilton, we moved on to Whitley Bay for 3 days, so I could visit Northumbria university for an independent tour. This almost didn't go to plan, because the the drive belt in my car decided to break as were driving back from the open day at Glasgow Caledonian. The AA couldn't fix the problem by the side of the road, but fortunately there was a large garage directly opposite the flat we were staying in. Unfortunately it took them all day to get the part, making us very late to get to the caravan we were booked to stay in, in Whitley. It did work out ok, just a little stress. Northumbria uni has terrific campuses and Newcastle is a lovely city.
The final three days of our two and half week trip, we stayed in the very pretty city of York. From here we visited York Uni and Leeds Uni, both independent tours. York is definitely a city I will go back and make a proper visit, but the uni wasn't for me. Leeds is a nice city and I really liked the uni and campus.
A few pics around York Minster
I visited a few other universities before I decided which five I would eventually apply to. I saw Nottingham Uni, the biggest campus I have seen, stunning but too big, Uni of Sussex, Portsmouth Uni, Uni of Kent and Uni of East Anglia, which gave me the first opportunity to meet my great friend of nearly eight years now, Casey Douglass. I will give a small plug for him and his blog, because he is a talented writer, so go check it out.
Me and Casey
After careful consideration and checking with the admissions departments to ensure I met the academic requirements, before I put my application in to UCAS, I eventually chose Uni of Dundee, Northumbria Uni, Nottingham Uni, Uni of East Anglia and Leeds Uni as my five. I spent a couple of months honing my personal statement with the help of a very good friend with the editing, as it has a very specific line and character limit to fit on the application. I sent it in a week before the January 15th deadline. I didn't wait too long until I had replies. Uni of east Anglia was a no. I think it was my lack of voluntary experience within the social care sector. My first positive response was from Northumbria, offering me to attend a written test and interview. I felt I did badly in the written test, but well in the interview. I had an offer of an interview and written test at Leeds uni. This time I felt the written test went better than the interview. On the way home from Leeds I had my first conditional offer of a place at Northumbria Uni. I felt so happy. I also had an interview, written test and group test at Nottingham Uni. The written test and group test went ok, but the interview went terribly badly, I knew as soon as I walked out once it was finished, that I wouldn't get an offer, though honestly, I don't think I would have made it my insurance choice, let alone firm choice. I did also get an offer with Leeds Uni. The sods at Dundee took months to respond and it was a "you don't meet the academic criteria." even though I checked with them first. Gits.
Anyway, I thought about it for a while and I decided to make Northumbria my firm choice and Leeds my insurance choice. I really loved Newcastle, the course and the Coach Lane campus I would be studying at. I travelled to Newcastle, with my friend, the one who helped with editing my personal statement, for ten days in June to find a new home. The first few we viewed, in the mostly student area, Heaton, were bloody appalling. Then in the space of 30 mins I saw three I was very happy to live in, My favourite and the one I have an initial twelve month tenancy is great. Practically round the corner from uni, two off road parking spaces, a back garden, 2 double bed rooms and all on a quiet professional renters and owners street. Oh and I have already made friends with one of my weeks away uni class mates and got to meet while on the flat hunting trip.
I had my place confirmed, a couple weeks back and now in the process of packing up my stuff for my move to my new home for the next three years at least,
Phase 1 on my new life is coming to an end..... This time next week I shall be living in the North East and starting Phase 2. :)