Why I chose to attend Huddersfield University

Why I chose to attend Huddersfield University

As many of you know I am going to be 50 this year so am about a quarter way through my life.

No I didn’t say that because I cannot count but because I hope to be the worlds oldest living man and die at an age twice as long as people live now.

Anyway, that’s digressing, you also will know I have returned to education. I am just about to start my second year at the University of Huddersfield on a Chemistry BSc(Hons) program, designed for brilliant minds that will be the scientists of the future.

Why then is this middle aged bloke on this course?

The answer is because I can. I want to look at the sciences and increase my levels of knowledge in the areas I enjoy.

After a whole life working since aged 13 at Crumbs Bakery in Hadleigh Suffolk, through to the Military and working in the Caribbean one thing I was always certain of was the fact I didn’t need a degree.

Well you DON’T need a degree to get through life.

But in certain jobs and roles a degree makes the difference between science and a scientist. A degree for me is an achievement, it is a personal status symbol that I want for myself. Its not to impress employers or achieve success in scientific roles (although that will never be a bad thing) it is for me to hold personally.

I was told at school that I would be better joining the Army as I had not many other options. I can still remember hearing this news and thinking, its just as well I am joining up then.

Little did I know where I would end up.

33 years after leaving school I found myself at a junction, a cross roads in life, and with support from those nearest and dearest it was time to look at achieving what I was told I could never achieve.

A year later I have completed (not without struggle I will admit) my first year in university.

I chose this course because I have always loved chemistry. From looking through the remnants of IED’s and weapon discharges, through to the best chemicals to use to visualise fingerprints, my imagination has always been full.

So it came to a choice between Huddersfield and Bradford Universities. Each with their own advantages, the Bradford course is a Forensic Anthropology course, yet another of my loves.

Why did I choose Huddersfield?

Due to the wide range of paths open to someone with a solid background in chemical studies I knew I would be able to digress into other areas of forensic science later, but having that solid degree and a challenging one at that was very important to me.

So that is why I visited Huddersfield, meeting tutors and staff, accessing if this mature student wanabe could become a mature student for real. And that’s when it hit me. This would be a demanding and challenging course. Young people just out of A Levels and BTEC qualifications would be my peers, with their knowledge still fresh and learning techniques at the front of their minds, while I was this dozy old bloke eager to do well and gain that elusive degree.

It turned out to be just as hard as I imagined. But the staff at Huddersfield (well most of them) are approachable, helpful and very able to help. Several in particular appear cold and distant but really they are amazing beacons of light for students to bounce fears, ideas and challenges off.

But the best thing that I have found at Uni? The other students. Wow, young and old(er), male, female, all with amazing knowledge and helpful guidance for the old bloke at the front. Too many to name, they know who they are and I will be forever thankful for their advice, guidance and support to get me through this challenging episode in my life.

This really is the young helping the old. So with internationally recognised courses in science, backed by Royal Societies and Chartered Institutes/Societies I am glad I chose Huddersfield.

Now its your turn.

No matter what age you may be, go and do what you want to do. Get that dream started, make some life changes, achieve where others said you would never…

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