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I grew up in a small city on the south-west of Malaysia called Melaka. As it welcomed an increasingly large global scene, the chance of having an international education became available.
I had the privilege to study A Levels in a British-style boarding school called Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, where I took English Literature, Chemistry and Biology. My dream was to become a Zoologist, having a strong passion for animal conservation and biology. But why did I do Literature? I found joy doing it, and it also allowed my mind to explore things outside of facts and figures. I rediscovered my enjoyment in writing and analysing stories and poems, which is why I study English in Loughborough now!
It was difficult at first, because I had taken a huge leap from anything I had wanted to do before. So, I applied for an internship at a newspaper company where I learned the art of writing articles and editing and fell in love with the process.
During results day, I was at home as everything happened online. I had a log in sheet from my college for the results website with a unique password and username. The page seemed like it took forever to load, and finally, the results were in. I felt sad, and slightly disappointed became the results were the same as my AS exams. I felt I did not improve, but my parents and brother were still proud of my progress and the outcome. I checked UCAS as soon as the results were out, and I still had my places. Which meant that I could move on to the next stage: Clearing.
I had an action plan. While waiting for my results I spent my days researching on the different university courses that had either included English or Literature or both.
I noted down the different course contents, courses, clearing phone numbers, emails, grade requirements and much more. As an international student, I had to wait a couple of days before any university would accept me as a clearing candidate because the students in the UK had not gotten their results. I planned all the information I would need to tell receiver during the calls, which included my UCAS ID and my grades.
During the process, I rang all the universities I wanted to apply to before rejecting any offers. When they affirmed the decision, I called UCAS to ask how to get into clearing completely. They were calm and clear in delivery the information to a very frazzled and anxious student like me. With those new acceptances in my arsenal, I had to filter through my choices to find the right university for me.
In the end I chose Loughborough because it was a modern campus university outside any major city, but close enough to two: Nottingham and Leicester. The location was close enough to London too, where most of my friends and my relatives stayed. As Loughborough was a small town, I knew I would be able to focus more on academics while maintaining a social life, because of my previous experience in a campus setting created a good community of students and staff.
After spending my first fun, crazy and beautiful year in Loughborough university, I feel so genuinely so happy to have chosen it. It exceeded all my expectations of what university could be, from the town to the campus.
I am so lucky to be here, and to have made many new friends and experiences that I will never forget. I love the interactive nature of the English course, with weekly discussions, seminars and lectures (and not having exams!).
In the introductory session to my course, the lecturers each distinctively presented their passion for each area that they teach. I knew then that they all loved what they do, and are also so willing to help a student out with anything they needed. This, I think, would be helpful and reassuring to any undergraduate student learning something new. Looking back, clearing was hectic, but exhilarating. I’m so happy I did it.
My advice is to plan, research and keep an open mind; do not limit yourself to too many things. No campus/university will be completely perfect! If everything seems overwhelming at first, remember that the world has a way of making things work no matter how bad things are. Just trust in the process and take it one step at a time. Good luck!