Monday, October 16, 2006

University Challenge

When choosing a university, they told me when I was seventeen, you should choose it by the course, not by the place.

Because I was young and green, I listened. I did English, because I was good at it and there didn't seem much of a way to find out about other things. So I looked through all the courses, and the ones I liked best were at: Oxford, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

I didn't get in to Oxford, partly because I wouldn't apply to a single-sex college after lots of years at a single-sex school and partly because I'm not clever enough.

However, all the others offered me a place apart from Birmingham - I will tell you about my Birmingham interview another time as it is quite an entertaining story.

So now I had a choice of : Big City: or Big City: or Big City. And I don't really like big cities. So I reckoned that I might as well stick to the one I knew, and I went to Leeds. Where I found that the course was not at all as advertised and I found most of it monumentally dull.

And I found the building itself hideously ugly and thoroughly depressing and here it is today:

Biochemistry and Microbiology it is now, and the School of English is somewhere else. It was only ever there temporarily and the sign in my day read English Genetics which was a bit confusing. Temporary, perhaps - but temporary for the whole time I was there. It was hideous inside too, and there was none of that greenery which they have put there in a brave but sadly vain attempt to make it less vile.

In contrast, here is the Archaeology Department at York University, which is one of the places that Emily is applying to:

Although this photo was taken on a camera phone and isn't brilliant quality, we can still see that it's a beautiful, historic building.

I think the people who advised me were wrong. Naturally the course is important, but if you are someone who cares how things look, then so is the place where you're studying. I felt gloomy every time I looked at that building in the grim Maths Court. I hope Emily will choose a place that cheers her up every time she sees it.


Post a Comment

<< Home