When I tell people that I am a 3rd year Computer Games Technology student, I get 3 responses. The first is a long held out ‘Ooooh’ as they try to figure out in their mind what that actually means. The second is a nod of the head and an awkward silence as the person mentally labels me as one of those students. Those students take courses which are easy and mean they can sleep all day. Those students are lazy and don’t come to lectures. Those students won’t make anything of their lives. The third and final response is where they ask ‘So what do you do on that course?’ A simple enough question but, due to the previous experiences, I always find myself stumbling over words trying to defend my course’s honour. I end up saying things like “it has a lot of maths in it!” and “I do complicated programming which involves physics and really hard science things!” because I assume this will impress them.
I am going to be honest now. I decided my university course on the flip of a coin. Heads, I would take medieval history with a future in archaeology, travel the world unearthing historical ruins and revealing the past. Tails, I would do something with that Computing A Level I did really well in and look towards the future instead of the past. So here I am, on the flip of a coin at Portsmouth University, doing something with that Computing A Level, looking towards the future. I have never made a better decision in my life.
Thinking back over my last few years at University, the experiences I’ve had and the highs and lows, I wouldn’t be who I am now without them. I like me. When I started University, I was a quiet, awkward teen who moved into halls, terrified of what to expect. Rightly so, it turns out, as it was quite a terrifying experience for an introvert who lacked proper social skills. But there I met my first proper friend at Uni. I have lived with her for the last two years and I don’t think anyone understands my quirky, awkward nature as much as her.
When I started the course I had the same worries as a lot of people. Was this course going to be rubbish? Will everyone look at me and sneer at my inferiorness (That’s a word)? Am I doomed to be stuck in a dead-end job forever? I remember sitting in a computer lab in my 1st year looking at 3rd years and hearing them talking about complex things and using long words I didn’t like the sound of. I would never be as good as them. I was doomed to fail. Now I am one of them. I use big words. Sometimes even in the right context. I can look back at old self and chuckle at my naivety. My confidence in myself has improved no end; I faced my fears head on and came out (mostly) unscathed. I no longer have fears of inferiorness (still a word). I don’t care what people thing about my course. I know it is amazing and I have the skills and friends to prove it. Also hopefully soon, a shiny degree to hang up on my wall with pride.