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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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lalalala edumacation, lalalala thought control
delirium happy
So I've been thinking a whole lot about the direction my life is taking, and what direction I want it to go and what have you. I've reached a couple of conclusions, one of which is that I want to go back to university, and that while the open university would be the easier option, going to a conventional university would be a whole lot better for me, as I'd have a chance to have a social life, and would be forced into having somewhat conventional sleep patterns and other such things. It would help me get my life back on some sort of track.

After a bit of consideration, I decided that I want to try studying physics again. I know I can do it, and that I like it, and that means one less variable that might end up going wrong. So I pottered off to the UCAS website, and a quick search revealed that there are 55 higher education institutions in the UK that offer physics courses. A quick look through them to eliminate the ones in the arse end of nowhere (Aberdeen), in places I really wouldn't want to live (Hull), offered by fly-by-night institutions (Central Lancashire) or all three (Kent at Canterbury) I managed to narrow it down to twelve that I actually think that I might like to study at (bath bristol exeter hertfordshire lancaster leeds leicester reading sheffield southampton warwick york -- no commas or capital letters because I copied and pasted in from my text file on this, and I'm lazy).

I figure that my next move should be to email various admitions tutors, and this is where you people come in. Firstly is there any reason why doing so could possibly be a Bad Thing? Secondly, is the following appropriate for the text of an email:

After attaining my A-levels (grade A in maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and general studies) I attended university for a short time but was, unfortunately, forced to drop out due to personal reasons. At the age of 22 I am now wishing to return to education, and study towards a degree in physics.

I appreciate that it is currently well past the first UCAS deadline and that many universities have already made as many offers as they are able to for many courses at this point. As such, I am writing to enquire as to whether an application to your institution would be fruitful, or whether I would be better off applying elsewhere or waiting for the clearing process.

Thanks in advance,
Rachel Walmsley.


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Sounds pretty good, though I would say s/am now wishing/now wish/ and (possibly) s/enquire as to/inquire/

Grammar pedant to physicists, moi? I'm not entirely certain on the second count, but then again it is disgustingly early!

I'm a physicist, damnit, not a grmarian! I like my excessive verbositification. Enquire and inquire are both valid spellings -- it was with an i in the Latin, but then an e in the French and the Middle English. Seemingly, at some point somebody decided it would be fun to change back, but not everyone listened.

Fairy nuff - just suggestions really... :) Hope all works out.

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i already talked to her last night ;)

even if she wants to go through clearing, she's going to have to apply through ucas i think. i applied at the normal time, but declined all my offers, so i was still hanging around when clearing started. but i'm not entirely sure. ucas forms are a pain in the ass, i had to do two. bleh.

UCAS forms aren't too bad, relative to some other forms I've filled out (like the job seeker's allowance form -- that was evil). I've filled out two so far as well. Such is the joy of being a two time dropout like me.

the personal statement is the bit that kills me. i get it almost done, and then switch off and it sits for a few months, even though i could have been one of those early applicants if i finished it when i had everything else done. bah.

Inquire and enquire are both valid spellings, so I'm going to stick with the one that gels with how I pronounce the word. I may or may not take you up on the offer depending on what if any response I get back from Bath -- there really isn't a great deal of point in having him spend time emailing me if I then get back a response saying "hahahaha! you must be kidding!" or something :)

How did I manage to not notice you at Bath? I was there for a year, and based on your icon you don't look very missable. Were you in the scifi club?

And yes, I'd thoroughly recommend Bath as well. It's a lovely place and you can go and see the baths for free if you live there.

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Nah, feel free to carry on talking here if you want. That way I get more email and feel loved and stuff :)

And I could tell you who she is, but I'll let her do that instead :)

I'm Susan, the person who did embarrassingly well on last year's Easter quiz (the discworld section anyway). I was the quiet and shy one who was too damn scared to talk to anyone at the screenings.

And my t-shirt says 'We cats have come to take over your planet, earthlings'.

That any use?


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(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Andy went to the University of Herts as a mature student & got a BSc & an MSc in Engineering or something techie like that & loved it there. I've been there for a conference & it seemed nice.

Sheffield would be cool (says she who lives in Sheffield *G*) Not been to the uni as my OU tutorials are at Sheffield Hallam, which does seem to have a vast number of Indian students (just an observation, not a racist comment)

Good luck babes :)

Not really much to say to that, but I'm on a replying to comments spree, so I'll just say thanks! :)

As York's my first choice, assuming I get the grades *g*, I definitely like that idea :) Just realised that you did the same subjects I did, except with physics. Cool.

But the email looks good, and I don't think it's a Bad Thing at all. Writing letters is far more time-consuming, the phone involves people being at both ends at the same time yadda yadda. It's a clear, concise email that gets the point across whilst showing them that you're fully aware that they might say no.

Yeh, exactly. I figure that going with email to start with to get a preliminary sort of reaction is the best bet, and then if necessary I can move onto more annoying forms of communication with anywhere that doesn't flat out say "no".

I suspect, having attempted to do a degree twice, your LEA will at least try to make you pay full tuition fees for one of the years. You could probably fight this with medical evidence, tho. Something to watch out for...


Thought... I changed within sheffield from one dept to another. I would advise (if you haven't thought of this already) that you go to their websites and find the name of the undergraduate tutor for admissions.... You may have to travel to these institutions for a separate interview (you are probably classified as a mature student at some of these unis) but they will probably agree to see you.

As for the LEA, I agree with kimble be prepared to kick off at them with medical evidence and I would also recommend getting classified as a disabled student now - It sounds silly but if things go wrong in future it will give you a support mechanism. You may be able to get extra support from the uni. Universities are becoming significantly more aware of mental health issues and are supposed to be understanding.

Good luck, and let us know how things go.


Yeh, that sounds like a really good idea. I'll ping you at some point to talk about it, if you don't mind, since I'm sure you know several orders of magnitude more about that sort of stuff than I do.

Re fees, the DfES says "The most you will have to pay is £1,125" although you both may well be right that this is what is commonly known as "a lie". I hope it isn't a big problem, because if it is then I'll be really, really pissed off.

As for the finding emails thing, I spent a little while last night trawling through various corners of .ac.uk and managed to find an email address listed for contact for undergraduate admission for physics at all of the places except for herts and bristol, because their websites weren't working. Presumably some janet router had died or something. Or they were being independantly crap.

The DfES are talking about people who are eligable 'in principle' for fee support; if you've dropped out of courses before, they might try to tell you that you're not, and hence will have to pay the overseas-student rates (which are, as you might imagine, considerably more). Hence the 'make sure you have good reasons backed up with evidence of Why It Won't Happen Again for having dropped out' caveat.

Ping away. I'm generally being better with /nick's on irc so if I'm marked as in lmk and I'll grab caffeine and throw ideas around with you. I know of one person who applied to my dept and got in without ucas - she was living abroad at the time and turned up for interview. If I recall correctly she was not given a very favourable response pre-interview but went along to the interview anyways.

After the interview they were much more enthusiastic. I suspect your main problem is not with getting a university place, it is getting a place where the LEA will pay fees for the entire time. I will have a think about that one for you.. Part of me thinks it might be prudent to contact the LEA in writing (a letter) and ask them what they would require as medical evidence to help you go for another attempt at a degree.



From nod & yhtorod.
Great stuff.A very good thing.
In first line you could make clear that all were "A" grade.
If you wish to be more positive you could replce second sentence second para by something like "I am therefore writing to seek your help and advice please on how best to gain a place at your university in the next acedemic year.Would you please let me know where best to direct my application"
Good luck

Re: university

I'm not really happy with doing something along the lines of the latter, because it's not really entirely honest. It implies that I actually want to go the university in question whereas in reality I'm still in the stage of considering my options.

im not really good at offering advice on letter writing. i think you should highlight the '4 a grades' part because if i had 4 a grades, i would want to highlight it :)

you can still apply through ucas and go through clearing this summer. you already have your grades so they don't necessarily need to wait to say if they will accept you or not. im not sure about the formalities though, the universities themselves will tell you no doubt.

as the universities on your list go, i recommend lancaster university. my dad went there, a cousin went there and i have a few friends there now who have all really enjoyed it (one of them studying physics). i nearly put it on my form last year as well before deciding i didn't want to go to that end of the country.

york is very very pretty as well. the campus and the city are fantastic and it is central and on all the big train lines. ive got friends at sheffield and leeds but they seem to be doing very little work and far too many non-work things so im not sure about the academic side of that.

of course im not sure about the course components and things like that. i know durham is good because i have friends in both the staff and student parts of the physics department but i presume that's not on your list for a reason.

good luck and go for it.

I think that Lancaster wa my second choice the first time I applied. I certainly remember being very impressed by it. one thing about Lancaster though is its position. For one, it's getting dangerously close to being in the arse end of nowhere, and for two it's not far away from my parents. I'm not really sure whether that's a Bad thing or a Good Thing, but it's definitely a Thing.

Durham isn't on my list because that's where my brother lives, and historically... I've had a few issues with him. I'm starting to think that I really ought to try to bury the hatchet and stuff, but right now I certaily wouldn't feel comfortable living within easy travelling distance of him.

With grades allready you might get an offer now but are far more likely to get one through clearing, though that is hectic and annoying...

It is worth writting of course, just to see what people think.

Bristol is crappy btw.

Oh yeah, ith grades like that you get anywhere. I'd consider applying to Oxford (they do physics, Cam. doesn't) unless like me you can't stand the horrid place.

Been there, done that, got the gown and mortar board. Oxfrod was where I went originally, and failed to keep up with the pace due to the depression thing. I highly doubt that I'd be able to get back in, because they aren't keen on taking people who have been away from education, even just for a gap year. I'd have trouble keeping up anyway, I think, because it is fast paced, and i'd certainly be rusty. Also, there's very little chance of Oxford still having any places left, seeing as they're generally very over-subscribed. I'd presume that all the same would be true of Cambs natsci, or I'd consider that too.

ah yes.

I doubt that cam would take you now. They might take you next yr. though.

But natsci is probably just as nasty and fast paced (well, I didn't go to the Other Place so I can't compare) and ya'd have to take other things than phys. like Geology (grr).

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