How I chose the right university for me
Having made defining decisions from a young age, I knew that the choice of university for me was no small decision. So, I did my due diligence; I knew the course I wanted to study, I made a list of schools that had my course, the entry requirements, age requirements if any (as at the time I was 16 going on 17 and some schools only take in 18+ students), accessibility, financial implications as well as the environment; was it safe, what did other international students have to say? Was racism a norm? I didn’t have a chance to attend any open days, but I’d highly recommend attending one, if possible, to have a feel of the environment, the city, and the school. In essence, know what your non-negotiables are and prioritise them accordingly. Also, ensure you are checking for the right course, BSc. Accounting is not the same as BSc. Accounting and Finance.
Upon making this list, I then had to streamline it to 5 as I was applying through UCAS and then having to pick a firm and an insurance choice. After praying, I did feel like every other criterion that these 5 schools required were things I could get on a platter and not even have to read so hard. So, what I did was prioritise these schools according to their entry requirements from “easiest” to the “hardest”. That way, I was sure that I would leave my comfort zone, excel in my foundation year and still be able to go to a school that would enable me to continue the pattern of diligence I had been accustomed to over the years.
It sounds easy on paper, but it’s not always the case. I finished high school and it was results day, I did not fail any course but all my life I had wanted to do accounting, it was something I enjoyed, I came first every session, I even received the best graduating student in Accounts award from my high school. However, on results day, I got an A* in Economics and a B in Accounts. I cried for many days, and I remember in the heat of the moment, telling my dad that I was going to study Economics and leave Accounting. My dad, being the loudest cheerleader on my team, said “I would support you whichever way you go but I think you should have a think about this first, because all your life you had passion for accounting and now because of this result, you want to change to Economics, something you do not exactly enjoy as much?” This conversation taught me to not make permanent decisions based off temporary emotions. I did have a think about it and saw my mistake and I eventually stuck with accounting. 5 years later, and I cannot be more grateful that I chose Accounting instead of Economics.
In summary, pray, leave your comfort zone, seek wise counsel, and be long sighted in your decision making. There will always be an opportunity cost, but ensure that whatever the opportunity cost might be, it is not at the detriment of a fulfilling future. In this case, it was other universities and cities as well as not being together with my friends, but it was not at the detriment of my future. I could always travel down to visit them and vice versa. 4 years later with graduation a couple of weeks down the line, I have no regrets that I chose to study BSc Accounting with Industrial/Professional Experience at The University of Manchester.
To my parents, who stood by me and to every voice of reasoning that has spoken into and over me to guide and direct me, ensuring that I toll the right paths and do not make the same mistakes they did, thank you. To God, the orchestrator of my life’s journey, thank you for holding my hand every step of the way and leading me.
Written by Praise, current BSc Accounting student at AMBS