Molly Vann gets a taste of university life at our summer school and discovers a world of opportunities. 

My name is Molly Vann and from a town called Nuneaton, just outside Coventry. We’re quite a small town and not many people leave there. This was one of the reasons I decided to the Sutton Trust Summer School at the University of St Andrews as I wanted to experience what university would be like away from home. I also applied as I wanted to experience what it would be like studying Physics and Medicine at university. I think the chance to really experience what university is like is an amazing opportunity as none of my family attended university. My main expectation of the summer school was that it would be mainly academic as I expected ancient universities to be very traditional.

Both of my classes were quite different to what I was expecting as I thought they would mainly be lectures, however both had a lot of practical lab work, discussion tutorials as well as lectures which really helped you get an overview of the structure of the contact hours.

Other than the classes, I took part in workshops that were run on the importance of networking as well as scholarships, finance, well-being, applying to university, study abroad and CV workshops. There were a wide range of workshops which meant there was something that you were always interested in. They also helped me to solve any concerns I had about parts of the university I was unsure about. Outside of the classes and workshops, we also did a number of extra-curricular activities, for example, a treasure hunt, a talent show and a ceilidh.

The staff and student ambassadors were very helpful and approachable and I felt I could ask them about their experiences. It was refreshing to hear from some of the current students who maybe didn’t take the ‘traditional’ route into university as it made me believe I could, and will, get there myself.

One of the main things I have took away from the summer school is what direction, subject wise, I want to go down at university as I was originally torn.

Overall my expectations about university has dramatically changed as I’ve come to realise that getting into university will not be the uphill battle with constant obstacles that I thought there were but actually there are lots of opportunities for me.

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