Sixth-former Calum Keelan reflects on his time at a Sutton Trust summer school this year.
My name is Calum Keelan and I’m from a village called Kelty which is in Fife. I attend Beath High School which is in a town next to Kelty, Cowdenbeath. No-one from my family as far as I can trace back (great-grandparents) has ever attended university.
I applied to the St Andrews summer school because I want to be the first in my family to go to university. The Sutton Trust programme gives you a real head start in learning about applying to university, finance, and general university life.
I hope to sit an ethical hacking/cyber security course when I go to university next year. For this reason, I chose Computer Science as one of my subjects for the summer school. In our computing class we wrote a side-scrolling platformer game, making use of object-oriented programming, which I found really interesting. For my second subject I chose Classics and History. In our History classes we did Ancient History.
The workshops were very helpful, particularly the finance and scholarships talk. Before I went to the summer school I wasn’t too sure what a scholarship even was but now I am keen to apply for many. The talk by the ex-student who started up his own business was also very interesting.
My favourite part of the experience was meeting new people and making new friends. Meeting people from places far away from where I live and finding out that I have so much in common with them was crazy and it made me look forward to going off to university myself and meeting even more people.
The St Andrews summer school changed my outlook on the University of St Andrews as I met actual students on my trip and found out that they are not all posh people. It has also taught me a little bit about what actual university life is like, and a lot about how to afford it! I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone even just thinking about going to university after school!