Throughout everybody’s life, there are many decisions that changed (even slightly) could have altered the course of their life completely. For me, it could have been as simple as which group of friends I decided to grow up with, the choices and mistakes I made as a teenager or the decision me and Matt made to move into our first home so young. Most importantly, though, the one decision that altered my life so completely and so quickly was the choice to move from studying English to Computer Science at the University of Hull.
I went to Wyke Sixth Form College, and I loved it – mostly, this was because I love having lots of things to do, and unlike University these ‘things’ were diverse. English Language, English Literature, Photography and Applied IT: based completely on my courses, you would think I was definitely planning for an English (or writing) based future.
I was. Completely. For as long as I can remember, it was always my primary passion. I read books, I wrote books, I wrote poems and, once I grasped the idea of careers, I was sure I wanted to teach English. The dilemma arose when I surprised myself with how brilliant my Applied IT grades were. They were better than my English grades, and in fact, I barely dropped a mark throughout the entire computing based course. Properly threw a spanner in the works, as far as my organised future was involved.
When it came to applying for University, I was still adamant English was my path. Thank heavens for my then-teacher Kevin Penny… Without his advice, suggestions and positivity, I most certainly wouldn’t have added a sneaky Computer Science course into my University application. Typically, to add to the complete 50/50 choice I was about to make, I had been accepted into both courses.
I eventually persuaded myself that I would get my English ‘fix’ through my love of reading, and by peaking into Matt’s English degree, and I thought to myself “surely, I still get to write in a Computer Science degree”.
After a lot of thinking over, I did it – it’s only the rest of my life, no big deal… I stepped completely out of my comfort zone into a huge, new world. I basically had no programming experience, no web development experience and if you had asked me to name something as simple as “a programming language”, well, I think I’d have told you “Russian”.
It was, easily, the best decision I’ve made. I picked up the course so quickly, and eventually I began to fall in love with everything about it. (Until the devilish second year of the course, ouch, but hey-ho, I still earned myself a very strong 1st.) It took a lot of hard work, but I’m good! I’ve been so proud of every grade I’ve received so far and I’ve even earned numerous 100% grades – if you’d have told me that during college, I’d never believe you! My Computer Science degree hasn’t completely swallowed by love of English – I am still an avid writer and I haven’t lost my love of books. It has allowed me to have the best of both worlds, luckily… It could have just as easily been the worst 180 degree choice I made.