‘I found a course, visited an open day and haven’t looked back’ Oliver Duane

 

I have just finished my foundation year of a BEng degree at UWTSD in Swansea and so far it’s all going well.

I have got to know quite a few people, the work is interesting and manageable, Swansea is a great place to live and I am really looking forward to the next three years at uni.

It seems longer ago, but just last year I ended up working for an employment agency doing all sorts of unskilled work. It was a real eye-opener. I met some nice people but there was no job security, I wouldn’t even know if I had any work the next week. I was earning just £2.20 an hour more than I was 25 years ago when a litre of petrol cost 40p – what a joke. I needed some qualifications.

I decided to look into getting a student loan. I don’t like the idea of getting into debt, but I thought as long as I end up earning a decent wage, paying it back shouldn’t be a problem.

I found a course, visited an open day and haven’t looked back.

I was surprised how easy it was to get the loan.

The work hasn’t been too difficult so far. The foundation year is mainly about getting everyone up to speed, ready for the first year of the degree. I only had GCSEs when I applied so was a bit rusty, but I went to the support classes and was able to keep up.

I’m not sure what the youngsters think of older students in uni, or what the teachers think who are younger than me, but I don’t really care too much about that. I suppose everyone thinks different things. To me we’re all just people. I try to have respect for everyone, and I think we can learn from everyone.

In some ways I think it’s better to go to uni later on as you might be more appreciative of it compared to someone straight out of school or college, especially if you’re paying for it yourself.

There are lots of opportunities available, sometimes more than there is time for.

Next year should be even better. I’m more organised, I’ve settled in to Swansea and uni, got my brain back in study mode and have some projects to get my teeth into.

Might even buy a surf board. What a life, eh?