Which Course? Which University? 0

There are two questions that I am frequently asked when I talk about my life at university: what made you choose Philosophy and why did you choose Lampeter?  There are very simple, quick answers to both those questions.  For the former: I love to debate.  For the latter: I love Lampeter.

I often then elaborate on these answers to explain that I think a vital part of developing philosophical thinking is to discuss your thoughts with other people and give them a chance to counter them; I also think that it is essential to learn in an environment where questions and challenges are welcomed by those teaching you.  It was clear to me that the course in Lampeter provides exactly that environment.  I remember one of my current lecturers showing me around the campus when I first visited Lampeter and talking to me about the course.  He explained that the class sizes are very small and seminars are run in a way that allows them to keep to a size of no more than about 15 people.  He talked about his teaching style and how it was relaxed and informal: students are encouraged to speak up at any time if they do not understand something or if they wish to present a challenge to it.  I’m sure there are many situations where someone tells you that something is the case but then when the time comes, it does not work how they explained.  This is not my experience of my course here.  It is precisely the course they sold me and it is taught in precisely the way they promised.

In terms of choosing to study in Lampeter, I feel comfortable, safe, welcome and content here, and I felt that way the first time I visited: it felt ‘right’.  I have chosen to move out of halls of residence this year so I have been able to stay in Lampeter throughout the summer break and I don’t hesitate to call it my home now – in fact, when visiting my mum a few weeks ago, I really missed Lampeter and couldn’t wait to return.  I love the unusual mixture of people here: both students of the university and long term residents of the town.  Everyone seems to have their quirky traits, and everyone seems to accept those and see the fantastic value in them.  I know that I was someone who never felt settled in my school or college; I always felt restless and like I couldn’t just go along with everything I was being told like other people seemed to.  I have had conversations about that feeling with (probably) all my friends in Lampeter, and each of them has expressed similar experiences, and we have agreed that we do not feel that way here – in our own strange way, we fit together.

I don’t want you to read this and take it to be me saying that everyone should study Philosophy or that everyone should come to Lampeter.  I want you to read this and think about what course would be right for you and what university will provide both that course and somewhere for you to feel at home.  Choosing the right course at the right university may be the most important achievement of your life.  I am proud to say that Philosophy in Lampeter is the perfect choice for me.