• Question: do you think the school you went to gave you advantage towards success?

    Asked by sophienorth on 28 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Liza Selley

      Liza Selley answered on 28 Jun 2018:


      I went to a bog standard school in a little village so I don’t think that had an impact. I think what gave me an advantage was the fact that I had respect for my teachers and listened hard to what they said. It also helped that I was the youngest in my year so while my friends were out learning to drive and partying during A levels I was stuck at home concentrating on my studies because I was too young to join in!

      Our school did put a big focus on getting work experience though- that rather than the school you are at will impress future employers 🙂 Anything can help – from a Saturday job at the supermarket to shadowing a professional in their workplace.

    • Photo: Jason Chu

      Jason Chu answered on 28 Jun 2018:


      It definitely helped me a bit. I had very good science teachers (biology, chemistry, and physics). They guided us in the right direction, and were good at getting us interested in the subject.
      But a lot of is was down to self-interest and determination. I wanted to be a scientist, so I pursued it.
      It will be the same for you, whatever avenue you decide to go down!

    • Photo: Claire Donald

      Claire Donald answered on 28 Jun 2018:


      Going to a good school with good teachers does make a difference. But at the end of the day, you have to be willing to put in the hard work and dedication it takes to get good grades to go to university. Many schools dont have a budget to buy lab equipment (which can be really expensive) but getting a good grounding in the theory is really important for when you get the chance to do the practical work. Liza’s suggestion of trying to find work experience or a summer placement is also a great idea. It will help to make you stand out as being really keen when writing your personal statement.

    • Photo: Joanne Sharpe

      Joanne Sharpe answered on 28 Jun 2018:


      I was definitely inspired by my science teachers. I used to ask them questions about anything and everything, kind of like the questions you are asking here! In terms of school in general, I think my motivation came purely from myself and I don’t think they really pushed me to achieve anything. I think that is better in some ways, as you don’t want too much pressure!

    • Photo: Lauren Burns

      Lauren Burns answered on 28 Jun 2018:


      I don’t really think my school gave me an advantage, I was neither a high-flyer nor really struggling so I just kinda blended in the background. However, I tried my best, and what has really given me an advantage in life is University. Not just the academic side of things, but I am talking about the extra-curricular activities, the work and internship opportunities, volunteering, being encouraged to travel, and having lecturers that genuinely want you to do well. That is what made all the difference to me. At the end of the day, both school and Uni is what you make of it, so make the most of the opportunities that present themselves – and you’ll give yourself the advantage you need to achieve success 🙂

    • Photo: Hannah Farley

      Hannah Farley answered on 29 Jun 2018:


      I think the biggest things that have stuck with me from school aren’t academic things but other experiences, like language exchange trips/being a head of house/being a peer tutor for younger kids. Those things teach you stuff that sticks with you long after you’ve forgotten French vocab/science equations.

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