Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Changing your path. By Ashley Atkins

An academic path was never a future that was given a second thought in my world, but learning is everything to me and from a young age I was taught to fully appreciate my education.

About to become the first person in my family to have the opportunity to complete GCSE’s, I would not take what I had for granted. After struggling through school with dreadful predicted grades and not being “the right fit” for the triple science class, GCSE’s allowed me to finally convey my appreciation and hard work that I had been putting in.

Appreciation for learning rapidly developed into an unconditional love as all of my effort and emotion began to pay off. Not only did I get GSCE’s, but I did marvellously. The confidence boost was overwhelming, hard work does pay off. No matter if you are told it’s not possible! The sky is the limit…

After the most wonderful conversation with my parents it was decided, I was going to truly and realistically aim for the far off dream that is University and study my greatest passion, Marine Biology. My passion developed at a young age through beach holidays, rock-pooling and trying my hand at scuba diving.

I had taught myself that I can make change happen, but I learnt hard work from my dad and passion from my mum, and these are the key ingredients to everything. Nothing in life has come easily to me, my set of secret ingredients are all I had to get to that far off dream.

Next, A-levels… hard work, passion. It was an uphill struggle, but my ingredients kept me going.

Then it was here, an unconditional offer. University was no longer a dream, the feeling is indescribable, never have I been so proud of myself. The first day I was at the reception desk registering, physically shaking. This is it, I had made it, after a whole summer of packing and my mum telling everyone she met, it finally sunk in. I was going to University.

University opened doors that I never could have imagined, so much opportunity was presented to me. I discovered passions I didn’t know were there, and information so fascinating it got my heart pumping. Skills and abilities were refined, along with a whole new outlook on my future.

Determined to make this experience a good one I threw myself into my degree, and when the time came to do my dissertation I was going to do it was a splash. Through no luck whatsoever, just hard work and a part time job I planned something wonderful. Indonesia, my dissertation was to be on cephalopods in Indonesia. The sky really is the limit…

Results day was surreal, I had my degree. With a tremendously proud family and graduation around the corner I have never been so happy.

So what now? The ability of changing the impossible fuelling me forward, maybe a Masters? A PhD? I personally can’t wait to find out.


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