1. Briefly outline your journey from leaving school to where you are today
Having arguably the greatest fun of my life after completing school, through playing cricket twice a weekend and going on holiday with my mates and spending the rest of the time with them too, at the end of September I went to the University of Reading to study BA International Relations and Economics – essentially economics and politics (I couldn’t chose between studying politics and economics at university, so I chose both)! Whilst revising for exams at the end of each semester and living the well documented uni’ lifestyle, I’ve really grabbed hold of what the university has to offer by simultaneously applying to study abroad and also applying for a year’s placement in industry.
2. One piece of advice you would give your 16 year old self
You’re entering a part of your life now where you are forced to claim full responsibility for yourself; you’ll soon be able to learn to drive, you’ll soon be able to legally buy alcohol and soon you’ll be able to vote, whilst you can already join the army if you really want to! The upshot is that whilst you may have wonderful adults around you the whole time – teachers, family, friends, sports coaches etc. – the buck now stops at you. From the smallest thing, such as choosing what subjects to study at AS-Level, you should decide yourself what you want to do. Hindsight is a lovely thing, but just remember at the time that is what you wanted! I remember my Dad trying to talk me out of studying politics at A level, but here I am studying it at University and perhaps wanting to go into the Civil Service or maybe even wanting to be an MP when I’m older! So, go with your gut feeling, I’d say!
3. Any stand-out moments of your progression from school to now (interviews, moving away from home etc.
Moving away from home to university was a massive move for me, and it had it’s ups and its downs! Rooming with 9 other people in university halls, I unfortunately got placed in a hall where my flatmates weren’t as sociable as I hoped they would be, with the exception of a couple. However, this forced me to go way out of my comfort zone; on day two, I just walked around my halls knocking on very nearly every door over all of the five floors, introducing myself and getting to know my neighbours. I now have a wonderful circle of friends around me 6 months into my university career and I will always put that down to the fact that I had a “what’s the worst that could happen?” moment which will always stand out and serve as good experience for the rest of my life.
4. Best and Worst parts of the job or course you are doing now
My first day at university proper was relaxed to say the least! It was a beautiful late September’s day and after seeing my parents off I just walked around campus seeing what was what and then came back and had dinner with my flat. My first working day of university was a barrage of information about the next three years of my life. Amongst that I joined pretty much every society I’d come across, from cricket to mountaineering!
5. Describe a normal day in your working or studying life
My fondest memory of school was undoubtedly the 5 weeks World Challenge experience to Madagascar in the summer of 2011. Even though at times it was the a monumental struggle that very few things come close to matching, the people that I was with, the photos that I took, the people that I met in country and the things we did there would make it quite literally an unforgettable experience.
We are extremely sorry to say that Matt passed away in August 2015. He leaves his friends with so many more fond memories than could be expected from someone who left us so soon.