Newbie Oldie @ Uni
University was never something I considered when I left secondary education as my grades were nowhere near good enough to even consider applying. At that time I had no idea what "career" I wanted other than playing in a band and making music. I did attempt to gain a place at Perth College of Music, on two different courses, Drumming and Audio Engineering, but failed on both counts.
Somewhere along the line I retrained in I.T. as my 'backup' plan. This backfired somewhat as I ended up in full-time job for nearly fifteen years. It turned out to be a dead-end move as I was never properly trained, and there was nowhere to climb the ladder to. One reason I tolerated the position because they were a good organisation at allowing flexibility, allowing time for me to go off on tour with bands, so it wasn’t all that bad. However, in the end I just wasn’t happy and felt a bit trapped.
This led me to take time-out and after applying, I was granted a 12-month sabbatical in 2014, for which I was exceptionally lucky to be awarded an arts grant (http://getalifefund.org.uk) to help with my time away from employment. During my sabbatical I travelled, trained and attended workshops, finished big projects for my record label, and generally had a great time away from the desk job.
After completing the sabbatical I returned to the same organisation but managed to avoid the I.T. department, instead taking a secondment into Creative Industries as a Sound & Digital Media Technician. A major step in the right direction. Unfortunately this was only temporary and I was due to return to my I.T. desk job in July 2016.
"Life is too short to be stuck in a job that doesn't make you happy."
And with that in mind I handed in my notice and walked.
The following options were now available:
Get another job, work for the family business, go on the dole (that wasn't REALLY an option for me), or go back to education.
What made me apply for University? I knew about studying as a mature student (I definitely fit into that category), and my bad school grades weren't so relevant now. One thing I did have was industry experience, over twenty years of it. My partner had also just finished studying a Masters degree, she also inspired and encouraged me too.
So I took a chance and applied for three separate programmes of study at different institutions in Scotland. University of Glasgow & University of Edinburgh, both on Sound Design, and The Glasgow School of Art 'Sound for the Moving Image'. I'd nothing to lose in applying, and I was under no illusions this was going to be a cakewalk.
First response was from the University of Glasgow. FAIL!
They stated my qualifications weren't good enough, even though the course did say they'd consider anyone with relevant experience.
Second response was from The Glasgow School of Art. They offered me an unconditional offer. Wait.... what..? No way! Way… I got in. Success.
I’m not even bothered Edinburgh Uni couldn't be bothered to reply. Last week I put down a deposit for my place at GSoA and I start in September. Now I just need to figure out a way of paying the fees without: a) Robbing a bank b) Getting in stupid dept or c) Selling a kidney. Because I’ve opted to study part-time there’s next to zero funding available. Anyway, I'm NOT complaining, no chance. I've been given a potentially life-changing opportunity that I fully intend to make the most of over the next two years. It's yet to sink in.
Glasgow Art School, here I come.