Student studying in the library

Choosing a variety of options and keeping things open put me in a good position

  • 04 May 2020
  • 3 min read

A little about me

My name's Matt, and I’m from a small town called High Wycombe, which is north of Reading. I’m currently at the University of Portsmouth in my second year studying Psychology.

I love listening to and making music; I’ve been playing the piano and violin for over 10 years now. I’m also a keen cyclist, I mainly go on rides around my local area, but sometimes I get to travel abroad and see some fantastic views.

Choosing my GCSEs and A Levels

My journey starts with my GCSEs. I chose to take Geography, IT and Business, along with all the other compulsory ones. I picked those subjects, because at the time I really enjoyed learning about them, and I was pretty good at them too.

I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to become, so choosing a variety of subjects and keeping things open put me in a good position for later on. Taking what you enjoy and find interesting is as good as any reason, so don’t be afraid to not have your whole life planned ahead of you. I did the same thing for my A levels too.

Don’t be afraid to not have your whole life planned ahead of you

Matt Joslin, BSc Psychology

I chose to take Maths, Chemistry, and Psychology (though not at the start!). To begin with I was originally going to do Geography, and then do half of the Maths A level, called an AS level (with Chemistry and Psychology). However, 2 weeks into A levels, I decided that I was probably going to do something science based at uni, so doing the full Maths A level was going to be more beneficial to me.

Taking exams is hard, I’d learnt this from GCSEs, they’re not easy at all, and A levels was no exception. But throughout my experience, I knew that hard work, the tears (yes there were some) and the countless hours spent revising was going to be worth it to get to university. My brother, who’s 5 years older, started university as I started my GCSEs so I could see how much fun he was having.

Student's work on a desk

Going to university

Now that I’m here at the University of Portsmouth, I can safely say it absolutely was worth it.

I was excited to come to university for many reasons; a big one was the independence I would gain, control over when, how and where I did the things I wanted to do (okay except lectures of course). Nutella at 1am is allowed because no one can stop you (though not a healthy behaviour, so perhaps the only thing stopping you is your conscience).

Another reason was the variety of societies you can join, anything you can think of, and can’t! And if it isn’t already there you can make one and run it yourself. The final reason was of course, not to forget, to get a degree.

I’m so glad I chose to do psychology at Portsmouth, the course is well structured and interesting. There’s variety, practical experience as well as interesting theory, delivered with so much support. That’s university wide too, I’ve never felt like there was nowhere to turn. Your academics, your mental health and wellbeing, your future and career options (to name just a few) all have their own incredible staff who put you first.

The journey here has been hard but I’m incredibly grateful for the fantastic friends I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had and those to come.

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