Student Journeys

Yes, to any new experience as long as you are safe

I always knew I wanted to go to university. I knew it so well that I skipped a grade to speed up the process. I wanted to move out, start my own life, and separate from my parents and my known world. So I did the most surprising thing possible, and I applied to a university in London on a whim. I heard back less than 12 hours later, and I had gotten into the University of Westminster. I remember feeling both relieved and elated – It was a bizarre mixture of happy emotions. Finally, I was going to be doing what I had always wanted to do. And I would be doing it far away from America. 

I try to think back to what made me apply to the Politics and International Relations course, but I come up with nothing. There has never been one defining instant, no “lightbulb” moment, nothing. Perhaps it was a culmination of my experiences and values, combined into some street sign that pointed me in the direction of Politics and International Relations. I had spent the latter part of my life (latter meaning after the age of 5) trying to decide what I wanted to study. Initially, I wanted to study photography, medicine, journalism and literature. My mom, little sister and I found ourselves without a home, through no fault of our own. It was that life had become too expensive, and the world hadn’t entirely caught up.

So I started thinking: how could prevent this from happening to my family, or anyone else’s, for that matter? And thus came the research, hours upon hours of Googling for the correct answer. And then there it was – in a Buzzfeed quiz, for god’s sake. A Buzzfeed quiz I had taken at 2 AM, to clarify.      

I make decisions by the seat of my pants, and ultimately, I think it has paid off – so far. I am applying to Westminster, studying Politics and International Relations, moving halfway across the world. And I wouldn’t change it. My father always taught me to say ‘yes!’ to anything- any experience, any trip, as long as I was safe. Money comes back; time and experiences don’t. Impulsivity and curiosity are the mothers of creativity in my eyes. In simply saying ‘yes!’ I found myself living in a new country, surrounded by new faces, new stories and studying something that genuinely interests me for the first time in a long time. 


Madeline Briscoe, BA International Relations.

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