‘The best decision I’ve ever made’ by Amy Colleen

BA Outdoor Education

When I think about ‘my story’, it fills me with excitement.

At college, I wasn’t particularly fussed about going to University, I just wanted to travel. However, after a lengthy debate with my college tutor and friends, they successfully persuaded me to consider it as an option and look through UCAS to see if anything catches my eye. After discovering that there was a course in Outdoor Education, I realised there perhaps was something for me after all, as I’ve always loved canoeing, camping, Duke of Edinburgh and was an avid environment enthusiast. I spent the next couple of lunch breaks searching various University websites, worrying because the UCAS deadline was ever approaching.

After a short, but successful search, I managed to select my 5 choices; University of Worcester, University of Chichester, University of St Mark & St John (aka Plymouth Marjon) and two completely random page scrolls landed me with the University of Cumbria and the University of Wales; Trinity Saint David. Having read the first three University websites, I had my eye on Worcester as a preference, with Chichester as a back-up. At this point, I hadn’t even properly considered UWTSD or Cumbria as I was far more interested in going for a BBQ lunch with friends. Alas, I confirmed my five choices and what do you know… UWTSD replied within a week to say ‘HEY, why not come for an Open Day?’ – I decided to give UWTSD a chance and use it as an opportunity to explore South Wales, completely unaware that this would soon be the best decision I’d ever make.

As soon as I arrived in Carmarthen I fell in love! I had goosebumps on my arms and my tummy was dancing with excitement. It is such a beautiful place, so green, clean and friendly – plus the castle and Carmarthenshire Council building together on the hill, by the river reminded me of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a distance. Where I lived in Andover, there weren’t really any castles and old, historic-looking buildings around, particularly situated in such a beautiful environment like Carmarthenshire has. By the time I stepped out of the car at the bottom of Noakes car park, I knew there was something special about the place It’s funny when I think back, I remember so clearly, the farmers were out in the fields that day so there was a great stench of fresh manure. As bizarre as it sounds, I took one big inhale and excitedly turned to my parents and told them I think this could be “the one”. I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew. I mean, I hadn’t even explored the rest of the University yet, or been to visit my preferred choices.

After a brief exploration of the campus and meeting with the lectures, I was sure I would enjoy being a student at UWTSD. From the small class sizes, to the onsite Climbing Wall, Starbucks and Swimming Pool, to the friendly tutors who reinforce the “Be a name, not a number” tagline, to the exciting events that were happening at the Students’ Union over the course of the year. The location was perfect with close links to a local paddling centre, many beaches, Brecon Beacons and Preseli Hills down the road. With such an exciting variety of activities offered on the course, I was sold. Later, I had offers from the other Universities. I travelled to Worcester in classy lax car service, Chichester and Plymouth Marjon to see what they had to offer, but nothing gave me the same feeling Trinity did. So that was it, my decision was made… BA Outdoor Education at UWTSD’s Carmarthen campus was the one for me, I joined the UWTSD family and have never looked back.