Philosophy and Psychology Student: Faculty of Arts Alumni Scholarship Awards Recipient

A Philosophy and Psychology student, and recipient of the Faculty of Arts Alumni Scholarship Award, explains how this has helped them.

I’ve spent my whole life in the same town; Grimsby. It’s not a pretty place, and
it’s certainly not a place people aspire to reside in.

I lived with my mum and my two cats. Mum has been unemployed for as long as I remember due to a spinal injury with a complicated name I’d embarrass myself trying to spell, and my dad left when I was four. Neither of them are university educated.

Personally, I don’t think of myself as underprivileged. My mum loves me more than anything and has always been my best friend. My grandparents have always tried their best to make sure I had as many opportunities as they could afford –though I’d always feel too guilty to ask for money for trips or books. They needed it more than me.

My grandad would take me to the library every Saturday and we’d read to each other until closing. That’s my favourite memory.

A love of learning

I’m ashamed to admit that I strongly disliked school. Whilst I love learning, and would always achieve good grades, I always felt incredibly restricted. I felt small there. I would learn what was on the mark-scheme to ensure top marks –but always wanted to know more.

We were told there was no reason to learn anything other than what we had to in efforts to pass. Even when I achieved the highest GCSEs in my secondary, I wasn’t satisfied. I felt like I only knew what I was supposed to, and I wanted to know more.

My history teacher was an amazing man. He managed to make history my favourite subject, next to English. He used to stay behind after school on a Monday to teach me and my friend A-level philosophy and politics for fun.

This is where I realised my passion for philosophy. My mum, whilst confused of my motives, always encouraged me to learn what I loved. She’d buy me books from our local Oxfam every ‘pay day,’ which she couldn’t really afford – but she’d never admit that.

Challenging yourself

I moved to a sixth-form college, when my secondary school received a 'requires
improvement' Ofsted rating, to study biology, chemistry, and psychology.

It may appear peculiar as to why someone who loves literature, humanities, and the arts selected a science dominated set of A-levels. To put it shortly, I found them difficult. I wanted to prove to myself that I could comprehend the subjects that I didn’t naturally excel in.

I enjoyed college significantly more than secondary school. I became more confident and comfortable in myself, and swiftly began to pine for the return of my arts-based subjects.

Life at Nottingham

Nottingham has been my first choice for a significant amount of time. I came here to visit on a school trip once and fell in love with the campus and dynamic of the place. This is also where I learned about joint honours degrees – which I’m currently taking. I study philosophy and psychology which is the best decision I’ve ever made.

I truly love it here. I love my friends and the freedom too. Seminars are my

I love the way the academic staff treat you like equals who have worthy thoughts to share. Here, people are truly interested in learning and developing themselves. It’s refreshing.

This scholarship is incredibly important to me. Without it, I would not be able to afford to live without worry. When I found out I’d be receiving this scholarship, I didn’t believe it at first. It felt dream-like, and it still does.