A fascination with space research inspired 19-year-old Abdus Wahij’s career choice and he enrolled for A-levels at college as the first step in his mission to study for a BSc in astrophysics at university, progress to a MSc in aerospace engineering, and eventually work for the European Space Agency.
Abdus said: “I initially enrolled for the BTEC Level 3 extended diploma in applied science but switched to A-levels in chemistry, maths and physics as the concepts taught are greater and my increased knowledge will improve my chances of being successful in my degree – and whilst some people may not like the idea of having to do exams as part of the A-level route, for me, getting tested motivates me to push myself to ingrain what has been covered in class.
“I chose college to meet new people from different age groups and backgrounds, and because it’s bigger than my school sixth form it gave me more options to choose from.
“Because of the age range, the students here are generally more mature than at school – you’re treated as an adult and the timetable is more flexible, giving me free time to do independent study or take part in extra-curricular activities which will look good on my CV and personal statement.
“As well as developing my academic knowledge in maths and science I’ve been able to learn from experiences and discussions with tutors or fellow students and have also learnt how to set goals, keep on top of tasks and manage stress, as well as how to work more efficiently, improve my social skills, build relationships with others and produce a CV.
“The induction at the start of the course definitely helped me find my way around the college and gave me the opportunity to introduce myself to people who have since become my good friends. Although it was overwhelming at first because of the number of students, with good friends, supportive tutors and a familiar environment, it quickly become my second home!”