I had always known that I wanted to be a lawyer, from about the age of 15, and so I worked super hard from that point to get into university to study law.
Despite not obtaining the exact grades I needed to get into my first choice uni (which was devastating at the time but don’t worry if it happens to you, kiddos, everything will work out in the end!), I was accepted into my second choice and sailed off on the trusty Ben-my-Chree to Lancaster University in October 2012.
When you grow up on the Isle of Man, going to university can be a daunting prospect. Big cities, a sh*t-tonne of new people, and not having your mum and dad to cook for you/do your laundry is a big change!
I completely get why people decide that it’s not for them and decide to either do a degree on-island, or start their careers at 18 instead.
For me, however, that wasn’t an option.
To become a lawyer I needed to have a law degree and then complete the LPC (Legal Practice Course), or do another degree and then a conversion course on top of the LPC, so I knew either way I would have to study off-island at some point.
I was, luckily, very excited and ready for the change in scenery when I went off to Lancaster (despite a few tears saying goodbye to my parents!). I settled in quickly and made some great friends whom I subsequently lived with in both second and third year, and they really helped to make my time at uni a great experience overall.
It was not all fun and games though, by any stretch of the imagination. When the work load ramps up, and the reality sets in that you’re unable to just hop on the ferry home at any given point, it can be hard-going to push yourself to get through it.
Despite this, the whole experience was very much worth it and I had an incredible time with people I’m still lucky to call some of my best friends.
After graduating from Lancaster with my law degree in 2015, I moved to Liverpool to do the LPC which, after already having lived away from home for three years, was a pretty easy move: I knew it was the next essential step in being able to start my career.
After finishing my postgraduate year I returned to the island and started my two-year training contract with a local law firm. I will shortly qualify as an advocate and will be called to the Manx Bar in October: a long journey from my ambitions and dreams as a 15 year old – but so very worth it!
I know it’s easy to say this a few years down the line…but try not to worry too much about what happens on results day. As I said earlier, I didn’t get the grades I wanted but I still went to uni, had a great time and have utilised my degree to get to where I am today. So go for it!
Of course work hard when you’re there… but also remember to play hard and make the most of your time. Before you know it you’ll be graduating and entering the working world where, sadly, it’s frowned upon to go “out-out” on a Wednesday and turn up to work the next morning dressed in last night’s clothes (ahh, the good old days 😉).