Bloomsbury Spring

The daffodils are out, spring is in the air and there’s a spring in my step.

My self-esteem has just taken the largest boost it’s had in a long while. I’ve just been accepted for the BA English course at Birkbeck University. Bloomsbury campus, evening classes only, four years, starting in October.

Some friends have said there was never any doubt I’d get the offer, which is very kind of them. But as my formal education stopped at the age of 17 when I abandoned my A-levels, I was worried that Birkbeck would insist I take those again first, or do a Certificate of Higher Education. Thankfully my various doings with words over the years have been enough to convince the tutor who interviewed me today, in a sunny office in Gordon Square. I’m officially capable of doing a Proper Degree.

I’m now waiting to hear back regarding my other choice, BA Creative Writing. If CW accepts me as well, I have to decide between the two subjects. Creative Writing might be better in helping me get novels and scripts written and improved, but English would give me an all-round expertise in everything from Chaucer to Hanif Kureishi, closing the gaps in my knowledge and improving my writing. I think I’ll have to speak to the tutors and ask them how the courses differ in more detail, before I make my choice.

However, if CW doesn’t have me in the first place – creative writing courses are notoriously popular – well, it’s all… academic.

Either way, I’m doing a degree. It feels so good to be accepted and believed in by a university, after a lot of recent rejection from the World Of Work and feeling the weight of my past failures. My 40th birthday is a few weeks before the term starts in October. For the first time, I’m actually looking forward to it.

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