Course Guidance: 'I decided to change'

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The Independent Online
Candidate: Vaness Dunn, 19, Suffolk

Results: BBD (Maths, Further Maths, Latin)

Needed: BCC with B in Latin for Classics at Durham University

Now: BA Maths, Durham University

'WHEN I applied to do classics at Durham everybody asked me why I wasn't doing maths because I hadn't done any Greek and I was doing two maths A-levels. I suppose they wanted to be sure it wasn't just a fad.

'I don't think it was: I was interested in how people used to live and in the languages, but it was also that at the time when I was applying the Latin was going well at school and the maths wasn't.

'When I got the results I rang Durham straight away, because I'd got the equivalent points - I just hadn't got the B in Latin. But they said they couldn't give me a place. My insurance offer was Reading: they wanted a C in Latin, and they hadn't decided if they would take me.

'So I made an appointment with the school head of careers for Monday. When I saw him he said I had to decide whether to change to maths because I'd done well in it and always liked it, or to apply through clearing for classics.

'As soon as he said why didn't I do maths, I immediately thought - yes] that's what I want to do. I talked about it with my parents, and the maths teacher who said the university course would be much broader and more interesting than the A levels and then I rang Durham.

'I spoke to someone at the college where they had given me a place for classics (Durham has a collegiate system, like Oxbridge) and they said I had to talk to the Maths department. So I rang there and explained I hadn't got the grades for classics and wanted to do maths. They rang me back 20 minutes later saying yes.'

(Photograph omitted)

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