Course Guidance / Vacancies: I wrote what they wanted to hear

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Yoni Goldman, 23, London


BN (Politics, English)


BB for BA Politics, Sussex University


BA Humanities, Brighton University

'MY RESULTS came Thursday morning, and that afternoon I went straight down to Sussex on the train. I went to the admissions office, and they said I'd been rejected. I asked if I could see a lecturer. They said no. So I went to find a friend, I got the names of the lecturers I should see, and I went up and down the corridor knocking on their doors.

'Most people weren't there. A few were very nice but they couldn't give me a place because their courses were full. So then I went on to Brighton. I went into the admissions office, and they said they had no places, but I must have some ability if I'd got a B in politics, and it would do no harm to write a letter. So I went straight home and wrote a letter to send off the following morning. It was bullshitting a bit, because I said I was really interested in finding out about feminism and philosophy, which I wasn't then though I am now. I wrote what I thought they would like to hear.

'Then the next day I rang the next day. to see if they'd received it. They said to ring the following week. I did, and they said to ring the week after] I rang a couple of other places and visited them, but I didn't want to go through clearing because I thought I'd just get stuck in a file somewhere. In the end I decided to go back to the crammer where I took my A-levels (I left school at 16 and worked and travelled before I decided to study). I'd been back two weeks when Brighton rang, asked me down for an interview and offered me a place. That was a fortnight before term began.

'So I never went through clearing at all, though when I'd started the course they asked me to fill in a form just for the record. It's just as well, because I don't think I'd have been here if I had. I think you have to push a bit, in the nicest possible way.'

I've worked in the stock market and I've worked in estate agents, and I think you have to find out early that you can't wait for the system because that's what the big world is like anyway.'

(Photograph omitted)