Natalie's story

Natalie says her Foundation Year helped restore her confidence and showed her she could pursue her dream degree in Physics.

Natalie Allen

Natalie's Foundation Year

"I chose Sussex as it had good rankings for Physics and Astrophysics and I didn’t want to be too far away from my home and family. When I visited for the Open Day, I met a student who also did a Foundation Year. She was very enthusiastic and encouraging and was getting amazing grades, which made me feel better. I was struggling to get a C during A-levels with most of my subjects, so the fact I could do my degree with lower grades was a relief. As cheesy as it sounds, after the Open Day I just had a gut feeling that this was the right university and the right course for me.

"Once here, the people I met were lovely and it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one who had struggled with A-levels. I lost a lot of confidence during those two years but my Foundation Year showed me I could do physics, I just needed more time and a different style of teaching.

"All of the lecturers and assistant teachers during the Foundation Year were lovely and they would take as much time as they could to help me. It was scary going straight into labs when I hadn’t done many in school, but the teachers were really great and took their time to help everyone understand what was needed for labs.

Since the Foundation Year, I have achieved amazing grades, have more confidence and enjoy physics more than ever.” Natalie Allen 
Physics and Astronomy (with a Foundation Year)

"I have met incredible people while being at Sussex, and everyone wants to help. Since the Foundation Year, I have achieved amazing grades, have more confidence and enjoy physics more than ever. I didn’t think I would be able to apply for the University’s summer research placements until my academic adviser encouraged me and showed me I am good enough to do it. With the high grades I have been getting since I came to Sussex, I was able to transfer onto the integrated Masters course and I am now considering a PhD. I don’t think I would have been able to do any of this if I hadn’t had the time in foundation to understand – and overcome – my weaknesses."


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