Tuesday 13 September 2016


What's it like to start university? Reader Soumia shares her experiences of starting uni in her home country of Algeria...

Soumia says:
I got my BAC one year ago, the exam Algerian students take at the end of high school's third year to graduate and become a college student. I'd studied very hard to succeed, and when I passed it was one of the happiest moments of my life; my parents were proud and so were my siblings. However, all the happiness turned to anxiety when I got my 'list of choices'. Everyone who passes BAC gets ten choices of subject he/she can major in, and they must be ranked from the most to the least wanted. Few people are lucky enough to have their first choice accepted.

My list was satisfying... foreign languages, history, philosophy... but none of the other choices could tempt me. My first choice, no-questions-asked, was English. It has been my dream since middle school to major in English and become an author. Ten days later I went to check the results, thousands of scenarios playing in my head. I got my first choice, English, and college was about to start. I couldn't stop imagining how it would be... big lecture theatres instead of classrooms, less rules, friendly teachers...

In reality, it was even better. The university was so huge I had to follow my friend like a shadow so as not to get lost, but most of the teachers were friendly and I loved everything about the English department. The modules we studied were great, so were the students, and I loved the EDB-Boat, a group of Master students who organise parties, events and plays. Not everything I liked was concrete - I also loved being one step closer to making my dreams come true. I got the best grade in my writing module which boosted my confidence, and I loved meeting my old best friends for lunch. I know I will never forget these days and I will try my best to make sure that the rest of my time here is every bit as wonderful!

Cathy says:
I love Soumia's enthusiasm... I loved college too, especially after a less than happy secondary school experience. Do YOU dream of going to college or uni? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more!


  1. I'm starting university this year, which is quite exciting but very nerve wracking. It will be the longest I've been away from home, and the university is all spread out across the city, so I'm worried about getting lost! However, some of my housemates are on the same course, so at least we'll all be lost together! :)

  2. University is the most exciting because we get to step out of the comfort-zone and try new things...

  3. Im really really proud of you my Sister

  4. My cousin Emilie is starting uni this month! She is really looking forward to it.

  5. I started uni just a couple of weeks ago and already it's been amazing! I've just completed my first proper week of lectures and it's better than expected in every way :)

  6. Hope you enjoy yourself!



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...