A visit from a former student offered inspiration to SRC Bede Sixth Form students considering studying medicine after leaving college.
In his final year of a medicine degree at Manchester University, Ben Ryan made a return to the college in Billingham to share his experiences.
“It can help to have someone you know, from a similar background, who has been through it.”
Having received support through his own A levels to get the results he needed, the former St Patrick’s Catholic College pupil said: “I was struggled with some of my A levels at SRC Bede but the teachers gave me the support I needed to succeed.”
Ben, now 21, completed his studies at SRC Bede Sixth Form with two A* grades in Chemistry and Maths and an A in Biology.
He said the experience was great preparation for university study which felt like a much easier transition.
Talking to current SRC Bede students about his own experiences and the challenges he faced, he said: “Studying Medicine takes determination and the willpower to do well, but also if you are struggling you have to be prepared to ask for help.”
Plus he said it is about recognising and coming to terms with the fact that you are not always going to be the most intelligent person in the class.
“You are always going to find people who seem to know more,” he said.
But, as important as exams are, he said it is also important to appreciate there are many other qualities that having a successful career in medicine requires.
“Working well with other people and wanting to help others is a fundamental of medicine. You also have to look after yourself in order to be able to look after other people.”
Delighted to get the chance to pass on what he has learned to other students he said: “I love coming back to SRC Bede. It is nice to be back in that environment and to see how things have changed.”
“The students were really enthusiastic, they knew a lot but also seemed to take a lot from it.”
Still undecided what he will do after leaving university, Ben is considering a future career in education.