July 1, 2019

Ian in the Product Design studio

A year ago, I didn’t have any intention of applying for university – but then, a month before term was due to start, I changed my mind.

At the beginning of sixth form I saw lots of my friends applying for university, but with the thought of all that stress and debt in mind, I began to think that university wasn’t the right option for me. Instead, I set my mind on finding an apprenticeship or part-time job. Unfortunately, I had no luck finding anything suitable that interested me.

Eight months later I received my A-level results. They weren’t perfect, but I’d done exceptionally well in Product Design. My subject teacher saw the potential in me, and eagerly encouraged me to apply for a place at university. By then it was August 2018 – there was only one month left until undergraduate courses would start that year. It was a real last-minute call!

I applied through Clearing, and a week before what would be my first day at uni, I received an email from UCAS. It said, “Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been made an offer”. I stopped for a brief moment, inhaled and exhaled, then burst out laughing. I couldn’t wait to share the good news with my mother and the teacher who’d encouraged me to apply.

After less than a week of preparation, I started my first day of uni. I was nervous yet excited, as I knew how many opportunities it would open up for me.

Ian Lim
I love the industrial style of the building

I have enjoyed every day at Cardiff Met so far. The first year of the course covers the basic foundations of Product Design to allow people without much experience of the subject to get a feel for it. It’s a good opportunity for people like myself who are more familiar with the discipline to get familiar with the new environment and way of working.

There are a few reasons I’ve enjoyed my time here so far. I love the building – it’s very modern and industrial, and any artist or designer would feel at home as soon as they step inside.

Everyone is really friendly too – it almost feels like everyone in the studio is family. We always share our ups and downs and support each other.

There’s a really good sense of community on Product Design!

Cardiff School of Art and Design is also very transdisciplinary – this means I get to work with people from lots of different courses. This allows me to learn things I wouldn’t through my own course, and students get to share their skills and knowledge with each other.

I hope that by sharing my experience of applying to Cardiff Met through clearing I can show other people that it’s never too late to apply for uni. It doesn’t matter if you apply early or last minute, everyone here will support you the best we can – after all, we’re like family!