This is more of a personal post. I feel like this month has been one that’s been full of determination basically. Probably because I knew if I didn’t do what I did I probably might not have a decent future now ahead of me.

Basically at the beginning of this month I applied for the PhD at Stirling that I have mentioned in other posts. But it took some persuasion of both my parents to help with payment for the travel up, and this is the full story.

I told my dad that I had been offered an interview at the campus, and that it was more ideal to visit the campus and meet students and staff there rather than simply having an interview on Skype. He finally agreed to pay for the London-Stirling part of the travel. We could only pick the 7am departure from King’s Cross because it was the cheapest time available. So we went with that, and then shortly after purchase, I realised that I still needed to get to King’s Cross before 7am on a Monday morning. This would be difficult, seeing as Sunday transport does not last long overnight and the first train from my area on the Monday would still not get me into London on time.

I looked for other options, and I found a Brighton departure at 4:12am from the main station. Okay, so I thought this is possible, if I had a place overnight in Brighton it’d be convenient. So I made a public post seeking a place to stay. Left it a few days. Came back. Nothing. Okay this isn’t going to work, I thought. So then I looked at National Express coaches from Worthing to Brighton. Me and mum both decided the risk was too high at 3am to get on a coach that could likely be filled with drunks and other disruptive people. Okay now we’re two options down. This had to be the last resort. But it wasn’t.

I remembered that I do long distance walking, and so I tried to warm mum up to the idea of me walking in the middle of the night from Worthing to Brighton for an arrival at 3am, to which she agreed. I knew if I did this, I wouldn’t take shortcuts or go through any dim lit areas. So I decided to stick to the main coastal road that was lit with street lamps. The night of the walk came and I was packed and ready to go.

I allowed myself four hours from midnight to 4am to get myself over to the gay capital. But I decided to power walk, in order to make myself more tired and likely to sleep on the train up. The weather was warm and quite humid, but I knew it’d be windy along the coast so I took an extra layer with me. The power walk trick worked and I was tired by the time I stepped up to Brighton station at approximately 3:15am. One hour before I was due to get on the 4:12am train.

The train left Brighton and arrived into London St Pancra’s International at 6:33am. There was no going back now, even if there were future delays. But by this point I was hungry, so a quick stop at the McDonald’s for a breakfast muffin and then I was on the 7am train to Edinburgh from King’s Cross. This journey went rather quickly, and it was made easier by the fact I had access to a phone charging socket, so I could map out where to go when I arrived at my destination. Eventually the train arrived into Waverley station in Edinburgh at 11:20am. The interview wasn’t until 15:00 so I had plenty of time to get to Stirling.

The ScotRail service was delayed by a few minutes, to my surprise. But it got me to Stirling an hour later, and then I had to walk again from the station to the campus. This took roughly 40–45 minutes. I was there. I had made it.

My determination paid off. I have now been offered the position, and it all rests upon the funding interview on the 8th August. This part should be relatively easy, but soon there will be a cause for celebration.