For the last four and a half years I have spent my time at agricultural college. After school I spent two years at Hadlow College in Kent getting to know my way around farming with only a little experience and I am now in my final year at Cirencester in which I can honestly say my time here has been absolutely unforgettable. I had my doubts about coming here; being away from home for the first time, fitting in, but I’ve found my place. A place with people of all ages and backgrounds, that find it perfectly acceptable to wake up at 7am on a Saturday, that don’t think having chickens that knock on the kitchen door for scraps is absurd and that find the smell of manure homely.
It’s so refreshing to find like-minded, intelligent people who share all the same interests I’ve looked a bit odd for enjoying in the past. The lecturers vary hugely, teaching us farming from all aspects with a few months practical experience in the second year.
The social activities have something for everyone, from early morning beagling at the weekends to polo, shooting or hockey on a Wednesday afternoon and late nights at the two nightclubs in town. I’ve had some mad parties here, some which are better off forgotten but others I’ll remember forever. Partying with Prince Harry is definitely one of these. The balls are great and you might even find a bit of time to do some studying too!
With stunning views of the Cotswolds from your bedroom window and lovely old buildings, this college has the whole package.
With friends at Harper and various other ag colleges around the UK I know they all have had similar experiences. I went into my course with an open mind not really sure what I had planned at the end of it but I have really found my calling. Experiences have been similar with other students I know who started off adamant to only focus on livestock but have now secured a post graduate job with HGCA and are truly delighted.
The National Student saw agriculture as number 5 in the ‘top 10 degrees to get you a job’. This may be surprising but with an agricultural degree you don’t just have to be a farmer. Careers are available in conservation, countryside management, accountancy, journalism, sciences and all sorts. A lot of employers are just pleased to see a degree. With 91.3% of agricultural graduates finding a job within six months of graduation, it is something to consider.
If you’re worried about being homesick fear no more. Many aggy colleges allow you to bring your favourite home comfort with you in the form of a dog or a horse; and even if you don’t I can guarantee the people you meet in fresher’s week will feel like your long lost family within a few days.
Despite being strongly disliked by the locals, here it doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, northern, southern, male or female, as long as you own a pair of wellies then you’re bound to fit in. If you have any doubt in your mind about studying agriculture I say go for it. If you find something that you love doing, you’ll never have to work another day in your life.
NB: Not all images are my own