When Tom Eckersley failed to get the A level grades he needed he thought his dreams of going into medicine were shattered.
After missing out on his offer to study at Manchester University, the former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil faced a difficult decision.
He didn’t know whether to take a year out and try again, or find a last-minute course vacancy through Clearing.
With his options open he went into Clearing and was offered a place at Bangor Law School.
Althogh he still harboured ambitions to study medicine, Thomas admits that he did not have high hopes for studying law.
He said: “My decision to study law at Bangor was, at best, a pragmatic response to being struck by the sudden realisation that I couldn’t take my first choice.
“But Bangor seemed friendly and welcoming when I rang, and I had an interest in law.”
“I have enjoyed every second at Bangor. I’ve made friends I expect to keep for life; found a subject which I find fascinating and enjoyable, owing largely to the commitment of the teaching staff; and inadvertently found myself a route into medicine through a competitive graduate entry scheme.”
Now, with a 2:1 in law, Thomas is now on course to become a doctor.
He said: “Bangor has helped me to gain maturity, allowed me to grow emotionally, and given me valuable perspective on the levels of commitment and hard work which I will need to put in not only in my further degree, but also throughout life.”
The 21-year-old from St Michaels on Wyre, near Garstang, added: “Looking back on myself three years ago, I feel in a much better position now to make the step forward into medicine.
“Many of the doctors who interviewed me for my medicine place were very interested in my legal experiences and knowledge, and I think this differentiated me from the many other candidates who studied more science-based degrees.”