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This queer woman has two sets of results to worry about on A Level results day

YouTuber Lily Cartwright-Douglas on why she plans to attend the same uni as her girlfriend

This queer woman has two sets of results to worry about on A Level results day
Twitter
Lily with Student Pride at Pride In London this year

In September I’m hoping to begin journalism at the University of Sussex, alongside my girlfriend Saskia.

This is a controversial statement to some.

Age 18 and fresh out of my A levels, the go-to small talk amongst adults generally consists of discussing my choice of further education.

It all goes swimmingly – I’m going to a respectable uni, to do an interesting degree.

Then I admit that my girlfriend is also planning on attending the same place.

Suddenly I am met with raised eyebrows and polite nods, often followed by, ‘that’s an interesting choice,’ and, ‘what do your parents think about that?’

I’m not entirely oblivious; I’m aware that it is an ‘interesting choice’ to choose the same university as your significant other.

I always remember people telling me to never compromise my education for a boy.

I mean, technically that’s exactly the opposite of what I’m doing – boys are nowhere near my agenda – but the premise of the argument is entirely understandable.

Relationships are often short-term and always unpredictable; education provides future stability and long-term benefits.

marching with @studentpride 🌈✨ #lovehappenshere #pride2017

A post shared by saskia and lily (@saskiaandlily) on

We’re finally going to able build our life together

While neither I nor my girlfriend has given up our education for one another, we have made sacrifices regarding university choice because of our desire to study and live together.

Finding universities that catered to Saskia’s degree of choice, social work, and mine, journalism, definitely narrowed down our choices.

Add in the requirement of us both agreeing to want to spend the next three years of our life living in whatever city complemented our degrees, and we ended up with a minuscule list of only four suitable universities.

Lucky for us, one of those was Sussex.

Located in Brighton, one of the most LGBT+ friendly cities in the UK, the University of Sussex ticked both our boxes for education and lifestyle – big time.

After visiting the campus once we simultaneously fell in love – running to meet each other after attending separate talks on our subjects, we both proclaimed, “this is the one!”

It was an intense relief for us both, and also felt a little bit like fate.

I’m excited about the future, with her by my side

We’d spent two years in a long-distance relationship while at sixth form. This was the moment I knew for certain it was ending. I could see it in my mind’s eye; morning strolls across the campus, meeting for coffee between lectures, no more laggy Skype calls.

We were finally going to build our life together!

I digress of course, because if only it was that easy!

Sussex is a good university, so of course, we needed good grades in our A levels. So we worked hard towards them.

I think the thing that really gave me a kick up the bum was the prospect of our shared life together. Not only was I working to get a respectable education, I was also working to secure my life and relationship and happiness for the next three years!

In that way, our joint-uni plan was really the best thing that could have happened for me; I honestly don’t think any other prospect could have motivated me to work as hard as I did.

really old photo because we have nothing new because we are away from eachother for a MONTH D: 3 weeks to go!

A post shared by saskia and lily (@saskiaandlily) on

We both must succeed for this story to be a success

The downside to this intense motivation, however, is pressure and the fear of failure.

It is results day in ten days and suddenly I have two sets of results to worry about instead of just one. It is not my life alone that will be affected by my grades; for this story to be a success, we both must succeed!

Of course, we have back up plans, if one, the other or both of us fail, but they aren’t ideal.

For me, I can only focus on the best-case scenario. Which is moving into my favorite city with the girl of my dreams, to learn more about what I love.

I have pure confidence that our relationship will remain strong no matter what our results. But I truly think attending university together will be one of the best things that could happen to us.

We are ready to make friends; as a couple, separately, party friends, LGBT friends, work friends, flatmates. We’re ready to experience independent living in student halls, and then maybe even get a flat to call our own. We’re ready to be accepted fully, for who we are, and we’re excited to never have to hide our relationship, never have to worry about what the small-townsfolk will think if they see us holding hands.

I would usually be scared of such a drastic life change. But with her by my side, I only feel the excitement. This is how I know I’m doing the right thing.

Lily has a YouTube channel with her girlfriend, Saskia. Follow Lily on Twitter.


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