Studying Pharmacy at RGU

When I look back at the beginning of my journey in 2016, I remember being elated as I received my offer to study Pharmacy at RGU. I was excited for this unknown journey I was about to embark on and I frequently envisioned how this chapter would end in 2020!

study pharmacy at RGU

Many times, I dreamed of walking across the graduation ceremony stage to receive my degree then celebrate with the people I love. Never in a million years, would I imagine of such an anti-climactic yet climatic end to this amazing journey. I mean, who would! But here we are and I am grateful that the end was still a positive one!

I was born and raised in Port-Harcourt city, Nigeria up until the age of 11. After this, my family and I relocated to Aberdeen. I had just finished primary school, so I was hoping to progressively continue my studies when I relocated to Scotland. It was quite common to begin secondary school at 11 years, or younger in Nigeria, but when I came to Scotland I was told that I may have to re-sit primary 7 because I was too young to start secondary school.

To everyone’s surprise, I was accepted into secondary school at 11 and that’s how my educational journey in Scotland began!

From Nigeria to Aberdeen

Six years of secondary school was great but progressing to higher education was always on the agenda. You see, going to university is a must when growing up in a Nigerian household. Knowing this from an early stage, I was constantly thinking and changing my mind about what I wanted to study. One day it was engineering and then the next day it was a healthcare profession. Either way, I knew I had to get good grades to go to university.

I am a strong believer that if you really want to do something, it’s all about mind power. Tell yourself you will do it and it will happen! I kept working hard and telling this to myself and I achieved good grades, but sadly not good enough to be accepted into medical school. After I quickly disregarded the idea of studying Medicine, I searched for other courses that were in the healthcare field that I could enjoy and I stumbled across Pharmacy.

RGU student pharmacist

At the time, UCAS gave you five options to choose from but there were only two universities that offered Pharmacy in Scotland, and RGU was one of them. I was reluctant to choose RGU because I had lived in Aberdeen for the past six years and I felt I would know everybody at university, a big misconception! RGU ranked high for Pharmacy as the course was competent in teaching all aspects of pharmacy. It was also offering placements that help to put into practice the knowledge you’d learn from the lectures.

from Nigeria to Aberdeen

As the start date of university drew nearer so did the build-up of nerves. Even though I was initially hesitant to choose RGU “because I would know everyone at university”, I realised I didn’t really have friends from Aberdeen studying the same, or any other course, at RGU. Therefore, it became more nerve-wracking but also more exciting.

Looking back in retrospect, choosing RGU was one of the best decisions I made.

I started alone thinking I wouldn’t meet new people or have any new experiences, but I was totally wrong. I’ve met people from around the globe and made some amazing friends. I can wholeheartedly say that my time at RGU contributed to who I am today.

During my course, I had placements every semester which gave me the opportunity to learn more. When we weren’t on placement, we had practical weekly lab sessions that taught us equally well. All my lecturers were approachable and they encouraged us to ask questions which developed a great student-lecturer relationship and promoted a conducive learning environment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I appreciated RGU and all of my lecturers more than ever. I would like to thank them all because, amidst the uncertainty, I was very much supported and reassured that we would all graduate in a timely manner.

Although at the beginning of COVID-19 I was worried about the future of my studies, the seamless transition from on-campus to online teaching made me feel assured that everything was going to end well.

study pharmacy at RGU

Now, I have a Master’s in Pharmacy and I couldn’t be any happier of my achievement. I am also excited to start my placement in August. I will work my one-year pre-registration in a pharmacy which will qualify me to be a pharmacist.

It has been an amazing four years at The Robert Gordon University, and I would most definitely recommend it to anyone thinking about studying here. RGU equipped me well and gave me the confidence to enter the work force. I did not just graduate with a Master’s in Pharmacy, but I picked up many other transferrable skills that I will use for the rest of my life.

If I had to turn back in time I would choose RGU once again!

Dami Yusuf