The Difficult Life Of Thomas Smith

THOMAS SMITH s on a quest for knowledge. A unicorn-related injury stands in his way. Read the real email exchange with Queen Mary University.

Hi. My name’s Thomas. Choosing the right universities to apply to was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do, apart from maybe teaching my younger brother, Ian, to ride a bike. He is such a douchebag.

Anyway, after emailing several universities, I decided Queen Mary, as the only university in East London to be named after a person, was definitely the place for me, and I managed to secure myself a place for 2010 entry! However, unsuccessful surgery meant I would need to try and defer entry to half way through the year…

(The following are genuine exchanges.)


Dear Queen Mary University Admissions,

Hi. My name’s Thomas and I am going to be a new student at Queen Mary this year.

Since attending my neighbour (Lucy)’s Mythical Creature-themed 6th birthday party, I have been a complete unicorn fanatic. I live, speak, and love unicorns. In year 11 I went to a unicorn convention in Nebraska where I met many other like-minded people and perfected my unicorn impression. I really want to be just like a unicorn. So much, in fact, that I decided to get a unicorn horn surgically implanted onto my head.

I wanted to get it done before starting university, as I really wanted to make a good impression to my classmates, so I went to L.A. this summer to see Dr. Zahana (the best plastic surgeon I could afford), who promised to safely attach a unicorn horn to my head and that it would heal in time for university. However, Dr Zahana lied. It did not heal at all. It has become so swollen that you can barely see my face, and I look even less like a unicorn than I did before the surgery!!!

I do not want to show my face at Queen Mary until my unicorn horn looks realistic, so would it be ok if I miss the first couple of months and arrive in November or December? I’ll try and catch up on my course etc…


Thomas x


Dear Thomas

We are very sorry to read of the complications to you surgery, and completely understand your desire to delay your arrival at the University. However, we are unable to offer you such a late point of entry. Instead, we could try to establish a deferral until September 2011. Please let me know if you are interested in a deferring your place. I will also need your application number in order to arrange this for you.

Kind regards,

Queen Mary


Dear (your majesty) Queen Mary,

Many thanks for your quick reply – a lot quicker than the recovery of my unicorn horn. I am upset to hear that it would not be possible to arrive late, and I feel that September 2011 would be a bit too late to come. I do think the swelling is gradually easing and I think it shouldn’t take too too long to recover. Every day I feel more and more like the inner unicorn I am. Therefore, do you think it would be possible to defer to a 2010.5 entry? That is, half way through the year.

Many thanks, your majesty, and I look forward to reading another email written by yourself.

All together,

Thomas x


Good morning Thomas

I hope your face is feeling better and better as the days go by.

Despite your palpable request for late enrolment, we cannot offer you a mid-academic entry point. I am very sorry to bring you this disappointing news. You might find it interesting to know that the University’s final day for enrolment this year is October 22nd, so if your horn/face has recovered sufficiently by then, you should let me know and I will begin preparations for your arrival. Otherwise, the option to defer could still be open to you.

Kind regards,



Unfortunately, my face/horn did not recover in time, so my search for the perfect university continued…

Check back next week to see how Thomas fared in his quest for knowledge.