You may remember a little while back I wrote a post called “The University Diaries” and I suggested the idea of making a new series about the whole university thing, because most of my posts these days are about university. But I’ve changed my mind a little bit, and I have decided to write posts every so often about my experience in the last year from going to open days, to choosing my top five choices, to writing my personal statement, and all of that stuff which I think will be really useful for a lot of you.
So what better place to start than at the beginning?
My brother is a year older than me, and I remember going to an open day with him because my mum wanted me and my sister to start thinking about places we’d like to go to. If any of you aren’t quite at the stage of choosing universities, but you have an older sibling who is, then I would recommend going to universities with them, just to get an idea of what sort of things they have to offer.
You don’t have to go to every single university you can think of. Just go to ones that you genuinely think have something to offer you, and if they aren’t quite what you were looking for, then don’t worry about it. There will be somewhere else. Apart from going to open days, I recommend going to things like university conventions (I think that’s what they’re called…). I went to one when I was in Year 12 with the rest of my year group, and we were allowed to go around to all the different stalls and ask the university representatives about what courses they have to offer, what the typical grade boundaries are, what clubs and societies they have… I could go on.
I think the starting point is often the hardest, because there are so many places to choose from. But looking online, or going and talking to students at open days is a really good way to start, because you begin to get an idea of what it is you’re looking for. I would also recommend starting early. There will be open days around June so if you can start thinking about where you want to go as soon as possible, then it will make the rest of the application process a lot easier. It may seem really daunting, but trust me- once you’ve started looking at universities, it’ll get easier!