If you're drawn to numbers, why should you take the next step and study maths at degree level? Here are just a few things to think about...
Prime subject areas
For a start, you'll have a range of subjects to choose from. At Coventry University's Department of Mathematics, for example, you can study a BSc in Mathematics, Mathematics and Physics or Mathematics and Statistics.
Depending on the uni you choose and the course you opt for, you'll be able to explore many different topics related to maths – it's the fundamental language underpinning everything in the universe that ever was or ever will be, after all, so it probably touches on a few interesting areas. At Coventry that includes algebra, calculus, electromagnetism, graph theory, statistical modelling and more.
A varied learning experience
While you could indulge your interest in maths by constantly rewatching Lost and muttering about 'the numbers', we wouldn't recommend it. Instead, you could pick a uni that offers a wide-ranging programme that embraces different teaching styles and tools, with access to the latest technology and good contact time with the tutors. (And then you could talk about Lost with them, if you must.)
At Coventry, students are taught through a mix of lectures, computer labs and example classes as well as personal tutorials – the department scored 96% for student satisfaction in this year's National Student Survey and is ranked 15th for maths in the whole country. But of course every university approaches their programme in a different way, so make sure you do your research to find one that appeals to you.
You won't need us to tell you that maths is about a lot more than long division, but you might still be surprised by some of the research that uni maths departments are involved in.
Take the Icelandic sagas, for example: the ancient texts that inform the country's mythology were examined by mathematicians from Coventry, who found that the network connections between the characters were remarkably complex and lifelike, almost like today's social media platforms...so could those characters have been real? It's an intriguing idea that sees maths cross paths with history, archaeology and more.
Maths departments also cast an eye over the modern world. Students (including those at Coventry) might work on real-world problems from industry and business, developing some professional skills and insight into the world of work at the same time as improving their technical knowledge.
Skills that carry over
Once you graduate, you'll find that your maths degree is in demand from employers in all kinds of industries. There are opportunities in scientific research, but also industry, accountancy, banking, computer analysis, marketing, industrial design, management, and explaining the science jokes in the Big Bang Theory to your friends (the last one may not be a 'career' as such, but it's still a useful skill).
But you're not limited to any one of those areas, as a maths education shows that you're numerate, literate, analytical and curious about the way the world operates. All of which will set you up to work anywhere in the graduate job market. Plus, universities have dedicated careers services (like Coventry's Careers and Employability Team) who will help you prepare for life after uni.
Don't forget, the right uni isn't just about the course. The final reason to think about studying maths at degree level is that it will open up the student world to you, with all the benefits that go along with it. At a city uni like Coventry that means a lively social life, state of the art facilities and the chance to study at the 2014 and 2015 Modern University of the Year.
You don't need to rely on complex systems theory to help you predict which uni is going to be right for you, though. Instead, get online and see what people are saying about an institution and its courses – our forums can help – and make sure to go to an open day if you can, so you can see a place for yourself and ask questions. Do your research, pick the course that suits you and your hard work could add up a great student experience – and the opportunities could multiply from there...