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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    Hi, and thanks for the reply...

    I'm predicted AAA, however of my top three uni's I expected York to be the one most likely to make me an offer, which is why I'm now very concerned about the other two. Also, being predicted AAA - and having just got some more good exam results - I'm reluctant to go to Sheffield. I would like to find a non-arrogant way of putting this, but if I got AAA/AAB I would feel 'too good' to go to Sheffield - I assure you that there is a lot more to that than you might intially think, but I shalln't go into it.

    Essentially, I have worked very hard for the past 13 years and, in some way or another, I was always motivated by the prospect that one day I would be rewarded by getting a place at a top-class univeristy. I hope that explains what might be perceived as complete snobbery for effectively rejecting univerisities like Sheff/Essex...

    Tom
    Well I'm predicted AAA, and I'd be quite happy to go to Sheffield. But I know what you mean about wanting to go to a top class university, and if I do end up at Sheffield, it'll be because I missed ABB Nottingham offer. I'd say Sheffield is more of a very good University than an excellent one, but I can think of far worse places to end up, and it does have a good Politics department.

    But my friend who got an offer from Warwick, the predicted grades on his reference from were just written as A/B in everything, so if you're predicted AAA then you ought to have a reasonable chance.
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    (Original post by Frances)
    Well I'm predicted AAA, and I'd be quite happy to go to Sheffield. But I know what you mean about wanting to go to a top class university, and if I do end up at Sheffield, it'll be because I missed ABB Nottingham offer. I'd say Sheffield is more of a very good University than an excellent one, but I can think of far worse places to end up, and it does have a good Politics department.

    But my friend who got an offer from Warwick, the predicted grades on his reference from were just written as A/B in everything, so if you're predicted AAA then you ought to have a reasonable chance.
    Thanks for the post...

    I certinaly don't dispute that Sheffield is a very good uni, and you're absolutely right to point out that it has a very good politics department. I would have been more than happy to have gone to sheffield when i submitted my UCAS, but over time i set my heart on three particular uni's, and distanced myself from the others... I know that it sounds silly, but i hope you can understand why...

    Please don't take any offence re: sheffield!!!

    Tom
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    Thanks for the post...

    I certinaly don't dispute that Sheffield is a very good uni, and you're absolutely right to point out that it has a very good politics department. I would have been more than happy to have gone to sheffield when i submitted my UCAS, but over time i set my heart on three particular uni's, and distanced myself from the others... I know that it sounds silly, but i hope you can understand why...

    Please don't take any offence re: sheffield!!!

    Tom
    Don't worry, I'm not offended or anything. I just didn't really have any big preference for any of my six choices, apart from LSE, which rejected me. And I admit that I probably went for Nottingham because it had a slightly better reputation than the others, but also because it's prettier

    Good luck with Warwick and LSE!
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    also academic study in the USA (which would be a dream come true, but only if I am not too late to arrange something, and (as usual) there are a few places that I would really want to go to (Massachusets or Washington)).

    Try this, it's what edders has gone on: http://www.esu.org/educate/youth.html
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    (Original post by Frances)
    Don't worry, I'm not offended or anything. I just didn't really have any big preference for any of my six choices, apart from LSE, which rejected me. And I admit that I probably went for Nottingham because it had a slightly better reputation than the others, but also because it's prettier

    Good luck with Warwick and LSE!
    Hi... Well, i do have a 'big preference' for my top three uni's, although I wish that I shared your open-minded approach! Sorry to hear you were rejected by LSE, I'm sure it was a big dissapointment if it was your first choice. When did you get the news from LSE, and as a matter of interest when was your UCAS submitted?

    Thanks, and I hope that you have fun at Notts... My sister is just finishing 4 years there and absolutely loved it...

    Tom
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    Hi... Well, i do have a 'big preference' for my top three uni's, although I wish that I shared your open-minded approach! Sorry to hear you were rejected by LSE, I'm sure it was a big dissapointment if it was your first choice. When did you get the news from LSE, and as a matter of interest when was your UCAS submitted?

    Thanks, and I hope that you have fun at Notts... My sister is just finishing 4 years there and absolutely loved it...

    Tom
    Well I sent my form in by October and finally heard from LSE by the end of February. I wasn't too disapointed, as I never really expected to get in (mostly because of my A Level subjects), and by that point I was pretty much expecting to go to Nottingham. I went for the open day at Notts a couple of weeks ago and I loved what I saw of it, so I'm petty happy. Everybody just keeps telling me to think about how much money I'll save

    I have a friend who submitted his form just before the deadline (the one who got the offer from Warwick) and he's still waiting to hear from LSE.
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    I'm an A2 student currently wondering what I'll be doing next year.
    ......
    Firstly, don't give up hope on Warwick and LSE. I know how you feel about deciding that you'd rather not go to the other universities that you applied to. I think that if you do get rejections from the other two, which I think should be unlikely, then you should pull out of UCAS and reapply next year if you still feel the same about the other three that have given you offers. I don't think that you should waste three years of your life in a place you don't want to be for the sake of not losing a year to a gap year.

    As for extra academic study, I would say that going abroad and studying is a good idea but if you just end up in your local college doing a few more a-levels, it won't be so attractive to your prospective universities. I mean, if you have a genuine interest in studying a specific subject and can justify it then I am sure that would be better looked upon.

    Personally I think that if you are taking a gap year then you should do something with it that you're going to remember and will not regret in a few years. Getting a job in politics would be an excellent way to spend some of the year- and if you had it on your personal statement then arguably it would be harder for your top three unis to reject you.

    I hope this makes some kind of sense.
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    (Original post by katini)

    Getting a job in politics would be an excellent way to spend some of the year- and if you had it on your personal statement then arguably it would be harder for your top three unis to reject you.
    On that note, the friend that I keep talking about has managed to arrange some time working in parliament for our local MP. Have you thought about trying to do something like that? It does show that you have an interest in the subject, and it would be an amazing experience anyway.
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    (Original post by Frances)
    On that note, the friend that I keep talking about has managed to arrange some time working in parliament for our local MP. Have you thought about trying to do something like that? It does show that you have an interest in the subject, and it would be an amazing experience anyway.
    Yes I was going to suggest that too. I can help in that field if needed.
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    (Original post by katini)
    Firstly, don't give up hope on Warwick and LSE. I know how you feel about deciding that you'd rather not go to the other universities that you applied to. I think that if you do get rejections from the other two, which I think should be unlikely, then you should pull out of UCAS and reapply next year if you still feel the same about the other three that have given you offers. I don't think that you should waste three years of your life in a place you don't want to be for the sake of not losing a year to a gap year.

    As for extra academic study, I would say that going abroad and studying is a good idea but if you just end up in your local college doing a few more a-levels, it won't be so attractive to your prospective universities. I mean, if you have a genuine interest in studying a specific subject and can justify it then I am sure that would be better looked upon.

    Personally I think that if you are taking a gap year then you should do something with it that you're going to remember and will not regret in a few years. Getting a job in politics would be an excellent way to spend some of the year- and if you had it on your personal statement then arguably it would be harder for your top three unis to reject you.

    I hope this makes some kind of sense.
    Oh my word... Thank you so much for that advice, it's really great to hear the opinions of someone who understands my situation.

    I have done quite a bit of work experience in Politics already; both with my local MP (Ben Bradshaw) and with several pressure groups in my region. I was able to put quite a sizeable amount of evidence of this into my personal statement. I have been e-mailing around several of the large think tanks in London (Demos/IPPR/Adam Smith) and I don't think that it would be too much of a problem for me to get a placement there. That would certainly be a very good experience, but at most it would constitute only a two month placement, and they do not offer accomodation or living costs. (I find that very disappointing because it would probably mean that I would have to pay quite a large sum to do voluntary work!!!)

    I share your sentiments, Katini, that going abroad would probably be the best thing to do. But obviously I have nothing planned, and most people on gap years arrange everything a year in advance! Furthermore, I cannot arrange anything until I hear from both my uni's.

    I am in no doubt that my ideal year out would be in the USA, studying/working in a North Eastern liberal state (...dreams of Massachusetts). However, surely it is too late now to arrange anything serious? With that said, if anyone knows if there are schemes designed for people to go and study in the USA for the year, then please let me know! I'm fairly affluent so don't be affraid to offer any suggestion.

    But with all of that said, I appreciate how silly it is of me to rule out LSE and Warwick, and hopefully one of them will surprise me. (Can I just point out that before York rejected me on Friday 13th everything was fine... I didn't complain or anything!) Until then, I shall remain completely clueless as to what I will be doing next autumn.

    And as much as I complain, I am enjoying the bizarre rollercoaster experience of trying to plan my life, and the way that the plan seems to change every single day!

    Thanks for you help, esp Katini... Tom
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    Oh my word... Thank you so much for that advice, it's really great to hear the opinions of someone who understands my situation.

    I have done quite a bit of work experience in Politics already; both with my local MP (Ben Bradshaw) and with several pressure groups in my region. I was able to put quite a sizeable amount of evidence of this into my personal statement. I have been e-mailing around several of the large think tanks in London (Demos/IPPR/Adam Smith) and I don't think that it would be too much of a problem for me to get a placement there. That would certainly be a very good experience, but at most it would constitute only a two month placement, and they do not offer accomodation or living costs. (I find that very disappointing because it would probably mean that I would have to pay quite a large sum to do voluntary work!!!)

    I share your sentiments, Katini, that going abroad would probably be the best thing to do. But obviously I have nothing planned, and most people on gap years arrange everything a year in advance! Furthermore, I cannot arrange anything until I hear from both my uni's.

    I am in no doubt that my ideal year out would be in the USA, studying/working in a North Eastern liberal state (...dreams of Massachusetts). However, surely it is too late now to arrange anything serious? With that said, if anyone knows if there are schemes designed for people to go and study in the USA for the year, then please let me know! I'm fairly affluent so don't be affraid to offer any suggestion.

    But with all of that said, I appreciate how silly it is of me to rule out LSE and Warwick, and hopefully one of them will surprise me. (Can I just point out that before York rejected me on Friday 13th everything was fine... I didn't complain or anything!) Until then, I shall remain completely clueless as to what I will be doing next autumn.

    And as much as I complain, I am enjoying the bizarre rollercoaster experience of trying to plan my life, and the way that the plan seems to change every single day!

    Thanks for you help, esp Katini... Tom
    Again, the program edders is on with the English Speaking Union, deadline for applications for Jan 2005 to start is September! So you have plenty of time.

    Also, many places for things like teaching english don't require years of forward planning.

    I personally would not recommened getting invovled in political jobs (just yet!) because, first of all having to pay to do volentry work? No thanks. Even if you are interested in it, it is likely to be your career after university and I think a Gap year is to experience something different that you may never experience again.
    Hence I am considering for my Gap year

    -Teaching English
    -Project work in devolping countries (school building etc)
    -ESU Youth Exchange


    and hopefully getting a job to pay for these things! I also think that you will be able to read around your subject alot more and ease the transition into the material for the first year if you take a GAP Year.
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    I have done quite a bit of work experience in Politics already; both with my local MP (Ben Bradshaw) and with several pressure groups in my region. I was able to put quite a sizeable amount of evidence of this into my personal statement. I have been e-mailing around several of the large think tanks in London (Demos/IPPR/Adam Smith) and I don't think that it would be too much of a problem for me to get a placement there. That would certainly be a very good experience, but at most it would constitute only a two month placement, and they do not offer accomodation or living costs. (I find that very disappointing because it would probably mean that I would have to pay quite a large sum to do voluntary work!!!)
    Tom, if you were able to get a job in Westminster, would you prefer it to be with a Labour MP/group? I appreciate it must be hard gettinga wide range of political experiences when everything is based in London!

    It's good that you have had political experience and I find it even harder to understand York's rejection now. You're right to say that it's silly to rule out the LSE and Warwick.

    The most ideal thing for you to do on your year out, assuming you do take one, is to somehow get over to America as soon as you finish your exams and stay there until just after the election. You might want to ask Mr Bradshaw about whether there is anyway he could help you out with that one. Although I am not sure how that would work- as far as I am aware the Labour party is trying not to get involved in the whole thing. If you did end up having to reapply, having that on your CV would make you very attractive to universities.
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    (Original post by tomhitchings)
    I share your sentiments, Katini, that going abroad would probably be the best thing to do. But obviously I have nothing planned, and most people on gap years arrange everything a year in advance! Furthermore, I cannot arrange anything until I hear from both my uni's.

    I am in no doubt that my ideal year out would be in the USA, studying/working in a North Eastern liberal state (...dreams of Massachusetts). However, surely it is too late now to arrange anything serious? With that said, if anyone knows if there are schemes designed for people to go and study in the USA for the year, then please let me know! I'm fairly affluent so don't be affraid to offer any suggestion.
    Hi Tom,

    With regard to gap years: I'm taking a gap year now after a disappointing rejection too, and did think about having an academic year in the USA. However, the company I think most people use, Challenge UK, have apparently stopped their scheme following the new VISA restrictions or something (it was on the new the other day) - so just be warned! It might apply to other companies as well. (For a list of other possibilities, see http://www.fulbright.co.uk/eas/study.../exchange.html).
    Were you hoping to go to a US college or a high school? If you wanted to go to a high school then a scholarship from the ESU, which requires an interview, would look good to potential universities and/or employers.

    Jo x
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    Hello... Thank you to Katini, Tiger and Corey

    Corey: Thanks for the ESU plug, i've bookmarked their website. I think I'll write out a generic e-mail and send it to them and all the other organisations that I think might be able to offer me something.

    Tiger: Loads of thanks for that link, I'll have plenty of places to send my e-mail to now.

    Katini: Hello again, you have clearly realised that not only would my dream gap year be spent in America, but actually there is no better time to go than right now. How feasible do you think it would be to get some experience that is in some way connected to the election (you're right: it would be a priceless experience). I would be happy to go over there and work for free, but obviously I need to have something solid arranged in advance.

    You seem very knowledgeable on this subject, and feel free to pm me if you think that you can offer me any extra advice.... .....Also, I am not (as yet) commited to any political party, although it's true that all my experiences hitherto have been with Labour. But as a centrist, i am compatible with most parties, and would be prepared to consider most options.

    Thank you all so much, tomxx
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    (Original post by Alexander)
    I don't think it's an unnatural worry, I am at the moment considering a gap year and it's certainly one of my major worries about one; however what has been said to me has mostly been reassuring.
    But ME I´m getting worried about what has been said! I´m not exactly "mature student" (or am I?) but I´m 24 this year and only now I´ll be starting at uni. After what I´ve read I´m getting worried I´ll feel too old there!!! Please somebody tell me this is not how it sounds...
 
 
 
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