Your Uni Experience Watch

katinthehat
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Hi, as a prospective university student, I am thinking about my options when it comes to which university to choose. Instead of making a thread called 'Southampton vs. Exeter' and the like, I thought it would be more helpful to actually ask students at university who had to make these same decisions about their experiences.

I'll post some of my questions down below. I guess these are survey style. As much or as little detail as you like, skip some questions if you want - all is helpful. Thank you

  1. Which university are you currently studying at?
  2. What course are you studying?
  3. How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with? As in, did you consider league tables, or were you more focused on location, campus style etc.
  4. Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
  5. Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?


Feel free to add anything else about accommodation, living independently, etcetera and so forth...thanks for your time!
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RossJT
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(Original post by katinthehat)
Hi, as a prospective university student, I am thinking about my options when it comes to which university to choose. Instead of making a thread called 'Southampton vs. Exeter' and the like, I thought it would be more helpful to actually ask students at university who had to make these same decisions about their experiences.

I'll post some of my questions down below. I guess these are survey style. As much or as little detail as you like, skip some questions if you want - all is helpful. Thank you

  1. Which university are you currently studying at?
  2. What course are you studying?
  3. How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with? As in, did you consider league tables, or were you more focused on location, campus style etc.
  4. Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
  5. Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?


Feel free to add anything else about accommodation, living independently, etcetera and so forth...thanks for your time!
Hi this will be a little long and I do apologize but if you read it all it may help you.

I am at Leeds Beckett university or Leeds Met (the old name, which you may know it by) and I am studying Criminology.

I went about studying Criminology when a friend told me about it several years ago and it being a good way to understand criminals as my friend wanted to work with offenders in prison. Ending up at Leeds Beckett by mistake as I wanted to go to Uni of Leeds however messed up UCAS and thought Leeds Met as it was back then was the same as Uni of Leeds. I know a real derp moment. But hey ho I am at Leeds Beckett. I enjoy the Uni and in some ways of volunteering it is better but that`s just from what I have volunteered for so my own bias really.

In terms of being happy at uni well, let`s say Im deferring my next academic year to work and volunteer as the jump from BTEC at college to a degree was a huge shock. Don`t worry about that as long as you turn up to lectures and seminars and talks sober you will be fine. I haven`t made a lot of friends as I don`t like to get hammered each weekend and I work nights Friday and Saturday in Leeds city centre so all weekend I am took up working or sleeping. But meh I`m paid more. I feel like I made the right decision to go to uni despite the gloom above because it was a fresh start from back home but now I know what I want more or less as to last year I`m glad I want to change my life and try and find something else I want to do.

Best advice to prospective students is to
1. Look around the city to see if you like it. you`ll be there a long time.
2. Look at your Students union for societies and volunteering. First aid society is a recommendation from me as it teaches you live saving skills that you could end up using in the real world although I hope you never have to .
3. Get the emails for the course leader and email them any questions you have to settle little worries before coming to uni.
4. when looking at uni`s spend the whole day there pretending you are there and just get a feel for it. I do advise not going on match days as Leeds like big cities gets packed and you don`t get to see everything.

Accommodation wise I am across the road from uni so it is a big bonus when I run late- very rare but has happened. so lucky me in a strange way.

Living independently wasn`t as hard for me as I did expect but it was difficult and skype is your best friend if you are far away from home. Also homesickness is inevitable and I advise to bring something from home to take with you, eg. teddy bear, playstation or whatever makes you happy.

Sorry it is stupidly long the whole thing I wrote but if you have any questions PM me and I`ll happily answer any questions you have.
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JulietheCat
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OK, prepare for a long-ass post.

I went to university because everyone else was doing it. I had a nice offer for an apprenticeship which would give me a graduate wage faster than if I were to go to university. I turned it down because people say that uni is supposed to be the best time of your life.

I initially went to QMUL (I took Music Computing), and boy, a lot of people were so up their arses that they couldn't see the wood for the trees. Using the same small talk techniques as I did in school, didn't work. I was dismissed every single time and I felt like I had to lie about myself, so I could fit in. The environment was worse than in school.

I put it down to the fact that I was living with my parents, so I moved to halls behind my parents' back. I regretted it almost immediately as I couldn't sleep with all of the noise and everything was very filthy. I couldn't even last half a semester and my grades started to suffer, so I decided to break my halls contract and move out to a shared house.

I was very lucky that my best friend was in the same uni as me, and so I wasn't entirely alone in uni. I met some very nice people, but only after moving out twice.

But that wasn't even half of the story. I felt like I wasn't supposed to be in this uni - I wasn't wearing the latest trends and I wasn't speaking like "Oh, shuuup!". I isolated myself and didn't speak to anyone but my housemates.

When I came out with a first in Music Computing with no effort at all (seriously!), I changed uni to Goldsmith's instead. The uni was so much better than QMUL, and the people there weren't so rude. I started to enjoy it and I made some nice friends there.

Overall, I still think that I should've taken that apprenticeship as I feel the uni experience was not worth the £27,000 in tuition fees plus costs of accommodation.
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Helloworld_95
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1.Which university are you currently studying at?
Uni of Sheffield

2.What course are you studying?
Aerospace Engineering (also do 20 credits of French per year on top of that as part of the languages for all program)

3.How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with? As in, did you consider league tables, or were you more focused on location, campus style etc.
It was my backup choice for medicine so I was lazy and pretty much just looked through league tables and occasionally articles, originally I was signed up for Material sciences with Biomaterials which sounded pretty good as I was most interested in chemistry and biology but didn't want to go into the traditional medicine reject subjects. Eventually I ended up in Aerospace because I realised it was something I was more interested in.

4.Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
Yes absolutely. It's a friendly uni with lots of opportunities to improve your CV and yourself, alongside meeting new people, and my tutors have been very supportive.

5.Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?
Look at the course at each uni you want to apply to, they can be run quite differently between unis and you may enjoy some more than others. At the same time you're going to be encountering new subjects and in a different way so don't immediately discount courses with a wider curriculum as you may end up more interested in the subjects you had no idea about or thought you would hate. Uni atmosphere is also quite important, it might have the ideal course but if you can't express your interests there and have fun you're going to lose out on the experience. Don't be afraid to take a gap year, it will give you more time to figure out what you want to do and where to go and you can earn some money in the mean time, but again if you're going to end up left alone with not much to do and not many friends around it might not be worth it.

edit: Also consider why you're going to university, if it's because you enjoy the subject take it as you're paying for the lectures, if you're doing it for job prospects take it as you're paying for the piece of paper at the end. Most people will be somewhere in between.
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UniofReading
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(Original post by katinthehat)
Hi, as a prospective university student, I am thinking about my options when it comes to which university to choose. Instead of making a thread called 'Southampton vs. Exeter' and the like, I thought it would be more helpful to actually ask students at university who had to make these same decisions about their experiences.

I'll post some of my questions down below. I guess these are survey style. As much or as little detail as you like, skip some questions if you want - all is helpful. Thank you

  1. Which university are you currently studying at?
  2. What course are you studying?
  3. How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with? As in, did you consider league tables, or were you more focused on location, campus style etc.
  4. Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
  5. Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?


Feel free to add anything else about accommodation, living independently, etcetera and so forth...thanks for your time!
Hello,

I am currently a third year at the University of Reading and study English Literature and History of Art. I chose to do a joint course as I felt as if I couldn't choose between the two and would have missed out on the other subject if I just studied one! I had studied English Literature pretty much most of my school years and it was something I definitely wanted to pursue further. As for History of Art, I was originally going to pick History but History of Art made for a better fit as I really enjoyed Art and had been going to a lot of galleries learning about its history since I was young. So if you are in the process of picking your subjects you may want to look at ones which you haven't studied in school or college before but have a keen interest in. Also consider a joint course if you can't choose just one subject.

As for choosing universities, I think the most important factor is your course as you will be studying it for a few years! Really look into the modules that are on offer in each year- what appeals to you and what really does not? Two people studying the same subject in different universities can have completely different course content to each other depending on the subject. At first I looked at league tables a lot, but then as the university process really set off, I realised that rankings are not the most important aspect of uni. They are useful to look at for reference but don't rely on these alone as you may disregard some universities that you could really enjoy. It might be useful to take certain rankings into consideration like student satisfaction but some categories can be difficult to measure and can be objective.

It was important that I could really see myself being at the university and enjoy the area that it was in. My first choice was a city based university but Reading was my insurance and is a campus based university. I have really enjoyed being on a lovely green campus as it feels like you are in a student bubble and you are constantly meeting friends and new people. The actual town is really pleasant. It has a great social life and everything you need in terms of shops, restaurants, cafes and transport. I think that its great that there is so much going on at the university campus as well as town. I definitely looked at universities where there was a lot to do in terms of social activities and facilities, but I also looked at the surrounding areas of the universities.

I have had an amazing time so far at Reading and even though it was my insurance, I'm so glad everything turned out the way it did! I think its important to remember that if you don't get your first choice its not the end of the world and you'll most probably have a great time wherever you go. I've made great friends, enjoyed the course and the social life. The support that the university gives is really good. The services and activities that are on offer are never ending. I'm coming to the end of my time at uni and am still discovering new things at Reading.

Last minute advice? Visit the universities and the towns that they are in. I often found that one university which sounded amazing in it's prospectus was not what I expected it to be when I actually visited it. It doesn't mean that the university is bad, but everyone has different preferences so try your best to visit different unis. Open days are really good to go to and don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you like to the students you meet there.

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask any more questions
Pip, third year English Literature and History of Art
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Welsh Locs
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(Original post by katinthehat)

  1. Which university are you currently studying at?
Bangor, Wales.


(Original post by katinthehat)
2.What course are you studying?
Media

(Original post by katinthehat)

  1. How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with?
I knew I wanted to do something Media/Film related so easy in that aspect.

At first I had York, Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor as my shortlisted choices.

I was attracted to York by its prospectus and ranking (amazing photography and graphic design and I think the uni was ranked in the top 10 or 12 in the country. It became clear to me though that the grade reqs were too high for me to get in though. Happens.

Cardiff and Swansea appealed to me because of it being South Wales and having decent reps and whatnot. What I found though was they didn't really have a course or modules that catered to what I was looking for.

So Bangor was the one to win because it had the right balance of having a good ranking and rep, and also having a great media department that catered very well to my interests.


(Original post by katinthehat)

  1. Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
Simply put, I am satisfied. Its easy to spend a lot of time thinking about what ifs and hypothetical situations. It would be great if I had the experience in other uni's to be able to compare. I know people that have moved from one to another and while it would be enlightening, its not something that is entirely a good idea unless you're really dissatisfied!

So that covers the choice of which uni. But another thing is whether going to any uni is the right choice or not. Only graduates can really answer that and again, the answer is super varied and subjective!

(Original post by katinthehat)

  1. Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?
I suppose you could say my answers have been a little vague in terms of leaning towards recommending it or not. I don't want to hype something so unpredictable as uni up because it is DANGEROUS. I was a little naive going into uni. I'd be lying if I said I explored alternative options. My college was very pro in pushing students into uni and I went along with it, and was admittedly sold the representations put forward. You'd think as a media student i'd know better but I WANTED to believe what I was seeing and being told.

It can really difficult to understand what you want when you haven't tasted it yet. But as a college student the more you can identify what you're wanting the better. This can really determine if its uni thats right for you, and if so look for the uni that is ticking all your boxes.

Education and job prospects aside, living in uni is great for most but even some people can't handle it. While chances are most people will thrive in the uni environment and have great social lives, it is no lie that a good few don't and can become isolated and lonely.

In terms of money... Yes if you earn enough to have to pay back the loan then it is annoying because ideally education should be free. But the payments are pretty low. I can't say if i'll ever earn enough to pay back my own loan, its not a big worry really, just a hindrance if I do ever earn enough.

I'm sure there is plenty more to say but already rambled on for long enough.
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jonathanemptage
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[QUOTE=katinthehat;54912731]Hi, as a prospective university student, I am thinking about my options when it comes to which university to choose. Instead of making a thread called 'Southampton vs. Exeter' and the like, I thought it would be more helpful to actually ask students at university who had to make these same decisions about their experiences.

I'll post some of my questions down below. I guess these are survey style. As much or as little detail as you like, skip some questions if you want - all is helpful. Thank you

  1. (Original post by katinthehat)
    Which university are you currently studying at?
    Well I've graduated now but I went to Solent
  2. (Original post by katinthehat)
    What course are you studying?
    I studied Electronic Engineering
  3. (Original post by katinthehat)
    How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with?
    As in, did you consider league tables, or were you more focused on location, campus style etc. For me it was the UCAS fairs and open days I also didn't want to be too far from home but also be far enough away so living out was a viable option so Southampton was the obvious choice as I also love the city.
  4. (Original post by katinthehat)
    Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
    I defiantly made the right choice I had 4 very happy years there and made some great mates the course was also really good I wouldn't change a thing.
  5. (Original post by katinthehat)
    Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?

Whatever you do go to as many open days as you can don't rely on the league tables you are going to be living in the area for 3-4 years. location is important if you don't feel comfortable at any university don't apply there and finally live out it is what makes uni the best time of your live really avoid commuting if it's at all posssible

(Original post by katinthehat)
Feel free to add anything else about accommodation, living independently, etcetera and so forth...thanks for your time!
Do be aware home sickness rearers it's head to everyone and while it's not nice it does pass you just have to ride it out. but for the most part uni is a long time of eat drink and be merry if what I mean is it's fun enjoy it.
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tgwktm
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(Original post by katinthehat)
Hi, as a prospective university student, I am thinking about my options when it comes to which university to choose. Instead of making a thread called 'Southampton vs. Exeter' and the like, I thought it would be more helpful to actually ask students at university who had to make these same decisions about their experiences.

I'll post some of my questions down below. I guess these are survey style. As much or as little detail as you like, skip some questions if you want - all is helpful. Thank you

  1. Which university are you currently studying at?
  2. What course are you studying?
  3. How did you go about choosing the course and university you ended up with? As in, did you consider league tables, or were you more focused on location, campus style etc.
  4. Are you happy at university?/Do you feel that you made the right decision?
  5. Any advice you'd give to year 12's & 13's trying to choose from the hundreds of universities across the country?


Feel free to add anything else about accommodation, living independently, etcetera and so forth...thanks for your time!
1. University of Exeter cornwall campus
2. BSc/BA Geography
3. the main influence for me was location, i wanted to be close to home and the campus is only 20mins away from me so it was ideal. however, i had visited the campus on school visits etc several times in the past and loved how relaxed it is. the exeter cornwall campus near falmouth is quiet and small compared to your typical university campus and this suited me perfectly. as the campus is less well known than the main campus in exeter it also had lower grade requirements so it was easier for me to get a place
4. overall i am happy, the course did have a few modules/ topics that were unexpected for me, there were some things i was pushed straight into that i had no previous knowledge of at all, but the staff are very good at giving me the correct support.
5. make sure you visit the uni's you are most keen on several times before you decide for sure, don't feel like you have to rush into a decision
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