It's only 7 weeks till Christmas and a little well-deserved break for all you hard-working students
. I know you must be all cheerful and in the jingle-spirit, but in 9 weeks UCAS will officially close its doors so it's also a much anticipated decision-making time.
It's all a mixture of fear, excitement, doubt, drive and ambition.
A time to take a leap into your future, the first of many steps to hopefully achieve your dreams and do what you love. You know what they say, work what you love and you won't work a day.
But making this decision doesn't always come with a set of instructions:
"What do I want to do?"
"Where do I want to go?"
"Should I be more practical?"
"Should I take a risk?"
"Should I stay home?"
"Should I go abroad?"
Just some of the questions you might be asking yourselves, and that's absolutely normal. It's normal not to know exactly what you want to do at 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and even later. It's normal not to know all the answers and all the questions.
Try and remember that university is a very important decision that requires a good amount of thinking and researching
and one that will set a path for you. But instead of fearing this decision, think of it as an opportunity to dive into something new and exciting - university life. A time for trial and error, for learning more about yourself, for finding out who you are, who you want to be and what you want to do.
Yes, it’s exciting.
And those of you who know what they want to do in the future - great job guys, you’re ahead of your game.
So we got you all excited now it’s time to find the right university for you.
When I was applying to universities I got a bit overwhelmed with all the possible choices:
- Europe vs
Asia vs America;
- Red Brick Universities, with a 200-year old history vs
new and modern ones with state-of-the art facilities;
- Big multi international ones with thousands of students vs
small and specialist ones:
- Big city ones like London and New York, vs
smaller university-based towns like Bournemouth and Derby;
I remember thinking: ‘Oh, this one has all the subjects I want to study, but it’s based in London, I don’t want to live there’
or ‘Oh this one has an amazing campus, but their Students’ Union doesn’t seem quite supported’.
I was spoilt of choice but that made me question my decision even more. It’s like having to pick a cake from a bakery – should I go with the chocolate cream one, or the strawberry delight or maybe the coconut white chocolate one. If you know what cake you want, that’s great, but if you just want something sweet, all these cakes make ones’ decision quite hard
I found it helpful to make a table (like on Excel), with all the important aspects that would make me love or hate a university and that way I would compare the universities I thought would be right for me.
Some of the aspects on my table were location, subjects, facilities, Students’ Union, town. I would list all my chosen places and see the one which had the most positively ticked boxes. This might not be the right approach for you, but I find it easy to make this decision step by step.
The key is to just keep breathing, as Ariana Grande says. Don’t get overwhelmed and remember not to look for the best university in the world, but the best university for you. The one where you’ll feel in place that will challenge you and excite you.
I hope this has been helpful to you and please keep the discussion going. I’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas and how you are choosing universities.
Is it hard or easy, what aspects do you consider, what are you looking in a university to meet your criteria?
Good luck and keep up the great work
Tea (Marketing and Communications Intern)