Is it worth waiting a year to possibly get to a better university?Watch
I'm already 21 and would be entering uni 3 years late this year, but if I go next year it'd be 4, which is making me think it's starting to be a bit too late to go and have a successful career still afterwards?
Really would appreciate any advice as it's stressful, thank you!
It is unwise to place too much emphasis on the various rankings. In reality, the three universities in which you are interested are very closely matched in terms of their reputation. Oxford and Cambridge aside, a degree from any university in the Russell Group or 'Sutton 30' will stand you in good stead. It is better to consider other factors, such as whether you will be happy with the location and character of each institution. Does it matter, for example, how far you will be from home, how easy it is to get there and what the local area is like? What about the availability of accommodation and the cost of living?
As it happens I am familiar with Warwick, Durham and York. Each has its own distinctive appeal. Warwick is unashamedly modern and, from its earliest days, fostered strong links with industry and commerce. Its campus is well away from the town (it's in Coventry, of course, not Warwick). Durham has a very traditional feel, vaguely redolent of Oxbridge, though many of its colleges are of recent origin. The city of Durham itself is rather small but Newcastle is within easy reach. York is something of a halfway house beween the other two; essentially a 1960s campus, like Warwick, it is closer to the city centre than the latter. Unlike Warwick, it incorpoates a number of older builings in the village of Heslington and has three departments housed in the medieval King's Manor in the centre of the city. Like Durham, York is collegiate and that can make the world of difference in terms of establishing friendships. York offers a wider range of attractions than Durham and there is very easy access to Leeds.
My advice, therefore, would be not to make life difficult for yourself on the basis of false assumptions about academic standing. Research has shown that the public perception of higher and lower status in UK universities is not quite as nuanced as many would-be students assume. You might wish to look at the the paper on this subject by Prof. Vikki Boliver (ironically, from Durham) : Boliver, V. (2015). Are there distinctive clusters of higher and lower status universities in the UK? Oxford Review of Education 41(5): 608-627.
So, unless you have an overwhelming preference for a particular course at either of the other two, or unless the location and characteristics of one or the other appeals to you, you can be more than satisfied with your place at York.