The Student Room Group

very small rant about extracurricular opps and stuff

anyone have any tips or ideas for people who don’t suit any of the widening participation criteria cus i am going crazy trying to find stuff for my uni applications. there’s just no opportunities im eligible for cus i went to a private school when i was younger and my household income is pretty good. look before anyone gets offended im not saying that im ungrateful because i really really am thankful that i had access to stuff that other people don’t. but i’m also not set for life so i need programs that dont cost 6 grand or something or require me to fit widening participation criteria. again, i understand completely why WP criteria must be there because people from underrepresented background deserve to go to uni and to have access to opportunities. so don’t attack me im actually asking for help 🥲
(edited 6 months ago)
It sounds like you're in that grey area between having just enough not to qualify, but not so much that you can actually afford to do the things that people further above that cut-off can afford to do. I do understand how frustrating that is, although I also anticipate that you'll get lots of responses here beating on the "you're so privileged shut up" drum! I think my only advice is to try to work within your position of being in the middle. Go for volunteering - it doesn't matter what, but you could start with a charity shop and build from there. Choose a charity that aligns with your interests or course choices, and show that you can immerse yourself in their values, contribute to the local community, and engage with real-world, global issues.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 2
What year are you in and what do you want to do at uni? Are you looking for things to go on your personal statement? (although I think they are doing it differently next year so there will be structured questions rather than a ps). There's lots of things you can write about that aren't either paid for or wp courses. For example on mine I wrote about my EPQ, my A-level NEA, work experience and work shadowing I had done, free on line courses and youtube tutorials I'd completed, voluntary work I'd done, school clubs/activities I'd been involved with, things I did in my free time that were relevant. You could also write about any paid work you do, books that inspired you, relevant journals/magazine/websites you regularly read, aspects of your subject that really interest you and why.
Reply 3
Original post by SilverPebble
It sounds like you're in that grey area between having just enough not to qualify, but not so much that you can actually afford to do the things that people further above that cut-off can afford to do. I do understand how frustrating that is, although I also anticipate that you'll get lots of responses here beating on the "you're so privileged shut up" drum! I think my only advice is to try to work within your position of being in the middle. Go for volunteering - it doesn't matter what, but you could start with a charity shop and build from there. Choose a charity that aligns with your interests or course choices, and show that you can immerse yourself in their values, contribute to the local community, and engage with real-world, global issues.

thank you!! i used to volunteer and i did try to start volunteering at a charity shop but they kept not replying to my emails and since i have a lot of extra work i wasn’t even sure i could pull shifts. thank you though i think ill try again :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by JackSan123
What year are you in and what do you want to do at uni? Are you looking for things to go on your personal statement? (although I think they are doing it differently next year so there will be structured questions rather than a ps). There's lots of things you can write about that aren't either paid for or wp courses. For example on mine I wrote about my EPQ, my A-level NEA, work experience and work shadowing I had done, free on line courses and youtube tutorials I'd completed, voluntary work I'd done, school clubs/activities I'd been involved with, things I did in my free time that were relevant. You could also write about any paid work you do, books that inspired you, relevant journals/magazine/websites you regularly read, aspects of your subject that really interest you and why.

i’m looking for engineering work experience which is hard enough to find. thank you so much! i did check out some online courses so i’ll do them over the summer. i’m in year 12 and going for mech eng or general eng. i’m looking for stuff to put on my cv and personal statement or whatever they’re going to call it. thank you :smile:
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 5
Also have you checked out these ps's that other people have written for ideas?
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/university/personal-statements/engineering/
Reply 6
I think engineering is a trickier one when it come to writing a ps I think - I've applied for computer science which is probably one of the easiest! I was able to volunteer at school with the computer clubs for younger years for example. Does your school do any kind of clubs that could be considered relevant to engineering? Anything with robotics or lego or minecraft maybe? If not maybe you could see if one of the science teachers would help you set one up for a term? My school also did the ESA cansat competition (making a satellite out of a can) - does your school do anything like that? I go to my local state school so whatever type of school you go to there should be opportunities like this available.
Reply 7
Original post by JackSan123
I think engineering is a trickier one when it come to writing a ps I think - I've applied for computer science which is probably one of the easiest! I was able to volunteer at school with the computer clubs for younger years for example. Does your school do any kind of clubs that could be considered relevant to engineering? Anything with robotics or lego or minecraft maybe? If not maybe you could see if one of the science teachers would help you set one up for a term? My school also did the ESA cansat competition (making a satellite out of a can) - does your school do anything like that? I go to my local state school so whatever type of school you go to there should be opportunities like this available.

yeah they have a racecar team F24 but I was rejected for it sadly because they had too many people applying- trust me I was gutted. I'll try looking and asking at sixth form, but because it's a sixth form only I can't run a club for younger years, unfortunately.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by burnt_t0ast
yeah they have a racecar team F24 but I was rejected for it sadly because they had too many people applying- trust me I was gutted. I'll try looking and asking at sixth form, but because it's a sixth form only I can't run a club for younger years, unfortunately.

Oh no that's a shame ☹️ have a look at the engineering ps's and see if they have any ideas that might work for you. I wonder if your careers advisor could help with ideas as well?
Reply 9
I’d recommend looking into MOOCs, if you have unifrog theres application tools on there. I didn’t end up doing any myself but they look like a really good way to get more experience, and they seem to mostly be free or cheapish, the only catch is you have to pay to gain the official qualification. But you’d get knowledge to talk about regardless

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