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    Hey, guys. Virgin post but I've been lurking for a while.

    I was just wondering how intellectual is university because part of me has a preconception that it's all about getting drunk and being "cool". I would hate this and would not fit in at all!

    Is it naive of me to think that most people are there to work really hard and to actually enjoy studying their subject? Is there any bullying at university? How much does this vary from place to place?

    I've never been, never have, and never desire to be, a "cool kid". These are the kind of people I don't really like - you know, who are more interested in looking good than being genuine. I want to go to uni to have a great time, but for me this doesn't involved getting hammered every night. I'm worried I won't fit in at all and I have this terrible image of me being some complete friendless loser.

    Is there any universities you would particularly recommend me applying to or is there a good mix of people at every university?

    Sorry for so many questions! I hope you're able to ease my mind slightly. Thank you! :woo:
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    I think it depends where you go: the universities that have the higher entry standards will attract less of the party types, as will isolated campus unis with no nightlife, and your choice of accommodation can affect it too.

    I know that when you apply for accommodation at Warwick you write a short paragraph about yourself so they can put you in halls with similar people. (for example if you stay up late or are loud etc)
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    And if you do go to Warwick don't stay at Rootes. :p:
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    OK, thanks for the advice!
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    It comes down to university choice, look into St Andrews.
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    (Original post by Ana Ivanovic is Fit)
    ...
    I'd like to think any half decent university in this country attracts students that understand the benefits of hard work and socialising.

    Maybe take a look at the completion percentage and 'good honours' for each uni to get an idea (came up with that as I wrote it).
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    Go Leicester it's got a perfect mix of people, its not too loud. No bullying at all! Also its not boring there is so much to do in leicester wether its pubs, clubs, cinemas, etc. However DMU is the apposite of Leics
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    If you think about how many people from all over the world go to uni there's bound to be a mixture of everyone. Just cos the people in your halls or the people you meet in your first week aren't exactly like you or the type of people you usually hang around with doesn't mean you wont find a "good set of friends".

    Yeah there will probably be people like you listed above but considering the cost and the fact you need grades to get in I doubt many people just for the hell of it. It's best to have a bit of both I think like being social and going out/staying in with friends and working hard. Guess it could be hard to get the balance right. I'm sure your find like-minded people. The people on your course will have a automatic interest that you share in that your doing the same course.

    I'm just going to try and meet and get to know lots of people and somewhere along the way your meet some good friends (or I hope I will anyways!) but don't worry I think loads of people are nervous about starting uni and meeting new people etc etc
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    (Original post by Ana Ivanovic is Fit)
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    I was just wondering how intellectual is university because part of me has a preconception that it's all about getting drunk and being "cool". I would hate this and would not fit in at all!

    Is it naive of me to think that most people are there to work really hard and to actually enjoy studying their subject? Is there any bullying at university? How much does this vary from place to place?

    I've never been, never have, and never desire to be, a "cool kid". These are the kind of people I don't really like - you know, who are more interested in looking good than being genuine. I want to go to uni to have a great time, but for me this doesn't involved getting hammered every night. I'm worried I won't fit in at all and I have this terrible image of me being some complete friendless loser.

    Is there any universities you would particularly recommend me applying to or is there a good mix of people at every university?

    Sorry for so many questions! I hope you're able to ease my mind slightly. Thank you! :woo:
    Hmmm... well good and bad news. I agree with the general consensus that Universities attract a diverse mix of people, and that you're likely to find people that you have something in common with no matter who you are and what your personality/preference is. Also I've never seen any bullying at University. There are one or two childish people in my college who sometimes behave like morons, but these are usually isolated events that don't really matter and just result in everybody else thinking 'that person's a moron'.
    Unfortunately people do care alot about appearances. I think you'll just have to deal with the fact that society is full of anxious people who are driven more by a concern to fit in and please people around them than by a willingness to 'be themselves' so to speak. And certainly in the first year of University alot of people are really insecure and do behave slightly high-schoolishly. This is quite annoying to watch, but I think alot of people snap out of it over time. And I also think that while it might look like the majority are that way, you can always find individuals here and there who are a bit more independent. As others say - you'll probably meet people on your course or related courses who share some of your intellectual interests. You might not find these people immediately, but you will eventually.

    I totally relate to how you feel about having no interest in being cool. My University choices were fuelled by a massive anxiety to try and avoid going to a University where peope only wanted to get wasted every week. I'm at Cambridge and it was a bit of a disappointment in this sense. The student population still roughly echoes normal society with the vast majority being very social and generally having the approach of doing the minimum amount of work needed to get their 2.1s and partying/socialising the rest of the time. Nonetheless you do still get people around who actually enjoy their subject areas as a hobby/activity in itself and are keen to talk about it. Most of my friends are on my course, and a few of them organise really cool things like this and this and this :p: (these are all connected to my subject interests btw)
    I would recommend Cambridge and Oxford for obvious reasons, however an especially good reason is they seem to have an extremely diverse range of student activities, societies and generally cater for people with any interest you can think of. So if you're like me and you're not a big fan of miserably sipping alcoholic beverages while pretending to be able to hear people through loud and dire music, you still have a bottomless range of alternatives to turn to :p:

    Anyway. I guess the bottom line is, you'll be fine :p: You'll still enjoy University. You'll always find odd, quirkly engaged people when you look for them, but University is populated by normal people, so you probably just have to come to terms with always being on the fringe a bit.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)

    Anyway. I guess the bottom line is, you'll be fine :p: You'll still enjoy University. You'll always find odd, quirkly engaged people when you look for them, but University is populated by normal people, so you probably just have to come to terms with always being on the fringe a bit.
    Brilliant post, thanks a lot. When you say people in the first year behave high-schoolishly what do you mean exactly? Oxford and Cambridge are, I feel, well out of my reach but I'll just have wait and see until August. I'm surprised people aren't harder working at Cambridge, I mean you must have had to work extremely hard to get in in the first place. And I'm certainly not worried about being on the fringe a bit!
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    (Original post by Ana Ivanovic is Fit)
    Brilliant post, thanks a lot. When you say people in the first year behave high-schoolishly what do you mean exactly? Oxford and Cambridge are, I feel, well out of my reach but I'll just have wait and see until August. I'm surprised people aren't harder working at Cambridge, I mean you must have had to work extremely hard to get in in the first place. And I'm certainly not worried about being on the fringe a bit!
    Well they are hard working. There's so much work to do here that those who do the minimum are still doing a substantial amount of work! The lightest workload here is one essay a week, and that's based on extensive reading. I had 2-3 essays a week throughout first year.
    However alot of people become really good at simply prioritising the most relevant reading and doing the bare minimum to get by, and they save the full effort and learning for the exam season. With the sciences I think you get people who are really good at it and don't have to work that hard at it, so they have more free time too. This way they get to be more social and active during Michaelmas and Lent.
    There are people who work hard and stuff, obviously, but I think people love to give the impression that they don't work very hard. That they're really chilled and on top of everything. Its quite important for people here to show that they're coping. I guess this makes sense because the work is hard, and its also quite burdensome, so most people struggle or have stressful weeks sooner or later even if they aren't willing to show it.

    By high-schoolish I just mean that cliques form really quickly in first year, and people in those cliques seem to act shallow. For instance many of the most 'popular' well known people in my college are generally nice to everybody's faces but say catty things when their backs are turned. And the boys when they're being drunk and hanging out in their groups take the p out of certain other groups or individuals in college (in their absence) Its all very tiresome. But the good news is you don't have to socialise with them. Its just that because its a collegiate University (and I'm in a small college) you tend to now everybody in your year even if you don't hang out with them!
    I'm not really sure what this is like at other Universities, but I expect some similarities in terms of you will probably know everybody in your accommodation - probably know more about them and their lives and vice versa than you'd like (although on the flip side you may love them to bits which often happens) and then you'll have entirely seperate circles of friends and acquaintances from your lectures and any clubs or societies you get stuck into, which provides different options and spheres to get into if people in halls or elsewhere aren't really similar enough for you to get on with.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Well they are hard working. There's so much work to do here that those who do the minimum are still doing a substantial amount of work! The lightest workload here is one essay a week, and that's based on extensive reading. I had 2-3 essays a week throughout first year.
    However alot of people become really good at simply prioritising the most relevant reading and doing the bare minimum to get by, and they save the full effort and learning for the exam season. With the sciences I think you get people who are really good at it and don't have to work that hard at it, so they have more free time too. This way they get to be more social and active during Michaelmas and Lent.
    There are people who work hard and stuff, obviously, but I think people love to give the impression that they don't work very hard. That they're really chilled and on top of everything. Its quite important for people here to show that they're coping. I guess this makes sense because the work is hard, and its also quite burdensome, so most people struggle or have stressful weeks sooner or later even if they aren't willing to show it.

    By high-schoolish I just mean that cliques form really quickly in first year, and people in those cliques seem to act shallow. For instance many of the most 'popular' well known people in my college are generally nice to everybody's faces but say catty things when their backs are turned. And the boys when they're being drunk and hanging out in their groups take the p out of certain other groups or individuals in college (in their absence) Its all very tiresome. But the good news is you don't have to socialise with them. Its just that because its a collegiate University (and I'm in a small college) you tend to now everybody in your year even if you don't hang out with them!
    I'm not really sure what this is like at other Universities, but I expect some similarities in terms of you will probably know everybody in your accommodation - probably know more about them and their lives and vice versa than you'd like (although on the flip side you may love them to bits which often happens) and then you'll have entirely seperate circles of friends and acquaintances from your lectures and any clubs or societies you get stuck into, which provides different options and spheres to get into if people in halls or elsewhere aren't really similar enough for you to get on with.
    Cambridge sounds like such a wonderful university I wish I was good enough to study there.
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    (Original post by Ana Ivanovic is Fit)
    Cambridge sounds like such a wonderful university I wish I was good enough to study there.
    Heheh. Well there's no harm in trying if you want it :dontknow: Have you done your A levels yet?
    And I definitely would not want to be anywhere else, because there's alot about it which comparatively kicks major ass, but on the other hand its certainly a long way off Utopia, rest assured :rolleyes:
    Life seems to be life whichever corner of the planet you end up :dry:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Heheh. Well there's no harm in trying if you want it :dontknow: Have you done your A levels yet?
    And I definitely would not want to be anywhere else, because there's alot about it which comparatively kicks major ass, but on the other hand its certainly a long way off Utopia, rest assured :rolleyes:
    Life seems to be life whichever corner of the planet you end up :dry:
    Well, I just finished my AS exams and they didn't go terribly well (OK, they went appallingly bad), but I suppose there's no point dwelling on it; I'll just have to wait and see :o:
    I may apply after I've completed my A Levels, it just depends. It would be a dream come true to study there - everything about Cambridge seems brilliant. Not getting my hopes up though
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    (Original post by Ana Ivanovic is Fit)
    Well, I just finished my AS exams and they didn't go terribly well (OK, they went appallingly bad), but I suppose there's no point dwelling on it; I'll just have to wait and see :o:
    I may apply after I've completed my A Levels, it just depends. It would be a dream come true to study there - everything about Cambridge seems brilliant. Not getting my hopes up though
    Well wanting to go to a University with other bright hard working people is certainly a good reason to put everything you've got into A2. Just do resits :dontknow: I did Bio, Chem and ELit and did disastrously at Chem but I found that after two years of practicing the subject I was a million miles better at it in A2 than I was in AS, so pulled the grade up without too much problem in second year (although I had to resit literally every paper). And then just try and get top marks for A level :p: Applying after a gap year makes sense, as I think people have a small advantage if they apply with grades to hand.

    Best of luck anyway. And get stuck into TSR. Its really useful. When you do choose a University there will probably be a corresponding chat thread for it on TSR and its a great way to meet some lovely people you may never have known about :cool:
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    (Original post by Joel4fun4u)
    Maybe take a look at the completion percentage and 'good honours' for each uni to get an idea (came up with that as I wrote it).
    Or, that could be because the university expects a lot from its students? I don't really see how a low drop out rate and lots of 2:1s makes a university 'better'- if its a strong academic environment, I'd expect the weaker students to get found out and drop out/do badly. A high completion rate and lots of 'good' honours might well indicate that either the standards aren't necessarily as high as they could be, or the students aren't being challenged enough, hence they coast through uni, have a ball, and get their 2:1.

    Looking at unistats, there are universities in the 400+ UCAS points bracket, in similar environments, who have 65% and 85% good honours respectively, and 75% and 95% completion. It's hard to argue that with such similar entry standards the ones at the latter have, on the whole, got so much better than the ones at the former since arriving at university.

    OP, I think there's more to this than meets the eye. We cannot bracket it into 'campus unis' (as these can sometimes take on a character something akin to a frat party) or 'more selective' universities (as success breeds confidence, and the cocky kids congregate here more than anywhere else), if you're looking for a place to go. You're really going to have to do some serious research, as university is a very personal choice. I wanted a campus-like environment but with the added advantage of the amenities of a large city, and with my qualifications (six highers, one advanced higher) meant it pretty much had to be Scotland. The possible advantage of a city environment is a near unparalleled choice of things to do- some of the larger universities have literally hundreds of clubs and societies, and the nearby city means there really is something for everyone. I'd have a look at the Scottish ancients, as typically (because of the way the Scottish system works) they have some of Scotland's very best students, while also retaining a diverse British and international mix- if you can't find a niche within one of them, you'd struggle to anywhere else.
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    Well University is pretty anonymous, and everyone respects one another a lot which is the great thing about it. I can be quite introvert but enjoy the party scene that it has to offer. The thing is, the party scene is a predominant feature of University, so you should try to embrace it. Each university is different; some might seem a lot more like boarding schools than others for example. I would recommend going to a University in a decent city that has a campus. A campus uni might still have the same rural "retreat" as a uni such as Warwick (for example) but still have the most amazing student bars, pubs and clubs in the city as well.
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    I think it's more to do with who you hang around with, who you make friends with, than university choice. I'm sure you'll find a very diverse population at any university you go to.
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    (Original post by Ana Ivanovic is Fit)
    Hey, guys. Virgin post but I've been lurking for a while.

    I was just wondering how intellectual is university because part of me has a preconception that it's all about getting drunk and being "cool". I would hate this and would not fit in at all!

    Is it naive of me to think that most people are there to work really hard and to actually enjoy studying their subject? Is there any bullying at university? How much does this vary from place to place?

    I've never been, never have, and never desire to be, a "cool kid". These are the kind of people I don't really like - you know, who are more interested in looking good than being genuine. I want to go to uni to have a great time, but for me this doesn't involved getting hammered every night. I'm worried I won't fit in at all and I have this terrible image of me being some complete friendless loser.

    Is there any universities you would particularly recommend me applying to or is there a good mix of people at every university?

    Sorry for so many questions! I hope you're able to ease my mind slightly. Thank you! :woo:
    No your not naive to think that people want to work hard and are going to really enjoy their subject.

    Im 25 and going to uni after leaving school, having office jobs, and have finally decided to sort my life out and do something i love. I also have two young children so there is no way i am going to have the social life that the younger people will have but i'm not even bothered. Yes in my normal life with my friends i do like to go out maybe once a month etc but i doubt i'll be going out much with people from uni.

    I can honestly say i just want to go to uni, and really knuckle down and do the best/as much work as possible because at the end of the course i want the best mark i could get. If i do happen to make any friends then that will be nice but working hard is my main priority.
 
 
 
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