Choosing your university
Choosing your university and applying for university can be a really stressful time, it isn’t just about getting the grades it is also about choosing the university that is right for you. This is super important as it is going to be the place you spend 3+ years, which is a long time not to be happy somewhere. The main things, I think, are the quality of the course at your desired university and of course whether you can meet the grade requirements for your chosen course. It is also important to think about distance. If you are a home- bird don’t go to the other side of the country and if this is something you are worried about you can always choose a university super close to home. Although, being in first year I really would recommend moving away from home to University. The experience is like no other and you really do meet amazing people along the way. This year has honestly been one of the best years so far and it is really easy to pop on a train or the cheaper option of a coach home.
The best way to pick universties is to start off very simple- pick up the prospectuses and make a list of the universities you are interested in, then go and visit their open days. Keep an eye on when these are as you may need to miss some college to go and visit them. Once you have visited them all this should make it easier to narrow the list down, I would recommend narrowing it down to 5- doing some more research and then narrowing it down to two. For me this was the hardest part as I loved both (Newcastle and Edinburgh) but in the end (the very last minute end) I decided to go with Newcastle, just because this was the place I felt most at home. Another thing is of course the sociality of where you are choosing. In some ways this is one of the most important things- if you are a lover of nightlife, take this into consideration and maybe a city rather than campus university is better for you!
Choosing your course
Choosing your course can be just as hard as choosing your university. There is a lot of pressure when choosing your course and I certainly cared a lot about what course would ‘look the best’ which was completely the wrong approach. I have always wanted to study science- taking sciences to A level along with English Literature. This is why it came a surprise to some when I chose English Literature as my degree subject especially when I received the slightly better grades in the science subjects at A level.
The debate between doing the arts and the sciences is a hard one, many people argue that sciences are much more beneficial, they gurantee you a job. Whilst this may be true do not let this rule your decision. Do what makes you happy whilst also thinking about what you want to do in the future. Also, a lot of jobs don’t specify what degree you have to have- just that you have a degree. On open days I would definitely recommend sitting in the mock lectures to really get a feel for what your course is like. Looking at the modules available is also a great way to determine whether your course is right for you and whether you will enjoy it. A lot of people also base their course and university choice on whether you are able to do a placement year or a year or semester abroad, so definitely also look into these two aspects if it is what you are interested in.
I hope these pointers can help & thanks for reading, Katy x