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Published on January 9th, 2017 | by voxx


Is University for me?

The deadline for UCAS applications is fast approaching (January 15) for most courses starting in September 2017.

There will be students who are 100% certain on the career path that they want to take and who submitted their UCAS applications as fast as they possibly could.

However, there will also be those students who are still unsure on the path that they want to take or are wondering whether university is even the right option for them. Whether you are on the fence or set on what you want, think carefully about your options in depth.

Top 5 tips for choosing your University (from a current student)

1. Think about your location

Choose a university that’s outside of your hometown so that you can experience living in a different place and meeting new people. But also consider places that aren’t too far away so that you can get home easily whenever you need to.

For example; if there’s an emergency or you’re homesick, make sure that there are easy routes to go back home with train stations nearby, or motorway access if you drive.

Usually, choosing a university in a city is your best option for this. You have five options in your UCAS application so choose them wisely. 

2. Your accommodation is important

Obviously, this also depends on your student loan and the options that are available to you, but try and get your application in early for your accommodation so that you have plenty of choice.

This may also involve going to see the accommodation available for each of your university choices, which helps you to get a feel of what they’re really like.

University students have options of living in halls or private accommodation so make sure you choose whatever’s right for you.

3. Be open to meeting new people

Sometimes you will have a choice on who you share your accommodation with. For example, some halls let you create a profile and you can match up with people who have the same interests and personality as you.

But some halls randomize who lives with who and if you’re late with your application or if it’s your second choice university – you may be be put in anywhere with a spare space. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Most of the time, students get on with each other because you’re all in the same situation – you’ve all moved away from your home, family and friends, so you understand each other.

Often you find that the people who you become friends with at university are people that you’d never think that you’d get on with, so sometimes living with people who aren’t on the same subject course as you or aren’t the same as you (on paper) might be the best option.

4. Understand that the majority of people get homesick

Everyone gets homesick – it’s a given fact. Some people miss home more than others and some people just hide it well but i’m sure everyone gets homesick at some point.

It might be in the first week when you’re getting used to being away from home as things feel different, or it might be once you’ve been away for a while and you miss your friends and family. But don’t give up!

You’ll be going to university for a reason and although it may be hard, it’s a great opportunity for you and you just need to remember that your friends and family are only a phone call away. Once you start settling in and making new friends you’ll be fine.

Moving away just makes it that extra bit more special when you are reunited with friends and family.

5. Get involved and try something new

One of the most important tips I can give is to get involved with a society that your chosen university has to offer. There will be a wide range of sports teams you can join such as; football, netball or cheer leading, as well as a large number of groups such as; drama, dance, comedy and debates.

And the best thing about joining a group is that as well as meeting everyone in your society, you also get to know people from all the other societies as well, through events called socials.

Socials are arranged a few times a month and this is where societies get together and either fund raise, go on nights out or even hold events at your university’s student union bar with different themes and fancy dress – it’s a lot of fun!

But don’t worry – university isn’t for everyone.

Going to university isn’t the only option available for students after they have finished college or sixth form.

You can always take an apprenticeship if you prefer to go straight into a job and are more of an active learner rather than academic.

Another option is to take a gap year if you’re really unsure what you want to do. Get a part time job and earn a bit of money whilst you look further into your options.

Just remember – don’t rush. It’s your future and your choice.

- By Phoebe Jobling

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