Today I have started to write my final essay which means first year is almost over! You have no idea how good this feels.
This year seems to have flown by. I’ve started packing up my things and it only seems two seconds ago that I was unpacking – it’s insane.
With having spent a whole year at university I thought I’d share a bit of advice that might help you chose a university if you’re considering going. (This post is a little bit off topic, but I would really like you to learn from my mistakes!)
1. You don’t have to go to university straight away.
I was never really given this option of taking a gap year. At my sixth form applying to university seemed to be compulsory and no one really mentioned taking a year out. You just filled in a load of forms, wrote a personal statement and sent this off to five places that you think you wanted to go to. It was kinda of like applying for high schools. University seemed to be the next stage.
Well it isn’t. Coming to university I have realised that a lot of people take years out. In my house 9 out of the 13 of us took at least one year out.
Looking back I do kind of wish that I had taken a year out. Had got a job, earned some money and just had a year off to find my feet and think about what I actually wanted to do with my life. It is a scary thought as you don’t know if you would be able to find a job, or if you would just have no money for a year. But definitely don’t rush into things if you’re not 100% sure you want to go to uni, or even if you’re not 100% sure which uni you want to go to.
2. Look around
I think this is another one of my mistakes. I didn’t go to visit any other university other than the one I’m at now. And even when I did visit this uni, I didn’t explore the actual area, just the campus.
I think one of my biggest downfalls was that I was afraid to take myself off to have a look around other universities. It’s hard to get your parents to go with you when they’re working and open days are in the middle of the week. But you should be able to convince a friend and go on an adventure around another city for a day. I know trains can be expensive, but trust me, spending that little bit of money will mean the world to you when you move into a new place that you’ve already fallen in love with.
3. Find what’s best for your course, but also what’s best for you
For me this is really important. I did consider what was best for me but I wish I had done a lot more. I chose to come to Salford and study journalism, mainly due to the fact that part of the course was held in Media City. Now this is an amazing opportunity that I thought would be stupid to turn down. But just because certain things are good for your course, doesn’t mean mean they are good for you. Another place I was considering going to was Chester and a part of me wishes I had gone there. I find that in Salford there is nothing to do. There is one pub and a Tesco and other than that it is a pretty lousy place. You can’t just take yourself for a walk or go and find new and exciting places.
I really like nature and heritage and pretty buildings and Salford just doesn’t really offer any of that where as Chester does.
So just because something may look good for your course, make sure that you will be happy in that place, otherwise your life at university wont be as good as it could have been.
These are just three little tips that you should definitely consider when applying for university and three tips that I wish I had considered a lot more. I hope this helps you when choosing where you want to go to.