Monday, October 03, 2016

Choosing a university to go to is a big decision, you are probably in year 13 now with all your teachers bombarding you with questions about what you are going to do with your life. But at 17/18 how are you meant to know, I certainly didn’t. But here I am currently scheduling this post during my lecture due to having no internet at our house (stressful!).

Let me tell you why I chose to go to uni first then I can give you some advice on choosing the best uni for you. I never knew that I actually wanted to go, I was always against it for so many years but still very undecided as I often changed my mind. I loved the idea of having a degree, well actually I just wanted to throw the hat in the air. But when it came close to applying I thought why not, there was nothing else I wanted to do in terms of a job or apprenticeship so I searched to find something I wanted to do. That’s when I came across journalism, I loved English at school but never wanted to do a straight English degree that just wasn’t me. I had thought about writing for a magazine or newspaper prior to this as it was always my Granddad’s dream for him to become one. As well as English, I loved fashion particularly when we got to do marketing and styling. So I combined the two, searched for a fashion journalism degree and here I am now in my second year of a degree I thoroughly enjoy.

Now how can you decided whether you want to go, what to study and where.

The course – Obviously the course you are studying is the biggest aspect of going to university as well it should be the main reason you are there. Do something you love, are passionate about and have some skill in. You don’t have to be an expect you are studying the subject area to learn the skills you need to succeed in any industry you want to work in. If you have no clue what you want to study, then think of some subjects you enjoy have a look around on the UCAS and careers websites I’m sure you will find something. When it came for me to search for my course I typed in ‘journalism’ into UCAS, made a list of all the course I liked the sound of then narrowed it down from there. My main piece of advice to you is choose something that you think you can study for the next three years as it may not seem it right now but it is a long time so you have to be dedicated.

Modules & assignments – Now you know the course you want to do it is a good idea to look at what it consists of. Do you want it to be all coursework, how do you feel about exams, work experience, what about taking a year out? These are all important factors to consider as you know how you learn no one else does. So if you aren’t great in exams maybe a course which is mostly coursework is best for you. Also, look at the modules when I was looking at journalism courses I found that most universities all had a more academic side without letting you be creative so I chose my uni because it had the theory side of journalism and fashion and then also the more exciting where I could learn about photography, blogging and magazine design.

What do you want from a university – Moving your whole life away for three years is a big step so it is good to know what you want to get out of uni. That just doesn’t have to be the degree yes although it is great but the experience is just as special you gain some many new friends, become more independent and learn new things. When it came to narrowing my search of which uni to go for I took things into account like whether I wanted to live in a city, south or north, how big the place is. Also, how far away from home would I be, would it be easy to get home. Note down the campus size, facilities, night life, job opportunities, societies; all these things make it easier to know what place is right for you so make a list.

Look around – Take advantage of open days that is where you will really know if the university is right for you. They enable you to observe the uni, speak to lecturers and also gives you a chance to look around your new town. Emailing and phoning the uni can also work well if you need more information about the course, they are always there to help you so make sure you do.

Good Luck with your applications!

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