University was three of the best years of my life. I will always remember the people I met there and the fun we had, both my friends and lecturers. University isn’t just studying; it’s gaining life experience, learning more about yourself and developing new skills to go far.
There is a society for almost everything you can think of at university. If there isn’t, you can make one. I was part of the Dungeons and Dragons society where I met several of my friends playing a campaign for hours. It was a great activity to relax and lose myself in. I was also part of the Photogrammetry society, a technical process that allows you to turn ancient artefacts into digital 3D models. This was a relevant skill to my degree, and one that is highly sought after by employers, so it looks great on my CV. Other people I knew were part of Book, Crochet, Yoga, Anime, Chess and even Historical Re-enactment societies. There is something for everyone at university.
I personally didn’t do any sports at university, I just went to the university gym. Most universities have sports facilities that are cheaper than other gyms for students. It is worth looking at what facilities a university has when you are applying, especially if you want to carry on a sport from school. I had friends who played badminton at school who carried it on at university. They were able to join the university team and play against other schools – something they both enjoyed and could put on applications as evidence of teamwork.
Coursemates + Lecturers
There’s also a special sense of camaraderie that builds at university, when you all have to face the same challenging assignment. A lot of my friends were the people I was doing all the same classes as, my course was quite small so we saw a lot of each other. So, when I was stuck on some of the course content, I had lots of people to ask for help and we often studied together. It was also useful to make an effort to talk to lecturers about the course content and what I wanted to do in the future. Getting help with content was easier if the lecturer knew who you were, and that you were engaged with the topic. A lot of my first year lecturers were the same people who taught me in final year so it was helpful to have them know me. It also means I have multiple people I can call on for a reference for job applications.
Independent Living + Discovering New Places
If you are living away from home, university is a chance to begin living independently. You’ll learn how to manage your time – not only to get your coursework done but also to take basic care of yourself. You’ll need to cook, and everyone quickly learns you’ll need to clean too otherwise the mess builds up fast. If you live with other students, you’ll learn to navigate people you like and get along with doing things that upset you – like not doing dishes. Communicating with other people to get across your own needs is a valuable relationship skill. If you’re moving away, you’ll get to experience some awesome new places! Whether that’s coffee shops, music venues, restaurants, or even whole cities and towns themselves, it’s all very exciting to see.
So – how do you get there?
UCAS deadlines are coming up at the end of the month. It costs £27.50 for up to five choices of university. It’s worth choosing five – the university I ended up at was not my first choice and I was glad that I had also applied elsewhere. If you are facing financial difficulties, check with your school whether they have any support for this cost. You can also have a look at the offers universities have for aid.
UCAS is a great resource to find universities that do the course you want to do, or even to figure out what course you want to do. Make sure you check the entry requirements and that you can meet them. I had a friend who had done a relevant BTEC but it was one that that university didn’t accept, so she got rejected. If you’re unsure about what you want to do in the future, our course called Your Future Career might be useful for you.
Finally, if you want to learn more about student life, we have several courses on that as well. All our courses are free to access and we hope they help you decide what you need to do to achieve the future you want!