This time last year I was stressed to the max, desperate to get into university. I was lucky enough to get conditional offers for all of the five universities I applied to, however when it came down to it I was torn when I had to choose my firm and insurance choices.
I had to choose between studying Law and Criminology at Edge Hill University, just outside Liverpool, and Law LLB at the University of Stirling, in Scotland. Eventually I chose the University of Stirling. But how did I know what university was right for me?
First of all, don’t panic. The thought of needing to do an extra year of university (and being faced with the near-crippling debt that would come on top of that) put me under a lot of pressure to get the choice right first time. But if you decide after a few months or even your first year that you want to transfer course or university, you can! While I feel I’m happy with my choice, I’ve already spoken to a few people on my course who changed from the Law BA, or other courses, after their first year. It hasn’t disadvantaged them in any way, and remember that your student debt does not need to be paid off immediately after you graduate.
Try to narrow down whether you want to attend a campus based university or a non-campus based one, if you want to live away from home or not, whether you want to be in the heart of a city or a little further out, etc. before you start looking for universities that offer your chosen course.
Then if at all possible, try to visit the universities you’re considering. It can be expensive, however it really gives you a chance to pick up on the vibes from the campus or the building you’ll be studying in. If you can’t visit the universities, check their website to see if they offer a virtual tour, or read up on student reviews on independent websites.
One of the things that helped me pick Stirling was the beautiful campus. I was so glad I got to see it before I put it down as my firm choice! While Edge Hill had more modern buildings, the Stirling campus took my breath away. It’s built around a loch, and there’s plenty of pretty walks through small woodland areas which are teeming with wildlife. I knew this would help me unwind during the stressful exam season – it was just right for me!
Once you have narrowed down your choices with your heart, start using your head. Check out how much student finance you can receive, accommodation costs at the universities if you’ll be living away from home, think practically about your living costs, etc. Think logically about what you can afford.
Best of luck with your university application!
Until next time, Dani x