Maybe I was underestimating how difficult this was. Or maybe I had my heart set on one university that ticked every box, but then eventually realised that was not the case, because there are so many factors to consider. After 4 months of panicking, worrying and a smidge of excitement, I have decided my top 3 universities. Here’s how I did it:
Location: Personally, I wanted something relatively local so I could pop home whenever I needed to. Bearing in mind, local still does mean up to an hour and a half from where I live. This immediately ruled out the majority of universities. Also, I wanted a reputable university that is nationally, and internationally recognised, so many were filtered out almost immediately.
Course Content – For anyone wondering, I am looking to take a Business Management course, specialising in Marketing. As I crumble under pressure, exams are not my preferred choice, so I wanted a 50 / 50 (or better) exam / coursework split. Personally, I am more of a theoretical learner, rather than practical, so all 3 of my choices consider that.
Entry Requirements – These usually finalise whether a university is a consideration or not. In the UK, higher universities have higher entry requirements, as more people tend to apply for these courses. It is best to choose places with a range of entry requirements, so if you do not get the grades, there are plenty of options to fall back on. My choices were Birmingham (AAB), Leicester (ABB) and De Montfort (BBC). As I am targeted at AAB, I have a variety of universities to choose from.
To be honest, the biggest factor in me deciding which universities I preferred were through the open days. I found you really start to compare the little things alongside another. My universal method of deciding on whether to consider a place was the price of beers. Birmingham was £5, Leicester was £2.20 (wow!) and De Montfort have very few bars on site, but the city bars accept student discounts.
From the open day itself, I changed my first option from Birmingham to Leicester. Everyone, I found were much nicer, had so much more enthusiasm and it near enough to exactly what I had in mind. It is a 25 minute train ride home, versus over an hour, and the alcohol and accommodation is very cheap in comparison. Plus, it is just as beautiful!
Even though my choice was relatively easy after attending the open day, whether it was easy, or difficult, there’s always something in the back of your mind questioning you on whether you are making the right decision. Even now, when I have done the research, work experience and on track to get the right grades, I am still not 100% sure if this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But the real question is, will I ever be sure? (If anyone knows the answer please let me know).
The only advice I can follow at the moment is my own: DO NOT PANIC. There are always options, regardless of what you may think. Even if you may not get into the university of your choice, every university will change your life, and make you grow as a person. However, uni is not the only route, there is college, apprenticeships and full time employment, which will teach you so many skills too! Sorry if I am rambling, just needed to get some emotions off my chest.