Applying for university is a stressful time, but if you prepare and have some conﬁdence in your decisions, it can help take that stress away. There are a couple of main things to consider when making a final decision on a university – the course, and the accommodation.
Choosing the right course can be challenging. It’s important that you have an interest in the subject, feel passionate about it and you know you’ll be able to excel in it. Open days really helped me to decide what course I wanted to do. I was stuck between English Literature and Journalism, and by speaking to current students on open days and induction days, it helped me understand what each course would entail.
Another useful thing that I did was contact people in the industry that I’d like to work in. I’d advise that you try and get some contacts of people that do a similar job to what you hope to be doing one day, and ask them what they studied at university or what their colleagues studied. You could even ask them what they look for when they hire new staff – do they look for specific qualifications or experience?
Always remember that staﬀ and students at universities are there to help you. They want to give you the best advice and help you to find the course and university that’s right for you - so please never hesitate to give anyone a call or an email if you’re considering applying to their university and want some things clarifying.
Check list for choosing your course:
- How long is the course? Some may be more than three years, and you need to consider this
- What content will you cover? Is the content interesting? Do the modules that you’ll cover interest you?
- Is the workload okay? Some courses have more coursework than exams. Does this work for you?
- What do you want to do for a living? Some jobs need speciﬁc qualiﬁcations.
Living in halls of residence is great fun and definitely not something that should make you feel stressed. It can be difficult to choose the right halls for you, and again, open days are great for this.
Halls is where you will meet friends and new people who you will most likely be friends with for life. Most halls put on activities and social get-togethers where it's a great opportunity to meet people. Make sure you get involved! Remember that everyone is in the same boat and everyone's there to make friends. Courses also do socials. For example, I know that Psychology does a social every week and plan fun things for people on the course to do. If any opportunities like this become available to you, get stuck in and enjoy it!
Sport is another great way to meet people. If you love playing a speciﬁc sport or have a talent for something make sure you go to the tryouts! The Freshers Fair in the ﬁrst few weeks of university is where all sports, socials, and clubs will be recruiting new members, so you can go along and chat to them. Once again, it’s a great way to meet people.
Check list when choosing your halls:
- The price per month/week. Will you be able to keep up with payments?
- Location. How far away is it from your campus? Taxi fares and bus fares add up, so it is best to live somewhere that's walking distance away from where you’ll be studying
- Check reviews and ask questions. Try to find someone who has lived there previously – I know Leeds Beckett has a ‘chat to a student’ area of the website where you can ask your questions. Some accommodation is livelier than others so this could cause issues for some people
- How many people are there in each ﬂat? Are you comfortable living with a lot of people?
- Do you have a shared bathroom or an en-suite? Is this important to you?
Last but not least - don’t worry about applying for university and moving away from home. Even if you don’t end up choosing the right course, or the right halls for you - there are ways to ﬁx it. There’s so much support for Leeds Beckett students – all you have to do is ask if you need some advice.
We're all here to learn and to have fun so if something is not working for you, whether it be your course, your accommodation or something else, you can be sure that the university will assist you and it’s honestly not something to worry about.
So, it’s time to relax and enjoy making these decisions!
Useful contacts at the University:
I lived in Marsden House. Feel free to contact me to ask me any questions regarding it – just leave a comment below!