Student Blog Squad

Why I wanted to apply to university

Hi everyone, I’m Laura, a third year Sport and Exercise Science student at Leeds Beckett. In this blog I’ll be sharing my experience in the run up to submitting my UCAS application and the reasons that made me want to go to uni.

Students at laptop

Everyone’s reasons for applying to university are different. Some people have always known that they wanted to go and what they want to study whereas for others it’s a last-minute decision. The decision to go to university can be a big one, which is why I think it has to come from you.

Choosing to apply to Leeds Beckett was the best decision I made, not only academically but also for myself.

My future career

One of the biggest motivations I had for applying to university was my future career as university is great experience that allows you to open up doors to multiple career paths. Like most people at the age of 18 I didn’t have a clue what career I wanted to do, so by applying to university I knew I could expand my knowledge on my chosen subject area as well as develop skills that are crucial within any workplace. I found it really appealing that you get to pick a course specific to what you enjoy, compared to school where you have to study what your told, which gives university a more positive outlook on learning. I’ve found through choosing a course I know I’m interested in, I’m excited to learn and find the classes really engaging. I’ve learnt a lot about myself during my time at university, I enjoy helping others and teaching people about my course. Now that I’m going into my third year I’ve decided that I want to go into teaching and I’ll be staying at Leeds Beckett for another year to attain my PGCE so I can continue learning and teaching a subject I love.

Life skills

Another reason I wanted to apply for university was to develop my independence and learn valuable life skills. As much as I loved living at home with my family, I was ready to start looking after myself and feeling more like an adult. University gives you the opportunity to be independent and have more freedom whilst also having a guide and easy access to help and support, taking the pressure off you while you’re learning how to live on your own. One of the best life skills I’ve learnt whilst at university is meal prepping. I have now learnt to make lists before I go to the shop to prevent myself from buying unnecessary items and it helps me to manage my finances, because trust me when I say those extra snacks and random bits of room decor you picked up from the middle aisle in Aldi soon starts to add up.

New experiences

Going to university is more than just about learning academically and preparing for your future career, it's also about meeting new people and trying new things. I was really excited about university social life and as scary as it seemed I really wanted to try new sports and join new clubs; Leeds Beckett offers a range of both from Jiu Jitsu to photography. I ended up joining the women’s lacrosse team, a sport I'd never played before, and I made lots of new friends and get to compete at different universities every week. We also have lots of team socials where we all go out together and do different activities such as going out for drinks and team meals. The social aspect has been one of the highlights of my university experience and was definitely one of my top reasons for applying.

Personal development

Another impacting factor on why I applied for university was for my own personal development, I felt I had become stuck within my comfort zone, and I needed a change. As someone who had only ever lived in a small town, moving to a big city like Leeds was a big step for me both physically and mentally. I was always someone who liked to talk about trying new things and joining new clubs but due to my own fears and anxiety, I often found myself backing out at the last minute or pushing things back telling myself “maybe next time”. This often left me feeling like I was missing out, always sat on the side-line and I knew the only way to fix this was to push myself out of my comfort zone.

The big step of going to university as exactly what I needed to show myself that I could do it and that I didn't need to be afraid. It gave me the opportunity to experience new places and activities in a safe and welcoming environment and my confidence grew every week. 

I’m not saying that going to university solved all my problems and everything was easy, I was still nervous and sometimes a little scared and yes sometimes I had to check my timetable six times in case I read the wrong room number the first five times, but that one step gave me the confidence to at least try new things and no longer be stuck on the side-line. Applying to university was definitely the right choice for me, without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

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