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By Marianne Calnan

3rd year BU student – BA (Hons) English

As soon as you turn 16 nowadays, it seems university is all teachers talk about. Whether you decide to go to college, sixth form or enrol on an apprenticeship after year 11, university seems the logical next step for most students. If you’re serious about going into higher education there are a few things you really need to consider before making your decision.

Firstly, the course. Is the course right for you? Is there a good balance between the entry requirements being achievable for you and the course being challenging enough? Can you really see yourself being engaged with the subject of your choice for 3-4 years? There’s a great deal to bear in mind and with tuition fees more expensive than ever, it’s imperative the course you chose is the best choice for you.

Secondly, the university itself is also a significant aspect to consider. Is the Student’s Union good? Would you join any of the clubs and societies available to make your spare time more enjoyable? University is a fantastic place to meet new people, and those people aren’t always your house/ flatmates or course mates. Those ‘friends for life’ everyone says you’re bound to meet at uni can be those you meet outside of uni itself, so make sure there’s lots to do in your spare time, aside from enjoying the town centre and decent night life.

You also need to consider how close you want to be to your loved ones at home. Logically, if you’re really close with your family and have friends living and working in the area you have lived in and called home, you don’t want to go to a university that’s too far afield. You might also want to pop home for the odd weekend or have people come to visit you. The optimum distance from home for most students is about 2-3 hours from their home; far enough to gain independence but close enough to be able to keep in touch with those back home.

Finally, make sure you ask lots of questions about student experience, accommodation, finance and your course on the open day so you’re clued up on all the uni has to offer. There’s many aspects to consider but if you take them all into account, your time at university might just be the time of your life!

Good luck!

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