Written by Katrina Eastwood
BA (Hons) Economics
For me, applying to university was an absolute mess. The process began in November, which seemed rather early, but trust me this is the time to start. I was extremely excited so was quick to sign up for university open days. I simply picked the first subject that came to my mind as a likely career path: History. Little did I know, this course was completely wrong for me. I went to all the History open days and looked at nothing else. This was my biggest mistake. Although I liked History I never asked myself seriously enough whether I was good at it, inspired by it or if it was a good career to pursue. Had I taken the time to discover my options, who I am and what I could see myself doing I would have been far more successful.
During open days, try to have an open mind, you only need a rough idea of the course you’d like. Do try to attend various subject talks as you will get a feel of whether it is right for you. In addition, be sure to solely focus on the university’s location and appearance. For me, I applied to a different uni, mainly because of its beautiful campus and although it was perfect, it wasn’t realistic based on my predicted grades. You do need to be a bit realistic when choosing your universities. A good idea is to apply to two universities which are slightly ambitious as the case may be the university is asking for the grades you are hoping to get. And then apply to two universities which are more realistic, with lower entry requirements. Those that may not be perfect but are still good courses. The fifth choice should be a middle ground.
When January comes, start to think of the specifics and use all the support available to you. Try to ask plenty of people to check over your personal statement and ask yourself, does this truly reflect who I am? Once you receive your offers and begin to choose accommodation, do not think it is confirmation, you still have to get good grades to actually be accepted.
By the time August came I found myself applying through Clearing and lucky for me after ringing about seven universities I received an offer. And then another from Bournemouth University soon after. I’m pleased I didn’t settle for my first offer as it was not the course I am passionate about. However, I am incredibly lucky that, because of my extra AS grades I am now studying my ideal subject at Bournemouth University. On results day, if you are not successful, don’t give up just yet. I knew long before results day that I’d messed up my choices, but I stayed determined and was able to start the next life changing chapter in my life despite not heading in the direction I’d originally planned.
By Katrina Eastwood