Written by Sophie Arnold
BA (Hons) Media Production
Picking the university you want to study at is a big choice. You have to decide on whether this is the best place for the course you want to do, if it has the best teaching quality, has the best industry links, comfy accommodation and generally if you just fit there!
And the best way to figure all that out? Open days!
You may have been to a couple already, but I remember going to my first few open days and they are tricky to wrap your head around the format of at first! But I have five top tips for you that will hopefully help you have smooth and informative open days!
- Be organised
Open days are busy! It’s going to make your life so much easier if you spend a few days before checking where you need to be. Check the university’s website for maps and when you’re travelling there, make sure you get a bus that arrives in time for you to go to your course’s scheduled lecture. Don’t worry if you need directions or help when you’re there though! There’ll be lots of smiley student ambassadors around to give you a hand, at BU we’re dressed in pink hoodies!
- Bring a pen and paper
If your course has a scheduled lecture or even if you get given a guided tour of the campus, there’ll be some information that you’ll want to jot down. You can’t be expected to remember it all! You should be able to find the information in prospectuses or on the university’s website but it might help you make your decisions if you write it down for it to sink in.
- Have questions
You’ll get a lot of info thrown your way, but open days are the best opportunity for you to ask questions one-on-one. Have a go a few days before while reading the prospectus for the course or thinking of some questions. Whether it’s about if the majority of assignments are practical or theoretical, or what accommodation is nearest to campus, now is the best time to answer those queries!
- Think about who you go with
Who you go to an open day with can have a big impact on how the day goes. You should decide whether you want to go with your friends who are also making their university decisions so you can get a peer’s opinion. Or if you want to go with your parents, as you want to know what they’d think, bearing in mind, they may have more questions they want to ask than you! Maybe you feel that going on your own is the best bet, so you don’t have the pressure of other opinions and you can get to know the others attending the open day. It’s up to you!
- Try not to get overwhelmed
I know that it feels so big and scary on the day, and it’s understandable to feel like that! You’re deciding where to live for the next three years, the people you’ll meet and the qualification you’ll get. But just breathe. The pressure isn’t as bad as you think. You might worry about making a good impression to the lecturers there and if you’re right for this place, but the truth is, you need to make sure the place is right for you. It is your decision. At the end of the day, it’s the university that wants you too! Just make the most of the day, get as much information as you can and go home happy to mull your choices over.
By Sophie Arnold