Dear UCAS applicants,
How’s it going? I have to admit that I’ve erased most of my UCAS time from my mind. It was NOT FUN. Ultimately, it just becomes a short period of time in your memories. All you can really do is your best, submit and then drop it all out of your mind. There is a point where it’s out of your hands and that’s the point where (for most of you) this is your final year, and you need to focus on your work.
However, there is a bit of advice I’d like to give you.
Keep going to open days. Even after you’ve submitted your application, even when you think you know exactly what you want, keep going to open days. Bring someone you trust along, who may give you important insight for when you make your final choices. My mum came with me to a lovely up and coming uni and afterwards she told me (very candidly) that she really didn’t like the head of the department. The decision was ultimately mine, but I decided to trust her instinct. (Then I ended up here! Yay!)
When you get all of your offers, take your time. Think it through again, please. Go to another open day, call the uni to talk to an ambassador, find someone you know who goes to the place and ask them for pros and cons. One thing I learned was to not trust statistics. Of course employability and student satisfaction are important, but the fact is that sometimes a university will perform excellently in both, and then you’ll turn up and find out that it’s not at all suited to you – too small, too big, no greenery, too rural, impersonal teachers, unenthusiastic tour guides. It’s better to find out all of this after getting an offer than on moving-in day.
You should of course apply to Exeter. (I’m joking! Although if you’re reading this, you might have made that decision already.)
I think it’s important to remember that UCAS is about as important as your exams and coursework. Don’t give one up for the other. If it gets to be a lot, try to get some support from your school. Make sure to fact-check your application regularly, like you would an essay. Fresh eyes will often help you spot a mistake.
Once you’ve submitted and the offers start rolling in, join the offer-holder groups and chats on social media! Mine was quite helpful during exam time as there were a lot of us and some students had exams in common, so we would share revision tips and ideas (in my case, literary quotes, criticism and context). Though I got an alternative offer in the end and had to leave all of the group chats I had joined, they were really useful and I recommend taking full advantage of that resource.
This is probably not an easy time for you, but it should also be a really hopeful time. I guarantee that you’ll be super excited when you get your first track notification, it won’t matter if it’s your first or last choice.
Finally, enjoy your last few months of school. If you love it there, be sure to make the best of this time. If, like me, it’s not your favourite place on earth, work hard and look forward to university!
Thais Cardon December 19th, 2017 Careers, Cornwall, Exams and Assessment, Higher Education, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Miscellaneous, Penryn Campus, Preparing for University, Studying, Undergraduate