1. Go to open days
You never truly know what something is like before trying it yourself. Don’t be afraid to show up to open days, chat to students, and seek some honest answers about their experience. A train fare may be expensive, but so is leaving uni before graduating.
2. Read course modules
The name of the course can state one thing, but the content is usually quite different. Similar programs in different universities can present completely different material. Pay attention to modules description, so that you won’t be caught unawares later.
3. Talk to tutors
Professors are the one who know their subjects best. Why not use their knowledge? They are also well aware of opportunities and challenges in their fields, so that might come in handy too.
4. Visit end-of-year graduation shows
If you’re interested in creative subjects like art, design, or even theatre, going to one of these events can show you what the student have learned. You can also ask graduates about their experiences in retrospective.
5. Go with your passion
Your parents might be pressuring you to go into a certain field. Or, you might want to focus on something potentially lucrative yourself. However, nothing is worth being miserable for four years.
6. Pay attention to geography
You won’t spend your whole life on campus. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the rent prices in the area, public facilities, and the general atmosphere. Look up the area of the university you’re applying to on Zoopla. Ask people from the area what they do in the evenings. Research bus prices. All these are more important than you think.
7. Remember your family
You might think you are prepared to leave your parents and friends behind, only to find yourself terribly homesick in a month or two. A support network is very important, so don’t be embarrassed to search for a university close to home.
8. Check out pre-uni programmes
There are many opportunities to experience the subjects you are interested in before enrolling. The Realising Opportunities Programme, for instance, finds you a mentor who is studying a subject of your choosing. This way you can ask all the questions you want and see what a students’ everyday life is like.
9. Think about the money
It should not be a concern at all as higher education for UK citizens is fairly affordable nowadays, but you have to consider the prices of rent, food, and commuting to and from home. Some people choose to live at home while studying simply to save up some money. Others eliminate some universities right away, because they don’t want to pay an exorbitant amount of money every single time they need to return home.
10. Trust your gut
If you’ve visited a uni and you feel like you belong to it, don’t overthink it! Feeling comfortable is very important if you decide to commit to a place for three whole years.