Thank you for your application to study at The University of Warwick
Hello! I’m Claudia! I’m 19, half Italian, and a first year Hispanic Studies student. So it has been exactly a week since I moved to Warwick and the good news is I am still here and smiling (albeit a little sleep deprived and very glad of the unanimous flat decision of a night in to say the least). All I can say is what a crazy first week! I honestly feel as if I have been here for ages already as so much has happened! Have I really only been here a week?!
I realise that probably the majority of readers right now are prospective students and so as I was finishing up the last of my mum’s supply of home cooked dishes, mulling over the prospect of actually having to cook something for myself tomorrow, I thought I would focus my first post on the application process itself.
For me this period was an extremely stressful and confusing time. Having spent the last year studying a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, you may think it a little strange that I have found myself at Warwick. The truth is I just didn’t know what I wanted to study. It seemed that all my friends knew exactly what they were doing and where they wanted to study, but I was clueless. Was it Fine Art? History of Art? After all, I had a portfolio all prepared and ready and art it is one of my greatest passions and something I love. English Literature? Literature has always been something I have been interested in particularly at A Level and something I certainly enjoy. Languages? After all, I love Spanish and am pretty fluent in Italian too… I just didn’t know! However, after having written about 5 different personal statements, each for different subjects, I decided on Hispanic Studies; an interdisciplinary course focussing on the language, literature and culture of the Hispanic World.
It’s no secret that the application process for university can be incredibly stressful…decisions after decisions, personal statements, approaching deadlines, travelling for miles and in all directions only to discover that actually perhaps a campus university would be nicer after all.
Well, the good news is that you can breathe, the hardest part is over…well I mean in terms of the application process! Whether you have recently submitted that hefty UCAS application or whether you are simply waiting for that email to inform you that ‘Something has changed on your UCAS application; please log in to UCAS Track to view the changes’, I thought I would share with you some of my own experiences along with some tips and advice for this somewhat daunting and for many, nerve-racking time.
The first thing you should be aware of, is that this email from UCAS could come at ANY time. Don’t worry if you don’t hear anything for a while. There is always bound to be the odd person who gets a response from one of their universities within a few weeks of applying but in most cases, universities like to take their time to consider each application carefully and Warwick is certainly no exception. It’s a difficult task after all! Just remember; it is completely normal to be waiting quite a while during this time. It may be that decisions are being delayed until the University has received all applications that are submitted by 15 January. I remember that after getting four of my offers roughly around the same time, it was over a month later before I received my last!!
Nevertheless, it can undoubtedly be a stressful period, especially if your friends start to get offers and responses flooding in before you even though they may have applied after you. Every course is different and so is every university. This is completely normal so don’t start to panic!!
Next step…responding to your offer…
It may be that after receiving responses from all your universities, the decision as to which one you choose as your ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ is easy. However, I found this a really confusing time and I know that I was not alone. I’m sure it didn’t help that I am possibly the most indecisive person you will ever encounter…making decisions has just never been my forte and having spent a ridiculously long time deciding what to wear the other night, it seems that nothing much has changed! However, take this time now to really do your research.
– VISIT THE UNIVERSITIES. Even if it means dragging your parents up and down the country, believe me it is important to see where you could be spending the next 3 or 4 years of your life. For me, having received offers from both city and campus universities, this was a big help when it came to my decision to firm Warwick.
– ATTEND OFFER HOLDER OPEN DAYS. If you receive an offer, you will most likely be invited to one of these open days. You may think they sound a bit naff as you might have already attended an open day before even applying, but I promise they can be very useful. These events really provide you with an opportunity to get a feel for the department and university which is so important.
– RESEARCH THE COURSE. For me, this was important as I applied to slightly different courses which varied quite a lot. Take languages for example… make sure you don’t make the mistake of choosing a course which happens to be heavily focussed on literature when actually literature isn’t really your thing and you would prefer something more history based. It was little things like this that I found really worth considering. It may sound silly but I already know of someone who has made this mistake!
It took me a really long time to finally decide what university to choose, particularly as I had received offers for ‘Spanish and English Literature’ at Exeter and Nottingham, ‘Hispanic Studies with English’ at King’s College London and ‘Hispanic Studies’ at Warwick. Nevertheless, I can honestly say that after my first week at Warwick, I am very happy with my choice. The best piece of advice I can give you, is to for a moment, put aside the rumours and conflicting advice of teachers and friends and choose somewhere where you really think you could be happy. Nothing is ever going to be perfect but pick somewhere where you think you can make the most out of your university experience.
And finally…the grades. Oh the grades. I’m not going to say much about this but I will leave you with one final piece of advice, work hard and really go for it! It’s not long now; you will be surprised how your last year of school/college flies by and as cheesy as it sounds, there is nothing more rewarding than the feeling that you couldn’t have worked any harder! It will all be worth it!
Good luck!! Please feel free to comment or ask any questions, I will be more than happy to try and help. Through this blog, I look forward to sharing with you some of my experiences, thoughts and advice in an honest, fun and informal way as a brand new Warwick fresher. As a first year student, you can follow the journey of my very first year at university! It doesn’t get much fresher than this!