Choosing Firm and Insurance
It’s that time of the year again when many of you in Year 13 will be spending countless days and nights deciding on which universities won over your head and your heart in order to secure your firm and insurance places. This is an extremely difficult time for many students (trust me I know!) as it means finally admitting to yourself which one you preferred, and whether you think you can meet the required grades. However, the best part of choosing your firm and insurance choices is that it finally gives you one specific solid thing to focus on during your revision and exams; it makes all of it worth it!
So a bit of personal background for you: I applied to Warwick, Bristol, Royal Holloway, Bath and Oxford. All of these had extremely similar grade requirements, ranging from AAA-ABB. I had visited all but Royal Holloway and absolutely loved all of them, but it truly was Warwick which captured my heart. After being set on living in a city university for nearly a year, Warwick was by far my last choice and when the open day came round I almost didn’t have the motivation to go! But it was my dad that convinced me to take a quick look and if it didn’t like it we could drive home (I live relatively close to Coventry). So we went, and I’m so grateful that I did! As soon as we started to look round the different departments and the accommodation I knew I could picture myself being there. That’s the most important thing to remember for your firm choice: can you picture yourself being happy there? I know that leaderboards and job outcomes are important too, but being in a place that makes you happy is by far the most important part of choosing a university.
So, what should you consider when choosing your firm and insurance choices?
Go through any leaflets you had and read them properly – don’t just stick them in that free bag you got! Make lists of pros and cons for each university if needs be! Take the time to decide on which course sounds the most interesting and enjoyable.
This is a slightly harder one to consider because for many of you the open days were weeks ago and your memory won’t go back that far now it’s been stuffed with revision. But scroll through some images of the university and try to remember which one you felt most comfortable at. Was there one which seemed a bit more work oriented and not as fun and lively as you’d imagined? Or was there one that seemed a bit too lively and actually you want somewhere to enjoy working through your degree?
This is extremely important when choosing a university because it truly can change your whole experience! Make sure you search through the accommodation options again for each university and see whether you like them or not. Bigger flats may seem loud and unappealing at first, but actually if you’re a social person this is a great option because it gives you a huge group of friends to move between. On the other hand, if you enjoy quieter halls with people that work don’t be scared to go for this option as you will ALWAYS be able to find people on a night out if you want to – and don’t forget that your course friends may live somewhere more ‘party’ too.
4. Distance from home
I fully understand that this aspect might not be of any important for some of you, but if it’s something you considered while going to open days (like I did) then this is something to research again. Although you probably won’t be coming home that often during freshers week, it’s always good to research how much time and money it would take you to get home if you just needed a weekend of your mum’s cooking.
Finally, good luck! This is a huge milestone in your university journey and while it may seem stressful, once you click that button it’ll finally give you something incredible to work towards!