How to make the most of your open day
Open days really can make or break your choice of university, so I share some useful tips on how to make the most of your Open Day.
It’s all very well reading about the course on the website, and even reading the blogs from students such as ourselves, but until you get onto a university campus you can’t get a true feel for whether you will be comfortable at the universities you’re applying for.
For many people, a visit to campus is what helps them make that final decision between the two or three universities they are most considering, and that is why it is so important to make the most of the open days and what’s on offer.
How to make the most of your Open Day visit
#1 Go on a campus tour
First of all, there’s the campus itself. I will always advise going on a campus tour.
Whatever open day you go to, whether it’s Warwick or anywhere else, make sure you sign up to one so you can really get to grips with what is on campus and where.
If there’s something you’ve read about online, like a particular department building or a certain coffee shop, it’s likely it will be shown to you on your way around. If not, your guide will probably be more than happy to add it to the itinerary for you, so never hesitate to ask.
#2 Your guide can help you with more than the geography
Actually, your guide around campus is there for a lot more than just showing you the geography.
They will be a student with an inside view on university life, so if you have any questions at all, they are the person to ask. They’ll know the best places to go on campus for a cheap drink, or the shortcuts to the library that will take you at least three weeks to pick up when you first arrive.
Please don’t be embarrassed to ask them anything. After all, anyone who volunteers to wear an offensively bright T-shirt and come to campus on their day off is usually pretty serious about the job!
#3 Attend Department events & interact with the staff
Of course, if your department has anything on offer for open day, it goes without saying that you should turn up.
Although a lot of the mock seminars and lectures will be held on the offer-holder days, the general open days can be quite good just to get a feel for the department buildings and perhaps interact with the staff, who are always more than happy to have a chat. Again, if you have any questions it’s well worth asking.
Contact hours is something a lot of people want to know about, and it varies from course to course and between universities, so that might be something to consider asking. Also, the number of lectures compared to seminars is another question that might be worth asking.
#4 Try out some of the food places
Once you’ve soaked up your tour, asked your questions to your department, and maybe had a nose at some accommodation, you probably think you’re done, right? Wrong.
Just because the main events are over, doesn’t mean you have to go. I would strongly advise hanging round on campus for an hour or so, and maybe trying one of the places to eat.
This is the best way to get a glimpse of what it feels like to be among the student body, and not just a hopeful tourist.
#5 Finally, one quick tip: Don’t let the weather ruin your day
It might sound stupid, but this was the advice I was given before I went on my open days, and I’ll never forget it.
Just because it’s cold or damp, doesn’t mean it will always be cold and damp, and that shouldn’t be a reflection of your day.
I went to my Warwick Open Day with a stinking cold and it was pouring with rain, but I still chose it over my other two choices, which both had excellent weather on their Open Days.
It looks like the weather might be sunshine this year, but even if it clouds over I would still encourage you to focus on what it is you’re looking at, not what’s going on in the sky!
If you have any questions about the approaching Open Day, or open days in general, please don’t hesitate to ask! Becca.
You may also like to read:
How to make the most of Open Days – Ellie Craddock