Open Day is tomorrow and I’m guessing most of you are going to be attending different open days. Here are a few tips and things you need to keep in mind when you are visiting a university:
- Ask about accommodation: Think about your working habits and what kind of person you are. This is not like school where you can be a social butterfly at school but then you like your down time at home. University is a 24/7 experience. So think about your lifestyle choices and look at the most appropriate accommodation for you. Catering and cooking facilities, how close the shops are to you, or even the main building you will be going to for lectures.
- The flexibility of your course?: Can you take different modules if you want to? What are your core modules? Can you take different modules from other departments? What is the coursework and exam balance? These are all very important for when you apply for a university because you need to work to your strengths. Coursework is my weakness whereas exams I thrive in the pressure of an exam. You need to figure out what it is your potential university has to offer and if there is that flexibility to choose other modules. For example, you might realise that you need to take a certain module for your career prospects or it is essential to study a specific module for when you want to start post-graduate study.
- What books do you need?: Most books are now online which will ease your bank account, but some books you would want to buy so you can hold them and work from them easier (purely depending on your work ethic). Ask the students what books they bought and what they found useful, get ahead on reading. Getting the basics in your head will make your life a lot easier. Ask about library facilities and if it’s 24/7, honestly, 3am reading sounding insane when I started univeristy…..boy was I wrong!
- The connection with your tutors: Hopefully, you get the chance to meet some tutors from your department. It’s essential that you like the way that they approach you and talk to you. Why? Because you will be listening to these tutors for hours in a week. They need to catch your attention and radiate energy because then they will give you the energy to work harder.
- Listen to the current students: I am an ambassador for the Classics department so I attend open days giving students advice. The main thing is that I always try to be honest about my experience at Warwick. As a potential student, I just wanted an honest outlook on a students life at Warwick. So ask the student lots of questions, even about making friends at university and about being safe around campus. Anything that is worrying you make sure you ask.
- Financial questions: When it comes to thinking about money, this is not only a department for your parents. You also need to take responsibility for the money being spent during your studies. You need to figure out what your budget is and how you are going to fund for your living. I don’t see my maintenance loan because it gets sucked up by my landlord for my rent. Therefore, my living costs are funded by myself and my family. When it comes to getting a house you need to think about what you can cover. Remember utilities and internet etc. are not included in rent when you move away from campus, therefore, that’s more money being spent. Ask the students or there may be a university accommodation building where you can ask these questions about living around your university. Then you can take the next step in saving as much money as you can and for most of us, start a summer or part-time job.
Enjoy your open days and I hope you get alot from them. For those coming tomorrow, I shall see you soon!