As many of you know, I’ve just finished the first year of A-Levels, which means that in only one years time, I’ll be done!! (Although in the meantime it’ll be less fun). This also means that I’m looking at what I want to do after school, which for me, and many other people, will be going to University.
I’ve now been to two Uni open days and I’m trying to work out the best ways to do them properly and to make sure that I’ve got the most out of them – so I’ve compiled a little list of tips that I think are pretty useful, especially if you’ve not been before.
1.BOOK ONLINE: When you’re feeling lazy it’ll probably be quite easy to look at the dates, pick one, and show up. But it’s really handy to register online – for so many reasons. Firstly, some places will probably ask people to register on the day, so if you’ve done this online, it’ll be super speedy and you won’t have to queue or fill in forms. Secondly, it might ask you if you’d like to book onto subject talks. This is handy because spaces may not be available on the day – especially if the talk is popular! Finally, they’ll send you information about the day in the post. This will include information on any talks you’ve booked into and when different things will be happening (such as accommodation tours, things to see in the day, etc.)
2.MAKE A ROUGH PLAN: Using the information they’ve given you, try to timetable the day. It’ll mean that you aren’t running around working out what to do, but nothing has to be set in stone. On the first day I went to, I didn’t do this and I wish I had because I didn’t feel like I’d got the most out of the day. The second time around, we did this and it really helped us work out where we were wanting to be and when.
(as you can see, my handwriting gets worse as you go down the page)
Also, work out what you want to know from different places such as how much is accommodation per week? OR how will I be assessed in this subject? You’ll want to know the answer eventually and it’s best to know what you’ll want to know!
Sidenote here: if you’re not sure whether you can or want to do something, DO IT. You only get to look around the university once, so do everything you can to feel like you got the most out of it.
3.WEAR SOMETHING WEATHER APPROPRIATE AND COMFORTABLE: This is a massive MUST. You’ll be outside a lot so wearing jeans when it’s 35*C is impractical. Also, wearing stilettos is going to kill you. You’ll be doing A LOT of walking around so bear that in mind. Comfortable is the way to go. Check the weather the night before and that morning (if you can). Bring a rain jacket just in case, or loads of suncream if you need. The last thing you want is to be feeling uncomfortable.
4.PACKING SNACKS AND WATER WILL SAVE YOU: All that walking is hungry and thirsty business. I packed BELIVITA breakfast bars with me because they’ll keep you going, but also slowly release energy throughout the day which is really handy. It’ll be really easy to forget to bring water, but it’ll save you that £££ when you don’t have to buy some because you filled up a bottle before you left.
5.TAKE BREAKS: I do a fair bit of walking normally, but open days take it out of me. It’s a mixture of walking and working out where you have to be and thinking about these decisions which can be knackering. I’d recommend breaks, and plenty of them. Whether that be sitting on a bus to get somewhere, or stopping to eat lunch somewhere with a table – it’ll help you relax and settle before you have to continue. We stopped at Nandos and had a well needed, proper, lunch which helped us keep going
6.ENJOY YOURSELF: I am aware as to just how cliche this sounds, but I mean it. The whole process can feel overwhelming and it forces you to think about moving out which can just make you feel even more drained! But you’ll probably only get to do this once, and it’s nice to enjoy spending a day out with whoever you’re with. That way, even if the university really wasn’t for you, it wasn’t a total waste of a day.
Those are my six main tips and I hope they’re useful. I’ll definitely be trying to stick with these more because they are super handy.
The first university I looked around was Cardiff, which was a lovely Uni but I don’t fancy going there. The second was Sheffield (which I looked around the day I wrote this) and I really enjoyed it. It’s important to find a place which caters for you and what you want, but also somewhere that you think you’d LIKE to stay. It’s difficult to make that judgment based on a one-day trip, but I think you get a pretty good flavour very quickly!
That’s all for now so talk soon,