Getting ready to go to university or college is a daunting chore: the responsibilities, questions and to-do lists are never-ending, and it is unexplored territory for many students. Chartering your way through lists of league tables, courses and requirements can make the whole experience seem like too much for one person to do, mainly when you are already under the stresses of A-level exam coursework and preparation.
We know how hard it to get your mind functioning on something as vital as picking the correct course and establishment when you are snowed under with essays, revision and assignments, so we have put together our top tips and guidelines for all prospective graduates, when you first start the college search.
Picking the correct course is the significant thing at this stage – no matter how great the college is, if you hate your degree, the results won’t be pretty.
If you are one of the lucky students who know accurately what subject you want to study at college – slow down. Nearly all colleges have different ideas or concepts about what constitutes a course, thus choosing to study Psychology at one university may have different focus from the same course title at another. Be careful to thoroughly read the module and syllabus choices all the way through the degree duration: they may be subject to change, but you will get a fine idea of what’s on provide and what the most lecturers specialize in.
While you are looking at courses, memorize to keep in mind what your favorite parts of the subject are: if you love English Literature but hate Dickens, a course that has fifty percent of its modules on the novelist won’t be the one for you! Several departments have interviews with students on their sites, therefore listen to these, and understand the reasoning behind their decision-making.
Think about where your strengths like academically – do you do better in essays or coursework, or during examinations? Look at courses that weight their assignments more favorably towards your strengths, and you might find yourself beginning to struggle adapting to a new course, a new college and a new way of being tested.
There is no point beginning to judge a college by its website and prospectus. The only way you will ever get a feel of the environment and prospectus is by going to visit and taking part in an open day. These are vital to making the correct decision, and not just picking the establishment that has the best media department! Open days permit you to wander around the campus, like you will be doing in a year or two’s time, and make the decision from your heart: you will know instantly whether it is the place for you or not, just by being there.
Still, it is almost impossible to visit each and every university or college in the country, thus start making a list of essential features you want your college to have. Do you want an enclosed or city campus? Once you have taken on board what courses are provided, and how these sit with you, you can start delving deeper into the more specialist requirements you want it to have.
When you go on open days, go to as many talks as you can, mainly subject related ones. Several universities put on mock classes for prospective undergraduates to attend – and these are very important. This is where you will have your first taste of college academia, as well as meeting professors for the first time. Ask as many problems to current students as you can. They are helping on open days as they love their university or college, and want other people to love it too, thus they will be candid with you – there is no tiptoeing around at university!
It is a hard decision to make, and only you can decide what the right path to take is. Do not let other students – mainly your friends – sway you on this: it is going to determine the shape your social life and academic takes over the next four years, therefore never be afraid to ask problems, visit as several places as you like, and be ruthlessly honest with yourself. You can get more detail and steps to prepare for university on Expertsmind.