Liz Wright

A Student's Diary – Applying to University


Taking a Break

It's that contradictory time of year where teachers are saying, "make sure you get some rest," yet follow up with, "oh and here is some work for you to do." With half term just gone and not long until Christmas (getting excited already) the academic year is over a quarter of the way through.

Some of you may have submitted your UCAS form already, some of you may even have offers. If you'd told me that I'd have 4 university offers before half term I'd probably have laughed at you, but that's the situation I'm in. So, not to be biased, but many thanks to the University of York, University of Warwick, University of Nottingham and University of Manchester for being so prompt in their replies.

If you haven't completed your UCAS yet, don't panic (unless you're an Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary applicant, in which case you should have applied by October 15th), you've got until the 15th January to qualify for equal consideration. Personally I thought it was better to get it done and off my mind so that I can focus on two very important pieces of English coursework and a devised performance in Drama – oh joy! But just do whatever works for you.

With all this buzzing around in your head it is important to take some time out to relax and unwind. So I spent my October half term staying with friends in their second year of university and got a tiny taster of student life.

Here’s what I learnt from my week in university digs:

  • The ‘floordrobe’ (a combination of floor and wardrobe) is an acceptable place for clothes, and if they still smell OK then it’s acceptable to wear them for more than three days in a row.
  • Washing the pots is only necessary when you need to use them again or if they’re becoming a hygiene issue.
  • Cups only require washing when alternating drinks.
  • Ordering a takeaway is always preferable to cooking. If not financially practical.
  • Pinterest counts as research, and most course-related skills can be learned on YouTube, from the comfort of your bed.
  • If you can’t reach it from your bed then you don’t need it.
  • Most importantly, university teaches you more than just your subject. It teaches you how to live and be independent.

Messy room Cooking utensils
©Matty Ring CC BY 2.0                                    

Activities outside of school are important and not just in order to make your personal statement stand out. It gives you a study break, and if you manage your time effectively, it’s something that you can keep doing all the way through upper sixth. Plus, its good stress relief. So remember, no matter where you application is and how your final year(s) at school is (are) going, take it easy!