University Application

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University Application

Postby Henri » Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:00 am

I have to complete my UCAS application soon, and naturally, I am stupendously worried about it. All of the universities I've looked at so far can be classified as 'elite', and I'm worried that I may be rejected from all of them, and my hope for next year will be ruined.

So far, I have visited Warwick, Sussex, and Royal Holloway, and intend to apply to all three.

I'm really anxious about the whole process, and have no idea what to do next.
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Postby Radioactive_hairgel » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:18 am

I feel the same- i haven't opened one propspectus and all my teachers are like "what do you want to do then?," " what's your back up plan?", " what plans do you have for the future?", " what if this dosen't work out- then what??"
Which i know it's thier job to do, but im still like :? i dont think i want to go to uni, and i haven't even starting looking at UCAS let alone writing my personal statement, some people even have offers back from uni's- i've let to look at one, i really do have no idea what i want to do with my life, lol!
so yeah if i do want to go to uni i have to decide this weekend, pronto and i woudln't know how to go about it in a million years, so yeah- i hear you on that one, lol.
UCAS??? BLERG!
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Postby Spoon girl » Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:49 pm

Henri, if you're worried all of your uni's are elite, have you looked at many that don't require high grades? I applied for a few 'elite' unis and put down a few not so elite unis as back ups. In the end I went to the uni I put down just because I felt like I should apply for the full 6 you're allowed to because I visited it and the course was perfect. So, maybe look at some other unis as well?



Radioactive_hairgel, don't panic too much because if you decide to apply for uni you still have until january to send off your ucas. You need to give your school or college a little longer to sort out their side of things but a few weeks should do. I'd suggest looking at a few prospectuses as something might just jump out at you that you really want to do. A gap year is always an option too but it's better to have an idea of what you'd like to do so perhaps have a word with your school about ideas for gap years. Also, perhaps see a career adviser? If there's a job you want to do now that requires a vocational course rather than a degree or just A levels then there's actually no point in applying for uni anyway!
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Postby Henri » Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:54 pm

Spoon girl wrote:Henri, if you're worried all of your uni's are elite, have you looked at many that don't require high grades? I applied for a few 'elite' unis and put down a few not so elite unis as back ups. In the end I went to the uni I put down just because I felt like I should apply for the full 6 you're allowed to because I visited it and the course was perfect. So, maybe look at some other unis as well?




I've thought of this, but since the application has to be finished by the end of the month, I don't think I have time to view any more unis.
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Postby Spoon girl » Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:02 pm

that's what happened with me. I went to see most of my choices after applying. Have a look at some prospectuses. If you've only applied for 3, then you have 3 more choices left so you could always apply for 3 more that sound good and then visit them later to see if they actually are good.
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:30 pm

Henri - *hugs*I think you need to have a little more faith in yourself (so much easier said than done, but it's true). I definitely think it would be good to look at other Universities, though. Look at prospecti and University websites.

Have you written your personal statement yet? If you haven't, I have a little advice:

Concentrate on the subject(s) you're studying. Mention reading you have done around the subject(s), say why you enjoy them and want to study them, and mention areas of particular interest. Do mention extra-curricular activities, but thwey shouldn't ake up the majority of it.

Be concise. Don't repeat yourself. Write in simple, straightforward language - don't feel you need to write in an unnaturally florid way, or that you should pretend to know everything. Be yourself and have faith in yourself.

Martha - have you thought about taking a gap year? That might give you time to decide what you want to do. University is not the only way to get an interesting job. Ask yourself what you enjoy doing most and what you are good at. Then think how you can use that in your future life. This may involve going to University, or it may not.
Last edited by Thirteen-thirty-seven on Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby parnassus » Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:42 pm

Henri wrote:
Spoon girl wrote:Henri, if you're worried all of your uni's are elite, have you looked at many that don't require high grades? I applied for a few 'elite' unis and put down a few not so elite unis as back ups. In the end I went to the uni I put down just because I felt like I should apply for the full 6 you're allowed to because I visited it and the course was perfect. So, maybe look at some other unis as well?




I've thought of this, but since the application has to be finished by the end of the month, I don't think I have time to view any more unis.


You don't have to visit a uni before applying, Henri. The only two I visited were Lancaster and Cambridge. I didn't want to apply to Lancaster anyway (I was only there to listen to some lectures) so it probably doesn't count as a proper visit. I chose York, St Andrew's, Durham, and Manchester after reading the course descriptions (the most important thing) and then looking at other factors - location, disability support, etc. Visiting lots and lots of new places is likely to make you even more nervous, so read the prospecti instead and pick out unis that look right. If you're worried about starting university in a place you've never seen before, you will have plenty of time to visit and get acquainted with the place after you have been accepted.

El's advice is good. You shouldn't apply to six first-class universities just in case your grades are slightly weaker than you would like. Be strategic. When I applied, I made York my second choice even though I much preferred the course at St Andrew's. I knew that St Andrew's was more likely to request top grades than York, partly because I had applied for a competitive course (English with Middle Eastern Studies) but mostly because they were still having to filter out lovesick members of the populace who were stalking Prince William. My hunch was right - York's offer included a B grade. I felt quite secure when I took my exams, knowing that even if I didn't get the grades for Cambridge I would definitely have a place at York.

Best of luck. :)

Martha, from what I've heard you are an extremely good musician. Are you interested in taking it up professionally? If so, you should talk to El (spoon_girl) as she is studying music at university. There are lots of different music courses out there - some performance-based and some weighted towards history and theory. The girl next door to me in the boarding house wanted to study music but was very poor on the theory side, so she and I riffled through the prospecti until we found a course that fit her strengths. There is a lot of choice out there.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: University Application

Postby Cartouche » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:45 pm

Henri wrote: Royal Holloway

...is my university, so I can answer any questions you may have about there!
The Disabilities department at RHUL is really really sweet...I think they had a coffee morning last week for all students with disabilities to get to know one another. I'd have gone, only I'm currently on my year abroad.

Gradeswise, RHUL actually will offer slightly lower grades than you may expect, because they are both desperate for students, and recieve less applications than institutions of a similar presteige, because they are less well known.
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Postby ~Jenny~ » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:12 pm

What subject are you applying for?

The disability service here at York have so far been helpful for me and York is a lovely city to be in, the campus isn't that attractive but it grows on you and it does look quite nice at night when the light reflects off the lake

Also as the campus is fairly small it limits the chance of getting lost :)

But I don't know if they do your course as I don't know what you're applying for
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Postby Henri » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:12 am

I have composed a personal statement, which is good, but it needs to be perfect, if you understand what I'm saying. I've effectively done all that you suggested, but, as many people here can probably observe, I don't consider my style of writing to be concise and straightforward.

I've thought of two more universities, but naturally, I am worried about the prospect of attending an institution that I have not visited; the uncertainty seems slightly overwhelming. Despite this, I will apply to them, arrange open days, and attempt to stay positive over the matter as a whole.

Jenny, I'm applying to do Politics and International Relations. I would consider applying at York, but it seems rather elite, and three spaces on my application for elite universities is enough.

Cartouche, that's very reassuring. I genuinely felt at home during my visit to Holloway, and now I know that the support is competent, I'll definitely be hoping for acceptance from them. How have you found it there? What are you studying?

Speaking of Royal Holloway, something strange happened with my head of course this week, during our fortnightly catch-up. I told him of where I intended to apply, and, immediately, he said "You <b>will get into Royal Holloway.I'm meeting with them next week, I'll wrangle you a place". I was quite shocked, since I didn't expect someone to be so abrupt over such a matter. It's positive, but I hope he can live up to his word, and I still don't really know what to think of it.

Thanks for your advice, everyone, it's been great to hear all of your opinions and helpful comments. Would anyone be willing to take a look at my personal statement?
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Postby Cartouche » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:58 am

Henri wrote:Cartouche, that's very reassuring. I genuinely felt at home during my visit to Holloway, and now I know that the support is competent, I'll definitely be hoping for acceptance from them. How have you found it there? What are you studying?

Speaking of Royal Holloway, something strange happened with my head of course this week, during our fortnightly catch-up. I told him of where I intended to apply, and, immediately, he said "You will get into Royal Holloway.I'm meeting with them next week, I'll wrangle you a place". I was quite shocked, since I didn't expect someone to be so abrupt over such a matter. It's positive, but I hope he can live up to his word, and I still don't really know what to think of it.

Would anyone be willing to take a look at my personal statement?


The only problem with RHUL is that the staff are not always in. Truth be, though, I had a lot more trouble with the more bureaucratic offices than with the Disabilities people. The lady who does the actual assessment is really lovely too.

RHUL is a different uni to most. It's pretty isolated. London is only 40 minutes away on the train, but that's not something you can do very often. The host town, Egham, is a student town that pretends it is not, so it's not quite as student-focused as, for example, Durham. The Student Union is the focus of entertainment, but as I'm not the sort of person to get drunk, squeeze into a large space with lots of others, and dance to R&B music, so I tend to avoid it. There are several bars, but once again, I'm happier at home with a coffee.

They're expanding. They've just built several new halls of residence (replacing the Soviet-style hall I was in in my first year), and the library is due for an extension. I like spending time in the library. RHUL is a small Uni where it is possible to get to know a lot of people...

...I'm doing BA German & History. I'm my third year now, which means I'm having to spend this time in Germany, so I'm not currently at RHUL. There are only about 25 people studying German in my year in the whole Uni, so it's quite cosy. The History department is a lot less personal, but they can be very friendly and helpful depending on your interests. I'm afraid I don't know a lot about music, except that there is a lot going on in that department.

I would!
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:47 pm

Henri wrote:Speaking of Royal Holloway, something strange happened with my head of course this week, during our fortnightly catch-up. I told him of where I intended to apply, and, immediately, he said "You <b>will get into Royal Holloway.I'm meeting with them next week, I'll wrangle you a place". I was quite shocked, since I didn't expect someone to be so abrupt over such a matter. It's positive, but I hope he can live up to his word, and I still don't really know what to think of it.


Are you sure he was being entirely serious?

I am sure you don't need someone to "wrangle you a place".

If you want to post your personal statement on here, I am sure everyone will offer helpful advice.
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Postby mel » Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:19 pm

If you do post your personal statement, you might want to make sure this is a restricted forum first - i.e. only forum members can view posts. I doubt anyone here is a plagarist (or for that matter is doing the exact same subject and applying right now ;)) but as for the rest of the internet :? .
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Postby Dork_Lord » Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:26 pm

I'm applying for Chemistry courses in a few universities, namely Bangor, Reading and Cardiff. I've recieved promises of possible offers from Reading and Cardiff so far, and I hope I get one from Bangor too.
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