My time at University is almost over, I have less than three months to go and I am starting to plan ahead and trying to figure out my next big steps in the big wide world! In this blog I am going to talk about what I would do if I could go back in time and what I would do better in terms of applying for University, along with some of my top tips!
Open days are so essential; you have to think - you will be spending at least three years of your life there. Would you buy a house without seeing it first? Unlikely, hence I really can't stress just how important it is to get a feel for the University and surrounding area it's located in before making that important decision. For me Kingston felt right, it ticked so many boxes from course, location and the facilities.
Don't take your feet off the pedal for that final exam or piece of coursework. When I was in my second year of college I felt really burnt out and struggled with attaining my higher grades in year one. In the end I just scraped through, possibly just by the skin of my teeth and luckily I got into University with no problems, but if I could go back in time I would work as hard as I could for the last few months in the knowledge of having a much longer summer break, due to University terms starting later on.
Now especially as a student ambassador I know what universities are looking at when looking at an application. Away from grades one of the most important things on the UCAS application form is your personal statement that should demonstrate A) why you want to do the course, showcasing any passions etc. and B) all about you e.g. any extracurricular activities you may have done. Whilst I had done some volunteering at college I would now be able to add so much more by doing so much at University since. However while you still can between now and when you do apply try to do something worthwhile whether it be volunteering, work, work experience, or trying new sports - not only will it help you develop, but it will also look great on your application form.
In terms of my University adventure I wouldn't change a thing! I think that during the last few years here I have gradually become more active and involved. One of the things I tend to say to people who ask if they will enjoy University or not is that it really depends on how much they put in. I like to say 'what you put in, is what you will get out of it' and that can be applied to anything.
For this blog post I would like to let you all in on a recent Student Ambassador project I have been involved with. The project is called the Student Take Over, which you may have already heard of as we also run Take Overs of the KU twitter account. This new project was for a small group of ambassadors to write content for a Take Over section in the new prospectus. The idea is that whilst all the information students who are thinking about applying to KU need is available on the website and in the corporate part of the prospectus, it's valuable for them to read about the real opinions and stories from current Ku students - and that's where we come in!
Myself and four others (Adam, Bryn, Deema and Jami) applied to work on this project through the Student Ambassador scheme. We meet most weeks with the university's marketing team to come together and discuss ideas, then we go away to write about a variety of topics. We more-or-less get free rain in terms of what we'd like to talk about but we get advice and guidance from the marketing team to make sure we stick to themes, prospective students really want to know about!
As myself and Deema are Journalism students, we sometimes help to organise and edit the copy produced by the five of us and write extra bits when needed. We then all came together again to give our design input and have our photographs taken, which was then all brought to life by the professional team. Personally, I feel it has been a great learning experience and I've really been able to explore my curiosity in marketing, which I am now considering as a future career path. It has also been really fun, and I've made good friends from our small group. The best bit was a few weeks ago when we were given a copy of our four page section. It was really cool to see how all our hard work had paid off and I'm sure that this experience will really help to make my CV stand out from the crowd.
The latest version of the prospectus will be going to print soon and will be in careers libraries in schools across the country, at HE fairs and our own open days so if you are visiting us then don't forget to pick up a copy and take a look!
Have a great month!
5 - Entertainment at the Rotunda
My friends and I love going to the cinema. It's nice to spend time together doing something a bit different. We always go on a Wednesday to take advantage of the Orange Wednesday's deal I get with my phone. It allows me to get two tickets for the price of one.
4 - Hit the gym
Admittedly, not one of my favourite things to do but it is something that makes me feel better once I've done it. Kingston has several gyms all close to the town centre, as well as one on Penrhyn Road campus. I go two or three times a week - I find it helps me relax and think clearly about uni work.
3 - New Slang live music nights
Last month, a friend and I went to see Katy B perform at New Slang which is held at a club called McCluskys in Kingston town centre. When I heard Katy B was playing I bought my ticket straight away - it only cost a tenner and I got her CD too!
2 - Student house parties
Students have the best parties and as I've been at Uni for almost three years, I prefer attending a party as it's a different scene to going clubbing. It's also a great way to make new friends if you don't know everyone there which is what uni is all about.
1 - Late night shopping
My favourite part of the week is when my housemate and I go late night shopping. The Bentall Centre and a few other shops around Kingston stay open late every Thursday evening. It's an easy and stress-free way to shop, away from the crowds that flock there on the weekend. As we're on a student's budget we tend to window shop and mess around instead of actually buying things. We mainly go just for fun and usually stop for a hot chocolate too!