We're halfway through our summer break now, and I just came back from a week of chilling with my family in Somerset. I'm originally from Manchester, and I wanted to spend some time with my parents and sister this summer as with me being away for 9 months of the year at uni it's really nice to be able get to catch up - so we went to Somerset for a week. It was great being able to relax with my family and get to see a new part of the country, as well as get a chance to do things I had never done before, like going caving!
But more importantly... A-level results come out today, and I'm sure that all you guys are really nervous about getting them (as I was two years ago) and are wondering what you're going to get and where you're going to be going to university! (Kingston I hope!!). If Kingston is your first choice, everything should hopefully be pretty straight forward and you'll be able to accept your place here and get all the amazing perks and experience life as a Kingston student! If Kingston is your second choice and you don't quite make the mark for your firm choice, don't worry because I guarantee you will love Kingston!!
Kingston was my insurance choice, and once I got my results I realised I hadn't quite made it into my firm choice I wasn't really sure what to do! I had to wait for my firm choice to get in touch and tell me that I hadn't made the grades and then wait for Kingston to confirm my place! When I got my results, the UCAS website crashed and the phone lines went down because so many people were trying to get in touch with them to see what was happening! My tip for results day is to stay calm and relaxed, and just be patient - because you'll get everything sorted in the end!
However, if you find that you've missed both university choices, or decide that you want to do something else at university - you can go through clearing! This is where the universities will put up a list courses that they offer that still have places available that you can apply for on the day by contacting the university directly! This is an amazing way of being able get into a great university to do a course that you will love! If you want to find out more about what Kingston offers have a look at the website.
SO! Good luck to you all with results day, and don't be afraid to say hello if you see me around campus when you become a Kingston student yourself!
DO IT! Grab the opportunity with both hands and don't let go until you have a pen in your hand signing your work contract! You're probably wondering why I am so keen; well let me start by explaining what a placement will offer you.....
1. MONEY - an actual salary, no more beans on toast and smartprice pizzas; enjoy Champagne and Caviar if only for one year.
2. EXPERIENCE - leaving University with a year in industry will increase your chances of gaining a graduate job dramatically - whilst it would be great to be a student forever unfortunately the time soon comes round where there is no option but to find a job, and the more employable you are the better. A placement year will be a big enhancement to your CV and an invaluable experience, you'd be silly to miss it!
3. NETWORKING - and this doesn't mean how many friends do you have on Facebook! Since starting my placement I have met so many people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet through university. These are industry specific contacts - who I hope will offer me on-going advice, guidance and support throughout my final year and into the future.
4. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY - or in this situation try before you apply. I am hoping my placement year will help me work out what I actually want to do with my life. I am in an environment where I have the opportunity to experience what it would be like to work in Central London, what the commuter lifestyle is really like and learn how global business is done.
5. FINAL YEAR PROJECT - the dreaded 20% of your degree that you have to commit so much of your life too, well do you know what you're going to do yours on? Because I certainly don't have a clue. Having only been at work less than month I still have plenty of time to work this one out, but already many people have offered me their time to help towards finding something I will truly enjoy studying and want to develop further.
6. EGO - get the confidence boost you need. You'll be surprised to know that people won't instantly meet you and think you're a lazy student, doing a placement has boosted my confidence for interviews, presentations and meeting new people. Just make sure your ego doesn't get too big!
7. A FIRST - my placement year means I have to get out of bed at 7am, 5 days a week and concentrate for a minimum of 8 hours a day. WOW! Crazy, I know!! But will be so worth it, as when I come back for my final year I'll have a much better work ethic and be ready to hit the books hard and get that FIRST I have always wanted.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a placement NOW!
You won't regret it, promise xoxo
P.S. Don't go it alone, the careers team at University are a great help and provide support throughout the whole experience/process!
Now that I've finished my second year at Kingston I've moved back home to Wales for the Summer. It's great to be back home seeing friends and family but having such a long Summer can become a bit tedious which I learnt last year! Luckily this year I made a lot of plans in advance to keep myself occupied! I just got back from a holiday in Aruba and now I'm getting my camping gear ready for a long weekend away at a music festival. Being back home has made me think about what I miss about being in Kingston. For my second year I decided to move to Wimbledon in a house share with friends, I loved it there but started to miss the student atmosphere at Kingston so I decided to move back for my third year and I can't wait to settle back in!
Kingston is a beautiful town and I love the way that you don't have to go far to get to nice parks like Bushey Park where you can sit down on the grass and enjoy a nice picnic with friends. There's also the Thames river which you can walk along with plenty of pubs and restaurants beside it. I like the way that I can get into London by train in around 25 minutes and there are plenty of buses to get you around. There's also a street that has loads of cafes that are really nice to sit outside and have a coffee in the morning. There's loads of shops that cater to all tastes and the same goes for the bars! I study at Knights Parks campus and I enjoy the walk to university from the train station. Knights Park is in a quiet area of Kingston and behind the student union there's a river where lots of students enjoy to sit with friends after a day of work. I think that Kingston has a nice community feel and coming from a rural area in Wales this was important to me. A lot of events occur in Kingston such as the May Merrie, Dragon Boat Challenge and the Food Festival to name a few! I like to use the Kingston First website to keep up to date with events happening in the town, here's the link www.kingstonfirst.co.uk/. The University has plenty of events happening too which are great opportunities to meet new people and enjoy, for example Freshers' Week!
I'm very excited to move back to Kingston and I wish you all the best of luck on results day, feel free to ask me any questions, and I hope to see many of you in September!
Christmas in Kingston
Uploaded 22 Nov 2013
Keeping organised at Uni
Uploaded 22 Nov 2013
Finding private accommodation and university support.
Uploaded 21 Oct 2013