As promised, here is my second part to my initial pre-results day blog post (which can be found here: https://studentblogs.le.ac.uk/computer-science/2014/08/12/keep-calm-and-carry-on-1/)
- DON’T force yourself in to joining a course you’re not fully convinced about. BSc’s take three to four years of your life, which in all honesty is huge even though many argue it goes by very quickly. Make sure you do your research on the modules you will be taking, what they contain & whether it actually interests you. I can’t emphasize how many people have told me both from University and from back home that they regret panicking during clearing, picking up any offer that came their way only to find that the new ‘random’ course they decided to learn isn’t anything near their cup of tea, resulting in dropping out. Many things like Computer Science in my opinion – programming in particular – are similar to Mathematics. In the sense that you can work hard and hard to learn it and succeed… but you’ll always lack that killer kick in comparison to somebody who has programmed before, has a passion for programming & enjoys doing it in their spare time. If you think you’d be better off resitting your last year of A levels over going to University then do it. Do what makes you happy and what you feel is best for your life. Take advice from others but don’t let them make decisions for you. Your future is in your hands.
- Utilise websites like TheStudentRoom! Admittedly, the last time I logged in there was probably just under 2 years ago back when I first started University. However as a student just about to go to University, waiting on their results, it is a great source to not only meet like minded freshers but a brilliant source to learn more about your potential University & the course you will be taking. Universities at the end of the day are a business too, they hire people to ‘sell their university’. They also aren’t exactly going to give you the full picture on their websites – again where they ‘sell themselves to potential prospective customers’ – of what the experience is supposedly like. So TheStudentRoom allows you to communicate with existing students to learn more. However, don’t always take everything that is said as 100% legitimate and take it all with a pinch of salt. An example actually occurred to me when I got into Leicester through clearing. I read someone say that the city was full of crime & not very pleasant or student friendly. I took that on the chin and went to the post-clearing-offer-accepted open day & it couldn’t be further from the truth. Here I am, 2 years down the line, doing my year in industry (yep… you guessed it… in Leicester) and I love it. Sure, things can get a bit dodgy in the deep dark alleys of Evington at 4 o’clock in the morning (which is still a bit of a treck from Uni) but most law abiding students should be asleep in bed at that time… right? 😉 But seriously, Leicester is just like any other city. What I loved about it was how it feels like a big city but is in fact actually pretty small which gives everything a cosy feel. This also makes the transition to University a lot more comfortable for someone like me who was brought up & has always lived in a small town – Blackburn – in comparison to jumping straight up the pecking order to somewhere like London! You quickly become familiar with the city and you don’t really feel out of place with a lot of students pretty much everywhere you go. It’s also very multi-cultural which for many might be a plus thing meaning you meet different types of new people & learn a lot about their traditions too (the annual Leicester diwali festival comes to mind).
However, I think I’ve pretty much covered everything now to be honest. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line & give me a buzz. You know where to find me & good luck to everybody getting their results tomorrow!