Saturday, 15 March 2014

Choosing a University

by Charlotte Knighton

Recently I’ve been thinking about what I want to do at university.

Now, until the beginning of this year I thought I had that all sorted; I knew what I wanted to do and I knew where I wanted to do it… until I went to an open day and decided there was no way I was going to stick to that.

Since then, I have changed my mind: from English to History to some sort of foreign language (looking back on it, that was never going to work out, seeing as I have no interest in them) and many others that seemed tempting but just weren’t quite right for me.
Now, while looking up all the weird things you can do at university was very entertaining (a course on crime, deviance and terrorism being one of those), it wasn’t actually very helpful as I want to do a degree that will be generally good for employment, and that I will enjoy. The fact that I have absolutely no idea about what I want to do for a job when I leave university also made it harder to choose because what I really needed was something that didn’t close off too many options. In the end, I have (I think) decided to do a degree in archaeology, with a law conversion at the end, which hopefully will mean I’ll do something really interesting for three years, after which I can be serious and think about job prospects.
Having been celebrating finally deciding what I wanted to do, I had the sudden hideous realisation that I had no clue about where I wanted to do it. The courses all differed slightly, and there were some I preferred marginally to the rest, but there was not a lot of difference between the universities.

I knew I had some conditions however: whatever university I went to had to be far enough away from home that my parents couldn’t just “pop in and say hi”. Unfortunately this didn’t actually rule out as many as I had hoped. Of course, not all universities offer archaeology, so that did rule out a further few I had been considering. Yet, still, I am left with a huge number of universities. The worst part is trying to balance the ones you like against the ones with the good reputation, and then (even more depressingly) the ones that are actually likely to take you.
Despite what this article might make it sound like, I’m actually pretty excited about finally choosing my final universities to apply for, and hopefully a couple of them will agree to have me… although by the time this is published I may well have changed my mind about what course I want to do.

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