My name is Cameryn Dick, and I’m currently a sixteen-year-old student at St Modan’s High School in Scotland. As a pupil approaching my fifth year of high school, the prospect of leaving school and moving on to university is now closer than ever – which is why I’m starting to consider what I’m looking for in a potential university.
I might not know what I want to study at uni, but I am certain I want to go. After exploring all the other options available to me (like modern apprenticeships, entry level jobs and traineeships), nothing else appeals to me like university does.
One of the reasons I know uni is the right path for me is because of the experiences and life lessons that will come along with it.
Living away from home for the first time and having to look after yourself allows you to take on a lot of new responsibilities and become independent – as well as learn basic life skills. Along with that first glimpse of the adult world, heading off to university gives you the chance to meet new people from all different backgrounds with all different interests.
I’ve struggled to narrow down my fifth-year timetable to just five subjects, and I have no idea what path I intend to go for in terms of university courses – but I do have a wish list for what I’m looking for in a university.
So, what am I looking for?
As somebody who’s really keen to travel, I’d love the chance to study a year (or even just a semester) abroad – and so any uni offering this sort of opportunity would be perfect for me. It would be amazing to experience something different, and I know studying abroad gives you international experience as well as being able to explore a new environment.
Location is another very important factor to me when comparing universities. As a homebody who’s always lived in central Scotland, I’d rather not stray too far for uni – and ideally, I’d be able to visit home on weekends.
Like location, available accommodation is hugely important when considering different universities. I’d like to stay on or near campus for at least my first year for both comfort and convenience. It’d be great if there was guaranteed housing, and having this reassurance this would immediately make a uni stand out to me. Having secure and inexpensive housing available would take a lot of the stress and worry out of moving away from home for the first time.
Activities and student life are another important thing to consider.
At the moment, I take part in both a tennis club and competitive athletics – training a few nights a week. It’s really important to me that the uni I choose will allow me to continue pursuing these hobbies (and have the right facilities and clubs to let me do it). In addition to being able to continue on with clubs I’ve already had experiences with, I’d love to take part in new clubs so that I can experience new things and make new friends.
Even though I have little-to-no idea of what I’d like to study right now, I still believe the courses on offer are definitely one of the most important factors when choosing where I’m going to apply.
Finding a course in which I can see myself exploring a career would almost make my decision for me. In order to be willing to dedicate the next four years of my life to a course, I would need to be sure it offered me the best experience available.
Finally, available student support is a must-have for the university I end up selecting.
Coming into a new routine and environment will bring around a lot of emotions – some good and some bad. That’s why my uni of choice needs to be able to offer support. Having the option to join in on one-to-one catch ups or receive support in a group settings (especially during the first few months of this new experience) would be incredibly beneficial.
A university that cares about my wellbeing and mental health would make me feel at ease and eager to begin a new chapter of my education with them.
I know everybody is different, and so they’ll all want something different in their ideal uni. But that’s what I’m looking at as I think about university – and I can’t wait to start exploring different universities in order to find the one that’s right for me.
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