It’s never too early to start thinking about uni. There are loads of things you’ve got to bear in mind when trying to find the right university for you – from course flexibility and accommodation, to support services, scholarship opportunities and student life. Open Day is your golden opportunity to get an all-in-one crash course on all of the above and so much more.

Every uni organises Open Days throughout the year, and they’re a really important way for you to experience university life first-hand. Here at the University of Stirling, we have three undergraduate Open Days every year – and by attending one of our Open Days, you’ll be able to explore our beautiful campus, have one-on-one chats with real students and see for yourself what life at uni is really going to be like.

Even though you may be super excited about moving away from home and setting off on your own big adventure, we recommend bringing a +1 to open day with you. Why? Here are a few of the top reasons we think it always pays to bring a guest:

1. It’s great to have a second opinion

If you’re lucky, you might already know exactly what it is you’re looking for in a uni. But the truth is, a lot of people aren’t quite sure. That’s ok, and it’s the reason we encourage all students to check out multiple Open Day events.

You’ve got to ask lots of questions while you’re at Open Day to decide if a particular uni is right for you. Sometimes your parents, guardians, friends or siblings will think to ask questions that would have never occurred to you. Family members are particularly good at reminding you about all the important logistical stuff you should be trying to find out about at Open Day that might not be as exciting (like entry requirements and funding).

But the benefits of bringing back-up extend far beyond nitty-gritty reminders. Your guest will help you to visualise whether the uni you’re visiting is actually a good fit, and they may challenge your first impressions. Friends and family members often broaden your points-of-view and force you to look at things from a different angle.

Nobody knows you better than your family or friends, so bring them along to Open Day and ask them to be honest with you: is this a university they can actually picture you at?

2. Open Days are designed for family

The decision about where you’d like to go to university is yours alone – but you’ve got to bear in mind this is a big transition for your family, and they’re going to want to be involved in your journey, too. That’s why here at Stirling, our Open Days include a special presentation designed exclusively for your parents, guardians or carers.

Our Parents and Guardians Survival Session covers the UCAS application process and how they can support you during the application stage, and also covers how your parents or guardians can help you prepare for student life. These sessions will explain everything your family needs to know about the student support that is available on campus, too.

By letting your parents, guardians or carers tag along and attend one of our special sessions, you’ll be able to let them ask us anything. It should put their minds at ease, and go a long way to ensure you’re all on the same page when it comes to the universities you’re considering and what you should both expect.

3. You can make a weekend of it

We do our best to give you the complete Stirling experience in a matter of hours – but the truth is, we all like to look around at our own pace. You may get a taste of our beautiful campus or amazing little city and decide you want to see more. By bringing along a friend or family member, you’ll have somebody to do a bit of exploring with before and after Open Day.

If you’re attending Open Day with a parent or guardian and are coming from further afield, you can even make a weekend of it by spending a night or two here on campus. We offer a range of accommodation options right on campus and there’s loads to choose from in nearby Stirling.

Using our campus as your base, use Open Day as your opportunity to get to know the city and the wider area. Again, your family or friends will be able to help you check out all the logistics in order to try and figure out if this is a place where you’d like to spend three-to-four of the best years of your life.

Check out our on-campus accommodation at the Stirling Court Hotel.

At the end of the day, whoever you decide to bring with you to Open Day is totally up to you. Just remember that Open Days are the perfect opportunity for you to shop around and get a taste of what university life is really like. Shopping trips are always more fun when you bring friends or family along for the ride.

Are you ready to discover what the University of Stirling has to offer? Book your place at our next Open Day (and don’t forget to ask your +1 to save the date, either!).