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Monday, 2 May 2011

Time to change my life ...

Ok, well not time ... more DEADLINE to change my life lol.

Sorry bloggers (this seems to be the standard opening to my more recent blog posts so i'll keep it frank) i havent been posting lately. I could make up some cock and bull story about how i've been busy or wasnt in the mood (which are both true) but honestly, i just havent blogged. No reall reason, nothing to say really.

But now i need your help!

Ok, so this post is going to be about university. I know ... scary!

So a brief summery of the application process for those who are not familure with it:

You go to numerous semenars on University and you make a selection out of thousands, and narrow them down to your top 5. There are loads of ways to do this, including a government website that narrows them down for you, but well, that fails EPICALY!!!

So once you select your top 5, you apply to them online. You go through a branch of the government who manage it all for you. Once you fill out the online forms and click send (after numerous checks) its gone and the only other contact you really have with it si to check to see if you have been selected or rejected.

Some ask for interviews, or protfolios or other stuff (even entry exams) and once thats all over, you'll get three options:
  1. Withdrawl (you didnt meet their criterior so they withdraw their offfer)
  2. Conditional (your accepted if you get the grades required)
  3. Offer (your offered a place regardless of grades)

Then you select which one if your main choice and one for your backup and thats it. Then you apply for studet loans etc but once you click on which choice is your main, thats it. You really shouldnt change or anything as the uni's get REALLY annoyed by it.


So onto me.

I got 3 conditional offers and 2 withdrawls (i didnt send of the video they needed in time). The three conditionals i got were for:
  • a far away uni in wales. Right by the beach, great course, big city/town.
  • a kinda-far away uni in the middle of england. Right by lots of other big towns and cities, lots of shops and friendly
  • a close uni, near to london, great facilities and course, near to family.

But i dont know where t go!

I dicsounted the kinda-far away uni (option 2) as i just felt awkward when there. It was difficult to find and there isnt really a campus, just a load of buildings scattered arround the town. And it WAS a TOWN! Not that thats a bad thing, but like, i would have preffered somewhere a bit bigger and busier.

So i have my main choice and my backup option left, between two locations... easy!


Ok, so i'll break this down into two sections. Pro's and cons for each uni.

Close uni:

Its near to the family, and i am quite family orientated
I am worried that it is too close, that i will just 'move back home'
It has brilliant facilities there!
The course sounds great
I know a couple of people who are also going to that uni
I know no-one doing the same course
There was ZERO night life!
Its close to london, so i could go there for nightlife.
As its so close, i could easily travel to my current college and continue on the workshops i'm holding.
It would be more difficult to do regular workshops.
I could travel to local colleges and run a film/media competition (i'll post about this another time)
The location is renound as being kinda rubbish.
There wern't very many shops there, mainly highstreet ones.
I can go to several other universities and use their equipment (they're part of a larger group)
I am yet to see the accomodation.
The uni is self-enclosed
The uni is kind of small
The uni has a great library (including films, tv programmes, magazines etc)
The uni uses mac's and final cut pro (which i've been teaching myself for the last 2 years)
They are trying to convert their current computers into mac's (not guarenteed)

Far Away Uni:

Its far away, so i get to experience a different culture
I would only get to see my family a few times a year
I would only get to see my family a few times a year
The course sounds great
The uni is right next to the sea. Litterally!
The campus is self enclosed (i think)
The campus is HUGE
I am yet to actually go to the uni
The accomodation looks good, (but not seen it yet)
I know at least 3 people who are going to a close-by uni to it (including my bff)
They all agree that my location is horrible (my bff even jokes abotu refusing to visit me there lol)
I've also heard its a great location
I dont know about their facilities
My cousin goes there and enjoys it (but he finishes uni this year)
There will be AMAZING nightlife there
There will be loads of shops there
They have a welsh accent!
I know no-one there.
The uni could be amazing!!!
The uni could be shit!!!
I have already been asked to hold workshops for my current college whenever i am home (ie. holidays)
I could still run the film competition, but it would be more difficult
The film comptetition could be more than just 'local'

There might be some more, but these are most of the deciding factors.

And before you all start complaining that these should not be my decising factors, but i will be living there for 3 years, so this stuff should factor into the equation!

But i just dont know which one to choose. I wont have time to visit the far away uni before the deadline and i shouldnt change my mind after i've chosen. I can transfer uni's if i hate it there, but i dont want to be the new kid out of the new kids .. once everyone's settled down lol. I'm going to talk to my 'student progression' person and see if uni's still hate it if i change my mind before i get results (as that would be before they have a chance to finalise all the paperwork for the uni's so they may be less, well, hatefull then lol).

But i still have to chosse.

Help!!! Which uni should i choose?!


naturgesetz said...

"Far Away Uni:

The course sounds great"

I didn't notice you saying that about the nearby uni.

There are pros and cons about almost everything, if you think about them long enough. It seems to me that uni should be primarily about the courses. So that's in favour of the uni in Wales. I also think that, other things being equal, experiencing a new place is better than sticking with the familiar.

So my suggestion is that you go to the one in Wales. It sounds as if it has enough of what you need, and the negatives are only uncertainties. Besides, the fact that your cousin likes it counts for something.

Jack xx said...

Oh haha, thanks for pointing that out. The courses are vwry simmilar and the near by uni's course is also amazing haha.

I would usually agree about the importance of the course, but i will be living there for 3 (or more) years, so i have to take everything else into concideration lol.

And your also right about the cons being uncertainty, but they're pretty big ones lol.

Thank you for your input :) i think i'll do a pole lol xx

A Wandering Pom said...

Hi there, Jack

It's a difficult decision, but a very important one, giving that you will be spending three years of your life, and many thousands of pounds, on this university course. I don't think I can say which one you should choose, but I can at least give you some factors that might help in the decision-making process.

1. Is there anything to choose between the two courses? Does one of them teach more of the stuff you're likely to want to know? Does one of them have a better reputation in the field that you want to work in? Do you have anyone from the year or two above you at college who is now doing either of these courses that you could talk to?

2. The offers: you don't say whether the two universities have made you the same offer. If not, which one do you think you're more likely to achieve?

3. Accommodation: how many years do you get in university accommodation, and how many (if any) do you have to find your own? The relevant student union websites will probably say, even if the university ones don't. The university accommodation itself is likely to be similar between the two, on average - each will have some good and some bad.

4. Nightlife: there are students, there will be nightlife - but if your nearby choice is as small as you suggest, it may well just be the student union bar. A bigger town/city will have much more nightlife of its own. Once again, the relevant student union website will probably have something to say on the subject, or you could e-mail them and see what they say.

5. University LBGT groups: I don't know if this is a factor for you. The bigger the university, the bigger the group, but whatever the size they're very likely to run some sort of social events.

6. Weather: this one you may not have thought of, but Wales gets significantly more rain than most of England. If you like grey, wet weather, that's fine; if not, you might find the Welsh university a bit of a struggle.

I think that's all for the moment; I hope it's helpful.

Take care


Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of the other comments, so forgive me if I repeat too much, but here are some thoughts of mine...

Welsh uni:
Pro: I remember early on when I joked about coming to England and visiting that you said you'd be at uni in Wales. So this is something you have had in your sights for quite some time, even if this wasn't the first choice Welsh school.

Pro: Uni to me is a chance to get out in the world, and find your place in it. Right down the road from home sounds secure, and I can tell you from first-hand experience, you do NOT want to live at home for uni. You need the experience you gain and the independence you learn from literally living on your own. You can call, Skype, webcam, whatever, if you need a fix of home. And it's not like some guys I know here who are 1000's of miles from home (deliberately). You can get back home occasionally, and remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Will you miss the fam? Absolutely, but I think some initial homesickness makes you a stronger person, and once it's over and you realize you have survived, being on your own is a great feeling.

Pro: It's a great chance for new friends, a new "persona", a new iteration of Jack. And, you'll have some old friends nearby, too! Double plus!

Pro: If the course seems great, it probably is, but quite honestly, unless you get into it and it sucks completely, you'll never know what you might have missed. Courses tend to be what you put into them, and therefore, that is what you get out of them, so if you anywhere and throw yourself into the coursework, you'll do fine.

Pro: The larger schools have more nightlife, and more students mean more people that you'll find that you like, and are friends with. No one will care whether you're gay or straight or bi, and if you find a bf or gf, you can just be you around everyone.

Con: You'll be in a whole new environment and that can be frightening. You can't just head home for the evening of you want to. But that is part of the growing up process, and is honestly the only con I see to the Welsh uni.

Close by Uni:
Pro: It's close by home.
Con: It's close by home.
You need new experiences to grow in life. When else will you be offered the chance to experience a new culture like this? And you need to avoid the temptation to move back home.

Pro: The course sounds great. See that above...
Con: There's no way to really know until you get into it.

Jack, I could go on and on, but based on your own list, I think the answer is clear. I'll need a rail pass so I can make it to Wales if I want to meet you face to face! LOL

And I did see Mark's comment...forget the weather. Whether it's raining or whether it's not, there's going to be weather, whether or not!

I'm sure you will do well in either place, but OMG, the chance to get away from home and be totally independent doesn't mean you love your family any less, it means they've raised you to get out there and grab the brass ring, so GO FOR IT!

Peace <3

Jack xx said...

Hey, um just quickly lol

They both offer the same course, some differences but is a nightmare to find them online!

The offers are both conditionals, so they depend on the grades. Although the far away one, wants three B's but the local one only wants 240 points (which can be BBB, ABC etc)

Both offer first year in accomodation, and then usually you rent after (i think if they still haev dorms free ... unlikely ... then you can still rent there but w/e)

i really couldnt find the nightlife in the local one, but as i said, its kinda close to london and stuff :/

I didnt think of LGBT groups, i'll look more into it. Obviously the far one will be bigger, i think the local one will be good too as its a specialist arts college, so stereotypically it should be 'gay' lol.

Wales may get more rain, but its more beautiful there and is usually warmer lol. But i will think about this too :/

Also, i jsut want to say this now, i would not be living at home, just the temptation to move back would me higher due to the ease.

Oh and dont forget to click on the pole! :)

Thanks Mark and Jay xx

A Wandering Pom said...

Hi there, Jack (and Jay)

Weather may be a particular bugbear of mine. I grew up in west Cornwall, which gets as much rain as most parts of Wales. For the last 22 years, I've lived in Cambridge, one of the driest parts of England. The weather here may not be the only reason I've stayed, but it's certainly one of them.

I agree, though, that Wales is more beautiful: you'd be close to lots of big hills and nice coastline.

Take care


Wayne said...

I don't think you mentioned what you are taking in university; sciences, business, arts? Sometimes the courses are much the same in the first year and you can change if you want. Something to consider is cost; you need to try and finish university owing as little money as possible. Many first year university students make the fatal mistake of partying instead hitting the books. Make no mistake; university means a lot more work on your own and a different attitude than high school; the night life should be your last priority. Maybe you need to pick the university best suited to getting you employment in your field of study. All universities have a social life, but that is secondary to your studies. Wish life was all fun but it is not; you must manage your time so your courses are top priority and success will follow.
-Yeah I sure can't pick a university for you; just consider all the variables and work it out. Enjoy your school years cos you will have plenty in the work world. bfn - Wayne :)

Jack xx said...

I LOVE CORNWALL!!! especially the weather lol ... when not raining lol

Haha, the subject would be good lol. I'm doing Media Production, and i was talking to my media teacher about this, and she said that as long as you ballance partying and studying then i should have no trouble. "all you need to do is pass in your first year, then the works on"


and thanks for the input guys :)

Also, no one is taking my pole :( lol xx

A Wandering Pom said...

Hi there, Jack

I should point out that I like Cornwall too: it's a beautiful part of the world. I just don't like being rained on, particularly day after day, and with the wind blowing the rain into every last crevice in my clothes. If I could stay indoors, in the warm and dry, and just watch the rain drifting in sheets across the countryside, I'd be quite happy :-)

Take care


Jack xx said...

Haha i agree it is beautiful, but i also love the weather. Granted the rain can be quite boring, but the wind .... wow! I just LOVE a strong cold breeze wherever i am as it reminds me of cornwall. Its great! haha

Rowan said...

Its about time for me to be looking into universities as well although i still have another full year at high school.
Personally, i would say go to the one closest to you but i only say that coz its what i would do.
I dont think i would get by without people to help me out (like my family). Tbh, i don't have enough life experience yet and wouldn't be confident living somewhere unfamiliar so id go with the closer one but thats just my point of view :)

Rowan <3

Jack xx said...

Hey Rowan, nice to hear from you and thank you for your perspective xx

If you just start to research the course you want to take, and then look into the kind of uni's you want to look at (e.g. close to home), then it'll be a doddle.

I'm quite an independant person, i cook for myself, clean a lot, spend a lot of time on my own, but at the same time i don't like the idea that i'm moving to another country and everythng will be unfamilure.

But then again, the close uni will still be unfamilure and most of my friends are also going to uni, so they wont be arround to have a laugh with.

Besides, i'm looking forward to experiencing a new culture and lifestyle. Life's an adventure!

Oh, btw, I CHOSE THE FAR AWAY UNI!!! Just need 3 grade B's to get in ... still going to be tough :/

Jack xx

Anonymous said...

May be tough, but YOU CAN DO IT!!! You've got great incentive to work hard here in the closing days of college! GO, JACK, GO!

Peace <3

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