2nd year at Birmingham City University

I am no longer a fresher! Woo! A lot has changed since I wrote my first post about uni, so I thought I’d write about what I learned last year and what I’ll be doing differently this year.

But first I thought I would share with you my story about how I ended up staying at home and going to BCU… When I first began applying to universities, I told myself the further away the better. I knew how much I wanted to go out and explore the world and I thought the only way to do this was go to uni as far away from home as I could. This was not the case. Since I’ve been at uni I have visited several different cities I’ve never been to before including Budapest(Hungary) and Paris(France). If I hadn’t have stayed at home, this wouldn’t have been possible. University is expensive as hell, but you get help from your family and friends around you and of course from that lovely student loan you are given each year. So I began looking at universities, travelling up and down the country to look at open days, in the end I settled on University of the Arts London, West London University, University of Lincoln, Sheffield Hallam University and Southampton Solent University. I got accepted to all of these universities and eventually chose to put University of the Arts London as my firm choice and University of Lincoln as my insurance. Results day soon came around and as I logged into UCAS, I saw that I had been accepted into the University of the Arts. I was so so happy. I began thinking of everything I had to get for living down in London and how exciting living in the capital would be. A few days later… I began to wobble. Saying goodbye to my family was going to be horrible, plus I had so many people telling me how expensive life in London would be (which REALLY didn’t help, so thank you to all of you who did this -you’re so kind) and even though I kept telling them if be fine; I ended up sitting down one night and realising that in reality, I couldn’t afford it, even with the money from my parents each week and having a part time job.

So one evening I made the decision to not go. Even though I still wanted a degree, London just didn’t seem worth it to me. I phoned up UAL the following morning and withdrew my place from the university, I got my clearing number and immediately phoned BCU where they offered me a place on their Media and Communications course where I will specialise in PR. BCU also gave me the opportunity to study a HND, another qualification under my belt. How could I decline? And here I am, going into my second year at university with no regrets about staying at home and not attending UAL.

What I learned in my first year.

A lot. I learned how to make friends, which I know sounds strange. All my life I have attending clubs or schools where I already know several people so my friendship groups were in a way already chosen for me wherever I went. I had my support system with me all the time which I am hugely grateful for. Starting at BCU was slightly scary because most people on my course had already met through living in halls so I was already at a disadvantage. In the end though this didn’t matter, I made some amazing friends who I know I’ll always remain friends with and everyone on the course is so amazing that making friends wasn’t a struggle. Which proves that when people say ‘you don’t make friends if you live at home during your years at university’ they’re lying.

I also learned that hard work does pay off and attendance plays a major part in the grade you walk away with at the end of the year. Try not to miss any lectures because you will end up falling behind and the people on your course will end up getting annoyed at your lack of organisation even if they say they’re not. The harder you work the higher your result: everyone knows this.

You’re at university to study and improve your education but along with your degree comes a lot of fun and incredible memories. So remember to make the most of every opportunity you get given during your first year and don’t regret a thing!

After such an incredible first year, I am so excited to go back and be reunited with everyone who I haven’t seen over the summer. Only one month to go! 

I will continue to write more posts about university but in the mean time feel free to contact me with any questions regarding university and my experiences, I look forward to hearing from you all! Kate x

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