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Extra-curricular activities… When you’re choosing a university, you need to think about the long term, i.e. what extracurricular activities does the university offer that will make you stand out from the other 200 people applying for the same graduate job? You should find out a bunch of things before making your final decision. What societies does the university have to offer? What sports teams can you join? What other things can you get involved in to boost your employability? Do they have a student newspaper? Can you work for the university as a student ambassador? How active is the student union?

Halls of residence… You really do get what you pay for here! You should probably go for the best option that you can afford. You don’t want to be the person saying, “I paid £50 a week and the shared toilet didn’t work, my bedroom was tiny, the walls were cracked and there was an ant problem.” It’s much better to be the person proudly saying: “I paid £70 a week and I had a huge room, an en suite and no cracked walls or infestations.” If it’s possible, when you go for your open day, you should have a look around the halls that takes your fancy. Otherwise, it’s likely that you will automatically be shown around the best halls they have. Make sure you pick a university where the halls have a good reputation with the current students;

you can usually find this out by conducting a cheeky bit of internet research. Try checking out our Student Forum for some inside knowledge!

Moving on your own… Moving to university can be lonely, but don’t compromise what you want to do for the sake of others. Going to university is one of the most daunting and exciting experiences you will ever go through, but don’t fret, you’re not the only one! Everybody else is in the same boat as you. The vast majority of people in your halls won’t know anybody else either and you’ll make friends as soon as you move in. Don’t go to a university with a friend if you don’t want to. Choosing a university is a decision that you and you alone should make. Don’t be afraid to move on your own and go to a uni that you want to go to.

It’s all about making sure that you pick a university which has a good balance of all the things that are important to you. You are effectively choosing where you will spend the next three (or more) years of your life, so you need to look at everything the university will offer you. If you find the right mix, you will have the time of your life!

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