University Worries

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University Worries

Postby mew_mew_kitten » Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:32 am

So, my UCAS is all done and I've had replies from all my unis, 5 interviews and 1 offer so far so I pretty positive about the whole thing as its my dream job.

Only thing is, I am REALLY worried about making a wrong decision about which uni to go to :( I'm really torn between 2 unis, both have pros and cons and the things is if I make the wrong decision and pick the wrong one, it's 3 years of my life in a place I won't like :-( I'm usually quite good at making decisions and I like my independance, but I hate the idea of being stuck somewhere I hate, on my own. So if I maybe list the pros and cons, someone could make a decision for me? (well, just advise which one they think is better!)

(Btw my course is free so it doesn't range in price or anything)

UNI (1)

PROS

- Cheaper accommodation and cheaper everything in general
- Nice countryside nearby
- Fantastic university department for my subject
- Very friendly staff and students
- Have relatives in the next town
- Know a couple of people in the uni and in the city
- Nice city to live in
- Nice accomodation.

CONS

- Nearly 5 hours away from home
- Hasn't got the BEST reputation for the subject
- Would never be able to earn as high a wage as I could in the South of England


UNI (B)

PROS

- Best university for the subject
- Fantastic reputation for graduates
- A specialised subject uni which means theres only 1200 students in the whole uni which means you get to know everyone really well.
- Top doctors and professors as lecturers
- In London which is somewhere I have always wanted to live.
- Friendly students and lecturers
- They're one of the only places that does human dissection as part of my course (which I would find fascinating)
- Near Bryan Adams house :wink:

CONS

- Very very expensive to live and in general
- Not a very nice area of London, bit rough.
- Accomodation isn't brilliant, shared bathrooms etc.
- 3 hours from home
- Don't know anyone!


So basically, the first uni is better for me in the short-term, and uni B is better for my future, far better. But I don't want to be unhappy where I don't want to be.

And to further confuse you, although I have had both interviews, I don't find out whether they've accepted me until the end of January!

Thanks if you can be bothered to read it and reply!

MMK xx
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Postby singingsmiler » Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:50 am

Hey hun,
I have been to uni and chose to go near to home so that if i was unhappy it wouldn't take me long to travel back. I think uni is such a big change that you need to think about the short term of the three years - if you don't get through those then your earning potential won't be an issue anyway.

Where will you be happiest for the three years - that is the question you need to ask yourself. Also, i wouldn't worry too much both sound like they have positives and i'm sure you would enjoy either as long as it's the course you want to do.

With uni most people are in the same situation so not knowing anyone isn't a big issue and this could be your chance to have a fresh start where people don't know anything about you. Alternatively you may want the security of people you know near by.

Ultimately it's your decision but don't stress so much - i'm sure it will become clear to you in time.

Hugs
SS xx
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Postby tmpotts1 » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:08 pm

Hi
I've just applyed to uni too. It is a hard thing to chose between ur top 1s. You are lucky in some respects as I have only had 3 offers so far with 3 still pending. Like it says above I would tend to go with the short term factors, as the long term factors will not go very far if you don't complete the course.
But anyway good luck and hope it all go's well 4 u.
xxxx :D :D
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Postby umistgirl » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:10 pm

Ok. I'm guessing that your first one is Manchester Met?

I'd personally go with the one with the best reputation. Having gone through these types of decisions, I made the choice to go with the one with the best reputation and i haven't looked back. The reputation of your uni REALLY counts when getting a job, the reputation of my uni for my subject has helped me a great deal. The place where I did my industrial placement only made the position open to people from their 'preffered' universities!! Look out for the ones that are in the Russell Group (its the most research focussed universities in the country), degrees from those are really respected. If your first option is manchester met, manchester's a great place (I go to the main manchester uni) but manchester metropolitan, you're right, doesn't have the best reputation. It's never really shrugged off it's 'polytechnic' background. People might read this and think it's snobbery, but it's really not- those that attract the best student, attract the best lecturers/researchers/more money and give you the best standing in getting a job. I'm sure you know all of this anyway.

The second advantage with the London one is that it is a specialist university. I really liked this when I was at UMIST (now joined with manchester), because it was a science focussed uni (i'm guessing you are going for imperial college????), they direct all of their money into scientific stuff (rather than having it shared with the arts), so you there is more direct investment in what you are interested in. There is also more scope for specialism of expertise within these universities. Like you say, you get taught from some of the world's finest. With the university (and campus) being small you also get more of a community feel and it is much more friendly. Granted, science specialised universities might be a bit 'geeky' but they are also quite friendly. You might want to consider the male to femae ratio....at umist it was 7 males for every 2 females, which was a pain when making friends!

Thirdly, on your worries about the cost of London in comparison to manchester, I wouldn't be TOO concerned. I mean it depends on how much your parents will fund you/how much money you have yourself, but I think the gap between prices between north/south is not as big as everyone thinks. I've worked in both areas and have been paid broadly the same. Accomodation IS more expensive in London, but the price of living is not that much different. I mean, a can of beans in Tesco London, is hardly gonna be that much dofferent to a can of beans in Tesco Manchester! In the long term the difference in cost of choosing the 'better' university now will be rewarded when you get a job. Being a student is expensive no matter where you go, you will still spend thousands wherever you live- so you might as well make the investment worth that bit more.

Anyway, ultimately, this is my opinion and the only person who can (and should!) decide which one to pick is you. I know it is hard, really hard. I recently had it when applying for PhDs, I got a firm offer from Manchester and an offer to interview from Cambridge...Manchester wanted my decision to accept before interview for Cambridge and I had to make my choice...it was the hardest decision of my life so far but after much heart wrangling I am happy I have made the right choice! You just have to pick one, go for it, and don't look back!

Good Luck

(p.s what are your offers based on?)
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Postby mew_mew_kitten » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:33 pm

Thanks for replying everyone :-) The second one is St Georges medical school, so I'd be with all medicine/science students which really appeals to me, and my course is mainly female dominated whereas medicine is mainly male dominated so I think its about 50:50 overall so theres no worries on that part.

I really do think that London would be best for me now, my Mum is really set on me going there too, she had a really good feeling about it when she came with me, although she realises its up to me. I just don't want to pick London, and then realise I'm unhappy and drop out - I don't think I could do that anyway but still, I just want to be sure....

I think I will probably end up choosing London now.....I mean, 3 years of my life isn't too long....anyway, its the people who make it I suppose, and if I'm with science geeks (just like me!) then I'll probably have a great time. Also, the lecturers at the uni were saying how quickly the graduates get snapped up by employers, most of them actually end up working on Harley Street....not a bad option!!! I feel a lot more reassured now actually, I suppose if I didn't like the area I could always move out of halls and live outside and commute?

Thanks so much for your advice :-) Just waiting for their decision now.....!

P.S. My offers are based on me first securing an interview after reading my UCAS, then attending the interview and passing that hopefully they'll give me an offer of ABB.
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Postby silver tree » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:44 pm

One of my very good friends went to St Georges. He loved it and his friends from there were lovely. I used to visit him in Tooting sometimes and I always had a great time. It's not the most beautiful area of London but I never felt uncomfortable there.

Also if it has themost interesting course then go there. I do believe that you have to chose the course you want to do. Student activities are pretty much the same whichever town you are in!
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Postby mew_mew_kitten » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:49 pm

Oh wow really??!! Oooh thanks for that......yeah its not the greatest place but I suppose there must be worse places.

Aww thanks everyone for replying :-)
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