This summer marked the end of my three year degree at the University of Nottingham and it’s safe to say I’m pretty sad it’s over! You may have read my graduation post but I thought today i’d talk about what I’ve actually learned from doing my degree and whether i’d pick the same choices if I had my time over.
Firstly, I chose to stay at home during my time at the University because I was studying in my home city of Nottingham. I think people often frown upon this as they think you don’t get ‘the whole experience’ but I never had any problems living at home and I would 100% choose it again. It gave me a chance to switch off from my degree and meant I didn’t find the whole thing too consuming. Of course it’s not going to be for everyone, however I think that’s the key thing to consider, that everyone’s experience is going to be different and to not let other people sway you into decisions that you aren’t comfortable with. Choose what makes you happy and what you are comfortable with!
In regards to choosing a degree, the same applies as above. Make sure you are applying to a course for yourself and not for anyone else and take plenty of time to research the courses you are interested in. I thought of just about everything when I was looking at degree courses, including Maths, Economics, Languages and even Midwifery. I must have gone to hundreds of open days, changing my mind on courses each time. In the end I made a last minute decision to apply to what I was good at and what I was interested in, Business and Maths based degrees. My actual degree was a bachelor of science degree in Finance, Accounting & Management and I loved it! It was so varied and covered so many different topics that I got to learn about so many different things. Looking back at the other things I’d considered along the way, the only thing I would still consider would be a more maths based course but I wouldn’t want to do pure maths as I liked learning about businesses too. My surprise love came in the form of Accounting and it’s something I probably wouldn’t have considered previously as I had no real knowledge of it. I’m now about to embark on a career in Tax Accountancy and i’ll be doing my professional accountancy exams which is something I had never really considered. It just shows that you can go to uni with very vague plans and come out with something completely different!
Another aspect of university I wanted to cover was how much work is actually involved as I know that many people are concerned with how difficult the work load might be. For me, I found that the workload was about right and it was a hell of a lot easier than A-Levels! The key difference is that the type of studying is very independent rather than teachers guiding the way for you. This is something I actually preferred to traditional teaching and meant I could go through things at my own pace. The only difficulty arises with trying to balance studying and the rest of university life, but everyone is in the same boat and it is definitely doable! If you are studying something that you enjoy then the workload will be okay as you are interested in it but if you let someone else dictate your decision, it’ll be pretty tough.
Finally I just wanted to say that if I had my time over again I would try and get involved in societies and activities earlier as they are such a great way of meeting new friends and doing something different to just studying. I was part of the Equestrian society and rekindled my enjoyment of horse riding, but I was also one of the first members of a brand new blogging society! This let me learn a bit more about the hobby that I am loving and to meet other like minded people. If you can’t find a society you love then definitely apply to create your own as it was such a fantastic experience to be one of the first members after my friend Nicola painstakingly got it created with the students union!
If you are a prospective student then I really hope you find the right university and course for you! If you are an alumni like me then please leave any other tips in the comments or things that you found out during your university experience! Don’t worry if university isn’t for you though as there are so many other options to get where you want to be. I think the pressure to attend can be so overwhelming so make sure if you choose to go, that it’s for the right reasons! You meet so many amazing people during your time at university and for me, I am 100% glad that I decided to go and it’s lead me on to start a brand new career that interests me. If you have any questions about uni in general then please don’t hesitate to ask!