Whilst in 6th form I was told countless times how important it was to achieve the best A-level results that I was capable of, and how University was the be-all and end-all of education, and the only sensible step to take… it is only three years on that I can appreciate those words and can finally understand why teachers tended to repeat themselves over, and over… and over again.
Getting the grades
In the first year of my A-levels I was well and truly a super geek, and was rather chuffed with the results that I achieved, it was due to this that the teachers repeatedly said that I should be applying for Leeds or Manchester University, although in the back of my mind I had always had my heart set on The University of Bradford. I could tell you that this was because of its prestige reputation and great teaching (which is also true), but I’m a home girl at heart, so staying at home whilst at University was always the path I was going to take… that way I could afford to still live in the ‘luxury’ that I was used to, driving a pretty little car, countless shopping trips, meals out… you know how it goes.
Saying that, the official results day came around, I remember it was a rather damp and soggy day, setting the mood just perfectly. As it turns out I allowed males and the usual to distract me whilst in my final year, therefore my hopes of A grades were diminished. I received BBC. Luckily, this was enough to achieve the UCAS points that were required to get onto the course that I had really wanted, Business & Management Studies at the University of Bradford.
During the 2010 Summer holidays, my mind was filled with thoughts about how I thought University was going to be. Being exposed to programmes and films such as Hollyoaks and American Pie had provided me with a distorted vision of what I thought the next four years were going to be like, constant partying, unnecessary hangovers and an easy-to-manage workload… oh how I was wrong!
Living at home I suppose the transition from 6th from to University wasn’t as challenging as it could have been in comparison to students living out, and especially international students. At first University seemed like merely an extension of school days, although after a month or two I realized that University called for a greater level of independence and initiative. I learnt that you will only get out what you put in, therefore if you’re aiming for at least a 2:1 (which is the expected) you need to be prepared to put the work in.
At the School of Management you’ll be in formal lessons and tutorials for an average of 12 hours per week, which may not initially seem like a lot, although if you then add the hours which you’re expected to carry out independent study, along with writing assignments and revision, this soon equates to the majority of your time. Many students (including myself) also choose to work a part-time job whilst studying, which helps to fund the student lifestyle, therefore it is possible to work and study at the same time, although I believe that studying should always take priority, as often these part-time jobs are merely in the retail sector wherein you’re just another disposable employee working for minimum wage.
But, life isn’t all lectures and reading books at Uni’ either, there is a much brighter side to being a student! The people you meet will form the solid foundations for your best memories, and will prove to be some of the best friends that you will ever make. It is with these friends that you will most likely attend FND (Friday night disco), which is the University’s weekly club night down in the SU bar, cheap drinks and cheesy pop music galore. Many a time you’ll also find yourself in the Sports Bar at main campus playing pool (or snooker, I get confused!) passing the time away when the books just get too much. Either way, whatever you find yourself doing, just remember that socialising is a key aspect of Uni’! (Just don’t emphasize that too much to your parents).