Here’s a few things we have learnt while studying that might help you out.
What to do?
When picking your course there are four main things to take into account:
Do you have a career in mind that requires a specific degree, such as medicine?
How do you work, do you need structure to make you study?
What interests you?
What do you want to get out of university?
If you want to be a doctor, you’re probably going to have to do medicine... I’m not sure a degree in graphics will help you out much. So you’re sorted on the course front, skip ahead to how to choose where.
Do you need structure to make you work? A lot of university courses rely heavily on you being self motivated and doing all your work outside of your timetabled hours. My course, for example, has four hours a week... all on a monday. Fortunately I can make myself work, but if you can’t it is important to look at what the contact time is like for each course. Maybe you would be better on a 9-5 to make you work. Otherwise you might fail, and no one wants that.
What interests you? If you don’t need a specific degree for the career you want, or you don’t have a clue what you want to end up doing, pick something you find interesting. You may as well, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time researching it.
Finally, and this is an important one, what do you want to get out of your time at uni? If you are going purely to make the most of the educational aspect, then make sure you pick a course with lots of contact hours and hunt out the library in the first week and set up camp!
However if other aspects of the university experience are more important to you, such as getting really involved with the societies that are on offer or with your union, then you may want to take this into account when choosing your course, less contact hours inevitably means more time you can spend doing other things!
Where to go?
Again this is just about thinking about what you want. Do you want a campus? A city? Both? Are you looking to be in a small town, a big city, by the sea, close to home, or as far away as possible?
Think about the sort of lifestyle you want and research which cities/universities will be best at providing this for you.
Then go and visit them, even if there’s no open day, you’ll get a feel pretty quickly for whether you like it or not. If you really can’t visit try and speak to someone who is currently studying there to find out what it’s really like.
Hopefully this has helped you out a little, now go and finish up your personal statement, get it sent off and hope for the best!