Sunday, 10 March 2013

Personal Post: My Dilemma

So I'm in the middle of a bit of a dilemma.
While those younger than me are thinking about GCSE's, colleges and homework, and those older than me are thinking about work, commitments, relationships, I am thinking about university. The place I will spend the next 3 years studying a course that will impact my future career. It's a little mind blowing really how much importance there is on your university choice.
Right now, I'm near the final hurdle. In the next few months, I need to choose my first and insurance choices, then work my butt off in the exams and be jumping for joy when it comes to 15th August or crying in a corner for the rest of the summer. Hopefully the former.

But that's my problem. I don't know what my first choice is between two amazing places. Both are fighting it out both in my mind and in reality to win the prize of being my first choice on my UCAS form - to be the place I will go to in September. And it's starting to drive me crazy.

In one corner there is the University of Winchester. It's a place I kind of threw on my UCAS form at the last minute after discovering it the DAY BEFORE I submitted my application. It sounded good, it did the course I wanted to do and I had only 4 out of 5 options filled. I went to visit the university a few weeks ago, kind of expected NOT to like it. I spent the whole journey thinking 'I'm going to hate it, I'm going to know straight away where I want to go as soon as I walk in'. But that didn't happen.
Winchester is a small university, something I loved about Oxford Brookes (but the course was a bit rubbish). It's only an hour away from where I've always lived and from London where my best friends are staying for university. It's got a good, although not amazing, Media course (that's what I'm applying to do). My favourite block for accommodation is only a 5 minute walk away from the campus and the town centre is 10 minutes away or a short bus ride. The accommodation has different levels of quiet, semi-quiet and noisy blocks so those that although like to go out and party occasionally like me, but hate being drunk or going out EVERY DAY can be together (Quiet basically means loud noises stop at 10pm). The university is very modern with an incredibly active Student Union that organises both parties but also film and comedy nights. The only problem with the place was that the course, although good, wasn't absolutely amazing. It included a placement and the option to study abroad, which I wanted, but the modules are good and I know I'll find them interesting, but I wasn't sitting there in awe.

In the other corner we have Bournemouth University. Bournemouth was one of the first universities I looked at and at the end of the course lecture on an Open Day I went to last June, I turned to my dad and told him I wanted to go there. Just like that. The course is AH-MAZING. It has all the modules I could want, a compulsory placement which has had students at places like the BBC and Penguin (!!) and has a great reputation for being a good place to study Media. While Bournemouth was one of the first to offer Media as a course, Winchester is one of the most up and coming universities in the subject. So you would think 'Well what's your problem?'
My problem is everything else at Bournemouth. The town is well-known for it's nightclubs, bars and night life which is not me AT ALL. I like to go out, but I don't want to get drunk, help people be sick or go out every night and I have a feeling I may be stuck with people like that there. The accommodation is average, the ones I've seen anyway, but it is 10-20 minutes away from the campus depending on which one you choose. However, I guess I commute to college every day now so it'll be pretty similar. The university is also 2 hours away from where I live meaning that I can't just pop home. Whats more, I'm not a huge fan of the sea and the prospect of dodging seagulls throughout my 3 years there is not the most inviting prospect (I'm kind of scared of seagulls...and pigeons - seagulls are BIG).

So that's what I've been thinking about constantly for the last 2 weeks and I have no idea how to resolve or make a decision that is right and what I truly want. If you have any advice about university or helping me make a decision, I would love to hear it. And thank you for reading - just needed to get that all out of my system.


  1. I'm sorry that you're dealing with this dilemma, Rebecca. :( I am not that knowledgeable on universities so I can't help you that much but good luck with your choice. Personally, even though the Bournemouth course sounds amazing (I love media too!) the Winchester one is better practical wise. I would hate to be two hours away from my family and loud parties every day would annoy me a lot. Maybe ask some people's opinions who go there and weigh up the pros and cons.

    Good luck! :)

  2. I had a similar thing when deciding my choices years ago. I had applied to Stafford and decided on the open day that was where I wanted to go. I threw on some other ones for interviews and ended up going to one in Sunderland (stafford is half an hour away on the train and Sunderland is about 2-3hrs) I got to Sunderland and was blown away by the place and the course. Even though it was so far away from home, I decided to go for it, what did I have to loose? If I didn't try I would never know.
    The problem with uni is you are surrounded by the nightclub life even if you don't want it. I don't drink and I don't go out but I made friends who felt the same and hung out with them and crashed at theirs when living in halls became to much.
    4 years wasn't easy but it built me as a character. I ended up falling in love with the whole Tyne and Wear area and I miss it very much now I've moved back home but wherever you end up will feel like a second home.
    You need to follow your heart, its not always how great the course sounds if the experience makes you want to quit, it's where you think you'd be happiest.
    I wish you the best of luck!
    (sorry for waffling!)

  3. When I went to university I found that there were all kinds of people at university with me, and I loved all of them (that are now my friends) - and they range from the girls and boys who prefer to spend all their private time in peace and quiet, to the lads and lasses who don't miss a night in town. Norwich is known as a student city, with a notorious street devoted to partying known across the country apparently, but it's also full of heritage and very cultured during the day and dusky times. I wouldn't want the night-life to put you off Bournemouth because you will find like minds at university and won't be forced to socialise in any way you won't want to. And ultimately, you will want a course, I think, that prepares you best for the career you seek to enter. In the end, two hours is also still quite bearable I would hope. I realise it's not as practicable, but I think that it's still rather doable to take a weekend off if things are overwhelming you at uni with that kind of travel time.
    --Much love! X


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