Is your head full of questions about going to university? From course options, student accommodation, the student experience, and the place in which you’ll be living – there really is a lot to think about.
In this informative blog by Natasha Leech, one of our first year Medical Genetics students, we find out how she reached her final decision about which university to choose and how she’s found life at University Centre Shrewsbury since starting in September.
“So it's time to decide which university is right for you… Now this can be a very daunting prospect for some; it’s a very big decision! You are going to spend the next few years of your life at this place, meeting new people, socialising, exploring new places…oh and studying too! Therefore, it’s important that you choose wisely.
“There are lots of things, which you are probably contemplating at this moment in time: What is the reputation of the university? Will my grades get me in? What is the student life like? Is the student accommodation even habitable? All these questions can initially be overwhelming, but I don’t think they have to be.
“You have probably heard people say that when you find the right university you will ‘just know’, and although I accept that this is somewhat of a cliché, in my experience this was actually true! Visiting prospective universities in my opinion is essential, so take advantage of the Open Days - they’re a perfect opportunity to get a true sense and ‘feel’ of what studying at the university will be like. In addition, it is also nice to see the area the university is in, after all you will be living there and will become part of a new community, so it’s important you like it!
“I stumbled across University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) purely by chance, and I’m so glad I did - it truly is an amazing place to both live and study! Everything about it from the facilities and lecturers to the accommodation and the local community is perfect; Shrewsbury is such a lovely town, with so much to offer. After my Open Day, I was so impressed with the University Centre, I later made UCS my number one choice.
“Mardol House is the accommodation offered to students by UCS, they offer both studio or cluster flats which are really modern and spacious. I moved into Mardol in October. As soon as my family and I arrived, we were met by a team of helpers who assisted with exchanging contracts and carrying bags up to the flat; the whole process was seamless! We also met the concierge, who are a team of people based at Mardol House - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are there to help with anything, from maintenance to welfare issues, and have been such a monumental support to me since I have lived here. I love where I live, it’s very quiet, clean and modern, and only a five-minute walk to university and from the high street - it’s perfect!
“I study Medical Genetics and as UCS is still a relatively small university, the class sizes are also small. There are currently 17 people on my course. We are all close and have a good relationship. In lectures, we are encouraged to ask questions and we have a very interactive learning style. All of my lecturers and indeed all the staff at UCS are extremely supportive and helpful.
“The Students’ Union plays a vital role in our student experience. Jess is our Students’ Union leader and her office is in our common room, she is around most days and is the first port of call for any concerns. Jess also helps organise events within the university - she’s great! UCS recognises and values the interaction and active engagement with all its students and wants to grow with students firmly at its centre.
“One of my favourite things about studying at UCS is living in Shrewsbury. It is an amazing place to live. It’s a small town, and it is a place where the old and new come together beautifully. There are so many great places to visit, explore, shop, eat and drink, and there is a real sense of community. I am very passionate about the university; I enjoy being part of something new and being able to have an impact on what happens and how the university will grow and develop.
“At the end of the day no one can tell you where to go, that is a decision only you can make. What I hope I’ve done is given you an insight into what being a student here is really like and given you something to think about when you are deciding which university will be right for you.
“Good luck! Natasha.”
If you are interested in coming to see Shrewsbury for yourself, our final Visit Day takes place on Saturday 8th April where you can meet current students, our academics and support staff, see the campus and our student accommodation. Similarly, you can also book onto our Open Evening which takes place on Thursday 8th June.