Where to start?
There’s no denying it, this term is tough. From the insurmountable amount of IA deadlines to the onslaught of homework and revision, it can be easy to slip behind on certain things that seem less important. Perhaps the easiest to forget is university applications.
In your final year of the IB, the university can just seem such an age away. There feels like so much you have to achieve before you actually get the chance to go there. Trust me, I remember that feeling.
Applying to university, can also be, however, the most motivating thing you do. Getting an offer from a uni you love can make everything seem worth it, and the world a little brighter. So, today, I’m going to give a little run down of things you can do to get motivated and to get that application IN.
Calling up universities
Ringing up a university, and having a chat to their admissions team or a tutor can make you so motivated to apply. Hearing first-hand about the course you want to apply for can really inspire you to get applying (and also get working). I appreciate this be quite a daunting prospect. Calling up a big institution you haven’t yet got a place it is scary—you don’t want to say anything works to negatively impact your application, for example.
I had these worries too, but trust me, nothing you say is going to go against you. If anything, admissions tutors will be impressed you called in the first place.
As the admissions team at the University of Chichester puts it:
are happy to answer your enquiries about how to make an application, entry criteria, selection procedures, course availability and so on.
A good idea is to write down any questions you have before you call up. Think about what you want to get from the conversation. Are you inquiring about entry grades? About the course itself? About student societies? Write all these questions and more you have down, so you don’t miss anything out!
Just as ringing universities is a good idea, visiting them is even better! You will never really get a feel for a university if you don’t visit it. For example, you might think you’d love a city university, but then visit a campus-based uni and find you love it! Equally, when it comes to getting the motivation to apply, meeting students in person, hearing about the course, student societies, the night life—all these things can propel you to apply!
Open days are obviously a good way to visit universities. If, however, you’ve missed some, don’t panic. University admissions staff are usually more than happy to set up a little tour around campus for you. In some ways, this can be even better than visiting on an open day. There is nothing quite like visiting a university in the full flow of term to know whether you would fit in there.
Little by Little
While it’s great to be getting inspired by a uni course, sometimes it can feel like there’s just no time to apply! This is totally understandable. Let’s be honest, there is a lot of work in the second year of the IB. The way to fit applying to uni in, I found, was to apply ‘little by little’. Every other day, just spend 15-30 minutes on your application. This can be refining and proof reading your personal statement or perhaps researching your top uni choices. If you slowly work at it, you’ll be surprised how quickly you get it done!
The Final Push
And finally, sometimes a uni offer itself can be the push you need to work harder this year. Some people have always wanted to have a gap year, and that’s the thing that drives them to keep working as exams near. For others, like me, the thought of going onto university really helped me through my final year of the IB. When I got an offer from a uni I loved, it gave me the incentive I needed to work harder for my exams.