My Life, Student Life

The Waiting Game & Tough Decision 2014

For me, now came the hardest bit, the waiting. Knowing that any news to do with my application would come through emails, I checked them on a regular basis.

I was known to have checked four or five times a day or whenever I had a free minute. My addiction got so bad, I had to force myself to stay away from the computer for hours at a time.

Then when I did get an email from UCAS stating that something on my application had changed (one of the universities had made a decision about a place or I was being invited to attend an interview at a university) I was eager and anxious to find out what the result was.

Just as I got this email and I got up the courage to check, the UCAS website decided to crash and I couldn’t access the website.

This was very frustrating, as I just wanted to know the result whatever it was.

While I waited for each university’s final decision, I received requests to attend or participate in tasks, which would showcase myself and my work to each university.

At Birmingham City University (BCU) and both courses at Stafford University, I was asked to attend tours around the facilities and interviews before they made a decision about offering me a place or not.

When I went to BCU I was asked to take along a copy of my qualifications so far as well as examples of any work experience I took part in which is linked to the areas we would be studying in the degree.

I took copies of my published articles as well as a copy of my radio interview that I did on behalf of Birmingham PHAB Camps.

These publications and a copy of my radio show, proved very beneficial when it came to attending my two interviews at Stafford University.

At both interviews at Stafford University, we were asked to participate in activities and tasks similar to the ones in the course. Prior to the Radio Production interview, we were asked to listen and analyse to two radio shows on two different channels in terms of the target audience, the presenter’s style and the subject of the show and how they contrast with each other; making notes and feedback on them to the rest of the interviewees and lectures holding the interviews. As for the Journalism interview at Stafford University, I amongst the other interviewees had to act as a news team to put together a newspaper. We were given a list of stories in which we had to put in order to what we thought would catch and hold the reader’s attention. This was then compared to the lecture’s newspaper example to see if ours matched in any way. This helped me, as I was able to get an idea of how a newspaper is put together in the workplace. Along with the tasks, we had to complete the interview process.

Similar to the Journalism interview at Stafford University, I had to complete the interview process at University of Northampton, I had to attend a standard interview, but as well as this I was requested to write an 1500 word article for a newspaper about a famous person, in any angle we thought would most appealing to the audience of the newspaper. I decided to write an article about childhood stars and how this effected them in later life, specifically focusing on one of my favorite childhood stars, Lindsey Lohan. I went into detail about how being a childhood star led her to being addicted to alcohol and drugs and the lasting affect this had\has in her life. Once I submitted this through UCAS and an  email to Stafford University, I tried very hard to not think about my submission and concentrated on the remaining things the universities wanted to do. Checking everything through, I saw Southampton Solent University applicant day was the only one left to do.

On the applicant day at Southampton Solent University, we were taken on a tour of the university and the facilities that we’d be using during a few weeks and the duration of the course and had the chance to use them. Then we were interviewed individually, so they could get a feel for our personality and work ethic. Then all of our results were put together and we would find out whether we had been given an unconditional offer or not.

After waiting a few more weeks, I received correspondence from all five universities. Unfortunately, I was denied my place on my chosen course at University of Northampton. However, I was offered a place on another course, similar to the one at college, which I didn’t want to pursue. As for the other four of my choices, I was delighted to see I got accepted at each. Out of the four universities, I choose to go to Southampton Solent University to study Media, Culture and Production as I felt this offered the best of everything and the course would increase my chances in terms of employability.

Now was the difficult part. Probably one of the biggest decisions I would ever have to make…

1) Southampton Solent University – Journalism

2) Southampton Solent University – Media Culture and Production

3) University of Chester – Joint Honours – Event Management & Journalism

4) University of Northampton – Joint Honours – Event Management & Journalism

5) Staffordshire University – Journalism

6) Staffordshire University – Radio Production

7) Birmingham City University – Media Production

I had to choose my top five universities and courses…

First I eliminated the universities and courses, which were not a possibility for me to study for various reasons.

I had to get rid of Southampton Solent University – Journalism as an option because although I loved the university, its atmosphere and its surroundings I felt the tutors wouldn’t be supportive and I wouldn’t be able to achieve my best intentions there.

Regretfully I also had to rule out University of Chester – joint honours due to the location and social aspect. As much as I loved the course, its tutors and surroundings, I would not be able to deal with the isolation and the disadvantages that would bring.

This left Southampton Solent University – Media Culture and Production; University of Northampton – Joint Honors – Event Management & Journalism; Stafford University – Journalism; Stafford University – Radio Production and Birmingham City University – Media Production.

Next came another tough decision, putting the universities in order of choices of where I wanted to attend. Analysing each in detail, I tried to focus, remembering the issues that cropped up no matter how small…

For one, I was concerned about the lack of adaptions at Birmingham City University; worried this would affect my studies.

In the end I decided Birmingham City University – Media Production would pose as a possible fallback as I did like the fact the course was a broad view of the media.

Then I looked at the rest of my options logically. The aspects I noticed was as follows: I don’t think I could handle the pressure of the joint degree at University of Northampton and I didn’t think I would achieve the best grades I could if I only did one degree.

With this in mind, I choose to only do the Journalism degree. After more consideration, I choose to put the Journalism degree at Stafford University as my insurance choice and Media Culture & Production at Southampton Solent University as first choice.



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