5 Reasons to Choose UEA

 

Today I booked my Graduation ceremony which feels like a pretty large milestone on the way to finishing my time at UEA. To mis-quote Jane Eyre, ‘I love this university, I grieve to leave it’, but before I move on to pastures new I want to make a brief list of the 5 things that have made UEA so brilliant for me.

  1. Its Academic Excellence

A degree is an investment of time, money and love, so you want to make sure you’re putting it somewhere worth it. Lots of universities boast about their research excellence (which is very important) but it doesn’t mean much for a potential undergraduate if they never get to see or have time with the experts in their field. UEA balances this need for high research standards with a commitment to fantastic teaching. My tutors have been so supportive, especially this last year when I was applying for Masters degrees, and I couldn’t have achieved the grades and MA offers I have without them.

(Also worth noting: UEA is currently ranked 14th in the UK by the Complete University guide!)

  1. Its location in a UNESCO City of Literature

Perhaps more of interest to those pursuing literature related degrees, but the rich culture of Norwich is available to all students. I’ve met some of my childhood heroes (Stephen Fry, Mary Beard, Simon Armitage) and had the opportunity to be in an environment where the production of award winning literature is considered the norm. The city is constantly buzzing with arts and heritage events, and you can’t walk through UEA without tripping over an up-and-coming poet. All of this makes UEA and Norwich an exciting place to be.

  1. The beauty of Norwich and the campus

Norwich is a beautiful medieval city where you can see wall paintings from the middle ages next to modern installations such as The Tunnel of Light.

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We have a colourful market and cobbled streets full of independent shops and boutiques. But if city life isn’t your thing then we have the stunning UEA grounds including our award-winning architecture (although admittedly it’s architecture of the marmite variety – you’ll love it or you’ll hate it). What I may miss more than anything is looking out across the lake, which is captivating in every season, when I should be studying.

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  1. The Student Union + opportunities

What you do outside of your classes at uni is almost as important as your degree, and at UEA there is just so much to do. We have over 200 societies and clubs, so whether you’re into football or theatre you’ll find the people for you.

  1. UEA’s ‘Do Different’ attitude

But most of all it’s the fact that we take pride in doing things a bit differently which makes UEA so special. Our motto is ‘Do Different’ and that’s what we’re encouraged to do. We’re a university of innovation rather than tradition so you’re never held back by attitudes of ‘well, this is how we’ve always done it’.

I once saw a piece of footage in which Denys Lasdun, the architect who designed the original campus, said that he had built UEA with students’ happiness in mind. What he said stuck with me and, all these years later, I think his vision is still being honoured today.

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If you’d like to hear more about why UEA is so loved by its students please also have a read of Anne-Sophie’s fab piece ‘Why UEA?’.

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Coping with Results Day 2015

Ah Results Day, I remember it… a bit.

For me it was two years ago now so of course it’s a little hazy, but that’s also because after checking I had got into uni via track I went straight to a friend’s house for cocktails.

It was a good day.

We were lucky in our friendship group as everyone had gotten into their uni even if they’d missed their grade offer, but I know it doesn’t always work out how you’d like it.

For those of you who got the results they were hoping for, congratulations, but to anybody who missed their offer or just didn’t do quite as well as they had hoped, don’t despair. Everyone will be telling you what you should do next, ringing your uni, going through clearing, etc, so here’s my alternative list of what you should be doing over the next 48 hours*:

  • This your results day, don’t let other people’s opinions about what constitutes doing well bring you down. If you’re happy with your set of results then screw the rest of them. Haters gonna hate.
  • If you are disappointed then try not to wallow in it. It’s not constructive and it won’t make you feel better – what will raise your spirits is a Ben and Jerry’s sandwich (I speak from experience).
  • Try not to give into panic and make rushed decisions. Going to university is a big investment, both of time and money, so don’t accept the first offer you get. Consider the possibility of waiting another year to start, this way you don’t have to make snap choices that might come back to bite you. Gap years are scary and exciting in equal parts, but they will give you infinite opportunities to grow and when you do get to uni you will know that you’re doing the right thing for you.
  • Just because you might not be off to uni in September doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate finishing school. Getting through A-Levels in an accomplishment in itself so go party! You’re young!
  • Or, and this is just as valid a choice, if you don’t think you want to be around people celebrating getting into their first choice university, take some time out. Tune out of all your social media and don’t watch the news. A night in with pizza has cured many a sore heart so it’s not an option to sniff at.

I hope some of this proves useful to people, but what I think I’m really trying to get at is that you need to do what feels right for you. Not getting the results you want is a temporary setback, just as getting into your first choice of uni only guarantees where you are in September – what happens after that is up to you.

So chins up everybody, it’s all going to be ok.

*This list is to be read in conjunction with all the other advice your school will be giving you about things like Clearing, etc

Take heart, soon UCAS will be a distant memory...

Take heart, soon UCAS will be a distant memory…