Sunday, 15 July 2018

A Visit To Loughborough University

As I have already mentioned in my previous post about my Open Day experience at the University of York, I went and visited Loughborough University the day before. I'd had the weekend planned for quite a while, but whereas I knew quite a bit about the city of York beforehand, I didn't even really know where Loughborough was located until I'd started planning the Open Day and then arrived there.



The first thing that I liked was the convenience of the campus. Unlike the University of York, where there is primarily a Campus West and a Campus East, as well as limited parking on campus for visitors and students alike, everything is situated on one main campus at Loughborough and there was plenty of parking spaces on the day itself too, which was very handy and something that ensured myself, my Aunt and Uncle had a positive mindset before we had even gotten out of the car.
From the moment we walked towards one of the registration points, everybody was so friendly and helpful towards us. Just like York, there was very much a welcoming, homely feel to the place and that's saying something considering I live towards the other end of the country and I do tend to get anxious in new places! No matter who we asked, whether it was staff or student ambassadors, they all went above and beyond to answer our questions and guide us towards our desired destination.

First off, we had a look at 2 different types of accommodation. One of them was the shared bathroom option, which I know I would rather not have if I get that choice and the other was the en-suite option, which was actually one of the particular halls of residence that I had chosen to look at based on my research anyway, so that was a bonus! I got a really good vibe from it and I could imagine myself living there, should I be doing that come next September.

After we had finished exploring these halls of residence options, it was time for the Criminology and Social Policy course talk. Before we went in, we spoke to one of the lecturers about it and although I was nervous, I felt that having that conversation was a good starting point and then when we actually went into the lecture room, I had a better understanding of what to expect and what was likely going to be discussed throughout the 30 minutes that I was in there. I actually really enjoyed the talk. I took a lot of notes and received a lot of valuable information by 2 individuals, who were clearly very passionate and enthusiastic about the course that they offer and teach. I feel that it takes a different stance to what I envisioned it would and that was something that stood out to me as being unique. The lady lecturer that teaches her part of the course places a strong emphasis on crime from a woman's perspective, as both a victim and an offender and she also looks at the sex industry, which isn't something I'd considered before and I think it's interesting to learn things from different angles, especially at a degree level. That was the only course Loughborough offered, which appealed to me, as I knew I didn't want to go down the Psychology route anymore like I did in the beginning, so I drew attention to my other interest instead, which is crime and the criminal justice system.

Whilst at Loughborough, I also attended a Careers and Employability talk, which I found incredibly valuable. It was all about what the University offers in regard to careers guidance for its students, how employability is implemented into the curriculum, what students can get involved with and general statistics based mainly on the outcomes of recent graduates. Although the whole University is nationally recognised as one that is 'sporty', only around 60% of students participate in any kind of sporting activity, so don't let that put you off if you are considering giving it a chance!

We also picked up as many leaflets and handouts as we could on a variety of different topics and we spoke to one of the ladies at the Student Finance stand, because I didn't have any information on that and we hadn't attended a talk, which specifically focused on that issue, so having a brief conversation with someone who knew what they were talking about and who was able to describe things in a simple way gave us a baseline to work with and resources that we could take away to research and apply to the other Universities, should we wish to do so.

My Aunt and Uncle were keen to engage with as many staff members and students as we could, because when you're at Open Days, especially if you haven't been to many beforehand and it's your first impressions on making a decision that's so important, you have to get a proper sense of what it would be like to live (in my case) and study there, or else you could end up feeling unsure and ultimately, very miserable over the course of those 3-4 years. Hearing from someone first hand, who knows what they're talking about, means that they are likely to inform you in the best way possible, as well as reassure you and answer almost any question that you have. At both of the Open Days, although people were understandably trying to convince prospective students to apply, they didn't once come across in a way that was pushy or forceful and I think that's absolutely key, in all honesty.

I feel like I came away with so much more knowledge and so much more confidence in myself and my future and I know that whatever I end up doing next September, having a weekend to explore both Universities has been an experience that I will always appreciate and think of as valuable.

Have you visited an Open Day? Would you look at either Loughborough or York?

Lots of love always,




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