Sunday, 8 July 2018

Visiting York: The City of Dreams

York Minster
During the evening of June 30th, myself, my Aunt and my Uncle all spent a couple of hours exploring York's city centre, after we had been to an Open Day at Loughborough University. We had already booked our 1 night stay at a Holiday Inn and as we had already done a lot of travelling, we thought that it would be better for us to explore the city of York during the evening before going to the Open Day the following morning and so that's what we did.

For a number of months now, I'd been doing extensive research on the different Universities and the different courses that I might like to get involved with next September. I'd started off looking at all ones down the South, where I currently live, specialising in Psychology or Psychology with Criminology. However, as time went on and I spoke to my family, took more A-Level Psychology lessons and heard negative stories from people that I knew, I decided that option just wasn't going to work for me, let alone do me any favours in regard to the long term. I knew that I wanted to live away from home and as a lot of Northern universities had started coming up on my Google search, I got that gut feeling that moving a good few hours away would be the most appropriate, logical option.

To my knowledge, I've never been anywhere in the Midlands or further away, so it was quite a strange experience for me, but one that I considered myself lucky to be having, as it's not everyday that you get to travel to new places. We went out exploring on the Saturday evening just after 6pm and the first thing we did was got the bus into the main town centre. From first impressions, everyone was incredibly friendly, chatty and welcoming and they were quick to give us any tips or help that they could, which was much appreciated by us clueless Southerners! The bus driver mentioned before we got off that Friday and Saturday nights are often heaving, because not only was the York Races on throughout that weekend, which we were completely oblivious to, but during the Summer months, it's the ultimate time period for people to have their stag and hen do's, which means that all of the streets are filled with loud locals drinking and having a good time. I did find that to be quite intimidating and initially, it did make all 3 of us quite disappointed, because in a way, it did seem to taint the picture-perfect view of York that we had created in our minds. However, the drunks were still up for a laugh and they seemed to mean well, so it didn't really matter too much!

We then had a nice, relaxing meal in Cafe Rouge before having a walk around The Shambles, looking at cute little vintage shops and admiring the breathtakingly beautiful spectacle, which is the infamous York Minster, pictured above. The thing about York is that it's one of those cities which has everything you could want in one corner or another. The York Minster is the cultural, ancient aspect, The Shambles are the quaint, vintage aspect, the pubs and clubs are the modern, fun aspect and the University is the educational, international aspect. I can understand why it's one of the most incredible places to live and visit within the UK!

The next morning, we had a really nice, filling breakfast in the hotel, which would prepare us for the actual Open Day and then the 4 hour journey home. As soon as we arrived, I instantly felt the London-esque vibes that I get whenever I'm in the capital. The campus is quite large and bustling and there were plenty of people in my position too, but I liked that, because that's the whole point of the visit! It was a beautifully hot day, which really bought out the best in the campus, due to it's endless greenery, stunning Heslington Hall and rivers that run throughout the entirety of Campus West. The accommodation that I looked at was furthest away from all of the activity that was going on and that was ideal for me and something I hadn't really considered until talking to one of the Student Ambassadors. I attended 2 different course talks, which were the ones that I had been toying between for the past few months, but the second one that I attended was actually the one that I had initially wanted to apply for the most and that just solidified how much I actually think it suits me and what I hope my future career entails. It will be a tough one to get onto though, as I have to go through a pretty full interview day if I get shortlisted and then the admissions tutor has to narrow the applicants down from 200 to 20! I don't envy that job whatsoever.

University of York - Campus West

All in all, I went home feeling very relieved and very hopeful. The family members that I have spoken to all agree that York would be the best option for me, as it really does have everything that I could want in a University and in a home away from home. The University of York is actually the only University to my knowledge that offer the college system rather than just your average halls of residence. This gives it much more of a community, friendly feel, especially if you are an international student or moving from the South like me, because it makes you feel much more reassured that you will be in the most welcoming place that you could possibly be in.

If I do get the privilege of being invited to an interview, I shall definitely be doing another blog post of what I get up to, because should I be living there for 4 years, I want to be able to explore the city in more of it's day-to-day vibe, as if I'm actually one of the local residents.

Be sure to let me know if you have any recommendations of things I need to/should consider visiting!

Do any of you currently go to the University of York? What do you think about living in this city?

Lots of love always,


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