Starting your new chapter

Hi there, this is my first blog and therefore this is all new to me. I’ll start by telling you about myself but I’ll keep it brief so I don’t bore you!

My name is Alice, I am currently a second year student studying Economics and Finance at York, I come from London and I am a member of Goodricke college.The start of my university life was an exciting time, however, it came with a lot of unanswered questions and some inevitable nerves. I am going to try to clear up some of your worries and answer some of your questions! This blog will hopefully provide more clarity on what it is like to be a student at the University of York.

So, first of all, you are considering university, that’s great! University is an exciting time to find out more about yourself. For many of us, it is the first time away from home and you get a chance to learn more about something you are passionate about. So what questions should you be asking when considering going to university?

It is important to choose your course wisely. When evaluating different courses, make sure you consider the course content as well as the subject. Content varies widely from university to university, so I would advise to look carefully at the module choices. You may prefer a course which is more maths based, more essay based or perhaps a combination of the two. I personally prefer the more mathematical side and I was able to pick the modules which provided this. Fortunately, if you take Economics at York, the wide range of modules to choose from means you can tailor the course to your interests.

Aside from the academic side of things, you can consider the city itself. For me, York is the perfect size. Coming from London, where everywhere takes forever to get to and from, going to York was refreshing. The city has a great buzz to it, it is always lively and packed with people yet intimate enough for it to not feel intimidating or daunting. Another plus for location is that the city centre is just a short bus ride direct from both campuses. You can also walk between the two campuses.

This brings me onto my next point. After all, York is a city, so when you first arrive navigating your way around the city may be slightly confusing. Especially if you decide to venture out to experience the city’s nightlife during Freshers’ week! Not to worry, we have it covered. Each first year flat is provided with “STYC’s”, this is shorthand for what we call a Second or Third Year Contact. They are your guide to getting around and getting on your feet when you first arrive. They are with you from the moment you unpack to helping you get to your first lectures on time. STYC’s are not only a helpful guide but also can become your friends. This really helps you to get your bearings!

Finally, the college system. At York we have nine colleges – three on Campus East and six on Campus West. I lived on campus during my first year – I was in Goodricke on Campus East. Now, let’s demystify what we mean when we talk about colleges. Everyone belongs to a college for the entirety of their university life. York is one of just a handful of universities in the UK which has this unique structuring and I think it is something which makes York special. Being a part of a college means you are automatically part of a community and you can be as involved in college life as you want. You may just enjoy living in a college and enjoying the specific college nights during Freshers’ week. You may find you want to play a more active role in the community and become a part of college sport. This differs from university sport as it tends to be a little less competitive and gives everyone the opportunity to get involved, even if you’ve never played the sport before! Colleges also hold many events such as formal balls.

I hope some of what I have discussed today has given you some food for thought and perhaps given you an insight into what university life is like. I hope it has helped you to figure out how to go about choosing the right university for you and described some of the many things which York has to offer.

Merry Christmas and have a great new year!