Waking up on A level results day to the update on UCAS that I was in Clearing wasn’t the ideal situation I had been hoping for, to say the least. However, I can honestly say that it was the best thing that could have happened as York was absolutely the university for me!
Being in the midst of Clearing – with emotions running high – can be a confusing time. It can be hard to stay calm and make the best decision for yourself.
Here are the four main reasons that I chose York and why it’s a decision I’ve never regretted.
Going through Clearing can be daunting and I was filled with great uncertainty about my university education. But after one phone call with Helen Smith, Head of the Department of English, I felt a MILLION times more relaxed.
I had previously attended an Open Day so I was already familiar with York. As soon as I saw they had places in English, I knew I wanted to go there. Helen informed me about studying at York, the contents of the course, how the course was taught, and accommodation. She also showed an interest in me as a person and the work I was interested in.
This first conversation has reflected the whole English Department. The staff are welcoming, friendly and incredibly passionate about their teaching. They’re always willing to help and enthusiastic to discuss an idea for an essay or pursue something mentioned in a lecture or seminar.
The college system
Coming from a small village and moving away from home for the first time, York’s college system really appealed to me.
Being in a college allows you to be part of a smaller community, within the wider world of the university as a whole. There is a greater sense of community through college sports and college Freshers’ Week. Plus the social atmosphere during mealtimes – I was in James College, so meals were catered. Eating together every day was a great way to socialise and make friends.
Let’s not forget that the main reason we come to university – to study for a degree! The English course appealed to me so much due to the range of texts explored, the teaching style, and the freedom within the degree.
Over the course of the term, you study a text a week. Then you decide which one you would like to base your essay on. You come up with your own ideas and completely derive your own essay title.
This freedom was a breath of fresh air after the strict nature of A Levels, where it can very much feel like you are just ticking boxes to get the marks. Similarly, the course is primarily assessed through termly essays. This means there is a lot less pressure to memorise hundreds of quotations!
York is a beautiful city and only a short bus ride from campus. Full of cute cafes (Crumbs Cupcakery is definitely my favourite), restaurants, pubs and clubs. There is something for everyone!
There are exclusive student club nights throughout the week. Club Salvation sports social on a Wednesday is not to be missed. The themed socials range from zoo, to tight and bright, and the recreation of the Nativity at Christmas!
Despite my journey to York not being a straightforward one, it has definitely been the best decision for me. I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else.
The course constantly challenges and encourages me to think about things in new ways. I have made the greatest friends and love living in York!
Considering your options for September? Read more student blogs about Clearing.