I first applied to university in 2017 and again in 2018 during my gap year. Both of these times I applied to the University of York and also Oxford University. I chose to apply to both of these universities because of their excellent reputation and in particular their prevalence in the legal world, which is where I am heading after I graduate.
I must admit that initially my research on the structure of the courses was limited and I was naïve with my opinions about where I really wanted to go to university. During my gap year, I spent some time working in the type of law firms I was really interested in. Here, I spoke to a lot of people about their experience at university. They highlighted to me the importance of enjoying the atmosphere at university, as well as thinking carefully about what kind of teaching style is the best way for you to learn.
After this, I put more effort into researching these elements at both York and Oxford, and I found that studying at York would ultimately be the best decision for me. After over a year studying here, I am absolutely confident in saying that I made the right decision!
There are so many reasons for this…
The city of York itself to me feels so warm and welcoming, and the blend between students and other residents is seamless. I love wandering around the Shambles with my friends for some Christmas shopping or going for a drink in one of the many riverside pubs in the summer after a long day of studying. In contrast to the bustling inner city, the green open spaces on campus offer a stunning backdrop to study in.
In terms of the teaching style at York, I found it to be very different from my experience on a residential trip at Oxford University. I personally really like the way that the teaching style at York is so different from a lot of other universities.
A good example of this is the problem-based learning (PBL) style which is used for Law, as well as a few other subjects at York. This is an immersive style of learning where you are given real-life problems to work through after researching and applying what you have learnt to the situation you have been given. I much preferred this over the idea of sitting in a library all day and simply learning facts from a big pile of textbooks! This PBL style also involves working in smaller groups, which makes it easy to work through tricky problems as a group. It also contributes to the inclusive feeling that is so prevalent in York.
Inclusivity is one of the elements which are at the heart of studying at York. It contributes to the overall warmth and friendliness that makes up the atmosphere of the University, which I mentioned was so key earlier.
The college system at York gives you a mini-community to belong to whilst still being part of the bigger University unit on campus. As a commuting student, this made it so easy for me to feel welcome and fit in with all of the fantastic activities going on and around campus throughout the year.
I am so happy that I chose to come to York and know that it was definitely the best decision for me!
Read more student stories about choosing York