Hi, my name is Brad and I’m a second year Chemistry student in Alcuin College. Applying to university was a daunting experience for me. As I was the first person in my family to go to university I didn’t really know what to expect. However, I’m so glad that I decided to go and especially that I chose York!
Receiving my Contextual Offer:
When I was at college I was part of Next Step York – a Widening Participation program run by the University of York. When I was on my residential trip I heard about contextual offers.
At first I was a little concerned that I may not be ‘good enough’ for university as I was struggling with one of my A Levels. However, finding out that I qualified for a contextual offer, 2 grades below the prospectus requirements, I felt much more hopeful. Receiving this offer made me feel as though the university had confidence in my abilities, which strengthened my self-belief too!
Why did I choose York?
There are many reasons why I chose York, but the feeling that I had right after attending the open day convinced me the most. Throughout the whole of that surprisingly sunny autumn day I was overwhelmed by the sense of community. A family feeling that was shared between all the staff and students across the university. I felt as though I fit in straight away as the atmosphere was so welcoming!
This sense of community was something that I felt when I moved to York too. As I moved in my College team and STYCs (second and third year contacts, who help you settle in) were always happy to help me and my flatmates, either with any questions we had or by helping us find our way around campus and town to our Freshers’ Week events.
This year I was a STYC myself, as I wanted to contribute towards this wonderful community feel and to provide my Freshers the same support I had. Despite the pandemic, we still managed to have a college ‘neon scavenger hunt’ which required a hasty redesign of my STYC shirt.
After visiting a few universities, I knew that I wanted to go to a campus university and York’s campus just felt right to me. There are a few places that I love to visit, Greg’s Place is a great location to sit and socialise. I also love to take a stroll around the lake to take a break from studying and clear my mind. Sometimes I bring some oats along to feed the ducks and geese (usually they’re friendly). Some of the waterfowl have gained campus celebrity status and can be seen on a great Instagram page called @wanderersofyork.
The City of York was another key reason I chose York. While not a huge city, neither is it too small. In my opinion York is an ideal size and there is an abundance of things to do. Whether you want to learn about the history, find somewhere to have a meal with family, or have a night out with friends. All of these are ready to be discovered. I think that York city has a safe community feeling that always makes me feel ‘at home’. This was a wonderful thing which helped me settle into living away from home – something that I was worried about!
I know it sounds obvious but make sure that you firm the university that you want to go to. York was definitely the right place for me.