Not sure if uni is right for you? Nor did Lauren until she decided to come on Newcastle University’s Bitsize Uni – a year 12 residential summer school designed to give people a taste of uni life. We asked Lauren to reflect back on the experience two years on now she’s studying at Newcastle University.
In my first year of college I was quite unsure about which university I wished to go to and decided an ideal way to decide would be to attend a few summer schools. Having been rejected by every single one I applied for apart from Bitesize Uni (BSU), I wasn’t feeling very hopeful.
However, looking back on it, I’m glad it was the only university summer school I attended – it changed the course of my future.
When it came to the academic side of things, we were given the opportunity to try out three subjects from a huge range. And when I say you get to choose from a huge range of subjects, I mean a huge range. Although it wasn’t my kind of thing I spoke to people who’d ended face to face with sea creatures when attending a session on Marine Biology.
I chose to try out English Language & Linguistics, English Literature and Media, Communication & Cultural Studies. I’ll be honest in saying I’d only studied English Literature and Language before and had never actually come across Linguistics or Media courses, but I was completely enlightened.
When I applied to Newcastle after BSU, I chose to study English Literature. But the taster sessions at BSU have helped shape my choices in optional modules and played a huge role in deciding on future careers that I’d never even considered before.
Aside from all things degree-related, there was a huge social aspect to the summer school. Being put in a group of people from different places and different colleges with entirely different interests was a perfect example of how it feels in the first week of university, and it’s GREAT.
I met people who not only have I stayed in touch with since then, but attend university with and will be living with one of them in second and third year, and that is all because we sat next to each other in a taster seminar.
Not only did the summer school introduce me to some amazing people, but provided us with plenty of time to spend with each other including a trip to the cinema, eating out on a budget and closed the week with the BSU Ball. In our groups, we sat and had a fancy meal and once the tables were cleared, we danced to the songs of our childhood for the rest of the night. Nothing compares.
Ultimately, BSU is a really small snapshot of what university is genuinely like and if, like me, you’re unsure of where you want to go or what you want to study, it’s the perfect opportunity to try it out. If it wasn’t for Bitesize Uni, I wouldn’t be sat typing this in Newcastle Uni’s Library right now.