University Diary – Week One

My experience with moving from A-Levels to the big scary world of University.

Mid November the dreaded day came in which I sent my UCAS off. After cutting, pasting and editing my personal statement, looking at endless prompts and tip articles online I finally finished. I got the OK from my school and off it went, never to be seen again. Until of course, my A2 predicted grades weren’t included so I had to go through the process again, checking and double checking that everything was right and in the right places.

In my school, you have an ‘Exit Interview’ before your UCAS gets sent off. Which basically means you sit down with the head of the sixth form they check through everything (including personal statement) and say ‘right are you happy?’. On the inside, of course, I was screaming ‘NO, NO DON’T SEND IT PLEASE’ but on the outside, I gave a calm and collected ‘Yes’ and it’s gone.

Once finally saying goodbye I was more stressed once it had been sent than I was in the lead up to it being sent. I was constantly checking my phone and even put it so I would get notifications when emails came through (considering it was just after Christmas I was receiving more emails about sales…my poor bank account). Finally, I started getting replies. But then the realisation of auditions and interviews came along.

Unfortunately, most drama courses require you to do an audition. All universities wanted different things, some wanted a monologue simply of my own choice, others wanted both contemporary or classic, or just one. Others sending excerpts of booklets for me to read and then discuss when at the interview. Looking for different monologues made me realise how little knowledge I had about different genres of theatre. So I began research again, looking into all the different monologues used by other candidates and so on.

So currently I have heard back from a total of 4 universities. Some took weeks to reply. I have one audition next week and an interview the week after. However, 2 of my choices said no to me. At first, I was heartbroken because it was the one university I really wanted to go to. Pro-tip: do not be disheartened! Looking back now I’m kind of happy that they said no! It means I’m finally getting out of my hometown. I can explore a bit.

The one thing I regret when making my choices is not going to more open days. I only went to one and that was in my hometown. So, now I’m not going to know whether I’m going to be able to see myself at these places until I go.

But if you’re going through this current situation no matter what you’re applying for here’s some tips:

  1. Don’t be sad if universities decline you, it clearly wasn’t meant to be.
  2. Go to as many open days as possible!
  3. If you have to audition, make sure you have a few audition pieces in your back pocket.
  4. Don’t lie in your personal statement, they may ask you a question about what you’ve written.
  5. Read around the university, learn things about it.
  6. Seem interested! Especially during tours, we all know you don’t care who the building was named after but try.
  7. Look at the course information and what they study, if you dislike something in it and they ask you about it what are you going to say? ‘Sorry, I don’t really like the study of ___’
  8. Enjoy being in a different place!

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