A Year 13 Student’s Expectations of Studying at University
Written by Seo Hyun (Katie) Lee
Founder of STAY ECON
9 September 2020
Reading time: 4 minutes
Before going to university, did you ever wonder what your university life would be like?
As a student entering Year 13, I inevitably have to look beyond the sixth form college and into the distant future. Applying for universities has always seemed so far away, and the thought of becoming an undergraduate student next year is making me feel anxious. Yet, despite the application stress, I can’t wait to attend university. And you should be excited too!
Allow me to introduce four major things students should look forward to studying at university.
University libraries – both physical and digital – are one of the best faculties a university can offer. With the special student ID, you can access most of the important databases and journal articles. One good example is the online Cambridge library. The University of Cambridge has a page dedicated to e-resources, which includes digital archive collections, eBooks, and newspapers. Having taken EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), I know how important it is to employ a wide range of resources to write a research paper. Furthermore, libraries can help you make the most of your independent study time. I am quite eager to reserve a spot in the library and spend my remaining time researching economic development.
Of course, universities will not be complete without lectures. This is another aspect of higher education that many students have high expectations of, and I could relate. Listening to professors’ lectures on econometrics, joining in academic discussions about Lionel Robbins’ definition, and learning content beyond the A-Level syllabus are some of the things you can expect from university lectures. Also, lectures can introduce you to like-minded students studying the same coursework. You will have the chance to engage with them by asking meaningful questions about your subject.
3. Meeting new people
Once you enter university, you will find yourself in a diverse environment, surrounded by people from different backgrounds. Being part of such a community is beneficial for your academic journey and personal growth. Not only can you expand your knowledge about their cultures, but you can also make new friends with similar interests! Everyone has something to contribute, and you can too. Having studied abroad before, I experienced first-hand how much I have grown from simply engaging with my classmates. Even if we came from different countries, we were able to bond together over our favourite subject: economics. By exchanging stories, we broadened our horizons and learned to communicate with each other.
Networking is another way you can meet new people – in this case, people from the industry you want to work in. This particular activity is what I most look forward to at university. By exposing myself to the industry, I can be one step closer to achieving my dream of becoming an economist – or even an entrepreneur. You can prepare yourself for the workforce by attending networking events, asking second-year students for career advice, or looking for internships. Career support programs at university can also help you grab any opportunity that can boost your CV or add value to your life. It’s good to form relationships with the people you want to work with!
Most Year 13 students are afraid to embark on the higher education journey, and this is understandable. There is a huge gap between undergraduate coursework and A-Levels. But don’t let the workload deter you from the opportunities university offer. These aspects of university life can help you understand why becoming an undergraduate is something to be excited about.
So, the next time you struggle with university applications, remember why you are applying for the course in the first place! And remind yourself what you are looking forward to doing in the future!
For more information about the author, Seo Hyun (Katie) Lee, please find the links above for STAY ECON’s sites!