You need to start thinking about life on campus
Maybe you’re about to start studying, maybe you’re going to be applying to universities next year, maybe you’re going to switch campuses. What’s important in all these scenarios is that you think about your life on campus. And that means going on campus tours and checking to see what kinds of options there are at the university. So, this is what you need to look out for. What should you look for on a university visit? The reality is you’re going to spend most of your time on campus in classrooms and lectures. So, if possible see if you can sit in on a class or two. This will give you the best possible idea about how classes are run and how things work. Also look closely at how the lecturers are interacting with students and how receptive they are to questions from the class. Take some time to visit the campus library. Check whether other students are studying there. Look at whether students are using the space and whether it appears conducive for deep study. Where will you spend the most time? Go there first! If you’ve decided on what you’re planning on studying, you should find out where the majority of your classes will be. Go to those places and check them out. You could also take this opportunity to chat to the students and ask them about their experiences on campus. Maybe they have some tips you could use. You could also find some of your future lecturers and ask them some questions. What concerns do they have for students? What kind of security options are there? You’ll need to check out the security on campus and make sure that you’ll feel safe there. What kind of access control do they have? Do they make use of optical turnstiles or gates? Turnstiles, and other forms of security and access control, are a priority on campus when you’re attending university. The reality is that security is important wherever you may find yourself at all times. Have a look at the student newspaper. This could provide some insight into what is happening on campus, what students are concerned about and what’s happening on campus. You could use this to get a feel for the student life and culture on campus, find information about the clubs you could join and learn about the issues they care about. This is where you might learn students are protesting worker pay issues, calling for increased security on campus and the addition of turnstiles, or joining the fees must fall movement. And if there’s not a student newspaper, maybe you could think about starting one? If you have an interest in writing or design, this is your opportunity to get some real experience while you’re on campus. What are the questions you should ask? Questions about applying for the course. This could be your opportunity to ask questions about the application process. Find out what kind of marks you’ll need to achieve to be accepted. Ask if additional clubs or activities are taken into consideration. And find out if there are any extras they love to see on students’ applications. Questions about your career prospects. It’s important that you have a clear idea about your career prospects. It’s better to know now rather than in four years time that salaries in this field are notoriously low or that jobs are incredibly hard to come by. It’s also a good idea to find out whether there are any opportunities for assistance with internship placements or job hunting. Questions about the accommodation. If you’re planning on living on campus, this is your chance to find out about the residence options on campus. For instance, it’s a good idea to find out whether a place in res is guaranteed or not. Is staying on campus just for first year students? Do students go home on weekends or during holidays? Questions about the students. Don’t be afraid to speak to current students and ask them some probing questions. These include whether they’re enjoying their courses, what the best and worst parts of the campus experiences are, and what they do in their free time on campus. Questions about the costs. It’s essential that you know how much you need to live on campus. How much can you expect to spend daily? And, importantly, will your student loan or bursary cover these expenses? If not, it might be a good idea to find out if there are any employment opportunities for students. If you’re going to a university campus soon, be sure to ask these questions. You’ll soon know whether you’re on the right track with your studies.