How I made my final decisions about choosing a university (Michaela)

Michaela

Applying to university, are ya? I’ve been there and, trust me, I feel you. I know it can be quite tough but I’m here to help you out a little with your decision.

So how did I go about choosing where I wanted to study for my degree?

First thing’s first, I had to make the life-altering decision; do I move away from home for uni? I know everyone will have different thoughts about this. It may be easy for some people to flee the nest but for others (like myself) it took some time to muster up the courage to move away from my humble little town in the North East. Staying in Newcastle was a safe option, which is exactly why I knew I had to move away.

I wanted to learn to be more independent so leaving home was essential for me. I know I could still potentially gain that independence if I went to uni in Newcastle, by moving into student accommodation but, knowing me, I would run home to my mum once I run out of toast and pasta packets and seek a proper meal and some motherly cuddles (I’m a massive mama’s girl).

My conclusion: move away. Move FAR and learn to fend for myself.

But not too far.

One of the universities I applied for was actually in London, but after having attended the open day, I decided against it. Being in the city, I felt overwhelmed and I didn’t feel comfortable with living there at what was already such an overwhelming point in my life. Being an art student, I wanted to move to a bigger city because I wanted to be immersed in culture. Whilst London is definitely great for that, shy little me was scared of exactly how big and lonely the city would feel and I knew that if I were to move there, visiting home would be a trek. The distance felt like too much to handle, so I re-evaluated.

This is when I thought about studying in Manchester would be a good idea. A few friends of mine would refer to it as mini-London, so I went for an open day.

And I loved it. I see why some may call it a mini-London, but I much prefer the vibe of this city. It has some of the hustle and bustle that London has mixed with that northern friendliness that I’m accustomed to. Not to sound dramatic (even though I am) but first time I stepped into the Benzie building, I knew this was the right place for me to be. I wanted to study here.

And I’m so happy I went with my gut. I thoroughly enjoy my course and my tutors (shout out to Chris!) continue to inspire me and nurture my creativity. And the art school’s AV store is a lifesaver because I’m able to make the content I want with fancy schmancy equipment without dipping into my student loan.

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