Why did I apply to the Bath summer school?
With the pressure of deciding which university to attend and picking the subject I wanted to study creeping up on me, I was eager to gain more information. I studied Maths, Psychology and Biology at A level, but I was still unsure of where or what exactly I wanted to study. Even after following the advice given by teachers, such as looking at league tables and course structures, I still felt incredibly confused!
I realised that the only way to find out whether I will enjoy studying in the university is to actually stay in the accommodation and personally experience the lectures. This resulted in my decision to apply to the University of Bath Social Sciences Summer School (now Discover Bath), which greatly helped my decision-making process.
Why I loved it?
As soon as I stepped out of Bath Spa train station, I felt welcomed by the Student Ambassadors. It was great having all my questions answered by students that studied the courses I was interested in from the same university I was considering. The Summer School provided information that wasn’t easily accessible online. Also, it allowed me to visit the town in person, which I instantly fell in love with! I realised how much I actually wanted to go to this university, thereby changing my work ethic for the better. As I had a clearer goal, I was able to work even harder for my A levels to make sure I would get into a university of my choice.
The best part was the amazing friends I made. I got to meet people from all over the UK who were in the same position as me. This really developed my confidence and communication skills which assisted me throughout Freshers' Week. By making friends instantly (some that I still talk to almost two years later), I felt a lot more confident about starting the first year at university.
How did it help me?
The project given to us in the Summer School required me to carry out research to answer the question, ‘To what extent is media representation different for different cultures regarding terrorist attacks’. Not only was the topic relevant, it was incredibly interesting to research.
As I enjoyed this process so much, it encouraged me to actually do an EPQ with my school as it involved a similar process, but with a different topic. This EPQ acted as a bridge between A level essays and university essays, making the transition easier for me. This research project taught me how to effectively read articles to pick out key information.
Additionally, this has assisted the research portion of all of my essays and lab reports in my first year here at Bath studying Psychology.
The skills and friendships gained in that one week encouraged me to choose the University of Bath as my firm choice – a decision I did not regret. I was over the moon when I found out on results day that I would be attending Bath as I already had an insight into what life at this university would be like.
Consequently, I would recommend trying to attend summer schools for the universities of interest for students deciding their university options. Staying in the university accommodation and personally experiencing the teaching can really help you make your decision.