Open day season is upon us and with the advent of the Easter break many students will be acquiring the transportation services of parents and guardians to go and peruse the many higher educational institutions facilities.
As a Student Ambassador and as a student helper I am one of the many people around the university who have the task of presenting and guiding students with their entourages around Loughborough. As such I’ve come into contact with a variety of people, all with different backgrounds and different wants and needs. I’ve done with for nearly two years now and as such have been privy to receive pretty much every question someone would ask regarding university education, student life etc.
So I thought I would answer the two FAQ’s that seem to be the most common:
Q1. Why did I choose Loughborough?
A: I just liked the feel of the place.
My answer probably comes across as a bit of a weak explanation. When I originally was deciding which university I wanted to attend my personal situation was much different. I was interested in getting as far away from home as possible, be in the big city (London) and to have fun. FYI, this is NOT brilliant criteria to use when making big life choices! When I was deciding to go back to university and I looked at Loughborough I simply came and had a walk around the university and I liked the feel of the place. It felt like it was a community and after speaking with the admissions tutor knew it was the right place.
Universities across the country, for the most part, are very similar in terms of the facilities that they offer. Sure some departments might be fancier than others but that is usually down to their size and “prestige”. The courses might vary but they too, for the most part, will be very similar. A good example of this is in the sciences. If a course is to be accredited by an organisation such as the instituted of charted physicists then that course will have to teach a set of core compulsory modules at a particular standard.
The difference between the different HE institutions is the stuff in-between. Its the opportunities that students have to expand and enhance their interests and studies that are defining characteristics. Do they offer placements/study abroad? Do they have active & progressive student representation? Societies and sports clubs? Field trips? Contact hours? Safety? (This tends to one most asked by parents) etc. These are the things that will make you like the feel of the place. The only university ranking table I pay attention to is the employability table (league tables are largely weighted on research and have very little to do with student satisfaction or teaching) because at the end of the day, or rather the degree, its the only thing that matters. P.S Loughborough is listed in the top 5 in the UK.
Q2. What’s it like having to share a bathroom?
A: Its just like at home, only without your dad’s morning flatulent Tubular Bells rendition.
The moment you go to university and stay in halls will for most people be the start of many, many years of bathroom/kitchen sharing (with non-family members).
At Loughborough only 20% of the accommodation available is self-catered, en-suite. These rooms tend to be more expensive and YOU have to clean your bathroom. If you share a bathroom they are cleaned daily, which when you look back at university in years to come you will cherish the fact that some lovely, undeserving lady had that humble task. Especially after a night out at the union, followed by Revs and then a cheeky curry, Kebab and/or fried chicken on the way home.
The same can be said of sharing a kitchen. I’ve had the distinct unpleasantness of having to share a kitchen with people who have yet to acquire the life-skill of washing up or where for them operating a dishwasher (you won’t have the pleasure of these in halls) was tantamount to deciphering the Rosetta stone.
Being able to have access to a catered facility especially after a long day of lectures or during exams is not something that should be dismissed. The food on campus is very good (they’ve won awards for it) and there will be plenty of years left for you to enjoy the fruits of your culinary labour.