After spending the summer at home, I was very excited to finally move back up to Loughborough on Monday and into new digs with my friends. We got here a week or so before freshers for one reason and one reason only: future freshers!
The Uni holds two open days in June and two in September for prospective students to get a feel of Loughborough campus life and to chat to the various groups of staff and students here. I have just packed up from our second open day, where I heard that we had record-breaking attendances on both days, with more students than ever wanting to visit Loughborough!
Many students – myself included – find that open days are an infinitely better way of researching Universities and Courses than using the internet. Physically being on the campus will very quickly give you a sense of whether you can envisage yourself living and being happy in that place. From my time in Sixth Form I remember going to one University’s open day which took me about 10 minutes to decide I didn’t want to go there; on the other side of the coin, I went to a couple that I absolutely loved from start to finish (thankfully Loughborough included)! You definitely have to trust your gut instinct above anything else.
At Loughborough, we aim to cater for any individual student who attends our open day. This ranges from academic talks to live rugby fixtures, accommodation viewing to personal statement advice and a fantastic outdoor BBQ and everything you need to know about the Students’ Union. We have hundreds of students available to help and talk to visitors – I managed to rack up 50km, so even I’ve learned new things about campus!
Chatting to all the A-Level students who were so excited to be looking at Universities made me remember what it felt like in that transition from school to further education. Amidst the stress of exams and UCAS applications, it can feel daunting to be leaving the comfort of your life at home to start afresh at university. As soon as you get to uni, however, you start making friends and enjoying all the brilliant opportunities that are at your feet, and those hesitant feelings quickly become a distant memory.
One of the things that surprised me at these Open Days was how many Loughborough graduates have come back to work at one more event because they enjoy them so much. You meet students who are passionate about their education, their university and simply can’t bring themselves to leave the place.
I know that after I graduate in the summer, I will definitely be one of the many coming back for the September open days and I very much hope to see you (and all the other future freshers) there!