Wandering about on campus at this time of year feels quite strange. This time last year, I had already left Aber and had headed home, having been kicked out of our student house. Now, my semesters don’t work out in quite the same way, so I am still out and about around campus. It’s a very peculiar feeling strolling through the corridors of the Welsh Department and going to the library and it being so quiet. It’s almost like frequenting a ghost town. Despite this, I am trying to make the most of it – Open Day season is just around the corner, and it won’t be quite so peaceful for much longer.

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It’s quite likely that some of you are considering Aberystwyth as one of your options and you have already been to a few open days. Four years ago, whilst considering where I was going, I did the same. I had been to visit a few universities before visiting Aberystwyth, but hadn’t felt ‘That Feeling’. None of the ones I had visited felt right, somehow, and I just knew they weren’t for me. In Aber, ‘That Feeling’ hit me as soon as I had stepped on campus. I just knew that it was where I was going to be happiest – and thankfully, I was right!

It was, no doubt, a gut feeling. On the first open day I went to, I had a tour of the Old College, where the Welsh Department was at the time, (it’s up in the Hugh Owen building by now) and also went on a tour of the Parry-Williams building (a complete architectural contrast!) where the Film and Television Department is based. I also had the chance to visit Pantycelyn, the halls of residence where I later on went to live, and I remember being amazed by the unique character of the place. It sounds awfully unhelpful, but I just knew that Aber was the right choice for me. One obvious piece of advice I have to share with you, is that if you’re unsure or not happy with a place, consider other options. Take the time to visit a place again and again, because at the end of the day, you will be living there for the next three years. Explore every nook and cranny of the university, the halls of residences and the town. You have to be certain that it works for you. You are the most important one in the whole equation – don’t forget that!

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Following my first open day, and after going through the whole UCAS process, I received an invitation to go to department specific open days (and once again, in other universities, not just Aberystwyth). I had the chance to ask more questions to ask about module choices and opportunities, so don’t worry if you don’t get the chance to ask about all your queries and concerns the first time.  I’m also going to repeat what my fellow bloggers have already said; don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lecturers and the guides in yellow t-shirts (you can’t miss them!) are very friendly and approachable, and are there to answer anything you want to ask. And, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

I don’t want to scare you, but deciding on which university to go to is an important decision. You don’t want to look back and regret it. You must find the right winning combination of deciding on the right course, the right living space and the right town/city for you. I always say you must go with your gut feeling and your instinct. Open Days offer a taster, of sorts, of what is to come, so make the most of visiting universities, and enjoy them as just a ‘day out’. I have to say, despite quite enjoying the tranquillity of a studentless campus at the moment, I am also looking forward to seeing prospective students coming to visit, gearing up for the next chapter in their lives.

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