Open day Top Tips – or at least an attempt at.
On a crisp cold day packing the family and myself in the car, including the duvet (Top-Tip. 1), and making the three hour drive to Aberystwyth, taking the obligatory stop off at McDonalds for a McMuffin breakfast (Top-Tip. 2), and counting how many sheep we can see (Not-so-Top-Tip-unless- you-have-all-day-in-Wales) can only signal the start of an open day.
To make this easier, let’s make a list, everyone likes a good list.
1. PLAN THE DAY
As parental as you may feel writing a timed schedule for a day out, it will make your day so much more efficient and enable you to see more. I relied on my list of talk times heavily, and it made the day go so much smoother. Also understand your university map so you can get to places on time.
2. BRING A SNACK
Whether you’re a constant grazer like me, or you have three meals a day; it is a long day of walking. Food is available, I personally went to the on-site student café, but I brought some cereal bars (and fruit rolls, and starbursts, and marshmallows, and crisps… oops?) as well which kept me content between talks; and also acted as a bit on an ice breaker outside an accommodation talk when a single marshmallow mysteriously dropped from my bag in front of a group of fellow newbies…
3. BRING A HUMAN
Self-explanatory really, it’s nice to have a familiar face to walk around with and also offer their opinion. I’ve been to two open days, one with my mum, and the other on my own so #experience (they’re normally nicer to you if you offer them your snacks too – Top-Tip)
4. HAVE NO FEAR
Everyone’s in the same boat (literally, if Aber have another storm) and the day is what you make it, ask the questions you want answers to, chat to current students, and get involved.
5. VISIT THE TOWN / ACCOMODATION
This is NOT just where you will be studying for the next three years (or more) but where you will actually live, and potentially work. Of course it is paramount that the department and the course cater to your needs and wants, BUT look at the environment also (- there’s the geographer in me coming out) can you realistically live here in Aberystwyth?
These are just a few aspects that made my open days go better, and I hope they prove useful to you too. Of course there are lots of other students there, both old and new, so really use this to your advantage, talk to people and get a real sense of what life in Aberystwyth is really like.
I finished my day off with a fish and chips on the beach wall (Last-Top-Tip) then the long trek home confirming that this is where I am going to spend the next three years of my life.