April 2022

Blog | What I wish I'd known before starting my degree

By Amber Soames

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I don’t know about everyone else but when I started university, I was oblivious in pretty much every aspect of my life! I know that may sound a little dramatic but in hindsight, I honestly believe I knew nothing.

That being said, I do believe that a massive part of going to university and moving away from home is working things out as you go along. However, there are definitely some things that I wish I'd known before I started.

I chose to study at University College Birmingham and to study digital marketing on a whim. It was results day, I had only decided to go to university a couple of days before and I chose the university and course pretty randomly through clearing. Luckily, it worked out great, but I must admit, it probably wasn’t the smartest move and I recommend doing lots of research before making big decisions like that!

I spent a lot of time worrying if marketing was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life and what I’ve realised in this past year, and what I wish I'd known before I started university, is that it doesn’t really matter what you study. Of course, there are exceptions, but for a lot of careers, all you need is a degree, lots of employers don’t mind what subject. So, I would suggest choosing a course you know you’ll enjoy, work hard and do well – that’s what matters.

Everyone always says that the friends you make at university are your friends for life. I wish I hadn’t taken that so seriously! I spent my first few months at university obsessed with making friends and going to every single social gathering and event. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was burning out.

Getting involved is important, but don’t put it over your health. The friends I made during those first couple of months aren’t even the ones I stuck with! My real friends now are friends I made naturally, much later on.

All I’m going to say is, when I started university, I felt like I knew everything, and I had all these ideas about how university should be and I worked way too hard to make that a reality. I recommend having an open mind to everything that happens, even if you think you know better. Don’t stress if university isn’t going exactly how you planned because chances are it’s going exactly how it’s meant to!

Students outside University College Birmingham Open Day

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