How to choose your uni

Whether it’s Surrey you have your heart set on or you’re bouncing around to keep your options open, applying for uni can seem like a daunting task.

I remember sifting through pages and pages of uni websites all claiming that their course, or union or campus would ”change my life”. Thus, knowing what is right for you can be a task on its own. It’s fair to say that I thought I knew my own mind, but that was before I started applying to uni.


My dad and I at the Surrey Applicant Day

Comparing unis

When deciding which uni to apply to, I began by rifling through the UCAS website as you would expect. As tedious as it sounds, typing in your chosen course and comparing your expected grades against different uni entry grades is the best way to start.

Once I had a list of unis I thought I could earn the entry requirements for, my next task was to compare each with a set of my own requirements.

The rating of each uni was a big factor for me as I wanted to go to the best of what I could get. So, I looked up the overall rating of each uni as well the ranking of my course at each uni. Having done that, the list began to whittle down drastically.

Finally, there was the last few factors such as how far the uni was from my family, my desire to reap the benefits of a campus rather than a city and the social life of the new area.

After that, came the exciting part of going to different open days and collecting what seemed like hundreds of free tote bags containing personalised uni merchandise. However, as expected, University of Surrey, was one that stood out amongst many other respected options.

Applicant days/why I chose Surrey

Attending an applicant day at the University of Surrey was like a breath of fresh air. I was made to feel at home straight away by the cheerful ambassadors and was given all the relevant information to make my decision easy. The campus was, of course, beautiful with an idyllic lake and landscaped green areas.

As a prospective English Literature student, I was absolutely blown away by the Surrey library – another deciding factor for me. The modern design and availability of resources absolutely outstanding. However, what really stood out to me was Surrey’s apparent and sensitive regard for the voice and views of the students. Throughout the library, notices were pinned advertising how to anonymously report any disturbance to the student’s studies, as well as separate floors for both silent, group and quiet study areas. Such details were never regarded at my Sixth Form, making it rather difficult to revise theories of the diagnosis of schizophrenia amongst rowdy and hormone-driven students.


The University of Surrey library

Another aspect that really attracted my attention was Surrey’s nationally renowned sports park, Surrey Sports Park. The uni quite clearly regards exercise and healthy living as a high importance to students, and by starting this new fresh chapter of my life I also vowed I wanted to embrace it.

Overall, the whole visit couldn’t have done much more to validate my decision, especially after finding out Surrey had been rated University of the Year 2016. It is now regarded the 4th best in the UK!

So, with all of that in mind, I do hope that wherever your uni experience takes you, you grab the experience with both hands. As well as achieving great grades, it is so important to be in a place where you will be happy. For myself that has undoubtedly been Surrey, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.