I have talked a lot about how to pick between your offers, but here are 10, terrible ways to pick between your offers.
- Do not accept an offer just because it is an unconditional offer. Unconditional offers are given out by universities to tempt you in, to try and encourage you to go there—but if you're not confident that you're going to be happy there, do not accept it just because it's an unconditional offer.
- 2. Do not follow your boyfriend or your girlfriend. This is a bad idea! You are a different person than them, and you may not be happy at the same university as them. If your relationship is meant to be, it will last long distance.
- Do not go somewhere just because your parents went there. I have seen this so many times before, with friends, with colleagues, with people I’ve met in my career. You are not your parents, so do not feel pressured by them to follow the family tradition or family history.
- Do not go somewhere just because somebody famous is there. Don't go to a university because there’s a famous lecturer, or because there’s a famous person enrolled as a student. As an undergraduate, you will probably never see the famous lecturers. If there is an academic who you are desperate to work with, your best chance to work with them is as a postgraduate. As an undergraduate, you're probably not going to see them.
- Do not pick somewhere based on the weather, because the weather is changeable. I know that up north sometimes it can be a bit cold and rainy, but that doesn't mean you're not going to have an absolutely fantastic time. Down south is generally sunnier, but not always, so don't pick a university based on what you think the weather's going to be like.
- Do not believe the advertising. Universities want you to go there, so they pay a lot of money for advertising, and they pay a lot of money to try and entice you to come. Do not believe the advertising, do not believe the hype. Do your own research.
- Do not pick a university based upon its position in a league table. League tables are constantly changing, and it doesn't necessarily tell you whether the course is going to be suited to you, or what type of course is going to be best for you. Whether it's part of the Russell Group or not part of the Russell Group; whether it's a Red Brick university or not a Red Brick university; these are all just labels.
- Do not pick a university just for the nightlife. Yes, your social life is important, but you can always take a train to a big city to get your nightlife. The most important thing is you being happy with your university and your course. Don't just pick somewhere because it has a good club scene.
- By no means should you go completely random and pull something out of a hat. This is so bad, just don't do it.
- Do not go to university because you can't think of anything better to do. University is expensive, university is time-consuming, and university is a lot of work. If you can't think of anything better to do, then maybe try a gap year and think about what you actually want to do.
This is a big, big decision. Do not feel rushed into it. Do not feel pressured to make a decision that somebody else wants you to make. You need to make the right decision that is best for you, not what is best for other people. This is a really stressful time, but it’s also a really exciting time for you.