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Uni applicant diaries: how Amelia made her Ucas choices

How does a self-confessed 'aspirational nutcase' navigate the Ucas process, especially when applying to the mega-competitive field of medicine? Student Amelia takes us on her application journey…

Yes, it's intimidating

Britain's youth are almost twice as likely to apply for university as they were 10 years ago.

If you're like me and one of these thousands of
applicants, this competition is the scariest thing ever!

And before you even consider securing a place, you have to fill out the dreaded Ucas form.

Being an aspirational nutcase, I have chosen to apply for medicine. I love the human body and wanted a career focused on helping people.

Personal statement panic

At least I thought so, until I had to write my personal statement, at which point I thought: 'Oh my god! How do I write a page on why I should be picked for the course? I don't know why! Please just let me in!'
 
But once me and friends who were also applying to medicine sat down and talked about why we wanted to do it, the writing was less painful. 

It also helped that our teachers were there to support us. They are honestly the best people to speak to about it because they've sent so many students off to university (plus they get paid for it) - so exploit them! 

Picking a university: top tips

  • If you are applying for a competitive course, sometimes you can't afford to be fussy. The most important thing is to keep an open mind. 
     
  • Don't go into the process thinking about 'good' unis and 'bad' unis. They're all different; some are better for some courses and some are better for others. Research them! 
     
  • Personally, I didn't go to any open days because all my choices are a million miles away, but it's probably a good idea to do so. 
    Universities have guided tours, online lectures and student interviews on their websites. It's like a virtual open day, and you can do it whilst in bed - it's great! 
  • Different universities offer different ways of teaching, particularly when it comes to medicine. I found that lecture-heavy courses weren't for me, while courses with a lot of problem-solving and patient interaction experiences would be more my cup of tea. But everyone is different.
     
  • Some universities look for high GCSE grades whereas others focus just on your AS and A-levels. So I applied to the ones which I felt valued my grades the most, and of course, the ones I liked.
     
  • Remember, when you apply you are not on your own. I went over my Ucas form loads of times with my biology teacher; we were sending emails of my personal statement back and forth like a ping pong match (but it's worth it in the end)!

My progress

I've sent mine off now and I have received a few offers back, one of which is an interview (but that's a whole other ball game). I'm obviously nervous but I do feel happy with the choices I have made. 

My parents keep saying this to me and I think it’s important: 'They are filtering out the applicants to find you'. 


This post was written by Amelia Landles. Amelia is a student and member of the OpinionPanel Community.

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