We’re nearing to the end of the year here in England and since I’m 17 I’ll be applying to university soon. I’ve taken the time to visit universities for the past few weeks and find out whether I’ll enjoy the universities I am hoping to apply to.


The first university I went to was Oxford. Now don’t be mistaken that just because I visited Oxford I’m a huge brain box because honestly, I’m not. Trust me. I’m not.

Oxford was a school trip planned by our school. We went to Sommerville College and I absolutely loved it. I know what you’re thinking ‘It’s Oxford, of course’ But it’s fair to say before going, I never really thought about going to Oxford because I enjoyed London more. This particular campus was beautiful but that wasn’t why I fell in love with it.

At first when I arrived, I thought ‘It’s a nice place.’ It was quiet and almost serene. It wasn’t when we had a presentation by the admissions tutor that I actually fell in love.

When I say Oxford to someone we think: geniuses, snobs, hard to get in. Maybe true, I’m not saying it’s not but I did not see one snob at Oxford. Hard to get in but that’s because they’re dedicated to giving us the best education.

When the talk started the man talked about picking the right course. Our education is focused on what job we will get and not on what we’ll learn. Our choice of education today isn’t based on passion but based on employability. What the man said hit the nail on the head. He said, the most important thing in the process was choosing the right course. Do something we love and everything else will take care if itself. What he expressed in the session got straight to my heart, Oxford really was a place where education really mattered especially to the man giving the talk. They also backed up my theory as they provided compulsory tutorial sessions to help if you didn’t understand anything during the lecture.

Queen Mary’s University of London

The second university I visited was Queen Mary. Queen Mary was a delight to visit. My first impression of Queen Mary was- embarrassingly- ‘ugh’. I would give up a lot to take back those thoughts. I didn’t go to an open day for Queen Mary, instead I went to a Mathematics taster course as I wanted to find a bit about the teaching at Queen Mary so I thought it would be a better idea. It was a wonderful idea, I loved the experience and if anything it’s encouraged me to apply to Queen Mary’s.

The people there were absolutely amazing. I couldn’t express how amazing they were. The lecturers were wonderful too, they were fun and enthusiastic about what they taught and someone loving what they teach makes me actually love the subject too. Ironically, my favourite lecture was the statistics lecture but statistics is actually my least favourite module but I saw the passion my lecturer had for the subject and I found my enjoying it.

(I also found out the boards that go up to the ceiling are real!)

Queen Mary is definitely a university I am applying to because I just loved everything about it.

Royal Holloway

Royal Holloway was the prettiest place I have ever been, their architecture was something to be proud of and it was absolutely gorgeous. If you thought Oxford’s architecture was amazing, Royal Holloway’s main building was out of this world. However, Royal Holloway isn’t an ideal university for someone, like me, to study mathematics.

The first lecture was based on juggling, and how maths based juggling actually is. I found this lecture quite enjoyable as the person giving the lecture was funny. However, once we got to smaller group sessions I wanted to sleep and if they were the actual lecturers in the school, it wouldn’t be a university I would enjoy attending.

Overall, I would say Royal Holloway isn’t the place for me and I didn’t find this experience enjoyable or memorable so I’m probably ruling this university off my list of options.

University College London

There are highs and lows of each university some may outweigh the others. UCL is a dream for me, to get into UCL would mean the world and I would become a happy girl.

UCL is an amazing university, the student who gave us a tour did a great job, she was friendly and kind. She did such a great job of the tour and explanantions that I loved UCL. She brought us everywhere, from UCL Union, Gym, Theatre and the main building (which I adore, the architecture is beautiful).

The masterclass that I attended was based on statistics and to an extent I loved the style of teaching at UCL. i have to admit that the room that I was in was actually pretty impressive. It wasn’t all that special but to me it was actually pretty cool! 

However, the one thing that made me a tiny bit unsure about the university was the arrogance presented by some staff there. They may not have meant it to come of as arrogance but the fact that I sensed arrogance was the issue. Other than Oxford is – I mean – Oxford. The difference between UCL and Oxford was the air of arrogance that some UCL staff carried and when I mean some I actually only mean one but what’s stopping alot of other people being arrogant when one is arrogant, I mean you only get arrogance if you are around a sea of arrogance. Oxford, a top class university and famous world wide, you’d expect them to carry at least some arrogance but when I went there I felt none but at UCL I didn’t like the fact they were so arrogant, I mean they have the right to but I still didn’t like it.

Before visiting UCL I was 100% sure that going there would be the best thing that would happen to me but after attending this masterclass it has actually made me a little unsure about attending such a university. However, other than that I still do want to go to UCL just maybe not as much as before.

I have only visited these universities so far and I am really hoping to visit Kings College London soon where I’ll be hoping to apply. So these are a summary of my opinion on universities and these are only my opinions so I can’t say that everyone will think this way. My cousin loved UCL as he attended and he enjoyed every second of it so it is different for different people.

– H.E