UCAS: What a relief?

Posted on: 11/11/2009

By Sam Hilton

Now UCAS is done and dusted, supposedly, but was the rush all worth it? For weeks, everyone has been rushing around to meet the UCAS deadline, checking their personal statements several million times to make sure they fit the word count, and portray what they wanted. Seriously, how many drafts of that personal statement did I do? A ridiculous amount, that’s what.

In and out of the careers library nearly every day up to ‘deadline’ day! I suppose, now all we can do is wait for those crucial offers to come through (hopefully)! Several people I know are already receiving offers from their top choice universities, I just hope that will happen to me fairly soon!

One friend has already had offers from four of his five choices! (but he did get his UCAS in a lot earlier than me…..) It is so nerve-racking waiting and waiting for those offers that will determine your future. STRESS!!! No I’m fairly calm about it, I just want to get into my top choice univeristy more than the others.

What is it with the whole UCAS tariff points? Can’t they just say what grades they want, and work for them, instead of trying to work it out, which is just confusing? Quite a few people I know aren’t even bothering with the whole university thing, which can be understandable, considering the rush to get the crucial UCAS form finished. And others can’t be bothered to get their UCAS in for the internal deadline, because they feel that whenever they get it in, it will be done, and they will get a place at the university of their choice.

I don’t know if I agree, it is slightly optimistic, but some of it can be seen as true. Does it really need to be in sooooo early? The university deadline is not until January…I know many people who haven’t met this deadline, and their UCAS is more like a work in progress, than a finished piece of art!

Many people, including myself, felt the pressure through the rush of UCAS, but I did leave it a bit late. Also, personal statements are a monster to write, you have to portray that you love the course, and want to do it, but don’t waffle, and keep in the 47 line limit. Mine needed cutting down considerably.

So by getting it in early, I hope I will get those offers ASAP. But just as I am writing this, I have to change it again… When can I put UCAS into the back of my memory for a while and concentrate on the many pieces of coursework I have to do? I do respect the UCAS system, and how it is an easier way to apply, but it is slightly thrown at you, when you are not quite prepared.

Despite the rush for the UCAS deadline, I can’t wait to go to university. It should be good, hopefully, but I’m taking a gap year first, to raise some money so then I can actually get to the universities that I’ve applied for and I need the grades, obviously. So I hope all this UCAS is finally over!

What do you think? Is the internal deadline, just a bit too early? Is there any point to UCAS and university? Add your comment below.


2 Responses to "UCAS: What a relief?"

i think it’s all pointless. Writing a personal statement was torture, they all end up looking the same and I don’t think you can even tell that much about the applicant, because a person of bad character is hardly going to write ‘I am really beastly’ because they know they won’t get in!! I hated having to sell myself and imply how ‘amazing’ I think I am for 750 words!

I am a person who has always committed [or over-committed] to extra-curricular activites, and I had to chose which ones to mention, but so many people I know just made it all up!!

It is especially frustrating that people who chose to be ‘economical with the truth’ cannot necessarily be discovered to be lying because so few institutions offer interviews now.

I was quite stressed during the week of the internal deadline, and a lot of teachers were stressing to us about it all, and then when some students missed lessons to go and work on their UCAS applications the teachers looked miffed: ‘Why?? It’s only an internal deadline!’

Perhaps one day when I graduate with a good degree level from my chosen institution [Cardiff/Royal Holloway for Criminology and Sociology] I will think differently of the whole system, but for now, I think it is terrible!

Finally done! I agree partially with you – The stress , the personal statement was just a nightmare to write and i produced several drafts as well before I was satisfied. Having to check it a million times and waking up every morning having that personal statement dominating your thoughts was really quite stressing! However I do understand the reason the whole purpose of this and I’m sure for those of you who really put an effort in you will hopefully get into your chosen university. So it IS hard work I agree but it’s only for the best of our future, making sure the ones who work hard get into the right unis , is just crucial. Now just sent off my ucas , and that was a relief – now it’s just coping with the double amount of stress that will stay with me until i get my offers! Looking foward to it!

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