12th June 2018
Reflective activities to support university choice
By Barbara Bassot
Many students say that the process of university choice is challenging and here are some of the reasons why:
1. It’s complex – thinking about which university a student may want to go to involves lots of different things, such as where to study, what to study.
2. It’s time consuming – it takes up a lot of time, and usually needs to be done when students have a lot of academic work to do as well.
3. It’s stressful – the process has key deadlines that must be met to ensure the student’s success. Deadlines have the horrible habit of creeping up on us when we put things off!
4. It’s a big thing – at the last count there were approximately 37,000 different courses on offer at universities in the UK alone! The amount of information available can soon make students feel that they have ‘information overload’.
5. It might be the first big decision they have made about their future – most of us make decisions by looking back at our previous experiences and evaluating them. With our first big decision that just isn’t possible.
6. It can be scary – many students worry about making a mistake and choosing the wrong thing.
7. It forces students to think about change – most of us are ‘creatures of habit’ and prefer things to stay as they are. If they’re happy at the moment, they might be excited about the future or they may not want things to change. Even if they dislike what they are doing now, this is often better than reaching out into the unknown.
8. It’s a key part of their career development – this means it’s abstract and can be difficult to imagine.
But, with the right help and support, students will be able to make positive choices that will help them to take some steps forward towards their futures. Support your students to make informed decisions through a set of reflective activities, which you can download for free when you sign up to our Careers Leader Update newsletter here. (If you’re already signed up, it’s in your June newsletter or on the ‘Free resources’ web page).
Barbara Bassot is a careers adviser and expert in reflective practice. She is the author of The University Choice Journal (9781911067641).
To win a FREE signed copy of the journal, tweet your best tip for students considering their uni options! Tweet before 30.06.18, include @TrotmanEd and the hashtag #unichoicecomp and we will select the best tip!
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