June 2013: To the Future…!

So, here’s another monthly update, actually written around a year after the event! I’ll try to make it brief, especially as you’ve already had the account of my 9 month post-op appointment (note to self: write that post!).  

June 2013 was quite a chilled month – exams had finished in May and although we had to go back to college to start A2 work, we can’t learn too much because we’ll all just forget it! There was therefore much more focus on ‘the future’ and what we were going to do after A Levels. For me, this was university and it was open day season. I’d already attended a UCAS convention in March (not massively useful because it’s too busy, but there are a lot of free pens and bags) and I’d got a shortlist of universities consisting of about 10.  

As you know (unless I forgot to write about it!), I had gone to see Royal Holloway in March. I was not content with just seeing it once though, and on Tuesday 18th June I went back again for a University of London Taster Course. It was called New Perspectives on History and consisted of 4 lectures, a Q&A session and free tea and coffee. It was a great day and I learned a lot about some more obscure historical events. By the time I post this, the 2014 courses will have passed, but if you will be in Year 12 in the summer of 2015 I definitely recommend that you check out the website (http://www.london.ac.uk/tasters) and sign up for a course that interests you – did I mention it was free?! 

OK, my next university visit was to Warwick. This was one of the furthest away universities we visited, so we went up the night before and stayed in a Travelodge. After a good night’s sleep and a cooked breakfast (always check if your Travelodge does a proper breakfast!), we drove to the Park and Ride and then got on the bus to the campus. They were very welcoming and the campus was great: there was a theatre/cinema on site, massive bookshop, lots of eateries, a supermarket, the list could go on! Writing this makes me want to go there! Except the course was not what I wanted – it’s one of the only courses that just focuses on modern and early-modern history and after my taster course experience I wanted the opportunity to study a wider period of time. The journey home also massively put me off – we ended up in a long queue coming on to the M25 which delayed us so much that my parents missed the concert they had planned to go to, which was the reason we were coming home in the first place (we would otherwise have visited Birmingham the following day)! 

Our next trip to university was to Reading, which was the next day after Warwick. We drove up quite early and arrived in plenty of time – we toured the rather nice student union before going to our first talk on student life. Then it was on to more talks and tours, a nice bag with free chocolate and water as well as a free pen and pencil case, and a look round the accommodation, which was almost identical to Holloway! We also had a taster lecture on the Russian Revolution (would’ve been really useful a month earlier!) and a Panini in the café with Starbucks Coffee and overlooking the showcase Quidditch match.  

We had around a week’s respite from visits and then it was off to Nottingham, the furthest away option on my list. The journey up was relatively hassle free until it came to finding the Travelodge, which was on Riverside Retail Park, and at first we ended up in a lorry park but then we were on some sort of one way system. Anyway, we finally found the Travelodge, which was hidden behind a large hedge or something. The next morning we drove the mile to the University and parked up in a field. To be honest I can barely remember Nottingham, as although it was a lovely campus, it was too far away from home! The accommodation was a bit rubbish compared to the other places I’d visited too, However, I did have an interesting taster seminar on Prostitution in the Middle Ages and we had a nice Costa outside the bookshop (had a bit of a wait for it though!), as well as visiting the onsite Boots.  

So, I think that’s it for June 2013, so I will leave it for today and return tomorrow with something about July 2013! 

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