I can’t believe that I can finally say that after 4 long years studying Marketing & Advertising Management at Leeds Beckett University, I have sat my final exam, handed in my final assignment and I am done!

Don’t get me wrong, uni has been great, but I am so ready to leave!

So if you’re thinking about applying to uni, starting in September or just interested in what I have to say, here’s a list of the things I have learned; I hope you can learn or relate.

Don’t feel pressured into moving away from home

Like many now, I decided to stay at home and commute to uni. I didn’t do this because I was afraid of moving away from home, the course was right for me and I was happy at home. My brother was also a student at Leeds Beckett University (then Leeds Met), so it was an easy option to follow in his footsteps. Leeds is also the second best place for marketing in the U.K. behind London, so why not stay local?

By staying at home, it also allowed me to carry on working part-time, so I was fortunate to be saving whilst studying, unlike most students. A student loan is also the cheapest loan you will ever receive, so I applied for the full maintenance loan, which I have managed to save and it will ultimately fund my trip to Australia next year!

I always get asked ‘do you not think you’ve missed out on the proper uni experience?’ In all honesty, yes, I do think I have slightly missed out. However, this was the right decision for me and I will most certainly stand by that as I’m travelling down the east coast of Australia!!

Be social

The thing I found out very quickly is that socially, uni is so different to school, sixth form or college. It may have just been my course, but I found it to be extremely ‘clicky’. Everyone is in their own little groups and not much is exchanged between each group. I learnt last week from a few friends that I was the first person they spoke to at uni, which felt nice as I must have been relatively social (whereas at the time I felt like the commuting recluse!!) Fortunately, I made friends with other commuters and we have stuck together throughout the four years and they are most certainly friends for life!

Going into final year, I had full intentions of joining the volleyball team. It’s safe to say that with the amount of work in final year, plus my part-time marketing executive job, I did not have the time! I do regret not joining any societies or sports teams though, so I would definitely recommend doing so!

Apply for a work placement 

The main reason why I chose my course was because it was a ‘sandwich’ course, so it offered the opportunity to carry out a year’s work placement in third year. I was so fortunate to secure a placement with Disney Destinations International as a Travel Industry Marketing Intern. As mentioned, I stayed at home for uni, however I always said to myself that ‘if I stay at home for uni, i will move away for my placement’. So, as scary as it was, I took the plunge and off I went to London for a year! I was so so lucky as my best friend from home also got a placement in London, so we lived together with her other friend from Liverpool University, in a brand-new apartment. Although pricey, we loved it!

So if I could give you any advise for uni, it would be to go on placement. It was honestly the best year of my life without a shadow of a doubt! I was able to work for the worlds largest entertainment company, get paid to go to Disneyland Paris on numerous occasions and most of all, meet some of the most amazing people. So much so that I’m even going on holiday this summer and then travelling Australia with two other Disney interns, who quickly grew into being two of my best friends.

So, if you’re not as bothered about moving away from home like I wasn’t, you can definitely experience a snippet of the ‘uni experience’ if you move away for placement.

I hope this post has been helpful – even if it helps one person, I’ll be over the moon! I’ll keep you updated with my final results and I’ll be back with a post about my graduation day! Which reminds me…I need to find a dress. Any suggestions, send them my way!

Soph xx

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