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University choices

ForestWitchForestWitch Posts: 42 The answer to life, the universe, and everything

So a while ago i posted on here about being unsure about my uni choices. And well it's happening again.

A quick run down for context...
I was going to do psych, then realised that i thought it would make me miserable so had a mini panic for days about what i wanted to do with my life. Then i thought i liked archaeology and anthropology most importantly the course at Oxford which is early entry. This was about 2 weeks before the entry deadline. I told my school they were all good with it and told me to write a new finished personal statement by the end of the week. I didn't do that. Because from that day on when it was all final i freaked out and when looking more into the subject (which i hadn't done before) realised i had make a decision on a fluke. So i went back and changed my mind again. And because i had no idea with what i wanted to do i went back to psychology. However, this time the teacher who helps with UCAS asked me if i still wanted to apply to oxford. So i said might as well. Which pretty much brings us to now.

I've sent in my applications, have 3 offers, have done the TSA for oxford and am waiting to see if i get interviewed. But, i don't think i want to do psychology anymore.

As a person i need a plan or else i freak out and breakdown especially with big life plans like this. I feel like i rushed myself into going back to psychology rather than looking more into my interest because i was having these existential breakdowns every day whenever i would think about my future.

However, i think i know what i want to do which is Liberal Arts. As a person who both is incredibly indecisive but also likes a plan (and any essay based humanities subject which lets me argue my point) i think the flexibility it offers is super amazing. But all the places i would apply i didn't before and I've read a bunch of places that once you've applied you cannot withdraw and then re-apply within the same academic cycle. And a gap year just simply isn't an option for me.

I haven't told the school any of this because i feel bad that I've already changed my mind a million times. The other issue is Oxford. Because i really want to go there and the more i look into it the more i think i do. I don't want to loose an amazing opportunity if i were to get in. I've pretty much decided that if i get rejected (which is should find out in the next 2 weeks) then i will most likely try to apply to liberal arts instead.

So the main question here is does anyone know how i could apply if I've already applied for something else? In this situation i would withdraw my application to all of the psychology places so it's not like I'll have two different applications going at the same time.

Any help would be amazing, i really do not know what to do :)


  • BrookeeBrookee East Midlands Posts: 947 Part of The Mix Family
    @ForestWitch Hello!

    I'm so sorry that you're going through such a stressful time at the moment! Picking university courses is such a complex and confusing time, and there's so much unneeded pressure from schools. I understand it can be very difficult to deal with situations without a plan in place.

    I am wondering whether you've thought about speaking to your teacher, they may be able to help you with this. There may be a way they can change your UCAS application. If that isn't the case, do any of the universities you've applied for offer Liberal Arts as a course? I think it's possible to switch courses, but I cannot be totally sure.

    Please remember that your feelings are completely valid, and this is a big decisions and it's okay if you've changed your mind over and over again. At the end of the day it's about what you want to do, and it's better you change your mind over and over than do something you dislike or feel wouldn't make you happy.

    I would strongly suggest speaking with your teacher if that's a viable option for you, and discuss this with them, as they will have more knowledge around UCAS. If this isn't an option for you (which is totally okay!) do you think it's possible for you to get in contact with someone from UCAS? They will be able to guide you on how you can possibly change courses if that's something you want to do.

    Sending you all the love and positive vibes!
  • ForestWitchForestWitch Posts: 42 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    Hi @Brookee

    Thank you this is super helpful. Only one of my university choices has a liberal arts course that i would want to apply to. Which is good, but it's also super competitive.

    I might try to get into contact with someone from UCAS to see if hypothetically this is even possible. I've been thinking of potentially writing a new personal statement in the next 2 weeks in order to have something to show my teacher who helps with UCAS if i do go through with this. Overall, I'm just really trying to wait until i get either rejected or invited to an interview at Oxford to really have a good think about it.

    And yes schools absolutely put too much pressure on students. I really regret not being forced to look into more options than psychology as i was so seemingly sure of my choice at the end of Y12.

    Hopefully i will pluck up the courage to talk to a teacher soon :)

    Thank you, you've been super helpful :):)
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 1,186 Wise Owl
    It might be good to note that some subjects allow you to choose multiple classes so you wouldn't just be doing one subject (I think the only exceptions are dental and medical degrees!).

    My uni (University of Glasgow) allowed me to have my main degree course which I've actually changed from a single honours to a joint honours degree. I could've changed to a single honours of my other subject and dropped the one I was accepted into totally.

    To explain that visually I did -
    1st year - English lit, theatre studies, English language
    2nd year - English lit, theatre studies, astronomy
    Now 3rd year - theatre studies, English lit at honours.

    I was accepted solely on an English lit degree.

    It might be worthwhile seeing if this is an option.
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  • adamscott0719adamscott0719 Posts: 4 Newbie
    I had a dreadful time on my undergrad music course because the lecturers were only interested in their narrow research activities, and couldn't be bothered with teaching/ students/ anyone but themselves basically. They even sent the quality control people round, but they were just lecturers from other unis and there was a whole lot of mutual back scratching going on - they got an excellent! Anyone can put on a good open day, but definitely try to get the views of past and current students (and not just the ones they pick to meet potential new students). Good luck!
  • ForestWitchForestWitch Posts: 42 The answer to life, the universe, and everything

    Hi that sounds really good. I'll definitely have a look and see if any of the places i've currently applied to would allow me to do that.

    Thank you :)
  • BrookeeBrookee East Midlands Posts: 947 Part of The Mix Family
    @ForestWitch Of course, anything I can do to help! I understand, university is a difficult thing to navigate.

    I think that sounds like a really good option for you, of course take it at your own pace. I know it can be very overwhelming figuring out these decisions, hopefully someone at UCAS can be of help to you! I think that's really smart to start another one in case you end up switching courses. However, don't put too much pressure on yourself, you're doing incredibly, and I know how exhausting personal statements can be, try and be gentle with yourself. You really are doing amazing!

    I understand completely! That environment is not ideal at all when trying to make a decision about your future but you should be so proud of yourself for all you've achieved thus far.

    Take your time, and ask when you're ready.

    Be kind to yourself, sending you lots of love!
  • La_LaLa_La PLANET MARSPosts: 152 Helping Hand
    Hello, @ForestWitch how are things going? University courses are definitely a difficult challenge, and it can be very intense how schools and unis allow such a short timeframe for applications. I believe it is totally valid to change the course you would like to do, and hopefully there will be ways for you to arrange this with staff.
    I hope things are okay. The other suggestions here are really awesome. I'd like to add just one more suggestion- when choosing your course, I would certainly recommend checking the differences between each uni's syllabus and comparing pros and cons for each uni's course; so then you can find the Liberal Arts course that you like the most.
    I hope this is okay advice. I was once blindsided by this, and picked the wrong course for one of my honors.

    I wish you all the best with your endeavors!
    ~ Dreamer ~
  • gurpreetbgurpreetb Posts: 5 Confirmed not a robot
    I’m a third year psychology student and have been where you are at. It can be overwhelming but it’s important to get as much information as you can. You can always chat to students on the courses your interested in who will give you a good insight as to what to expect.
    Definitely go in with an unbiased opinion as anything can surprise you and interest you . Like the suggestion above, look into what each course offers in terms of is it all coursework based, exam only ect.
    Best of luck
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 1,022 Wise Owl
    Hi @ForestWitch

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Please know it's totally okay to feel indecisive. Like you say, it's a big thing, and there definitely is a pressure for students to know what they want to do even when they haven't really had the time to think. So, I think the fact you are taking this time now and really reflecting and working on your next steps is great. I'm proud of you :heart:

    You mentioned trying to talk to someone to UCAS. I think that sounds like a great option. I bet they get lots of students asking similar questions :blush: It would be fab to hear how you get on if you do speak to somebody.

    Another thing. I did Psychology and quite a few people switched courses in their first year. We also had people join us from other courses. So if you did start somewhere and there was another course at that uni that you'd prefer, that is normally an option you can look into. This flexibility helped to take the pressure off me a bit when I was choosing my course :blush:

    Best of luck with everything :heart:
  • oliviac4oliviac4 Posts: 6 Confirmed not a robot
    I completely understand how you're feeling and I know the pressure of wanting to making the right decision for you can be pretty overwhelming. Have you tried contacting your teachers and maybe discussing this with them? If you feel uncomfortable doing this or have tried it before, maybe talking to the National Careers Service would be a good idea? You can arrange a phone appointment with them and they don't have too long of a wait time - they're pretty good at helping you through these decisions. Perhaps going to some open days or events would help you to get a good feel of what it'd be like to study Liberal Arts.

    I agree that there's always the option to switch courses early on when you start if you really don't like it. I hope everything works out for you and I think the fact you're trying to get in contact with people who can help is a really good start! It's okay to not know but hopefully getting some more information will help you out.

    Good luck with university!
  • ForestWitchForestWitch Posts: 42 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    @Brookee @Anch0r33 @La_La @gurpreetb @coc0mac @oliviac4

    Hi everyone i just wanted to say thank you for all your help!

    I did some more research and i will most likely in the next week be trying to apply for Social sciences/Liberal arts using UCAS extra if i can. I'm currently just writing a personal statement so i don't freak out my poor teacher when i tell her.

    However, if this doesn't work out i have had some conversations with my mother about taking a gap year. And i went for a long walk around where i live (not at all when i was supposed to be doing school work) to try to figure things out and see if i could put up with living here for another year. I might not want to do it but i don't think it would be the worst thing in the world if it does happen.

    So thank you! You've all been super lovely :)))
  • La_LaLa_La PLANET MARSPosts: 152 Helping Hand
    That's great news!! <3 I wish you all the best, hope everything goes well.
    ~ Dreamer ~
  • BrookeeBrookee East Midlands Posts: 947 Part of The Mix Family
    @ForestWitch That's so fantastic to hear! Thanks so much for keeping us updated!

    I'm really pleased you've found what's best for you! I hope it goes really well, and remember we're always here if you ever need anything!

    Sending lots of love <3
  • Ed_Ed_ Posts: 815 Super Moderator
    @ForestWitch - it's great that you have been giving yourself the time and space to work through your different options and to allow yourself to focus on what feels best for you. It's a really tricky time with so many different choices.

    Reading through the thread, it looks like some really good conversations about different options, it may also be worth taking a look at clearing/adjustment. I know quite a few people that didn't actually apply until the summer once they had their results, it certainly makes it a lot easier when you know what grades you have and what their entry requirements are. I guess as others have said, it's important to hold on to the fact that no decision at this stage is permanent, if you get to next summer with a place at uni, you don't have to take it if you decide it isn't the right course or the right uni.
    "Don't let them paint you gray. They're gonna see you're somebody, somewhere, someday. Don't ever let them take your playful heart away. Oh you're somebody nobody could replicate" ~ Roo Panes
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