Friday, 30 March 2012

Replying

Well, it's finally happened. I've received all my responses from universities, and I've selected my 'Firm' and 'Insurance' choices. Really, the only thing left is exams - if it's possible to say 'only' about exams...

I applied to universities via UCAS on October 7th and I got my fourth and fifth replies this week, about 5 months later, days before the provisional deadline. That's fair enough, the universities have in several cases thousands of applications to sort through for individual courses. I was lucky enough to hear from my Firm early on, so I was luckier than many of the people around the country who will have been kept waiting until this point to hear from their Firm choices, and perhaps might have to wait until early May.

One university I replied to sent me emails every few months informing me that 'my application is still under consideration.' After the initial panic attack that comes from seeing an email from a prospective university in your inbox, I guess it is good to receive assurances that your application hasn't been lost amongst the hundreds of others they must be looking over!

Another thing that has been great is when universities get immediately involved as soon as you get an offer. Receiving an email or a letter with leaflets along with the UCAS update is really nice, along with invitations to offer holder open days. I know these things are sent out to all offer holders, but it gives you a sense that the university cares about you and, if you were to pick them as your Firm, wants to get involved straight away to ensure that the transition from school to higher education is as easy and exciting as possible.

Anyway, replying. I got my final reply two days ago, but waited a little while before finally taking the plunge and choosing my firm and insurance. Five months of twiddling my thumbs meant I knew what I was going to do dependent on the replies from the last two unis, but I wanted to think to myself again to make sure I knew I was making the right choices. That, and I guess I was a little scared as well! Once you have all 5 replies, UCAS Track gets a little box on the left hand side informing you that you must reply to your unis by a certain date. The penalty for not replying by that date is that all your offers get automatically rejected. So, it's important to get your replies in on time, that's for certain...!

Once on Track, you click on 'Choices' and then 'Reply to Offers' at the bottom. Drop-down boxes then appear beside the unis you have received offers from, saying Firm, Insurance, or Decline. I selected my Firm, my Insurance, declined the others, then spent about 5 minutes checking and rechecking that I'd not made some sort of embarrassing technical error that would result in me rejecting the lot. Don't worry, it isn't hard technically, but I guess when so much is riding on it, you're going to be worried even if it is really simple! Finally, I sent them off, and then went back on Track not many minutes later just to make sure that I had actually replied properly!

Well, that's over then, and it's been an eclectic mix of emotions along the way. What next? We've just broken up for the Spring holidays, so I guess revision will begin pretty soon (ha ha). I'll continue posting about things like open days and all of that, because while the application process may be over, I still feel very very far away from actually going to university! As always, if you have any comments or queries, leave them below and I'll get back to you asap.

Emma

No comments:

Post a Comment