The process of applying to universities can be an exciting but daunting task. It requires you to make many important decisions that will impact your future career, so it’s normal to feel under pressure. From finding the right course to meeting your admission requirements, navigating the application process can be overwhelming.

In this article, we discuss the common challenges that students face when applying for university and our top tips on how to overcome them.

Making the right decision

The first thing that’s bound to be on your mind as you transition into further education is deciding on a course and a university. It can be tempting to apply to whichever university your friends are going to, but this often isn’t the best decision.

It’s important to think about what kind of career you’d like to pursue in the future, and which universities offer courses that could get you there. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites that allow you to see the top universities ranked against specific subjects, alongside graduate prospects.

Once you’ve found a few that you like the sound of, consider planning some visits to university open days. This way you can get a feeling for each area, which is vital before you commit to enrolling.

Managing the costs involved

Deciding to go to university is a significant financial commitment. With tuition fees alone costing over £9000 annually, your student loan total will quickly increase over the duration of your course.

Not only that, but you have to consider the other costs involved. Most students typically require a maintenance loan alongside their tuition one, helping to pay for day-to-day living expenses and accommodation. The amount you’ll be offered is based on your parents’ income, so you may struggle if you’re allocated a smaller amount. This could mean taking up part-time work alongside your studies, which is something else you’ll need to be prepared for.

Meeting admission requirements

Perhaps the most stressful element of the application process is meeting the admission requirements. Now that you’ve picked your first choice university, you’ll need to consider what the minimum entry-grade requirements are for your course.

Find out what your current targeted grades are and ask yourself how likely they are to change. Trying to meet unrealistic goals can cause you even more stress during exam season and may even lead to burnout. It could mean that your plans fall apart if you’re unable to meet the requirements, so make sure you think about it properly ahead of time.

What’s right for me?

During this challenging period, it’s important to take the time to focus on your health. Ask yourself what it is that you truly want, and make sure you’re taking these gut feelings into account when making your decision.

If you’re really struggling, consider taking a year out to fully process everything and ensure you make the best choice. Having some extra time can help to relieve the feelings of pressure too, allowing you to better focus on your exams.