Spring in to action...


It's open day season at unis this month and bestCourse4me has the low-down on how to get the most out of an open day. And what’s more, we tell you all about the different things students get up to when they aren’t studying.

This month
What to think about if you're in year 12

People sometimes forget that going to uni is about more than just getting a degree. Even if you spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week studying (a decent amount by any standards), then that means you’ll spend more than two thirds of your time at uni not studying. So what are you going to do with all that time? Yes, some of it will be sleeping, eating and washing. But what else?
Getting involved with activities and sharing interests means you avoid friction burns on your thumbs from twiddling them too much. You also get to make friends and hang out with them, and you get to try new things many of which may prove useful. If you're doing a degree in maths, for example, but fancy some management experience, get involved with a society where you can organise events. As well as being fun, this sort of thing can improve your career chances almost as much as your studies.
There’s a conveyor belt of opportunities offered by uni, both fun and serious, such as student theatre, student newspapers, faith groups, student politics, film watching, film making, work experience, forming a band, going to gigs, sports teams from football, rowing and rugby to skydiving and ultimate frisbee (it's a real thing, look it up).
Whatever rattles your maracas, there’ll be people you can do it with and a uni where you can do it. But beware, you won’t be able to do it at every uni. 

It's just as important to think about what you want to do as a career and how your uni can help you get there, it’s as important to think about what you want to do in your spare time and how and whether your uni will help you do it. And there's no better time to look than now, we've just updated our website and app so all of the information on our A level, course, university and career tabs has the latest data available. 

What to think about if you're in year 13
It’s not a good idea to make your decisions without having visited your unis first. Now, we realise you’ve made all of your choices already. We also know you may not have visited them all. You probably didn't have time. That's fine, now's your chance to see the rest.
Even if you've already been, you could do worse than go back for another look. You get a different perspective on a return visit and it can help cement your choice, especially if you’re juggling offers and trying to decide. 
Unis usually hold several official open days a year, but you don’t have to wait for one to visit – most unis are happy for you to come at any time of year. Some will ask that you let them know and it's only polite. Besides, they may be able to help you get the most out of your visit. 
Open days involve a bunch of talks and presentations by lecturers and other staff, as well as campus tours, usually by current students. It's good to get an overview, but it's also worth breaking away to have a bit of a nose around yourself and see what's most important to you. If you're still having trouble separating the best from the rest, then bC4me can help, allowing you to look again at the courses and directly compare where they might take you.
Don't just think about what they're most proud to show you. Ask yourself how you'll make use of what's here and what you'll need to call it home.

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Browse our brilliant blogs
It’s an exciting time at the bC4me blog, not only have we go all of our usual great great team of student bloggers giving advice on A-level choicespersonal statements but we've just added some great blogs on the top lifetime careers and salaries for history and sociology graduates. If all else fails, why not explore the archive.
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In the news
Teacher strike - what's it all about?
Did any of your teachers strike on Tuesday 15th? 1000s of teacher in sixth forms all over England did and many marched to the Houses of Parliament trying to get the attention of the Education Secretary. It was all because of funding cuts to colleges and sixth forms that the National Union of Teachers believes may eventually force many colleges to close altogether. The BBC reported mainly about the disruption it caused to classes, whereas FE Week talked a little more around the subject.

If you're feeling particularly stressed out this March, and the thought of Easter eggs round the corner isn't calming you down, then maybe you should think about adding in moments of rest during your day. Now, hold on, this is different to staying in bed and calling it 'rest' — it's a technique called ‘mindfulness’ and lots of people are raving about it. The BBC reported about the use of these techniques particularly in primary schools increased concentration levels in some students, but why don't you make your mind up yourself and try out these six tips here too see if it works for you. 
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