This month (25th- 26th), the UCAS 2019 Exhibition welcomed young people interested in the route to higher education and apprenticeships.  This led to a sea of 16 – 17 year olds (with sprinklings of eager younger people, still in their school uniforms) from all over the country. Filling ExCel London, they were looking foward to hearing the motivational talks and topical seminars from speakers; including how to make applying to university easier and the challenges you face once you get there. Not only were there speakers, amongst those giving advice were -what it seemed like- countless stalls representing different universities and interacting with attendees. Also, guests like the international company, Google,  were offering information on apprenticeship courses. With all these resources at your fingertips, it would be hard to imagine not getting the utmost from this experience, but I found some challenges.

To all intents and purposes, the exhibition did a good job of informing young people of their options after school. There were lots to do and learn (including 360-degree experiences and workshops) and if you talked to university representatives at the stalls, prepared with specific questions, like the university you wanted to attend and the subjects you planned to study; you would have gained a lot of clarity from event. However, if you were looking for this event to present you with all the information you needed, you would have been bitterly disappointed.

From my experience, there was too much information, with little clarity about what I wanted. As a result, I found it overwhelming and slightly counterproductive. So, if like me you didn’t get the most out of this year’s event, but went home with a tonne of prospectuses, remember that prior preparation is essential. Happy Uni hunting!