Starting October, my decision of continuing my studies at a university in the UK had already been taken. Reaching this decision was not that difficult as from my point of view, its benefits outweighed any disadvantages. However, taking this decision required confirmation firstly from my parents and secondly from my mentors. This was necessary as I believed that the success of my application was dependent on having the support of the people I look up to. Thus, it enabled me to invest 100% of my efforts into being accepted to study any of the five degrees I would have decided apply to.
If you are wondering how both my family and I mutually agreed on this decision then you should know that I had thoroughly discussed the opportunity of studying in UK with my family a few months prior to applying. Most of the discussion points were around the following topics: leaving my home town and my home country, my ability to quickly adapt to the British culture and to the multinational environment fostered within any university campus, the predictable and unpredictable financial costs which would be incurred throughout my studies and my career opportunities after finishing the undergraduate studies. Drafting a list of terms and conditions on the above topics together with my parents (negotiation skills involved!) enabled me to move onto the next stage: after much study and information gathering on my options, it was about time that I incorporated these into the application form.
There are two important sections in the application form on which I decided to spend more time in order to be considered an ideal candidate for any of the degrees I planned to apply to. The first one refers to the personal statement which needs to be uploaded onto the application platform, while the second consists of two reference letters which are required by any university in order for the application to be considered.
While at that time I still had to cut down on the number of preferred universities I would have liked to apply to, I had already restricted the fields of study I was interested in. Therefore, I believed that I had all that I needed in order to write a first draft of my personal statement. Generally, this should reflect both the motivation of continuing your academic studies in UK and interest in the chosen areas of study. Moreover, it should also highlight why you deserve a place onto that programme and how you can benefit from it further down your career path. Including any relevant volunteering and work experience will only reinforce your statements as they would provide credibility on your interests and ambition, enabling the admission team to decide whether you should be offered a place or not.
Last but not least, the other important aspect I dealt with consists of the two reference letters which also need to be uploaded onto the application platform. As mentioned above, taking the decision to study in UK also required support and guidance from people I look up to. A few of these include my academic high school teachers. As I already had a strong relationship with these people, they knew me well enough in order to form an objective opinion on my academic performance and the way I work my way towards success. This made them suitable people in further recommending me to any of the university I meant to apply to. Therefore, the next step was to approach these people, check whether they would be willing to provide references on me and if their reply was a positive one, let them know the deadline and clarify any of their enquiries.
Early October was indeed the right time to start putting some effort into the application process and work towards making my dream of studying in UK a tangible one, step by step, and I would suggest you start around this time as well.