When it comes to open days, there are some people who insist you don’t need to go, like my big sister, and some like me, who need to see every campus on their list. Back in 2017 when I was applying to university, I managed to visit every uni I applied to. I would recommend doing this, or at least going to your top two choices, as seeing the campus really can be make or break. For example, when I visited the University of Surrey I realised that it didn’t actually look much like the prospectus and I wouldn’t be happy there.
However, due to the current situation it is difficult, or perhaps even banned, to go to campuses across the country, a task which even in normal circumstances is not accessible to all. So, I would recommend attending online open days, looking at forums such as the Student Room, reaching out to friends and family who may have attended etc. Perhaps even take yourself on a campus tour by dropping your little yellow man into Google Maps.
In my experience, the most important thing about open days is to use them to suss out the vibe of the uni. I know that sounds incredibly wishy washy and hippy but it is super important to figure out how you’d feel living somewhere for the next few years of your life. Try to think if there are things that would make you happy there. For me, this meant green space as I was used to this at home and it was important for my mental health. Luckily, Sheffield has plenty of parks. It’s also a good idea to come with any questions you might have about the course, accommodation etc. as this is probably the easiest and most direct way to get those questions answered.
Overall, open days really helped me narrow down my choices and choose my top choice of uni which luckily was Sheffield!
-Yzzy (English Literature and Hispanic Studies)