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Former Head Girl Eve gives advice to Sixth Formers

Former Head Girl, Eve Hunt, came back in to school earlier this month to speak to our Sixth Formers about life after WGHS and studying at Exeter University (a very popular choice for our girls). Here was her Q & A session:

What tips would you give on how to pick a university?

Obviously, you have to look at which universities offer the course you want to do but then I would decide if you want a campus university or not. I am on campus for example, and if I have a lecture at 9am I can literally make it even if I wake up at 8.45! A friend of mine whose university is split across a number of sites has to be a lot more organised as lectures are a 40-minute walk for her!

I was set on going to Oxford but when I went to have a look around, I changed my mind so definitely get out to the open days. Also, try to talk to students as they will be more honest.

Also, you need to decide on what is important to you. I wasn’t looking for a place with lots of night life so Exeter suits me but again you should have a think about what factors are important for you.

Can you give us some revision tips?

Try to replicate exam conditions at home. Also, make use of your free lessons. It is tempting to sit around with friends during free lessons, but you will regret that later on. Finally, do lots of timed practise papers!

I don’t recommend you stay up till the early hours!  I always stopped revising by 9.30 and then watched a movie!

I used the Pomodoro method which is an excellent way to revise. It involves working really hard for 25mins then having a 5 mins break to grab a snack or catch up on messages. It worked much better for me than just trying to study for 4 hours straight.


How did you narrow your EPQ down to one question?

First of all, I really recommend everyone does an EPQ – it helped me a lot and some universities will even lower the grades they are asking for if you have done an EPQ. In my case, for the EPQ to lower the grades, my EPQ had to be related to the subject I wanted to study at degree level, so it is worth checking with universities regarding this.


Can you give any tips on how to revise for geography A level?

I recommend you get yourself a big white board/flipchart paper and write out all the facts. Check to see what you’re missing and then do it again.  Its bit of a memory game!

And focus on past papers as the same questions tend to come up just worded slightly differently.


Can you give any tips on how to revise for English Literature A level?

Again, timed practise is really important but in addition to this make sure you make a list of all the themes and put those down on the centre of the page and then put everything you can down that is relevant to that theme including quotes. Flash cards are also really good. I used to put half the quotes on one side of the card and the other half of the quote on the other side!


What was Freshers Week like?

To be honest I was quite nervous about Freshers week as I had heard people drink a lot during Freshers and I am not a heavy drinker but to be honest it wasn’t like that.

It’s a good idea to join as many societies as possible – this is where I made most of my friends.

You often have to pay to join a society especially if they run events. Societies are student led and they need the funding to make the events happen. Most societies ask for a small contribution, my English Society for example is £20/year.

But join as many as you are interested in, it’s a great way to meet people and there is a society for everything!

There are also a lot of taster sessions during Freshers which are useful and quite a lot of students move into accommodation that week too.

Is moving to university like moving house?

Pretty much! I remember it was just me and my dad in the car and even then, I had my legs curled up on the seat for the whole 4-hour journey! I took way too much with me. Don’t make that mistake. Leave some clothes at home for when you go back at weekends/holidays!

I also packed 4 plates, 4 bowls … not sure why! Two would have been plenty! Make sure the things that will stay in communal areas stand out. My cutlery has pink handles which is great otherwise everything just gets mixed up!

Do you feel safe at university?

When I moved in, I was the only one in the house for 12! But there are about 7 doors to get through before you get to my room, so it feels very safe!

How clean are the shared spaces?

The shared kitchens and bathrooms get cleaned once a week. If you have an ensuite you have to clean it yourself, so if you can’t deal with pulling hair out of the drains you might want to go for shared! I’m quite lucky our kitchen is quite clean too but that will be just down to luck! Make sure you look at prices of accommodation.

What happens at Open Days?

They have fairs with all subject areas so you can talk to lecturers. They also organise accommodation tours.

How are you finding the finances?

I have a loan, but I also work 16 hours a week from Fri evening through to Sunday and that gives me a lot more freedom. I have around £100 budget per week. About £30 goes on food and washing is probably the one of my biggest costs as the laundrette is quite expensive. Without a job I would probably have struggled. At my university, they pay students if you allow people to come and view your room so it’s a great way of making a bit of pocket money!  


What is your accommodation like?

I was lucky, I have a decent sized room with a double bed and nice spacious communal area. Don’t worry if you don’t hit it off with your flatmates, I get on with all of mine, but my friends mainly come from the course I was studying and people I met at society events.

Also worth knowing that if you plan to stay out for your second year, in some areas you have to start getting that in order within a couple of months of starting university! It all depends on how much accommodation is available in the area you are looking. One tip with house hunting - look for ones that have bills included!

When did you start to revise for your A Levels?

I got my revision resources together in Year 12, well in advance of Yr13, I recommend you do that as Yr13 comes so fast! I then started to revise around Easter time. With Geography the mini tests really help. Levels are really hard and university is a lot easier so put the effort in now, there is light at the end of the tunnel!


Would you still choose University over an apprenticeship?

I would, I love University life! Also, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do so university is giving me that time to figure things out! My friend is with Cap Gemini and is loving it so it really depends on where you see yourself!

Also, you get longer holidays. A month off for Christmas and long summer holidays too and it’s nice to come home for reading week and get a bit of a break.

What do you love about Exeter?

I love it because it’s quite a small place, its quiet. Also, I am at the beach every weekend with my friends which is great.


What have you learnt about yourself?

I am actually a really good cook and I enjoy having my own space!


How many hours do you have per week?

It varies course to course. Mine is 8 hours contact time per week. I have lectures back-to-back on a Monday and seminars dotted over Wed-Fri. It’s worth knowing that timetables can change term to term.

So, lectures are in a big lecture hall. At Exeter the lectures are also recorded which means it is easy to catch up if you miss a session but check that the provision with universities as not all may provide that.  Seminars are in smaller groups and then everyone has a personal tutor that you can go to anytime. Universities also provide a lot of support services.


Do you get homework?

I don’t get homework but for English I get reading: 2 books per week and 4 articles! I try to keep up with this as you can tell who doesn’t do it as they are unable to contribute to class. Also, there lots of different ways students might be assessed. 10% of my assessment for example is by looking at participation.


Would you recommend going for Head Girl or House captains?

Taking part in these things really help and definitely opens doors for you. The Head Girl team has tasks all year around – tours/assemblies whilst House captains have bigger roles during particular times/Events like HWG, House Arts etc so it’s really just down to what you prefer.

What was your biggest challenge?

The first 2 weeks were the hardest. I really missed my mum and struggled with getting into a routine and getting my washing and cooking done. Now I tend to batch cook and freeze meals so that I am not left struggling.

Thanks so much to Eve for taking the time to come and see us!


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