University Open Days: The Lockdown Experience

Lockdown has been a blessing and a curse for uni open days. If you want to know more about the lockdown experience and some tips I’ve got for anyone looking at unis too, read on!

The Positives

Let’s start off with the good bits, shall we?

  • More time

We have more than one afternoon to look around a uni, since you can still look at the website after open days, and a lot of open days are more like open weeks or even open months! It’s made me look much more closely at each university, and given me a chance to look at everything: the course, accommodation, night life and student experience, sport, societies and everything else.

  • More unis

There’s so many unis to look at! Normally, I would have only been able to visit a few unis, so I would have stuck to the most well known ones. Now, I’ve discovered some great unis for me that I would have never thought of before.

The Negatives

Of course, there’s got to be a downside…

  • Just being there!

Looking at the campus online just isn’t the same as being there in person. The city, campus and feel of the university are all really important to me so it’s definitely been a struggle to recreate that sitting at my desk or lying in bed!

  • Talking directly to staff and students

Every uni has been really good about any questions I’ve had, and sharing the student experience, but again, it’s not the same as directly talking to staff and students on the day.



Here’s a few things that have been working for me!

  • Scrutinise the course

Like I said, we’ve got much more time to look at the course in depth. I’m very picky about what I want to study, so it’s really helped to look at the course structure and modules I can study each year. Look for modules you really want to study, or the length (some are split into 2 or 3 semesters, or over the whole year), or how your compulsory modules. Also have a look at the subject department and get a feel for their expertise and favourite subjects.

  • Don’t worry about rankings

Rankings are obviously there for a reason, but they can be misleading and definitely don’t mean that lower ranked unis are bad. It depends on you: your course, your environment and what you want to get out of the uni. At first, I was only looking at the top ranked unis, but I quickly found that some of those unis weren’t right for me at all. Ranking isn’t everything!

  • Prioritise

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of universities, but one way to stop this is think about what you really want. Make a list of what you want to look for: location, entry requirements, scholarships, nightlife, course etc. Then it will be easier to look around unis and decide on them if you’re looking for something specific.


Thanks for reading! What do you think about online open days?




  1. I can’t imagine having to do this during lockdown. I definitely agree with taking your time and going with your gut on this. I personally made the wrong choice initially because my secondary school was a feeder to that University and it was commutable from home (couldn’t afford halls/accommodation). I should have chosen my Uni based on my course and reputation of that uni for that course (if you weren’t engineering or sports they really didn’t care much). Despite it being messy at the time I did transfer out during my second year and finished my degree somewhere else and it was absolutely the right choice but I wish I hadn’t had to do that at all.

    Hope you can narrow down soon and it’s not too hard a decision!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s