12 unexpected things that can happen at University Open Days
Campus tours and course subject talks are a common feature of all University Open Day programmes. But there's a whole load of stuff that can happen on a uni visit that isn't usually advertised in advance. Have any of these happened to you?
No matter how excited you are about seeing your potential university, and how keen you are to make a good impression on your classmates and lecturers, the fact is that Saturday mornings are usually made for sleeping – so missing your alarm or waking up late is actually more common than you think. You might have even been working late the night before or had to get up super early for a bit of a road trip to get here.
Top tip: Try to go to bed early if you can, but if it just doesn’t happen, see our travel advice to help you get here as quick as possible.
"The one day I actually wanted to try and look decent to go to a uni open day and I sleep through my alarm."
"I'm not out of bed yet and I'm leaving for my uni open day in 11 mins."
2) Late nights
Even if you’re super keen to make a good impression, if the house party of the year is taking place after college there will be serious FOMO if you go home early because of your Open Day. You won’t be surprised to see a few other visitors looking a little tired and rough around the edges as you go on your accommodation tour.
Top tip: go to the party, but you won’t miss too much if you don’t stay til the end. If you’re feeling a little tired when you arrive, there’s plenty of coffee outlets on campus for an energy boost.
3) Making a weekend of it
There’s nothing like finding out if a city is for you than testing out what the social life has on offer before you arrive.
Top tip: you don’t have to go on a mad night out with your friends if it’s not your thing, but why not visit some of the city’s top tourist attractions, shopping facilities and restaurants whilst you’re here?
"Supposed to be going to a uni open day tomorrow. Me and my friends are going to explore the nightlife at the same time - why am I like this?"
4) Making the most of a day out with the rents
Whilst exploring the city centre after your Open Day, you might as well drop some hints about needing a new Summer wardrobe. You never know, the bank of mum and dad might be feeling generous.
"Love how a uni open day has turned into a full blown shopping spree at the expense of my dad."
5) Meeting the love of your life
Did you know one in five people meet the love of their lives on campus? (One Day University Love League) Your dating app doesn’t always throw up Mr Right in your current local area, so these people took the opportunity to get a sneak peak of what’s on offer in their new university city.
"Trust me to have a uni open day this weekend, and have a date already arranged for the evening."
"Scored a tour guide for my uni open day via Tinder woi."
6) Making a new bezzie
Chatting to people at university will be how you make your friends for life. So why wait until welcome week? This guy ended up playing video games with some current students, although we don’t recommend you go off with all strangers you meet at Open Days…
"So I went to a university open day and I ended up making friends with some of the third years, we went and played Overwatch with them."
7) Figuring out how small the world is
It doesn’t matter how far you travel, you can’t seem to get away from home sometimes.
"I went to a uni open day 2 hours away, ended up in the same seminar as someone in my class and sat next to a guy I knew when i was 8. How?"
8) Getting your priorities right
It’s important to check out your course, speak to the students and see the accommodation, but sometimes parents have a different definition of checking out the facilities. It’s important to make sure you’re going to have a good all round student experience outside of your studies too.
"Two hours into uni open day and me and my mum had found the cocktail bar."
"Gone to a uni open day with my dad and the first thing he says is: 'We need to check they have a pub on campus'."
9) Nailing your 10,000 steps
Your fitness watch will go into overdrive without you even realising by the time you’ve walked from talk to tour to checking out the Bullring on the way home.
"Ok, 20k steps by 2pm? The joys of a uni open day!"
10) Getting the best advice from lecturers
Our teaching staff are a source of ultimate wisdom about their subject areas and will spend the Open Day telling you everything you need to know. They are also actual people who often live in the city and have been students many times themselves (Master’s, PhDs etc). Most of them are legends too, like this lecturer:
"The tutor at the uni open day was like 'It's not part of the course but I expect you to go to gigs at least once a month'. Can you believe it?!"
11) Winning all the prizes
Most universities have some kind of competition or prize draw at Open Days. Someone has to win after all, so don’t be too surprised if you take home a little bonus to say thanks for coming!
"When you fill out a random survey at a uni open day and end up winning a £100 voucher, LONGEST YEAH BOY EVER."
Top tip: enter our photo competition on 17 June and you could win £100 in vouchers! More information available soon.
12) Totally unexpected…
"Got home from uni open day to find all our birds have died???"
Sometimes the weird and wonderful just happens, so go with it and have a fab time!
*No animals were harmed in the making of this article. RIP birds.