The first bit of applying was the worst. I seemed to have just started my A-level course and suddenly I had to choose between a million options. I just started by picking a few subjects at random: law, philosophy, maths, music. I found the prospectuses tough going but got quite a lot of ideas from a careers fair I attended in London. I could hardly carry all the paper I collected. After much agonising, I decided to go for single honours music and it was pretty easy from then on because not many universities offered it. I made my decision on my final list after talking to a couple of professional musicians and teachers. Filling in the form was OK. I spent the most time making sure that my personal summary did a good selling job for me.

Some universities responded within weeks of the form going in; others took months. They all asked me to interview or open days. which meant I spent a lot of time in December, January and February running around. I missed more school work than I would have liked, particularly around mocks, but I am glad I did it. I discovered that courses that looked very similar in the prospectus were very different on the ground and the quality of facilities varied considerably. I enjoyed being interviewed and found that all the interviewers were open and friendly. It was good to get a chance to have nitty-gritty questions answered, something I found more difficult at open days. It was also great to meet students: they really know what's going on. I began my travels thinking I would like to go to a small campus university but ended up choosing two great courses, one in a Big Civic and the other at a Federal.