“ Welcome to Newstudent.org, the only place that helps you choose a College or University, meet your future friends, or plan your gap year! „
Is it really that time of year again? It's just over a year since I discovered this website, and oh where would I be now without it? For any of you applying to university whether you be 17-18 and doing your A-levels, or a mature student, or perhaps you have children about to apply to university - this is a must-see website.
As someone who was absolutely petrified of starting uni (I'm currently in my first week) it's been invaluable in gaining information on student loans to what course is best and which uni, as well as meeting lots of great people in the same position as me.
~~ Signing Up ~~
This is a quick and simple procedure. When you first enter the website you simply quick the link which says 'New to the site? Register here?' It claims that the process takes a minute and this is a fair statement in my opinion. You have to fill out a couple of quick forms giving your name, e-mail address, a screen name, password and such information - you will then be sent an e-mail with a link and this will confirm the account. Then you just sign in and you're away.
~~ Signed Up? What now? ~~
Once you're signed up and you've logged in to your account the first thing you should do is make your profile. This helps members find out a little bit more about you - I think it's a good idea to fill in at least the minimum amount of information, I always find it a little bit suspicious when I click on a member profile and there is no information about them at all. Members are able to see the following information about you on your profile, should you choose to submit it:
+ Your online status
+ About me - you can write a paragraph or two about yourself
+ Motto - write your favourite motto here...
+ What you are looking to study - you choose this from a drop-down menu, if they don't have the course you're applying for you could write this in your 'about me'
+ Your interests - again you choose these by ticking boxes, you could write more in your 'about me'
+ Website - here you can include a link to your own website, if you have one, or perhaps to your own profile - Face Party for example or myspace.com
+ Your universities
You can also display a picture of a photo - newstudent.org provide some pictures which you can choose from, or you can upload one of your own, this is a fairly easy process.
You can also see who has recently viewed your profile and in turn view theirs by clicking on their name.
~~ My Universities ~~
This is where you specify up to six universities which you are looking at - this is because you can only apply to six through UCAS. Specifying your universities is a quick and easy process, and allows you access to the specific university forums where you'll meet people applying to the same unis as you. You can change these at any time and by putting down which unis you're interested in you stand a far better chance of meeting future friends on the site - a great feature in my opinion.
~~ Get Chatting ~~
Well this site is all about meeting people so once you've sorted your profile and unis out, why not get chatting? The general forum is a good place to start, as all members have access to this and can see messages that you post. The website is easy to navigate, with links across the top to all the different parts of the site - Home, My Forums, My Messages, My Universities, My Profile, Shop, Tips & Advice, Links, Tech Support.
If you're a newbie the best place to start is the Home page, clicking on Home along the blue bar at the top of the screen will take you there. Here you'll find links to everything you could possibly want to access from the site, along the top are the links I just mentioned, down the side you'll find links to your uni forums along with how many messages have been posted in total, and how many of those were in the last seven days.
You'll also find links to your private messages, how to invite friends to sign up (and therefore enter yourself into a prize draw) and link to external websites related to students. Adverts run along the very top of the website, mostly student related - some are a bit random though I have to admit, nevertheless I tend to ignore these - though one about an NX2 (National Express) student card has proved intriguing and perhaps merits further research.
The main body of the home page is occupied by 'recent posts' - you'll be able to see what forum it belongs to, who posted it, how long ago they posted it, and the opening lines of their post:
[ General ] [ crazyman901 ]: (3 minutes ago) Re: Revision getting anyone else down? - does anyone know anygood revision websites, especially for physics edexcel?
[ General ] [ mel..p ]: (0 minutes ago) forensic science at glamorgan - anyone studying this course?? give us a shout
As you can see (and these are both genuine messages off the forum) these are both vaguely uni-related messages. It has to be said, as you would expect, this is not always the case. You'll find lots of games, such as the 'Song Name Game', and 'Would you...?' are very popular threads. Threads on the latest TV craze, what annoys them, what their dreams are, their most embarrassing celebrity crushes - you name it, you'll find a thread (or three) on it. You'll find there are some people on the site who have only one thing on their mind (unfortunately it's inevitable) but you'll also find plenty of healthy debate and discussion about current affairs.
~~ My Forums ~~
Clicking this link will give you the options of General and any university forums you may have specified, in my case that would be Aston, Birmingham, Keele, Liverpool, Sheffield and Westminster.
- Gap Years
- General Chat
- Life at Uni
- Mature Students
- Parents Forum
- Review your home town!
- What to study?
- Where to go?
If you click on one of these links you'll be taken to all the threads created in this section. They're listed in order of last replies - you'll see the name of the thread, the name of the member who started it along with the date that it was started on, how many reads its received, how many replies its received and the date of the last reply, along with the member who posted it.
My Forms > General > Applying
posted by Miss_New_Superstar on 27th May 2005 15:07:47
Last reply by Sarahh17 on 29th May 2005 13:55:23
'Last reply' is in embolded blue font so that you click this link and you'll be taken directly to the last page of replies - this is particularly useful for the more popular threads, where posts can span hundreds of pages and it would take ages to go through to the last reply.
- Everything Else
- Fear and Excitement
- Social Life
I've since become less of an NewStudent addict (mostly thanks to my new-found addiction to reviewing it has to be said) and so I generally just use the Aston forum, as this is where I now am studying.
~~ Private Messages ~~
As the name suggests, this is a way of getting in touch with a particular member of the site a little more discreetly. You'll see how many new messages you have received when you log in, on the left hand side of the home page and you click on this or 'My Messages' at the top of the page to access your private messages. You have an allowance of 500K which I think is plently - I have 709 messages in my inbox currently and this uses 28% of my quota. You can choose to keep a copy of sent mail and drafts and you can block users you don't wish to contact you via private message.
Sending messages is easy, you can either go to 'My messages' and click on the 'Send a private message' button, or you can click on a member to reach their profile and there is a button on there to send this member a private message.
~~ Friends Lists ~~
You can add members to your friends list by clicking on a link in their profile - a message will be sent to them telling them you have added them and they can then choose to accept or reject you. If someone adds you a little message will appear along the top of the homepage, along the purple strip below the links 'Home' 'My Forums' etc. You can then click this to accept or reject them. Links to your friends profiles will appear in your profile, though only five at a time, and these will randomly rotate.
Don't be put off by the word student - there's a section for parents and mature students are made to feel very welcome!
Many international students are signed up to the site, you get to meet some very interesting and diverse characters!
~~ The Other Links ~~
I'm grouping these together basically because I've never used them.
I clicked on the shop link once but got a little bored with it and went no further, however this might be worth a look at for the student discounts on things like insurance and laptops.
**Tips & Advice**
Fairly redundant, everytime I click this site there is nothing there. The Newstudent team claim that they're still working on this, but there is an e-mail address if you want to contribute something for this section of the site.
'Links' was one link I had never clicked on until just now - it offers links to information on drugs and other health issues, to money and student bank account information. Looks to be very useful and I'm surprised I didn't check this out sooner.
Another service I've never used. I know people on the site who have got in touch with the administrators for various reasons - to make complaints, suggestions, and they've all received fairly quick feedback. The Newstudent Team have their own profile and have been known to post comments from time to time. Though I think that they could be quicker to respond to troublemakers on the site they do respond and I have even seen them lock threads which were annoying members.
The site is just over a year old (369 days to be precise) but it's steadily growing in numbers and has a real community feel to it - you seem to get to know everyone very quickly and in general everyone is very friendly.
I do find myself getting a bit annoyed by the repetitive threads but I've got to know some great people on my uni forum who I've got to know in my first few weeks. It's a really great way of finding information as well as meeting people on your course, or in the same accommodation as you.
It really is a must for all potential (and current) students!
Best of luck to all the 06 applicants!