Coming up is the deadline for the universities replying to your UCAS applications and then you begin to finalise which university you want to choose as your first choice.
By now you might’ve had the university you wanted reply to you and everything will be in place for you to ace your final exams and get into the course you want. Maybe the University you wanted declined your choice and you now must decide where you want to go instead after exam time.
First of all whatever choice you have picked you need to be able to get the results to back it up and have a fall back choice to back it up, a mistake I’ve seen a few people make is picking two choices that are of the same requirement, all this does is create an extra level of un-needed stress because you have no backup plan, if you don’t get A,B,B for one university and your other University wants exactly the same grades you have neither of your choices.
Second don’t be disheartened when a university turns down your application, not getting into one university is not the end of the world. If you don’t get into your first choice but get high grades at the end of the year, you could always phone the university after exams and try to get in through clearing - your exam results show why you should be at the university. Or look at another university, a lot of people with their hearts set on one university have not looked fully at any others, you may find that the other Universities out there are closer to what you were looking for than your first choice.
Third, gap years/a year out to work is totally a thing, taking a year out to work so you don’t have to work a part time job during your first year of Uni so that you can settle better is 100% a legitimate option. Didn’t get an offer from the Uni you wanted but know you’re going to do well in the exam? Get the good grades and phone the university, maybe you get in because you’re grades reached a mark someone else’s didn’t, or take a year out and apply to that university next year.
Don’t finalise a choice based on where your friends are going, they will probably be in different halls, in different lectures or even want to do a different subject, when you meet so many new people the one friend you chose your Uni choice on might have different ideas of what they want to do at Uni, you might drift into separate friendship groups and then you may as well have picked the university of your choice anyway.