I heard about the PARTNERS Programme through my school. A presentation was given by a University representative and PARTNERS}was also spoken about by my teachers.
I decided to apply to take part because the lower grades took a little pressure off me during the exams. Also, when the programme was presented to the class at school, the opportunities from PARTNERS and the help additional to the Programme seemed like a good incentive.
Before starting University, I also took part in Student Shadowing, which allowed me to take part in the 'everyday life of a student', giving me a brief but helpful outlook on university, as well as pointing out places on the campus.
The best thing about the Assessed Summer School was making new friends. In my lectures today I still see those who I had lessons with and remain good friends. The Assessed Summer School was also very useful, as when I started University I knew where most of the lectures were from being in them during the Summer School. Also, The Higher Education Skills gave me more confidence when first starting lectures, as I felt that I knew more than I would have otherwise.
I would recommend PARTNERS, basically because of the friends you make, you keep them through University. I still keep in touch, even though I don't have all my lectures with them.
I live at home with my parents and it does have some advantages - it's rent free and I have a stable environment so I can focus on what I want. However, sometimes I feel I do miss out on some student (i.e. social) life. I would recommend that you apply for student accommodation as later on in the year, you'll most probably wish you had.
The friends I have made both in PARTNERS and starting University is one of the best parts of student life. Socially, university is guaranteed to be enjoyable based on how many people attend and how many events and organisations there are.