Hello lovely people,
I hope you are all well and coping in this lengthily heatwave we are having in the Uk at the moment. I was browsing on Instagram the other day and looking at peoples graduation photos it occurred to me that I finished my Graphic Design degree five years ago and my PGCE four years ago. It was a real shock to the system that I have been teaching for four years now and University seems so long ago.
So having been someone who has gone through the initial starting of Uni twice at two separate Universities, I thought I do some top tips that helped me get through that initial few months.
ENSURE THAT YOU FIND ENJOYMENT IN YOUR CHOSEN COURSE
Now this is a real biggy for me. I have never in my life been someone that does well in exams (my hypermobility and left handedness means I struggle to write for long periods of time). I cannot for the life of me sit and revise notes over and over. So when choosing what degree I wanted to do I knew it needed to be something that I enjoyed and that was between Graphics and Drama. In the end I went with Graphics because I felt I was better at it and I knew there were no exams for me to stress about.
DON’T FORGET OTHERS ARE IN THE SAME BOAT AS YOU
I started my degree not knowing anyone that was on my course, that feeling I know can be scary and for me going up to people and starting a conversation is pretty hard. (unless I’ve had a few obviously) But just remember your all mostly on the course because you have at least one thing in common… use it! And it goes without saying freshers week is a great time to meet people.
IT’S OKAY TO STAY AT HOME FOR UNIVESITY
Now some may argue with me that you don’t get the full university experience unless you move out and obviously I can only give you my opinions from my own experiences on the matter. However I stayed at home for all four years of my University time and I don’t feel that I missed out on the night life etc. The reasons I stayed at home where; I new I would struggle to afford to live elsewhere, The course I wanted was in Hull anyway, I wanted to save money. (I actually used my bursaries etc to lay the deposit down on my house)
ORGANISATION IS IMPORTANT … SORRY
I know not a very exciting one here but definitely important none the less. I would say this one came more into my PGCE than my Degree. Having multiple tasks on the go at once can be tricky.A diary and little post it can honestly go a long way. (especially if you have lots of different deadlines) I have to admit being a teacher this has carried on into my day to day work life also so it’s not necessarily something you forget.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY … ITS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY
I hate to say it but university is not just endless parties and drinking, its hard, stressful and at times can feel endless. In the run up to my final exhibition I was in our uni studio from 8am to 8pm as well as working at Asda Saturdays and Sundays. During that time I was also preparing for my PGCE interview and volunteering at schools when I could. It was overwhelming and stressful and I did need reminding that it wasn’t the be all and end all. If your struggling then talk to someone; be it a friend, a tutor, family, anyone. Don’t suffer in silence…
I hope if your starting University or thinking of starting you found this useful. Everyones experiences of University are different, there’s no best way to go for all and it’s making it fit for you.
If you feel like sharing any extra tips drop in a comment below!