I never thought I was going to go to university. I was all, “oh, I don’t feel like it”, “I don’t need to go to uni”, “I don’t want to live with people I don’t know”. I waited a year and a bit after I left college, intending to just get a job and live happily ever after like an education-shunning Disney princess.
Unfortunately all that happened was I put on loads of weight, applied for over 200 jobs and got precisely 4 interviews, and I was BORED. I missed learning stuff; I missed being around other people and I actually missed getting up early to go to school or college.
I’ve been at uni now for two years (I’ll be starting my third year in October). I think in my time at uni so far I’ve gathered a fair few tips and tricks to help you survive (and succeed!). Let’s go.
- Get the kit. For my degree, we don’t do a great deal of practical work, but if you’re studying anything remotely creative (whether it be art, film, journalism, photography…), make sure you’ve got your own kit to work with. Although my uni lends out cameras and equipment, you’ve got to book in advance, and there are certain rules you’ve got to abide by which can make creativity a bit of a challenge. I have a little camera that shoots video as well as a DSLR, which has served me pretty well at uni so far! Spend a bit of your loan on some kit before you spend it all on Fresher’s Week teeshirts and test tube shots.
- Write notes. You would not BELIEVE the amount of people I’ve seen who just sit in lectures staring into space and not. writing. a. single. thing. down. I write everything down – it helps me to absorb the information and gives me a handy little book of notes to look over when it comes to assignment time.
- Think about why you’re there. If the only reason you’re at uni is to get drunk and get away from your parents, you’re not at uni for the right reasons. Think about the privilege you have to be attending university: 100 years ago, girls wouldn’t have even gone to secondary school. Don’t waste your time!
- Do your research. Say you’re studying PR, or journalism: buy a stack of magazines and newspapers. Make notes. Rip them up. Make a scrapbook of interesting ideas and concepts. You study science? Go to the library, read some journals. I’m constantly online, or reading specialist books. They can be hard work, but they’re interesting, and you WILL learn something that’ll give you an edge over your classmates.
- Don’t be afraid to complain. Group projects and presentations have been the bane of my life during my time at university. It’s so difficult to work with unmotivated, or, let’s not sugar-coat it, lazy people. Tell someone: tell a tutor or a lecturer. They’ll be keeping track of who’s doing what, and it shows that you care about the project. You’re paying for their services anyway!
Are you at university, or planning on going? Good luck, you educational babes, you.