Recent Cultural and Creative Industries graduate Kevin gives his top 10 tips for starting university life.
“Am I going to get in? Where am I going to live? I don’t like big cities, why am I going to London? I don’t know anyone there, how will I make friends?” These are all questions I was asking myself, this time three years ago. Anxious about starting my course in Cultural & Creative Industries, I awaited the 18th of August for my A-Level results to be released. Now having finished my degree – and loved it – these are the things I wish I had known at the beginning of my course.
1. Get ready for a lot of reading! University is all about self guided learning, though you do get taught the important parts in lectures, I can’t emphasise enough how much I wish I had read in the 1st & 2nd years, when writing my dissertation in the last year.
2. Say yes to everything. The first term is tough, there’s a lot going on in your new life, despite this, say “Yes!” to every opportunity that comes your way. You’ll meet many people and learn all-important new skills.
3. Get (& USE) a diary. Preferably digital as it will remind of you of those all important deadlines coming up.
4. Find your field and explore everything on offer in it. This course is all about how YOU make use of it. If you’re interested in Music, do some research into venues in the area (londonears.com is a good place to start). If you’re more of a film fanatic, start thinking about what it is that interests you, Directing? Producing? Cameras? Fashion more your thing? Where are internships going that you might be able to apply for? Remember, you don’t have to stick to what you choose, and I would recommend trying a few different fields through the opportunities you’ll get on the course – having a starting point will help.
DISCLAIMER: I STILL AM NOT TOO SURE WHAT MY FIELD IS, AND THAT’S ALSO FINE!!
5. USE YOUR EMAILS. I can’t stress enough how important this is. You’ll be given a university email address, set it up on your phone and read them. It might take some getting used to if you’re not already, but it is worth it.
6. Manage your funds. Only got £100 a week to spend? Spend £90 and keep the tenner just in case. London creeps up on you, and it will bite you when you’re not looking. Find the cheapest & easiest ways to get places (this might be walking, City is surprisingly close to a lot of places: Shoreditch, Holborn, Kings Cross all about a 20/30 minute walk away).
7. Your lecturers are going to be your friends for the next 3 years (and maybe longer). Be kind to them, befriend them and know that they do really want to help you develop.
8. Go to the Fresher’s Fair. And sign up to things. This is where you’ll get a lot of information about all that goes on at City. Sign up to as much as possible – you can always unsubscribe those emails!
9. Start to think about work experience. The creative sector is all about who you know, getting in early to do some (potentially unpaid) internships whilst you’re still in your 1st/2nd years will help you a lot when it comes to getting a job. Also, do use the Careers Service!
10. Remember to have fun. The next 3 years are gonna rock, turn it up!