I have just completed my degree in Marketing at the University of Chester, and will be graduating with a first in November. I haven’t got a clue why we have to wait until November, I’m not looking forward to graduating in the rain! I thought I would share with you what I’d have told myself as a first year, having been through three years of it.
I lived at home whilst at University and found it really easy to hop on a different bus which happened to take me into Liverpool city centre. Instead of sitting through HR on a Monday morning, I’d find myself spending huge chunks of my Student loan on make-up, clothes, and presents for my boyfriend and family. Admittedly, once I entered my final year this didn’t happen, but I felt as though I missed some vital theory whilst being a sole ranger dragging shopping bags on the bus home. PLEASE attend lectures, at the end of the day, you have paid for them and although you may find certain ones to be a waste of time, they aren’t! You’ll be surprised at how much you learn and understand, just by sitting there!
Don’t worry if you aren’t going out on SU Friday because you have an assignment due in the following week. I didn’t have to put up with the ‘peer pressure’ as much as when I left campus I was on my way home and to get back into Chester for a night out I had to take two buses. Your friends will still be your friends if you miss a couple of nights out. If not, they clearly aren’t great mates in the first place!
I’m a list maker which I found helped me a lot at University! Whether it was a list of deadlines, what work I had to complete in that week, what blog posts I needed to write, I had a list. Trying to run this blog alongside my studies in my final year was a challenge, but by planning and sometimes putting my blog on the back burner whilst focusing on work, it was fine. My readers didn’t disappear because I didn’t blog for 5 days!
WHATS BEST FOR YOU?
Find out how YOU revise and how YOU work best. Just because your friend likes to sit in the group area and talk their exam revision AT you, doesn’t mean its the most effective way for you. There were times when me and my best friend would be in the silent area of the library, revising separately, and other times where one of us would end up going home because we couldn’t focus. I struggled with this, but by my last year I worked out that I need to be in silence and copying things down from memory. I used little cards and wrote essay structures, read over them MILLIONS of times and re wrote them, as I would in the exam.
TAKE DAYS OFF
This one is my favourite – I also worked alongside my degree so if I had a shift, I wouldn’t touch ANY University work that day. I also made sure I had days off to see a friend, my boyfriend, or have a pamper day to catch up on YouTube videos and Hollyoaks! You need time for you, away from the piles of reading, assignments and boring stuff.
Like University and the millions of other things we do isn’t enough, you NEED experience. If you are on a course where placement isn’t compulsory, go out and find yourself some. If you don’t and you are in a similar industry to me, Marketing, you’ll find it harder to get that graduate job you really want. I was lucky that I wanted to work in Digital Marketing, and employers saw my blog as experience. I know it’s hard, I ran this blog as well as a part time job alongside University, but even a couple of hours a week or a day a month will look amazing! Always think about your CV and how you can enhance it.
Purchasing an NUS card was the best thing I did whilst at Uni, I had it on auto-renew to save me having to mess around each year and you’ll be surprised just how many places you can use it. Luckily mine doesn’t run out until December so I can still get my discounts!
The three years go SO fast, one minute you are attending your first year lectures and before you know it you are sitting your final exam. Embrace being a Student, it isn’t easy but in some ways its a hell of a lot easier than working 9-5, 5 days a week.
This has ended up as a massive ramble but I hope it was helpful in some way!