A couple of weeks ago, after three hard years, I finally graduated from Brunel University with a first class honours degree in Journalism so I thought I would share my thoughts with you on university and my own experience.
For one thing, it was definitely not a walk in the park! Many people thought and I guess just expected me to do well and I understand why, I mean I always wanted to do well and many think or thought it just came naturally but boy did I work hard for it! I mean really hard! I’ve never been lucky or got jammy with anything before, and university for me was no different! I don’t want to sound big headed or anything but I put in the work, the hours and the effort and in the end it paid off!
From a young age, I always knew I wanted to write and do something in the creative industry but didn’t know what exactly. Then a teacher at school mentioned journalism and I thought what a great idea. I’d love to combine my love of fashion, beauty and writing, I could be a journalist for a fashion/beauty magazine; and that was that, I never contemplated anything else. Then I went to uni and something changed…
My Experience at Uni
Don’t get me wrong, university was an amazing experience, I learnt an amazing set of skills, life skills and work skills that will stay with me for life and met the most amazing group of friends that I will have for ever but I have to admit that my course did put me off the profession I originally wanted to go into. I’m not sure what it was, I loved and still love practising journalism skills individually; feature writing, news writing, interviewing, editing, photography, presenting, I love it all. However, I chose to study journalism in general so I could learn a bit about everything as I didn’t want to specialise and limit myself. Looking back, I think perhaps I should have. My course was very ‘hard news based’ and that wasn’t something I expected to be so heavy. I’m interested in politics and news ect but not so much that I want it to be the main focus of my career. Nevertheless, I decided to continue and adapt the skills to suit me and I’m so glad that I did!
I had a slightly different uni experience compared to your ‘average student’. I didn’t live in halls, nor did I go out and drink myself till I was paralytic every other night. Originally from Norwich, I moved to West London with my boyfriend where I started my uni life and where Scott continued with his property career. We moved into the university’s studio flats that they offered to couples and that officially became our first place together. Some may think, seriously you went to uni with your boyfriend, but partying all hours of the night, living in halls with strangers ect ect (I know some people think that’s what the experience is) is just not me and I don’t regret anything! I’m not saying I never went out, of course I went out with friends, I just went out when I wanted to. There is this big perception of how uni should be and I guess what I’m trying to say is that it should be whatever you want it to be. If you want to live alone, live alone, equally if you want to live in a dirty house share with a bunch of strangers, go for it!
So is uni really worth £27K!? You probably think I’m going to say of course it is but I’m actually a little undecided on this one! On the one hand, the experience and skills you gain are invaluable, but on the other, there are these things called internships and apprenticeships! I did a lot of unpaid internships and this is where I learnt the most about PR & Journalism. By working and learning on the job, internships provided me with the most valuable set of skills and it makes me wonder if going straight in working as an intern, or even as as an apprentice is the best thing to do, instead of spending £27K and the rest… Obviously, if you are someone who wants to be a doctor or a vet for example, then a degree is essential. It’s great to have a degree but I’m just not sure it’s necessary for people in the creative industry. I think sometimes there is this big expectation that everyone should go to uni but I know so many people who didn’t and have done amazing in their careers!! You shouldn’t feel pressured to go or even bad if you don’t go as it is 100% your choice! You can see why I’m undecided about the value of Uni…
Graduation is daunting for a lot of people because they have no idea what they are going to do next! Some people have the next 10 steps planned and already have a start date for their first job under their belt, whereas others have no idea. No idea where they want to go, no idea what they want to do; and thats okay!! At the end of the day, when you graduate from uni, you are somewhere around the age of 21-23 which is still ridiculously young!! There are people in their 30’s and 40’s who still haven’t figured out life yet.
I was somewhere in the middle, I’d done all of these internships and started to apply for so many jobs, only to say I wasn’t suited or didn’t hear from them at all! To be honest I’d never really faced rejection either, I’d always got the first job I applied for so it was a hard feeling to accept and get on with! However, soon after, my part time employer in the blogging industry offered me a full time role and I thought about it for a really long time. Thinking if this is something that I wanted to get in to instead of PR or am I just doing it for the sake of it; but in the end I realised it’s something that I wanted. I had never thought about this option, it was fresh and it was a risk, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take! The important thing to remember is that you have so much time and there’s no need to trade self-fulfilment for rushed decisions! Graduation was such an incredible day! Though I may not have liked every single thing about the course (you can’t please everyone can you) it was the chance for everyone to come together and to celebrate all of our hard work! After 3 years of being friends with one another, it was great that all of our families were able to finally meet and put faces to names! Plus we all got to make huge plonkers out of ourselves and wear the beautiful cloaks and hats! The ceremony was slightly long… and a bit strange (their outfits are like something out of Harry Potter) but it was a great way to celebrate the ending of a chapter and a new one beginning, which is exactly what everyone needed!
I wouldn’t have changed anything… well perhaps a little more magazine based but at the end of the day, I still learnt so many life and for skills (apart from being able to cook, I definitely didn’t learn how to do that) made an amazing group of friends and a fab set of memories!!
How was your university experience and what do you think about it!? Did you think it was worth it? Would you have done anything differently? I’d love to know in the comments below!!