If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago I handed in my final dissertation, which meant I had officially finished my Masters in Digital Media and Communications from Teesside University (yay)! I feel like I am very knowledgeable in the area of further education, having finished my degree in History at Northumbria University and not entirely knowing what I wanted to do, I decided to take a year off working as a teaching assistant, before finally making the decision to go and study my Masters, but a little bit closer to home this time. From this, I feel like I have had the fullUniversity experience- living at home vs living away, working at plenty of placements and having a year away that made me miss education but also discover where I really wanted to be. As the new University year starts, I have compiled a list of what my 4 years of University has taught me:
1. It’s ok not to know what you want to do.
Whether that is before, during or after University, it’s entirely ok not to know what you want to do with your career and with your life. Get out their and experience different things, go on those placements, step out of your comfort zone- trust me it will be the best thing you ever did. For years I had always wanted to be a Journalist, but then after getting lots of experience, I realised it wasn’t for me, and it took me a whole year of working and researching to realise Marketing and PR was a more perfect role for me.
2. Step out of your comfort zone
I know it’s easier for some people than others, but if you can, GO FOR IT. You will learn so much, experience so much, and really begin to understand yourself. Want to join a society? Do it. Want to randomly approach a professional at uni? Why not. Your in the perfect time and place to do it, so do it! When I took my year out, I really missed the University experience, and everything that came along with it. So I told myself I would really cherish every moment of my Masters, and I’m very happy with the outcome.
One thing I did relentlessly throughout my undergraduate degree was take on too many things (placements, editor of the university paper, University radio presenter, blog, etc) and did not prioritise my uni work. This ultimately left me feeling a little disappointed with my grades, as I do feel I could of do a lot better. This year, I made sure to organise my time effectively, so that I can get experience and get the grades I want. So while it’s great to enjoy your time at university and get involved in everything, a little time management and prioritising does go a long way.
4. You will not get on with everyone.
I soon learnt this not long after moving into student halls during my first year in Newcastle. Honestly, I did not get on with most of the people I lived with. Not that anyone did anything wrong, we just didn’t really have the same interests or a flowing conversation, which made things a little tense sometimes. Though, I honestly did have the best time at University, and that was all because of the great friends I did make. I think I was a little naive when I moved away, thinking I would make a million friends and get on with everyone. Sometimes this may happen, but for myself, I was so much happier with my little group of friends that truly made my University experience.
5. You’ll get what you put in.
Literally whatever you put in to your experience is what you’ll get out of it. University has been the best years of my life and I’m really going to miss it. You will never have so much time on your hands again or the ability to be so relaxed and creative, so appreciate every experience and make use of the time you do have (before you have to get that full time job and never have time again haha).