After the stress of A Levels have finished you are given the option whether to go to Uni or go straight into working. When stood at this crossroad it can be hard to weigh up the pros and cons for each option. Working gives you the chance to gain experience in a workplace and potentially a job that you can work up from whereas university offers the opportunity gain an in-depth study of a subject that you are interested in which places you at a higher job roles after the course. Both options include hard work and it’s important to remember that just because you pick one option over the other it doesn’t mean it’s the best route for everyone.
For me I have always wanted to have a career in journalism in particular fashion, which in a small coastal town was a problem as there were virtually no opportunities. Therefore I decided to bite the bullet and go to university and study journalism which I later learnt through applying for work experiences at my local newspapers was my best option as most of the places I applied asked for favoured an NCTJ qualification which I would have to pay upwards of a thousand pounds to do outside of university. I also had a small understanding of what Uni was like as my brother was in his first year when I was applying and by living vicariously through his first year I learnt some of the new experiences I could expect.
What was my first year like?
Well moving from a small coastal town to London was a major shock, I had been on day visits to London before but it was so different living there and having the convenience of 24 hour shops! I lived on my universities campus in halls and I would have to say it was the people I met through living there that made my university experience so welcoming. With campus accommodation you get the chance to meet people from all different walks of life for example me being a journalism student I met people that studied, History, Psychology, Industrial Design and Engineering just in my flat alone. This continued when I started taught lectures as I met so many likeminded people that I soon found so new many friends that I could depend on if I felt a bit homesick. Within my course I learnt of the different career goals of my peers which ranged from careers in Travel, Photography, Radio to Presenting. This proved to myself that doing a general journalism degree was the right option for me as I get to experience different forms of journalism which helps to develop my personal writing style, and gives myself a chance to experiment with different genres.
Advice for first years..
- Ask your lecturers to either record lectures or give handouts so you can structure your notes
- Make friends in fresher’s week it is the easiest time to as you are all in the same position!
- You will probably pull a few all-nighters doing essays in the library but remember there is also an abundance of recourses on the online university library that you can access from your dorm room.