I left University around three years ago now. Wow, three whole years. That seems quite ridiculous to write, as I feel like it was yesterday, but in today's post I want to share my thoughts on the whole University experience and three things I've learned since leaving it.
I went to University twice, actually. I did one year of a Law degree which I loved and enjoyed, especially contract law (I know, how sad), but despite passing my exams, I knew I didn't want a career out of it so decided to quit while I was ahead. I took a year out after this and mostly partied worked in part-time jobs that I found mainly online and decided what I wanted to do instead. I eventually settled on doing a Journalism degree which turned into a Magazine Journalism degree after the first year. I wanted to keep it broad, as I knew I didn't want to go into print journalism or news and that the digital sphere was more my place.
If I'm perfectly honest, I don't think I gained anything substantial from my degree aside from loads of debt and three years missing from my life. Most people go to University and talk about what an amazing experience it was, how many friends they made and how much knowledge they left with, but I didn't have those same thoughts when I finished my degree. I feel like my social anxiety definitely didn't help, but I feel like the teaching of my degree was definitely sub-par. I felt like I was encouraged to do certain things and then marked down for them when I submitted my work, there was a lack of communication in lessons and one tutor in particular was honestly one of the most useless people I've ever come across. Frustrating when they were marking my final project and telling me I was doing fine, then failing me and disappearing when I actually needed help! I feel like some people shouldn't be in education...
Anyway, here's three things I've learned after completing university just incase you're wondering what the hell you're doing. Don't worry, I felt exactly the same!
You Can Learn More Outside Of Uni | This obviously varies from degree to degree, but I do think you can learn a lot outside of University. I set up my blog while at Uni and genuinely feel like I learned so much, especially about digital marketing and writing for an online audience, which I'm very grateful for. I taught myself how to use Photoshop and WordPress early on which now helps me in my everyday life, so any skill you can learn is worth assigning some time to! So, if you can intern or volunteer alongside your degree, or take on some extra projects related to your field or even something simple like setting up a blog to write about the topics you like can help. It's all extra stuff to put on your CV!
You Don't Have To Make Your Mind Up | I went from a Law degree to a Journalism degree to ending up working in digital marketing and helping Phil with his blog design stuff. Some days I wonder what it would be like if I was a florist, or a professional baker or working in advertising or doing forensic pathology. Yup. Quite a mixed bunch of topics, but just because you've done a certain degree doesn't mean you can't change your mind. You can take your time with this, or start a job and go into something completely different years later. It's all a process, don't let anyone pressure you into deciding your long-term plans immediately.
It's Not Always What You Know | If there's one thing I've found since leaving University, it's not what you know, it's who you know. I've been able to get several jobs and internships through knowing certain people. I've managed to get my foot in the door and got interviews because of recommendations from pals who 'know someone', so it's worth being friendly to everyone while at Uni. You never know when you'll need someone to help you out!
What's the biggest lesson you learned since leaving University?