Monday, 5 June 2017

What I Learnt From My Time At University

Ah remember those times where all I’d write (complain) about was university?  Ah good times.  I won’t be complaining about university this time, so don’t worry!

It's essentially a year since I presented one of my favourite assignments, The People's Park and it got me thinking to all that extra information and lessons I absorbed from all those years at university.

1.  How to work under pressure.  University isn’t a walk in the park.  There are times where you’ll be thinking wow this is great, I have nothing due, I can just relax.  Oh just wait.  That calm period won’t last long and end of semester is hectic as anything.  And you have to keep your head above it all.  I wasn’t very good at this when I first started university and it was in my final two years where I would use that pressure to my advantage.  Understanding that there is only so much that you can do, time management, prioritising, remembering what needs to be done to achieve your goal, and remembering everything else that you have to get done outside of university.  It gets stressful and I struggled keeping everything together at times but now I’m use the pressure to my advantage.  It's like using nerves to your advantage, use that pressure to guide you and push you in the right direction so you achieve your goal!

2.  Time management.  Now I am the Procrastination Queen *crown emoji* and when I was first at university, damn did I waste my time.  I still procrastinate now but I do settle down and get to work on everything.  Time management is so very important while you’re at university.  University isn't like high school or college where your teachers tell you to do your work.  It's up to you and if you don't do anything and waste your time, the teaching staff aren't going to give you a detention or make you sit on the time out zone.  So it's up to you to get your work done and do everything you need to do to make sure you are prepared for the next classes.  I'm not perfect at time management, far from it!  But I sure have improved since being at university!

3.  Working as part of team.  Ah good old teamwork.  There is no ‘i’ in team but I can guarantee that there will be something who reckons there is.  So you’re going to learn to deal with that.  You’ll have to work with people who do absolutely nothing (so you’re not really working with them but you know what I mean), people who won’t let you do anything and everything in-between.  First semester last year, our first studio assignment was a group one and I was a little bit nervous because I only knew the interior girls and a handful of faces from the architecture students.  So when it came to going into groups, I just had to put my name down at the top of a list and three architecture students would put their name under mine.  Not going to lie, we were the dream team.  The only other time I was in a dream team for a group project was for a lighting and acoustics assignment with two other interior girls and far out it’s so good to complete an assignment when everyone else wants to pitch in, do their part and create something incredible!

4.  How to function on little sleep.  Valuable skill really, although it’s one that I wish I didn’t have to know.  The amount of sleep I’d get at university would gradually decrease at the end of semester neared and you’d have to just push through the sleepiness and get everything done.  Quality of sleep is so much more important than quantity of sleep and this is something I came to understand in my final year of university.  Learning how to shut your mind off from studies is hard but so valuable when you’re trying to get some quality sleep so you can be all prepared for the next day!  Also this photo below...  Did I actually take this?  Emma what were you actually thinking?!?!?

5.  All of the skills.  Each degree will bring on new skills of their own which is understandable and you’d know this to happen.  I got to learn how to draw, draw a straight line, do hand drawings and how to complete them appropriately, so many computer programs, presentation skills, how to maintain a calm and non-annoyed face when your design is being slammed - many, many skills.

6.  Things about yourself that you never knew.  University taught me how strong and resilient I was.  It’s not easy to pour your heart and soul into a design and then for it to be slammed in front of a class full of people.  But you have to stand there and respect others opinions and learn from that.  University also taught me that I’m actually pretty great when it comes to design.  I’m so proud of what I produced in my last year of university!

7.  Mastering the art of running to the bus with an armload of gear and then not looking like you’ve run a marathon and just want to collapse.  Being able to look calm and composed when in reality you just want to lie down on the floor is a pretty neat skill.  Also comes in handy when you have to run to get to the bus which is leaving earlier than scheduled and people are watching you and you’re just trying to look all calm and collected!

I went back into old photos and fished out a few from my earlier years at university.  Had a little chuckle at one of them....!  And definitely a cringe at that last one!!

University was definitely an experience.  I've met some absolutely incredible people and have pushed myself so far to achieve what I have!  What are some things you've learnt at university, share them in the comments and let's have a chat!

Until next time, keep smiling :)  Em xx

PS!  Come and say hello!!! :) x

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