How to survive university

I thought for my first post of the new year I would look at how to survive university. Students all around the country are currently looking at what university they should go to and sending in their applications. So let’s give them a heads up! 

 Make friends.

Everyone makes friends so easily at uni, its the atmosphere. However if you sit in your room, not talking to any one and counting down the days you can go back to family or your other half, your unlikley to do very well. Your friends will help you out when your stressed with work, need advice and take you out when you want to be boring.

Be organized.

The worst thing would be if you realized you 5,000 word essay was due in tomorrow, or worse last week. Keep a diary, where you have written all you deadlines, presentations, and exams. I missed one of mine in the first year due to remembering it wrong.

 Go out. 

I am not a huge night clubber, I would prefer to have good night in with a bottle of vodka and a group of friends. I think in the first year you need to go on nights out, because half of my memories are from funny things that happen on nights out.

 Learn how to reference. 

One of the things that I think EVERY student needs to learn as soon as possible, is how to reference. In my house I am the Queen of referencing and my housemates are always asking me advice. However when I was in my first year, I failed loads of my assignments because I didnt reference properly. Does your university do Harvard Referencing?

Don’t forget the people at home.

For me this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, your friends from school, college or wherever should stay your friends when your at university and unfortunately it is far too easy to leave them behind.

 Don’t Stress. 

As long as your putting effort into your course work, making friends and having fun then you are doing uni right. Don’t worry too much about how high your grades are, in your first year it really doesn’t matter.

Lauren. x

Advertisements

Third year: Term One.

Well 2013 is almost over, which means that so is the first term of my final year at university, that seems very strange to say.

I can’t believe that I am already in my second year, I still feel like I am finding my way around university and I am defiantly not cleaver enough to be un my final year. However I am and in 6 months I will be standing up on the stage dressed in my cap and gown receiving my diploma, or at least I hope I will be.

If I had to use one word to describe this year it would be: Difficult. Whenever you talk to adults about university, they are always so impressed, talk about how it takes a lot of brains and how you have to be very organized. Well I have always felt like a fraud, uni life is a lot more having fun than it is studying. Last year I would get home, get back into bed with my boyfriend and watch TV (but don’t tell my parents!)

This year however, the weeks I don’t have hand-ins I feel like I need to be working on future assignments, the weeks I do have assignments, I don’t cook, don’t go out, in fact i pretty much only work on my assignments. Hopefully the second term will be a little easier, but i would be shocked if it was.

I am not trying to scare anyone, when I started this, at the end of my first year, it was to give an accurate indication of what people should expect at university, and that is what I hope to achieve.

I should also note, I am a slight worrier, and I don’t have my boyfriend to calm me down when things get rough, unfortunately.

Hope you all had a great christmas, I will have another post tomorrow.

 

Lauren x

Getting into PR by Sarah Stimson

Many of you know, I am now a third year student who is studying Journalism and Media and Communications. As a third year I am faced with the daunting task of trying to find a job, within Public Relations, for next year. This is a task I have found both over-whelming and confusing at times, so when tutor told me about a new book all about getting a job within PR I jumped at the chance to read it.

How to get a job in PR is written by Sarah Stimson, who has worked within recruitment and training for over a decade and now works with the Taylor Bennett Foundation. If anyone knows how to get into the PR industry it’s her.

The book consist of 37 short chapter, including what is PR, Using social media to get a job and the 25 don’ts of PR. The book goes over the basic information perfect for people just learning, or looking to learn about Public Relations and goes onto to talk about getting a job and how to ask for a pay rise for people looking to work in PR. It even looks at taking a career break and how to resign for when you have managed to get your job.

The layout of the book makes it easy to read all in one go or to quickly look up information of interest. Each chapter has an explanation by Sarah along with a number of industry professionals giving their thoughts on each of the topics, meaning that you can hear what the professionals real think, and make your own mind up.

The wonderfully funny and conversational tone of the book makes reading it easy and enjoyable. Where else can you read “If you want you parents to proudly declare, “my daughter is a PR consultant” and for the rest of the dinner table to go ‘Oooo’ my son wanted to ho into PR but settled for being a vet instead, then your going to be sorely disappointed.”

This book has already helped me concentrate on what I need to do to get a job next year, and what sector I want it to be in. I can see this easily being my PR job bible for the next few months and even once I have a job. I would recommend this book to anyone who is hoping to get into the PR industry or is studying PR.

This book was kindly gifted to me by Sarah for an honest view, Thank you to Sarah and everyone involved in this book for finally giving PR students a helping hand to get into the industry.

You can buy the book from amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GX9DXVA/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

My 2nd year review

IMG_0016

Worrying about uni work and home!

At the end of my first year I wrote a review of the year. Moving out of my university halls had a big affect on me. It was where I had met my boyfriend and people that had become my closest friends. I decided that in my second year I would write a review at the end of every term.

However as soon as the second year started I knew something was wrong, I didn’t enjoy being in my house, so I found in hard writing about university life without feeling like I was complaining and being rude to my house mates. So today I thought I would write a quick review of my second year.

Home.

In my second year I lived with my boyfriend and another couple. It started off brilliantly, we spent time together in our living room. However as freshers week ended the other couple spent more and more time in her room, it had become ‘theirs’. My boyfriend and I would stay downstairs hoping they would join us but they never did.

Although I enjoyed living with my boyfriend, it did mean we ended up spending pretty much all of our time together, not great for any relationship. I wasn’t happy in the house but didn’t go out with my other friends very often. I sound like I am complaining, I did have some amazing times in that house and my boyfriend and I grew much closer. However I wouldn’t go back.

Education. 

Something happened in my second year at uni. I went from getting alright grades to getting high 2:1 and lots of 1:1. Yes, you have read this right I got a First!!

My lectures felt so much more interesting than they did in the first year. I started studying Public Relations and Gender and Identity studies. Public Relations allowed me to start to study a subject I had been interested in perusing for a while. Since I was younger I saw Public Relations as a job that I could do, in fact over the summer I did just that.

In Gender and Identities we look at the way people’s identities were constructed by the media and how the media portrayed certain people as better than others. This is a subject that I feel in love with and helped me decide on what to do for my dissertation.

By the end of the year I had handed in my dissertation proposal and had some great feedback.

This year I am really looking forward to researching and writing my dissertation and I have moved into a much better house, with some amazing friends. This year, could be my last, and could be the best!

I hope your year is going well!

Lauren

The Zara City Bag

When I was trying to work out what to ask for as a Birthday Present this year (end of April). I was trawling the internet looking for inspiration when I saw a youtube video about this bag, and it looked perfect. Since I was in about year 10 at school, I have used hundreds of different bags to carry my school/college/university books around in, and they all break really quickly!

My requirements for this bag where that they could hold a lot of stuff, I carry university books, notebooks, folders and want something I could take home for the weekend. It also needed to be stylish, I wanted to carry it around at university without looking sloppy.

Image

The city bag from Zara

The bag has five main sections, all about the same size. 3 of them are zip fastened and two just have large magnetic poppers. The two sections with poppers also have some organizational stuff within them. The first has a section for your phone, a section for 5 cards and a small zipped area, I tend to use this as the ‘handbag area’ to keep my keys, purse and phone in them. The other section has a padded zipped area within in perfect for holding a tablet.

The two outside zipped areas are just normal large sized pouches, which are perfect for folders, notebooks ect. The middle zipped up area is padded all around so you can store a laptop in it. The padding is actually quiet thick so your laptop won’t get hurt and as it’s in the middle it would be knocked is you hit the bag against something or if you drop it.

The bag looks really stylish with the plain black textured material, gold zips, poppers and the metal sections on the handles. Inside of the bag is lined with a dark sort of aubergine purple. The lining also goes all around the main pockets with the exception of the ‘handbag section’ which has black leather look sections.

The inside

The inside

Over all I really like this bag and holds loads, in fact more that I would every want to carry. The lining really gives the bag a sophisticated look and stands up to everything I have put it through.

The only bad thing I can find is that the zips don’t close seamlessly, they quiet often get stuck at some point along the zip. They always do close however it does take a lot of fiddling, I have heard some other bag owners say that have similar problems, so I don’t just have a dodgy one.

If they could sort the zip out this bag would be perfect, as it is it’s average and I will use it. However It does make it use slightly harder.

Hope your all well!

Lauren.

Cosmopolitan’s career guide!

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog posts about the career masterclass that Compilation held, I had an amazing day in London and thought that the advice they gave was really useful. Some of you lovely readers have asked me to give some more information about what they said. So today  I am going to fill you in on what they said. I hope you enjoy!

Image

The event was a few weeks ago now and I didn’t write very detailed notes so I am not telling you word for word what they said but you will get the idea. I would also like to point out that the talk looked at working within the media industry.

  1. What do you want to be?

When you were picking what to study at university you had to decide what you wanted to be when you are older. If you took Journalism then you are probably thinking about becoming a journalist, and even if you didn’t know what to do you have already narrowed it down; you can’t become a medical doctor by studying English.

Now you are at university you need to start thinking more specifically about what exactly you want to do. Let’s assume for now that you want to work within journalism, well what type of journalists do you want to be? In my group of friends we have one person who wants to do local news journalism, one who wants to become a fashion journalist and me who wants to go into Public Relations.

Through your university work and assignments you should be testing out different aspects of the area you are studying, this goes for most courses not just journalism. If you still can’t decide what aspect of the industry you want to get into then you need to get out of there and find out where your passion lies.

Through out the day the wonderful Cherry Healy kept giving great advice about how to gain experience and work out what you want to do within the media industry. Her advice was to pretty much get out their and try the waters. If you think you want to work on set, produce or anything like that then get on a set. You can then see what is needed within the role. You can do this by contacting production compnaies and offering your voluntary work for a day or how ever long you feel suitable for.

  1. Build your CV

Ok, so you know what you want to get into doing when you have finished university and entered the big wide world. You can now use your time at uni to build a CV so that your future employer can never say no to you.  If your course is anything like mine you will be really busy during the term time however  my summer is something like 5 months long. So what a perfect tome to gain experience.

A number of large firms, in most professions, have summer internships which you can apply for. Some of these will even be paid. However you can also work for smaller companies who will pay your expenses and volunteer for local charities (writing a newsletter, creating a Pr campaign, filming youtube videos etc)

  1. Be unique, be you!

I guarantee that if you have spoken to anyone about writing a CV, then they will have said something about making it stand out from the crowd. The truth is there are hundreds of people applying for one position at the moment and you need to be the CV they look at. I always feel like I should channel a little Elle Woods from Legally blonde with her pink CV.

Jazz Kaur, Benefit PR mastermind, said that her first job she applied to was for L’Oreal, she ended her application with   “You should hire me because I’m Worth it.”Using their Iconic catchphrase obviously worked because she got the job.

Well, this has become a super long post so I am going to end there. I hope this helped you.

Image

Uni Confessions: 

~ I am getting ready for the Cosmo Blogging Masterclass. Anyone going?

~I am working in PR for a charity this summer. 

 ~What are you looking forward to this summer? I am hoping to go to Benicassim, a festival in spain.