Life Experience, University

A Guide for Freshers

I’ve just spent the last couple of days entertaining my baby sister who came to stay with me in York and it’s been great – we’ve done loads of shopping, eaten some quality food, watched a film or two and had some worthy discussions. Except, she’s not my baby sister anymore. She’s 19 and about to go to uni in two weeks in Liverpool. That’s far.. It got me thinking about how scared I was before I went to uni and how many emotional breakdowns I had before I even got there. It’s a really, really stressful and daunting experience and I’m afraid that there’s no one out there who can tell you what it’s going to be like. No one has the exact same experience at university and unfortunately there isn’t a rule book or a guide telling you what’s going to happen or what to do. What I have managed, however (and I’ll be passing this onto Mols) is a vague guide of what to generally expect and what opportunities to jump at. This is the director’s cut of the original list that I ended up writing:

  • Always carry an umbrella and some change
  • If you have a 3 hour class at 4pm, take a can of energy drink – you’ll really need it
  • Sometimes you’ll be in the library til it closes (or until the sun rises if it’s 24 hour) and that’s okay, you’ll feel great
  • Get to know at least one tutor well
  • Absolutely no one cares how you are dressed in lectures
  • Sometimes the syllabus says you need to buy a textbook and the tutor says you don’t – check before you buy! (also, it’s probz in the library)
  • Having a 2am – 11am sleep schedule is okay
  • Don’t take drinks from random people
  • Take notes by hand – it sinks in better
  • Always keep an emergency stash of loo roll in your room for your use only
  • Jump at every opportunity to do something fun – don’t leave yourself out, you deserve the fun
  • Go to every event with free food
  • Stay up talking til the sun rises
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Be yourself

I know there’s lots of people around the country, around the world at this moment still shopping for uni supplies, still stressing about making friends and I wish I could tell you exactly how it’s going to pan out, but you are the only person who can take this journey and you will be the only person who affects your university experience at first. When friends come along, things change and you’ll watch each other develop into functional adults (even though it doesn’t feel like it).

I sometimes wish I could start university all over again, but when I remember how much I was dreading it and how scared I was, I’m glad I’ve already done that. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, though. University has made me who I am and has given me the friends that I need. Best decision I ever made to go, hands down.

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Life Experience, Misc.

New Digs

Last Tuesday we got the keys to our new 5 bedroom student house in the centre of York. In the last four years, I’ve lived in a total of 5 houses but there is something wholly different about this one. In my third year I lived in a brand new build, had an en suite and a massive living room – it was awesome. And this one isn’t far different. It’s older, meaning that like a lot of buildings in York it’s actually a little bit wonky and it’s a little smaller, with far more nooks and crannies that you wouldn’t find in a new house. But I love it. 10 minutes from town, Waitrose and Morrisons up the road, what more do you need?

I’ve never seen a student bedroom so big in all my life, but mine is what you would describe as massive. I’ve actually struggled placing everything that I have because there are so many options. We have a dining table in the kitchen – a luxury that most student houses don’t provide or have the space for, and there’s an extra toilet downstairs which is useful when there are six people living in one house together.

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A funky panorama of our new bedroom (before everything was unpacked)
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A slightly blurry panorama of our new living room – complete with something weird on one of two TVs

I’ve also had a lovely twenty minute walk to work (by work I mean to the lift to work) by the riverside, to the Millennium Bridge in York. It certainly beats walking down lots of busy main roads when you’re still half asleep on a morning; this gives me a chance to wake up.

IMG_20150713_065631Having said that, I’ve only got 3 days left at school. And then that’s it. This whole year which I’ve occasionally documented to you via this blog is coming to a sweet end. I don’t want to say I’ll be glad to leave, but let’s just say I won’t be too upset.

The task now is to find a job in York which I can use to pay the rent on my new house!

Education, Life Experience

Fitting In

Being in the cool group at school was never my jam – I say that, I don’t think I would have been invited anyway – but when university struck, all of a sudden there were people that wanted to spend time with me. Sweet. Since then, for the last three and a bit years, I’ve been fine, I’ve felt like I’ve slotted perfectly into everything I’ve done with the people I’ve been with. Now, though it’s a different story. Because I now know what I want to do with my life and because I know that it’s not workinggallery-hsieh in a school, I suddenly feel out of place. I still care about the job (heck, you’ve gotta when you work with children) and I still do my best, but it’s as though there’s this bubble around me with a sticker on it saying ‘Odd One Out’ or something.

I’ve had a few suggestions from some teachers recently that they don’t even know I work here and I’m pretty sure some of them think I’m a student. One just this morning opened her mouth to stop me walking down the corridor and when I smiled, I got an unimpressed look back at me, as if I’d deceived her or something. It probably doesn’t help that I used to come to this school as a teenager, but I’ve got to say, the people I’m finding that are doing this most arrived here long after I’d even left, which gives them zero excuses.

The career that I want is entirely different to this and I’m waiting for it to come along any time soon. Trouble is as well, this is only a temporary contract, so whichever sector it was in, I think by this point I’d be getting antsy. What I’m most scared of is leaving here without a job lined up and I can’t keep going in these circles. I need something I can progress in because I’m twenty-two now and should start acting more like an adult. Hopefully I will find something where I fit in with the rest of them and don’t have to worry about being told to take my jacket off on the corridors…

Entertainment, Film, Life Experience, Television, University

A Murder of Crows Kickstarter Campaign

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my web series pilot’s Kickstarter Campaign! We’re asking for one thousand pounds which seems a lot, I know, but compared to the billions of dollars that people spend on Hollywood films, it’s barely anything. The money is intended to go towards costumes, location hire (we’ve found an indoor victorian street in a museum in York!), caring for actors’ needs and anything else that a film production requires. I’m not going to beg you to pledge, I’m just going to say that I would really, really appreciate anything that you could kindly give; it’s my last ever uni project and I just want it to be the best that it can!

So please, explore the page, visit the website, get involved and enjoy! That’s all I ask, really.

Here’s the kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1233333540/a-murder-of-crows-steampunk-crime-drama-web-series and here’s the website link www.pickupfilms.co.uk if you just fancy a browse.

Thank you! Love you!

Entertainment, Film, Life Experience, University

Royal Television Society Student Awards, 20.03.12

Last Tuesday, I went to York Race Course with most of the people from my course at uni to witness the RTS student awards and, to be

Before the awards begin - at York Race Course

honest, York St John did extremely well. I’ll jump straight in there with the fact that the talented students from my uni practically owned the documentary category, winning both runner-up prizes and the winner’s prize. I reckon there were about five or six other uni’s and colleges there and all of them did really well. It’s just that they didn’t have as big a fan base as what our uni did. This, of course, is down to the fact that there were at least 40 first year students getting tipsy at the back of the room and cheering every time the hostess said York St John’s name.

The awards, handed out by one of our very own documentary tutors, Robin, consisted of big crates of beer and some actual RTS awards. This wasn’t something that was just thrown together by tutors across Yorkshire, oh no. It was the real deal with the majority of people dressed up to the nines.

At the RTS student awards

For each nomination, a clip of the film was shown and I must say that the quality of all of the films was fantastic – I hope I make something as good as those one day. All I’m going to say that’s ever so slightly negative is

that just a couple of them sang out ‘Student Film’ a little bit, which isn’t even a bad thing. No, I’ve said that all wrong. Well, I haven’t because they are student films. I hope you get what I mean in my lovely rambles.Probably the best part of the whole night was when they unveiled the buffet of bacon sandwiches. This, in my opinion, is the perfect buffet that anyone could offer to students anywhere. To be honest, it was worth going just for that because it was free and the bacon was amazing.. The whole event was free actually which is an extra bonus. The only thing was that I didn’t get a drink because they were so expensive. An example is that a very small and undignified glass of Pepsi was apparently worth £1.50. No, thanks. And a pint of a number of beers were at least £4. This is why I stayed very, very sober that night as I am a poor student with not a single pound to my name any more. I probably deserve it after spending my loan on nothing but pizza and new clothes -_- .But yes, definitely a brilliant night and may I just say to all the students who submitted their films to this; well done! 😀

At the RTS student awards