Sunday, 5 July 2015

Summer Nerves

Summer can be a daunting time for people who have just finished their A-levels. It's the time when many students are worrying about what grades they're going to receive and if they are going to get into University. I personally didn't have this worry as I studied a BTEC but had many friends who did. I spoke to Beth Sutherland a first year Media and Communications student at Birmingham City University who had these 'summer nerves'.

How long was your wait from your last exam to results day?

- My last exam was towards the end of May and results day was the start of August, so it was a long wait for something so important.

How did you feel about the wait? 

- I was on Holiday during results day so had to get my results sent to me via email. I found over summer when I had nothing to do, I was worrying about my results and wether I'd actually get into University. This meant I started to think of backup plans like going through clearing, apprenticeships etc.

What advice would you give to people waiting for their results now? 

- The worst thing to do is to worry and overthink, try to keep busy and enjoy your summer as you've gone through some very stressful exams, you deserve the break. 99% of the time you'll be worrying for nothing because even if you don't get the results you need, clearing is a very helpful option and I know several people who used it and have had the exact same uni experience I have.

Here are some helpful tips to survive A-level results day:

  • Stay Calm - You will feel nervous it's natural but it's best to stay calm as you've tried your best and thats all you could do!
  • CLEARING - There is always clearing and as Beth said it won't change your University experience. You could always end up at the University you wanted to attend you could just be studying a different course or in some cases the same one!
  • Adjustment - This is for the ones who have excelled in your exams and achieved higher grades than expected. You get the chance to apply again to a different University with higher grade boundaries.
I wish you all the best of luck with your results and hope you all enjoy your first year of University! 

Thursday, 21 May 2015

End of First Year!

BBC filming 
I am currently visiting my girlfriend in Birmingham, sat in one of the nicest Library's in the UK watching BBC Doctor's 3000th episode being filmed. I love how there's so many big oppurtunties for media students in this city compared to the city I study in.

Heres goes; I've finally finished my first year of University and have learnt so many things from it. The main one being that I haven't enjoyed my course at all. They all seem very glossy on open days, but after unfortunately studying my course for a year I have decided that it isn't for me. Luckily I am able to transfer to the 2nd year of a Media Production course instead, where I will have a lot more choice of what modules I want to study and will be able to get involved with a lot more of the production side of broadcasting. I just wanted to give you some advice on what to do if you're not enjoying your course.

First of all, try to get as much information as possible about your course before you start, speak to past students, go to taster days etc. As Sunderland is quite far away from my house I only visited the university once and don't think I got as much information as I should have got; partly down to me changing course throughout my UCAS application and only getting information for the course I was originally going to be studying. There still time over summer to go and visit your chosen University and join freshers pages to speak to past students.

Once you've started I would suggest trying to look over modules you are going to be studying and whats involved in the modules. I didn't and was too busy getting caught up in Freshers week and going out after freshers week. The earlier you know if you like your course or not, the easier it will be for you to change courses. Still it's not the end of the world if you, like me only decide that you don't enjoy your course towards the end of the year.

The first thing to do is to speak to your course leader/tutor to go through the different options of what you want to do. I specifically wanted to change to a course similar to mine so that I could transfer into the 2nd year as I didn't fancy starting all over again, after one or two meetings with both course leaders it was decided that I could transfer into the 2nd year of my chosen course. Overall I have enjoyed my first year of University, I've met so many new people and can't wait to be living in a 8 bedroomed house for 2nd year.

Monday, 30 March 2015

House Hunting: 2nd Year House

*throwback to November 2014*  Yes it was that early when me and my friends started house hunting As there was 8 of us we wanted one of the only nice 8 bedroomed houses in Sunderland. I took charge and started to ring a few landlords of the houses we liked the look of online. We visited 2 different houses in one day with 2 different landlords.  After falling in love with the first house and the landlord (he's really nice) we had big expectations for the 2nd house. With the 2nd house not being anywhere as nice as the first one, it was an easy decision on what house we wanted.

8 Bedroomed House for 2nd Year.
Next came the decision of who was living with us, this is important as you get to decide who you want to live with for the next 2 years of your University life. Long story short, there was arguments but we came to a decision of who was finally going to be living in the house. There was also more arguments on who'd get what room. After all of this we rang the landlord and explained that only half of us could afford the admin fee ( I know from experience that different landlords do different things, for example; some landlords ask for a deposit and first months rent first). Our Landlord being really understanding let half of us pay the admin fee and the other half pay when we received our Student Loans after christmas.

House Hunting can be stressful especially when you've only known the people you're going to be living with for just under 3 months. I think you need to think long and hard about the people you're going to be living with as we've just been let down by one of our housemates. I think living in a house for 2nd year is going to be really fun, there's always the doubt of; will there be arguments? will it stay clean? will we still see our friends from 1st year of halls? but overall I'm really excited to move in and to have a double bed back.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Semester 2 - Settling back in

*sorry for the lack of posts*

Here goes: Semester 2 has been very busy so far. I'm in everyday and as well as juggling my core modules i'm also studying my option module. 3 out of 4 modules this Semester are very practical which is a bonus for a practical person like me.

So as i said i'm in University everyday this semester so haven't been able to attend as many nights out as last semester but i've saved a lot more money which is also a bonus. Monday and Tuesday both consist of going into Uni for an hour lecture, which i personally find very annoying but it does get me up and out of the flat.

The practical modules so far have been really fun and i'm really enjoying studying my TV module which see's me and the rest of my class in the TV studio creating a live TV show. The Media facilities at my university (University of Sunderland) are incredible, not only do they have the old Blue Peter set, they have a green room and a gallery full of all the specialist equipment needed to make a good show.

My Theory module is on the History of Journalism, though very interesting it also seems very challenging. I'm still undecided on 2 of the essay questions but i'm going to have to pick 1 soon as it's due in, in 2 weeks. Settling back in to Uni for Semester 2 has overall been fine. If anyone has any questions on the course i'm studying, the university i'm at, or just university questions in general i'll be happy to answer them.

I'm also going to try and update this again very soon.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Semester 1:

Today marks my last academic week of Semester 1. This week I have to hand in my last radio package, having already completed two of these already it's going to be a massive relief to get my third and last one submitted. I also have a copy editing test, as well as doing the Broadcast side of Journalism my course also focuses on the written side too. Which is good as i'll have a variety of Journalistic skills which will help for when i Graduate (which is 3 years off).

I will then be travelling back to Wigan on a Megabus (student way of travelling). The Megabus is a really good way to travel to Uni and back home. It's cheap with tickets costing less than £8. This of course will be after me and my Uni friends have our flat Christmas. We all did secret santa (not very secret as none of us could keep our mouths shut when drunk). But still it's going to be a really good way to end Semester one.

Few pics from Semester 1.

I think the social side of University has been a massive part of it so far for me,  especially as i'm only in two days a week. It will all change in Semester 2 as i'm in everyday and have to juggle my option module in with my core modules, which will keep me extra busy. I've met so many amazing people so far and done so many amazing things. I really am looking forward to spending my three years at Sunderland University.
I think i forgot to mention at the start of this Blog that i live on the River in an accommodation called Panns Bank. (it's the 2 brown buildings on this picture ^).  I thought i'd share these photos for any prospective Sunderland University students. The views are definitely a plus in my eyes.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Ucas Application

This time last year, I had only just sent my UCAS application off. I wish i would have sent it off earlier but that doesn't matter as i'm now at my first University choice. I remember it taking ages for me to write a personal statement and the long wait over Christmas to receive offers was not pleasant. It seemed like i was the only one not receiving offers, after seeing pictures of other peoples offers all over social media sites. Don't worry about that, different universities look at applications at different times, there's nothing to worry about.

After sending my application off i thought it'd be a good idea to check my top two University choices out again. I could only get to one of two applicant days; fortunately that turned out to be my first choice University. I would definitely try to get a top 3 University choices whilst the Universities are considering your application. I was fortunate enough to not receive any Interviews for any of my choices, but know of people who did. I would recommend you get prepared for the Interview at least 2 weeks in advance; know where your going, what your taking etc.

The relief of receiving offers after the unpleasant wait is amazing, not as amazing as finally getting an Unconditional for the University, but still it's good. The hardest part for me was deciding which University to put as my Insurance, as i felt that i couldn't go anywhere else other than my firm choice because of how much i liked it. I decided that Sunderland was my Firm and Chester would be my insurance as it had a lower entry criteria. I was lucky enough to receive an Unconditional from Sunderland in July and am now enjoying my first year so far.

UCAS applications can be scary things at first. I found the application process to be very boring. I would have preferred to have sent a video in for my application, being a Broadcast Journalist student. But overall the process of applying for UCAS is worth it in the end!.

University life so far ...

I'm now home from University for Reading Week. A week where i get to catch up on work as November is seen as Deadline month for me and many other students. I thought it'd be a great idea to start my first post surrounded by the home comforts i don't get at University.

The past nine weeks have been the most amazing weeks of my life so far. It all started on September 13, when i moved up to Sunderland University to start my freshers week. Freshers week is now an important part of a students life; socialising, partying and having fun is the usual schedule of a Universities freshers week. I would recommend everyone attending Freshers week at your University. It really is an amazing way to start your first year.

My course (Broadcast Journalism) kicked off to a slow start. Having already studied a practical media course for 2 years i knew how to use the editing software, equipment and content of some of the radio module. It was nice to go back over it though to refresh my brain after a lengthy 3month break over Summer.  I love studying a course i'm really passionate about and that's what you need to consider when applying for Universities on UCAS.

House hunting has also started for me and my friends. We are looking for an eight bedroom house in Sunderland City Centre. Doing things like this make me realise how independent I have become since  starting University. Looking for houses this early on was not what i was expecting to do, but with many of the best houses being snatched up by other students we need to get a move on to get a good house ourselves.