It is scary to think about but in a months time I will be a university graduate with a BA Hons in Graphic Design (ahhhh!!). Even though I have uploaded a couple of posts in the past about university in general (10 tips on surviving university or University room tour) I realised I’ve never really written about my personal experience or what my intentions have been after graduating. Seeing as I’m down to my final few days as a student I reckoned now would be the perfect time for this post.
My University Experience
I decided to study graphic design at uni because it was something I had always had a keen interest in but didn’t feel confident enough to try and break straight into the industry. After multiple open days and interviews I set my heart on Norwich University of the Arts because the course seemed to be amazing and I loved the idea of being surrounded by creatively driven people. I absolutely loved my first year of university and found the course to be so interesting and inspiring but, if I’m honest, it seemed to go downhill once second year began. First our amount of contact hours dropped to about 5 hours a week and we no longer had workshops or trips out of uni. Then everyones grades seemed to drop by at least 10%, bit of a shock when you think you’re doing well! The most annoying thing however was it felt as if the tutors became biased towards certain students whose style of work they liked and more opportunities were often sent their way. Guess thats the problem with an art degree where there isn’t a right or wrong answer and its all down to personal preference.
As far as the social side of uni goes it was definitely a rollercoaster! In first year I lived in student accommodation with 10 others. I guess there was bound to be a certain element of drama when you stick a random group of 18 year olds in a flat together. Although I am still close with 8/10 of them I would say it wasn’t until my third year that I finally felt settled and with a solid group of friends around me. Looking back I do wish that I went to a larger university that had more societies to offer and, therefore, more opportunities to meet people but I wouldn’t change the bunch of pals I have now for the world.
I think the whole experience of going to university has really helped me to develop as a person, however cliche that sounds. It’s made me grow up and really taught me a lot about what I want to get from life. I’ve learnt the importance of friends and loyalty but equally not to be afraid to cut someone out my life who is bringing me more pain than joy. It has also provided me with some of the funniest memories to look back on (I will leave some photos below of my favourite times). Overall I have really enjoyed my time at uni, even if there are aspects of it I would liked to have changed, and I know that the day I have to pack my bags and finally leave is going to be a really difficult one!
My Future Plans
Apart from knowing that I want to be a graphic designer I have never really had a clear set path of what I wanted to do once I graduate. The closer it gets however I have decided that I am not ready to start my 9-5 office life just yet and would like to take the next year out to travel whilst I can. So far my plans are to work and save up until February then jet off to New Zealand and Bali for a couple of months. I will then come back home and carry on working to get some more money before then going out to America to spend a summer working at a camp. I say this all confidently as if I actually have everything booked (hahaha I wish) but still its nice to get ideas out there into the universe. For my travels across the world in February I want to go away with an arranged group/tour to begin with just to settle me in and form some friendships – if anyone has any recommendations for companies that provide this please leave them in the comments!
If however the traveling doesn’t work out, or I change my mind and want to go straight to working life, I think my plan will be to apply for as many internships and jobs in the graphic design industry as I can and hope that someone will take me on (fingers crossed all round please.) It is quite daunting to think that I will soon be kicking off my career but at the same time it’s in a field that I love and I am excited to finally be able to work on real life briefs! I will also of course try to keep up my blogging as much as I can and I hope this little blog will grow and adapt along with me as the next chapter begins….(I will leave this however on my favourite memory from uni, our scooby doo gang)
Go and grab another cuppa on me, Em x
LIKED THIS POST? read my other post on Becoming a Graphic Design student?