*Warning - contains a lot of sarcasm.
I was a creative industry student for nearly 8 years (whutttt) from school to my diploma in Foundation studies to my degree and I like to think I learned a thing or two during my time. Here's my top ten words of wisdom for all creative industry students...
1. It's flippin difficult.
Being a creative industry student is a lot of hard work and certainly no easy ride. It takes a LOT of out of school hours of work and a lot of dedication. If you have any doubts about your dedication to your craft or the type of lifestyle you want whilst you study, don't take up a creative industry. Nada.
2. Nobody will get it. Except your classmates.
Your housemates, friends, family....nobody except your fellow creative types will get what you do and why it requires so much of your time. "Why can't you come out tonight - it's only drawing after all?" Just take a deep breath, remember not all courses require so much work outside of the lecture hall, let them go out and you take pride in your 'drawing'.
3. It'll cost a fortune.
Yes everybody else in your halls is paying £9000 in fees and another 4 in accommodation but your course is going to demand you pay 23482582309583095830 quid in materials, computers, printing, books, trips, studio fees and a lot on energy drinks to keep you awake. Oh and the best part? It's non negotiable. Soz.
4. You'll have to spend twice as many hours in the classroom as everyone else.
You have 8 hours of lectures this week? Oh thats nice. I have 15 hours of scheduled time and another 4723094720573097503751 that I'll probably have to fit in just to meet my deadline this week.
5. You will begin to resent the very thing you came to uni to study.
When you finish for any sort of break, christmas, summer you will never want to see anything that resembles your work again. A pencil? No thanks. Paper? Nah. Even the computer is a bit of a stretch. Shame you have that summer project to work on though.
6. Holidays aren't holidays.
On the same note, looking forward to your summer holidays? Your christmas break? Surprise! You've got an entire book to write and illustrate, a dissertation to crack on with, a professional practice file to complete and all the work you've put off for your assessment. Enjoy your time off.
7. You can't have time off.
Friends miss a day of uni? Never mind, the lecture slides are online. You miss a day of uni? You've missed crucial studio time, a deadline, a critique, 5 new projects and a fire alarm. Nice one.
8. You get a lot of rejections.
Being a creative industry student is difficult. Working in a creative industry is difficult. The way to marry the two together is for EVERYONE to tell you how difficult the industry is, how most people won't make a success of themselves, how you don't earn any money, how uni is a doddle compared to real life. And so you will get a lot of criticism, a lot of bad assessments and the work you've spent X amount of hours working on will be torn to shreds in 5 minutes.
9. You'll have to take the kitchen sink in to class.
None of this just taking your tablet into lectures or god forbid nothing because it's all on Moodle/Blackboard/other university systems. No no. You've got your laptop, your drawing tab, an extension lead, 3 pencil cases , 6 files, half a stack of paper, 3 children's book for reference, a notebook, an A2 portfolio and a bag of snacks to get you through the day. I have been known to have to take multiple trips from my student house to uni to get it all there.
10. It's the best thing you'll ever do.
It's not all doom and gloom and rubbish (trust me, these points will be relatable and hilarious after you've graduated). Being a creative industry student is the most rewarding thing you can do and it's highly recommended for a reason. You'll have a lot to show for your £9000 when you leave, not just a qualification. You'll have books written and illustrated by you, you'll have a professional portfolio, you'll have a website and business cards, you'll have a dissertation, research folders, boxes of illustrations and a nice shiny computer to go with it. You'll walk across that stage at graduation knowing you worked damn hard for that certificate and it's something to be seriously proud of. Go you.