A survival guide to uni & post-grad life

Hello blogging world, it's my first blog post as Lauren Goodland (Ba Hons) and I still can't string a decent sentence together so you'll still have to put up with my unfiltered ramblings. I haven't blogged since February because I had an impending cloud of guilt over my head whenever I did anything that wasn't uni work, so it feels really good to finally be able to post again! I thought I'd put together a survival list based upon my time in uni and now 3 months into post-grad life. Alumni should be called alNUMBni because it makes your life feel weird. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not king of advice, Jeremy Kyle so if you use my advice and mess up your life this disclaimer has saved me from blame *chuckle*

How to survive university (just about):


1. BE INDEPENDENT - You're old now, it's not up to your parents to pay for your tuition, to make you lunch or do your washing (although some mollycoddling is appreciated on dark days), you will become a much better and more independent person if you flee the nest and fend for yourself, washing and all. Give them a break and let them go on clubbing holidays to Ibiza. 

2. FAIL(YAY)URE - The confusing part which education really doesn't prepare you for is that it teaches you to measure success on grades for about 18 years of your life, which is complete and utter bullshit. Success isn't measured in grades and I began to realise this about 2.5 years into my degree, but even when I had realised it was still really hard to detach from grades. The less you care the quicker you can become Stefan Sagmeister. 

3. SORRY I'M LATE - Commuting sucks, you will be late, you will be drenched and fed up and you will miss out on lots of social events because 'you have to get the last train home'. It's not a good way to start the day or spend three years, just man up and move to where your uni is, because I didn't have the balls.

4. DO STUFF - Be as pro-active as possible, but don't worry if you're broke or too tired to socialise, that's totally okay too. I'd recommend Design Stuff Cardiff, they're scattered across the UK too (I believe) and gives you a good chance to hand out business cards when you're hammered. 

5. LIFE IS IMPORTANT TOO -  In relation to the above, remember that life isn't all about university, you may do other things in your life that bring challenges and sometimes university has to be pushed back. Even not living at home adds stress to uni life and mundane things like having a house inspection, raw sewage coming up in your kitchen (actually happened) or simply just staying at home to tidy because you're having to wade through piles of clothes on your bedroom floor is okay (although your lecturers may think otherwise). *wink*

6.  BE ORGANISED - Don't leave everything to the last minute at deadlines, it will feel really really bad and you'll develop a photo album entitled 'times I cried over uni' like I have. Get yourself a diary, guuuurl. 

7. THANK YOU MILEY -  Three words I never thought would leave my mouth. Little did I know the motivational playlist I created in a late night A-level graphics class featuring the likes of 'Lose Yourself' and 'Eye of the Tiger' would get me through another three years of uni. A special one in that playlist was 'The Climb' by Miley Cyrus that I liked to blast through my earphones on deadlines. I'd highly recommend it.

8. GUTS - Like your mum when she tells you to take a coat when it's raining, your tutors are almost always right. But not always -  so don't forget to go with your gut. 

9. DON'T BE A DICK - There can be a lot of pressure, especially in final years of uni, because everyone surrounding you is competition. But who cares if they're competition? These people could also be people you work with in the future and they're also friends. Be friendly, help them when they need help and forget about the competition. 

10. WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK -   If you can go financially without having a part-time job I'd seriously recommend doing so. Although I feel like I wouldn't be the person I am now without having miserable customers moan at me. Another thing I'd say is don't take on heaps of freelance work in your final year. It can get VERY stressful and you'll want to curl up in a ball and forget about the world. 

How to survive post-uni life (just about):

1. WEIRD - You will feel a combination of weird, lost and free (Like Jean Val Jean when he got parole) I stole a loaf of breeeeaddd

2. BROKE ASS POOR (still?) - You'll think your lack of student 'dolla days are over and that your first pay check will come to you with "Goldigger" playing in the background, but it doesn't work that way. Save money to back you up.  Switching jobs always comes with a risk of being short of money, depending when pay day falls. 

3. WHERE ARE ALL MY FRIENDS -  You will miss people and it will feel like you're never going to see them again - I'm hoping I will see people from uni, the money situation hasn't helped, but I really miss just spending time with people in uni and mainly going to Wagamamas with Josh & Ben. I feel like I got close to a lot of people in my final year and I wish the whole three years could've been that way.

4. WHAT'S A SKETCHBOOK?  - You know those 3 sketchbooks you work on in uni for one project? They don't exist in the real world, and I knew this all the way through my degree and found it so hard to push through and create pointless pages of "Possible logo ideas". I've always been the kind of person to go with my gut and I feel like my gut has always been right so far. What I love right now is that I can sketch one or two ideas if I feel the need to, not because I'm forced to. It's GR8. But also I'm not going to lie I also really miss making pointless pages with cut outs from Pinterest. 

5. GOODLAND: RETURN OF THE WHITE BLOOD CELLS  - Enjoy not being ill! No more freshers flu, no more stressy illnesses from deadlines, no more dripping snot on your work. I have never felt SO weak for so long as I did throughout my degree. It was just three years of stress, illness and feeling generally exhausted, but it's all over now (yay!)

6. BE A STUDENT -  It's okay to still be a student in your mind - Get drunk, stay out late, do this until you're 50 if you like.

7. BINGE WATCH - Binge watching TV shows feels SO good - That series of GOT you missed because of your deadlines? You can watch that now and feel totally guilt free, it's amazing. You can slob *yay* 

8. MAKE BABIES (OR DON'T) - Society will probably start expecting you to conform to social standards - you're a graduate, now you can focus on getting engaged, married, buying a house, having 10 children, right? No, you do what you like and when you like with your ovaries and sperms. They're not going anywhere (except for when you're 30 maybe and then you should probably start mating)

9. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT - When you get a job in a career you love you will feel so insanely happy that you're no longer in your crappy retail job, you'll want to hunt down all the customers that were really shitty with you and put a middle finger up to them and tell them they're not always right. It really is that much better. 

10. LIFE IS EXHAUSTING BUT NOT AS EXHAUSTING AS UNI - You will want to do lots of things when you finish work, but you probably won't - This could just be me, but it's hard to come home from work and do work, especially when you work creatively and come home and try and push yourself to be creative. Try your best to do this though, but remember it's also okay to just lounge on your sofa with chocolate and binge-watch episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Thanks for reading.
Lauren :)