One of the most peculiar feelings about coming to the end of my time at university has been that it feels like the past three years have been an absolute blur but also a period of such exciting change in my life. One minute I was plopping my suitcase down on my bed in a room in Peel Park Quarter as the late summer sun shined through my windows, the next it was the early January of my third year with tired walks home from the library as the sun went down at half 4 and the deadline of my dissertation loomed. Before I knew it, I was on the stage of the Lowry Theatre graduating – shaking hands with the Vice Chancellor, overcome with excitement but also silently praying that I wasn’t going to trip over my graduation gown right in front of everyone. 🎓
The three years have flown by so fast, but I feel like a completely different person than who I was when I accepted my offer to study at Salford three years ago. Not to be too cheesy, but the University of Salford has taught me so much and for my final blog post on Made in Salford(💔), I wanted to share some of the key things I’ve learnt from my time here and what I think the future holds for me.
Step outside your comfort zone and say ‘yes’ more
I wasn’t prepared for how great Salford is for student opportunities. If you say ‘yes’ more, your resume will be incredibly different by the time you come to graduation. I have always been quite a shy person and I do wish I had taken my own advice more throughout my time at university but in the past three years, from saying ‘yes’ more, I have been on stage multiple times and in the MediaCityUK’s Digital Performance Lab tech box as production manager of a student play because I decided to bite a confidence bullet and join Almost Famous Theatre Company in my first year. I’ve seen my poetry exhibited on campus during my second year and I would never have imagined spending my final year working in the Marketing department as a Social Media Content Creator. The University of Salford gives their students so many opportunities for hands-on experience, the chance to try new things and memorable experiences so use this time to step outside your comfort zone – you’ll be amazed at the things you can do.
Make self-care a priority all year round
It can be easy to get completely overwhelmed with the student experience or worry that you’re not having that ‘iconic student life’ like students in college films have. Social media comparison, burnout and homesickness are all completely normal things that students experience, and fellow student blogger Charlotte covered those feelings well. So how can you combat it? Self-care. I’ve come out of university an absolute ‘self-care’ devotee. It’s not just applicable around deadline week, self-care is something students should practice all year round. Learn your limits to every aspect of student life – partying, library all-nighters, extracurricular projects, etcetera. Make time to catch up on sleep, eat healthily, get some light exercise and do something that makes you happy. During my time at university I liked to make time each week to switch off my phone and find a nice corner of the library to just read a good book because it made me happy and helped refresh my brain if I was feeling a bit stressed or anxious.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
One of the first things I noticed after a month in university is that you will be given a much more attentive style of teaching in comparison to college. Especially on my course, workshops and seminars began to feel incredibly familiar each week and your tutors would know each and every one of us through workshops where we’d have active discussions as a group and be able to give each other honest feedback on creative pieces and ideas. Definitely take every chance you have to have regular catch-ups and chats with your assigned personal tutor, as their job is to ensure you reap every benefit the University of Salford provides. If things ever get tough, or you are feeling confused about a particular topic or stressed about a certain deadline or exam, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There have been moments during my time at university where I would feel a piece of coursework is completely impossible but the moment I had asked for help and talked it through with my module tutor, everything seemed so much clearer and it made such a difference to my grades, my wellbeing and my understanding of the subject.
What does the future hold?
After my graduation in the summer I continued working within the Social Media Team of the University which has made me realise that I’d like to pursue a career in social media management or digital marketing. It’s being a lot of fun planning content with the team, writing a wide range of posts for the blog from New Adelphi Theatre reviews to tips on sustainable fashion. I’ve had the chance to interview students with fantastic stories. But it’s been very rewarding meeting some of the university’s future students by answering your many questions and queries through our social media platforms. It’s really heart-warming to see how excited and passionate applicants get about following their dream and taking their next step into education. 💌
The end-goal for me is still becoming a writer. Since graduating, I’ve seen one of my poems published online on the website ‘Dear Damsels‘ which was really exciting and I’ve been able to utilize the many skills and techniques we were taught through the Creative Writing side of my course in my own personal writing. I’m not saying you’ll see my name on front table of Waterstones anytime soon but it’s really nice to have fallen back in love with the process of writing, which I completely thank Salford for. Hopefully I’ll be able to say that I’ve finished a draft of my first novel in the next few years instead – baby steps! 🌠