Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunderland University - My first year experience

Seaburn Beach - Sunderland

As you may or may not know, since September 2012, I've been studying Fashion Journalism at the University of Sunderland. I've had one of the best years of my life meeting the best people, getting some great opportunities and having the chance to learn with some of the best lecturers (even if I am a little bit bias) 

I thought I'd write a post with a round-up of my first year experience and my personal opinions on University, to give those of you whom are questioning uni or who didn't go, an insight into the lifestyle - or for those who have left uni, to reminisce! 

So, rewind two years back - a nervous 17 year old me was entering the final year at sixth form college and guess what? I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I was positive I wanted to go to University, as it was something I'd wanted to do since being younger. So, after lots of long nights scrolling through various courses, looking at the Guardian University list, reading student blogs and having "cry for help meetings" with my personal tutor - I finally found the course I wanted - Fashion Journalism. Initially, the FJ course I found was at the University of the Creative Arts in London - London being a place that I've always wanted to live.

However, I figured I'd look to see if the course existed anywhere else in the UK, as I wanted to keep my options open. This is where Sunderland came into the equation. So, after a hefty UCAS application, personal statement and a fair few open day visits, I fell in love with not only the university, but Sunderland as a City seemed ideal for me. It's got a beach and a direct line to the Metro Centre, what more can a woman need?!

My cute little bedroom.

Freshers wristband

So after getting accepted - YIPPEE: I had the accommodation decision. My friend, Katharine, was also coming to Sunderland Uni, so we made the decision to stay in the same flat at our chosen halls - Clanny House - which was named the "Party Halls" by student reps, and has most certainly stuck to it's name throughout the year. With our flat being named the "danger flat" after the first night of freshers as one of our housemates broke her foot, oops! And yet again, we proved the name right with more drama than any drama llama can handle in just the few months we were all there.

Moving on from my flatmates and housing - I knew from day one of teaching that I was going to love the course. The fashion journalism girls all met on the first day and we all became quite a close knit bunch almost immediately. Our first day was made better, by our course leader Julie Bradford telling us our first task was to go to Fenwick in Newcastle and interview the Womenswear buyer, and of course shop afterwards. 

Myself and the fashion journo girls.


Another exciting trip we were lucky enough to go on, was a trip to the Sunderland Uni Canary Wharf Campus for a Journalism Masterclass with the likes of Fabulous Editor Rachel Richardson and one of the best Showbiz Journalist's you will ever meet - Louise Gannon. You can read more about the masterclass here.

Tube to Canary Wharf


L-R Hannah Almassi, Grazia - Louise Gannon, Elle, Grazia etc - Hattie Crisell, Freelance Journalist - Rachel Richardson, Fabulous Editor

Other trips included: The Birmingham NEC Clothes Show Live and the costume room at The Newcastle Discovery Museum.


However, the course isn't just about the trips. There is deadlines, and yes - there has been tears. The course is split up into different modules, such as:
  • Fashion Journalism
  • Fashion History & Culture
  • Media & Cultural Studies
  • Introduction to news, magazine & sports journalism
  • Writing for Journalism & PR
  • Introduction to Social Media (my optional module I chose)

My favourite module I've studied so far, has to be (Captain Obvious) Fashion Journalism, as it's just right up my street. We've done things such as street styling, catwalk reports, trend reports, fashion quizzes, magazine spreads, best-dressed features and a critical case study on our chosen designer; in which I chose my favourite - Chanel.

Throughout the course, my confidence has improved in leaps and bounds. A once shy young girl, now has the "bravery" to pick up the phone and actually speak to the person I've never met on the other end. As well as confidence, my knowledge on news and journalism in general has definitely increased too. 

Meeting Victoria White, Company Magazine Editor at Newcastle Fashion Week

I'm so excited (though, a little bit scared) about second year starting in September, as this is where the university steps it up and we start Shorthand (I can hear all you journo students screaming). However, we also get to start Media Law which I am a little bit too excited for because I loved law at college and yes, I have no shame.

So, to conclude this big fat hefty post - I just want to say that my first year of university has been amazing - I've gained independence, confidence, an amazing boyfriend & great friends along the way: and I wouldn't change it for the world. 



Thank you for reading.
How was your University experience?
Or, are you planning on going to uni?

18 comments:

  1. I'm planning to go to Worcester uni next September studying Pre-Hospital, Unscheduled & Emergency Care to become a paramedic :)

    Loved your post! <3

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    1. Aw that sounds great, I wish I was brave enough to do something like that! Thank you sweetie :)

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  2. Lovely post. I wish there'd been more options when I was younger x

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! Oh that's a shame, what did you do? x

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  3. Loved this post! This will be me in a years time! I am hopefully starting at Leeds in September, and I can't wait! I think I have been excited for over a year now, I just can't believe its 3 months away! Only downside is having nothing to do for 3 months haha but I am sure it will fly over! Sounds like you had an amazing first year, and still more to go :)


    Emily
    emilyemilybeth.com
    xx

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yay thank you so much! What will you be studying? I live about 20 minutes away from Leeds. Yes, the time flies - I feel like I'm growing up far too fast now! Good luck with your first year and enjoy freshers!

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  4. So glad I came about this post! I'm starting at Sunderland (hopefully) in September for Fashion Journalism - was also struggling between LCF and Sunderland but this makes me glad I picked Sunderland, so thanks! Hope I love it as much as you do!

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    1. Aw that comment just made this post worth it! Glad you're coming to Sunderland, I'm sure I'll see you around. I hope you love it as much as I do too! :)

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  5. Aww it sounds like you had an amazing year! I studies at Northumbria, so close to you and also fell in love with the North East. Everyone's so friendly! University for me was filled with highs and lows but I still miss it like mad :D

    OutsideBeautyInsideHealth

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    1. Aw glad to hear, I love it up here! I know, I'm scared of finishing as I just want to carry on doing degrees forever! xx

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  6. An amazing boyfriend? You're too kind.

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  7. Sounds like a really interesting first year!:)

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    1. It was lovely, I really enjoyed it!

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