It’s been a while since i posted on here so I thought i’d update you on life and all. I am now in my half way through my degree. I’m not going to lie but this semester has been very hard and it hit me on week 2 that i can’t muck anything as everything will go towards my final degree mark. However though i did get some marks back for a brass trio i did for composition module which i got a first for but my comments mentioned the brass band unity feel of it-i’ve been found out!!!
We also had a workshop with a string quartet for the final composition which was great fun and went a lot better than expected. I’m really pleased with how the string quartet went for me-the sound shows how much my composition has changed since starting uni. I might actually miss the composition module now i’ve dropped it for semester 2 as it’s now longer compulsory……..
Christmas was busy as every with lots of caroling, 2 uni concerts as well as my own chamber music assessment and playing in two friends assessments. My caroling actually finished on 23rd december but at norwich station of all places…..MY SECOND HOME!!! However though, this wasn’t with my main band as i also depped with another brass band which i am on good terms with and a brass quintet at a pub which was great fun!
I’m now on my January break where i’ve been practicing for my end of year recital and just relaxing while composing a soundtrack for a commission as well as brass band rehearsals of course! Looking forward to when i’m back at uni especially my two option modules-music education and electroacoustic composition!
So as i prepare to return to commuting to uni at the end of the month and start year 2 of my degree, it got me thinking about the advice i would have loved to had when i began commuting to uni during my . When i prepared to start commuting last year, the thing i saw when i googled for advice and asked people, the responses i got was that i would regret it, i wouldn’t make any friends/have a social life and that i would sign my life away to trains. Well a year on, i don’t regret it, i have a good group of friends and a social life. Yes i may spend 2 hours 35 minutes on trains a day when i’m at uni but with careful planning, i can split the day perfectly so i can balance work and friends perfectly.
- You won’t be the only person commuting-Many people commute to university for a number of reasons whether to save money or because they are a mature student already with a home and family. There’ll be at least one person on your course or in an different year of that course who commutes so you won’t be alone. Of the 2nd years (my year) and 3rd years on my course at uni, theres at least 4 people that i know of who commute in, 2 2nd years and 2 3rd years.
- If you can, try and make a freshers week event-Freshers week is a brilliant way to make friends and have fun at many different events . Everyone is in the same boat and will want to meet new people as well as have some fun.There will also properly be a freshers fair where lots of stalls are there with….FREE STUFF!!!
- Making friends on your course is easier than you think-When you start, everyone is in the same boat regardless of whether you commute or not. Your course may have an induction week. These give you a chance to meet your coursemates and get taste of what the next few years will be like. By chatting to people there and asking simple things eg where there from and what there into etc, you’ll already start to get numbers and facebook adds.Yes you will have to make a bit more effort in socialising there on as you wont be at uni 24/7 but once you have a close group of friends, you can have a group to relax with and also if needed give you a place to stay overnight.
- You need to plan your day in advance-Get yourself a academic diary and write down your timetable and times of any trains/buses you need to get. As well, it is also worth to plan if your are going to do any work while comuting-deadlines creep up on you quicker than you think so if you can do any work while commuting as well as when you have free time inbetween sessions, you can make these deadlines quicker than you expect while balancing a social life.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help-We all will have a point where we will struggle. Don’t feel afraid to ask for help whether it’s from family or university. They are all there to help, not to leave you to suffer in pain and can help you get round a hard period
- Try and get yourself into a sort of sleep routine-With a lot of traveling going on, it’s important to try and get much sleep despite a unroutinelike timetable. There may be times where you get home early one day and have to wake up at the crack of dawn for a 9am lecture (NOT FUN!) and not get home till late. Of course, there will be exceptions to the case at times but it’s important to get as much sleep as you can so you don’t get in the next day feeling horrendous. Of course caffine can help, but it is not best to live on it constantly.
I hope this helps and if you have any further queries, tweet me
So i’ve been done for the summer for nearly a month and i found out that I have passed my first year with a 2:1 with my mark being 65%. Although this years mark will not count towards my final degree, i am over the moon with the mark. I got 1sts for the music business and performance modules, 2:1’s for composing, music technology, language of music 1a and 2:2’s for world music and language of music 1b.
This seems like a perfect time to look back on my first year. At the start of september, I was incredibly nervous. I was returning to education after my gap year and i wasn’t sure if i made the right descion to even go to uni-even more since i would be taking an hour commute on the train. A year on, I can safely say i made the right descion. The commute has not been as bad as i thought-i do work on the train to pass the time, there has only been a few times where the trains have been rubbish and i’ve made a great group of friends including a fellow commuter-the work has been good and not as bad as i thought and i feel happy with the progression. There has been a few bad moments and times where i have been temptend to quit but i’m glad i haven’t-the motivation is when i graduate with my cap and gown and the certifcate showing i did it.
My immediate plans for the summer are to try and get a job for the summer (not going well so far), lots of composing and producing music as well as performing. I will also publish a few posts with advice for freshers starting in september too-including advice for people commuting and people returning to education after a gap year.
I’ll end this post with a playlist of my work done from this year and some favourite images.