Advice for commuting university students

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!!!
  3. 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 Β 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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

Best,

Leveridge

Reflections on 1st Year of studying music at uni

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 Β 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 Β 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.

All official:) #student #arufreshers #angliaruskin

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9am lecture 😒😒 6:51 train with a 5:30 start….least it's only once a week

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Task 3 #coursework #uni #musicdegree #logicprox #musicstudent

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Serisoly durffele…#toohigh #altoproblems

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Favourite part of uni! #lunchtimeconcert

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#sunrise #station #norwichstation

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Last night πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ» #uni #concert #westroad #cambridge #chorus #angliaruskin

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Toot! #tenorhorn #godsinstrument

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Waiting

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#waterbeach

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Stuck in lakenheath

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Pre concert selfies 😝

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Rehearsing #hipstamatic #orchestra #uni

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Binham montage

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Passed my first year with a 2:1 YES!!!!!

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Best,

Leveridge

29th February 2016

So today is a very rare day. It only happens once every four years so it seems worthwhile to have a blogpost on. Can see whether it will show up with bugs in timehop to see whether they have prepared for leap years!!!

Think i’ll do this post like how it used to be on my blog for 365 days of the year. It’s Monday, I don’t have any lectures at uni today so I am at home working on some coursework and this bastard of an essay. I have been back at uni for nearly a month now. I would have gone back to the commute in january but i had no exams in January so i got an extra long winter break!!!! Not bad πŸ˜€ Although I enjoyed the rest and time to do what i want, i was looking forward to going back as it became thustrating towards the end of the month

At the start of the semester i also found out that i have passed all my modules from last semester with a good 2:1. This means that providing I pass all my modules this semester (language of music, music buisiness, world music and music performance) I am on course to passing my first year of uni with a good 2:1 :D. My overall marks for the modules really suprised me as although i knew that my lowest would be for langauge of music, my highest was for composing?????? I got 66% for composing and improvising, 65% for Music and technology (a wierd mark for my final composition) & 63% for language of music 1a. You can listen to what i’ve done below πŸ™‚

It’s more related to the theory side with regards to the modules this semester. Although there is some creative stuff, it’s more essay work. I was only in 2 days last week as i had a hospital appointment about my calcium which went well. I also finally had the balls to perform in a performance workshop which could have gone better in all honesty :/. It’ll be a long time before i have the confidence to perform in it again i think :(. I’ve chosen my modules for year 2 which will be film music, music education and electroacoustic music. Should be fun!!!! πŸ˜€

The piece though for chorus is very strange though a jazz mass……at least the orchestera pieces are good though πŸ˜€

Now back to this beast of a buisiness report. 500 Words till i hit the word limit though oh yeah πŸ˜€ Oh and practicing the test piece for the area contest on the 19th….

Best,

Leveridge

 

Music has changed my life for the better

So this past fortnight on saturday, I was at a contest with my brass band at bulins skegness playing fire in the blood in our first contest since promotion into the 2nd section. Considering it was our first contest since promotion and at a wide field of bands from all areas, we played very well and got a very respectable result of 19th.

It got me thinking about how learning about music and how to play an instrument really has changed my life for the better. It’s amazing how something as simple as learning how to play an instrument and make music can change somebodys life for the better. I’ll be honest, my early childhood and first few years at school where not in the best of starts. Due to various things which happend in early childhood and not acutally speaking until i was 3, I needed a lot of support when i started school. . During this time, I had interactions with music as my parents would always have music on all the time and i would attend a pre school music group which i enjoyed as well as singing being a part of my playgroup i went to. The biggest thing which captivated me would be listening to the salvation army brass bands when the would play carols at christmas time in the streets of norwich which i adored! Back to school. I started first school and i had support from a teaching assistant when i started reception to the end of year 5 as part of the ways to help me with my education. I started later than i should have and although my parents wanted to pull me back a year because of that, the headteacher sad i would develop best by staying with my year group. I was not very cleaver at all. Although i liked reading, i struggled with everything else so i needed a lot of support compared to the other kids in my class.

During this period, I was forced by my parents to sing in the school chior which i did not enjoy as well as learning to play the recorderd as most kids learn in year 2 and the ocarina in year 3. I was involved in all of the christmas plays which my first and middle school did which i loved doing. When i moved over to the middle school i had the chance to learn an instrument in year 5. I grasped this opportunity immediately and after thinking about it, I decided that i wanted to learn a brass instrument. Why you may ask???? Well, because I thought the theme tune to coronation street was cool as it was on a trumpet which sounded awesome. Part of it as well i think was from having on segement a week in middle school where we would have music learning lots of different stuff which i loved. I nearly decided before choosing to learn brass to learn how to play the clarinet. I really don’t know why though but i soon had sense to ask to have brass lessons. My parents where supportive and where glad it was not strings!!!

I started lessons on the tenor horn during year 5 and loved it. I was in the middle school orchestera which was so much fun and i had a nice teacher. After going onto high school, i continued learning and i joined the local youth brass band which was lots of fun. My high school had a great music department where i got fully imersed in the music groups, especially the brass ensemble and brass band and also loved the music lessons we’d have as a class. During year 9, the head of music choose certain good musicians to attend an fast track music group once a week where we would learn stuff and prepare for gcse music which was great fun. When it came to gcse’s, i very nearly choose graphic design because i thought it looked fun because i’ve always loved graphic design instead of music even though i am bad at art and technical stuff but i had sense and choose music in the end. I wouldn’t have got a good mark in it at all had i chosen it. By the end of year 9, I had already achived my grade 5 horn.

GCSE music was the most fun i had for 2 years!!!!! Although we did do work on the theory side and the pratical side with the composing and performance, there was a lot of mucking about due to the pratical natuare of it. We where also very close friends as a group of musicians. In year 11, I had to choose what to do for a levels and as well as applying for the btec music at city college as a backup incase i mucked up badly, i choose to do music and music technology a levels as well as ict at my first choice and photography at my second choice. By the end of year 11, i had achived my grade 6 horn having switched exam boards so i could avoid doing theory >:D (or so i thought)…….

During this time, I left my youth band after getting a invatition to join my first adult band on solo horn. It was a non compeating band who taught me a lot and i am forever grateful for them giving a shy 16 year old the chance to join on solo horn after wanting to join an adult band for a while. I also joined the famous youth band of the worlds most famous colliery band after seeing them live in norwich. I had a fantastic 3 years with them and learnt loads from some legendary players and conductors

I got into my first choice sixth form which was at my high school and i continued with the music a level as well as picking up music technolgy a level. I brought my macbook during this time which went i could get logic and musescore and do far more at home instead of only creating music at school. They where so much fun and my playing and composition technique improved a lot. My two classes where brilliant and i made some brilliant freiends who i am still with contact with. Most of us are studying music of some sort. Although i had to have major thyroid surgery in january 2014 which stopped my playing temporaily as well as bringing on my hypocalcemia starting afterwards, I managed to get my grade 7 horn with distinction by the end of year 13!

After my a levels, due to health stuff happening, i withdrew my uni application for 2014 entry and decided to reapply for 2015 entry to study music. During this time, i focused on improving my musical output by upgrading logic and purchasing sibelius to further my home creative output. I also somehow managed to get my grade 5 theory and also got my grade 8 horn!!! I got into all of my choices and now studying at anglia ruskin which i do not regret at all!

With regards to the performance side I joined my current band after being headhunted to fill a vacancie on first horn before it was even adertised. I however got unexpectdly promoted to cover solo horn for the area and have been there ever since developing a reputation as a good soloist. I’m so glad that i can still play with them now even though i’m studying in cambridge.

I wonder what would have happend if i had not choosen to learn an instrument. Would i have even got a levels or go to university. Proberly not……..

Before i go, i’ll embed a link to my soundcloud and last fm profiles so you can here the music i am making and listening to πŸ™‚

<a class=”embedly-card” href=”http://www.last.fm/user/A_Leveridge”>A_Leveridge’s Music Profile – Users at Last.fm</a>
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Best,

Leveridge