As promised, my student interviews are making a comeback. I've been getting in touch with students and graduates all over the country and have many names in my notebook and posts to be shared. First, I'd like to kick it all off with James from Falmouth University, who has been studying Digital Media. James took part in my interviews in 2014 when he had just finished his first year at university,which you can read about here, and now, we leap forward 2 years later and James is fast approaching graduation...
I originally came to University hoping to find what I wanted to do with my life. Whilst I still haven’t fully confirmed that, it’s helped me grow as a person in so many different aspects. I’ve enjoyed so much of it, and I’m so glad I opted to give University a second attempt.
Naturally, there are still things I regret not doing. As I progressed through my years, I became less drunk and more hard working. There are many silly things I regret such as missing a lecture as a result of passing out drunk in the shower, sleeping in my own vomit and just generally being a moron when drunk. Ironically though, as I became more invested in the work side of university, I began attending the video game society and getting involved in more voluntary projects. I took part in silly film projects that were reminiscent of CBBC competitions as we got to gunge the losing team, as well as campaigns against the University for announcing our course closure.
I think my biggest regret is not involving myself with these types of voluntary things from the very beginning! I’ve met a lot of great friends in the video game society and genuinely wish I’d been attending for the past two years as well. It’s through them that I’ve established myself as one of the best Super Smash Brothers players in the society, as well as attending local tournaments and even coming 3rd against some super high quality players!
What was the highlight of my university years? I’m going to have to be massively cringey and say that it was meeting my girlfriend! I met her at the very beginning of second year and we’ve been together ever since. She’s my best friend, and has helped me grow into a much better person. At the end of my first year, I was experiencing a rough patch battling with depression. It was through learning to overcome it and losing a lot of weight that gave me back that confidence in myself and helped me to meet her, and immediately hit it off. Although, I’m sure she won’t hesitate to tell anyone that when I first discovered the attraction was reciprocated, we were in the town’s local nightclub. Out of sheer panic of not knowing how to approach the situation I ran off for an hour and got absolutely slaughtered until I had the confidence to talk to her and make my move. She definitely provided a much-needed element of stability in my life during second and third year that helped me plough through the ever-increasing workload, never missing a single deadline.
When I began to approach my final year, I instantly told myself that this was the time I had to be as serious as possible. I didn’t even know Fresher’s week was happening because I spent the entire week working and planning one of my final projects. My favourite project, and proudest achievement was that I got to fulfill a childhoold dream! A very good friend of mine worked with me on building a fully functioning 2D platformer game. It only had four levels due to the time limit, but I’ve never been so proud of a project throughout my time at Falmouth. Cheap, shameless plug: you can now download Nutty The Squirrel for your PC or Mac at www.jamesslinn.co.uk/portfolio right now! Feel free to tell me if you ever beat the final boss! I spent so many sleepless nights writing the mechanics in C-sharp and the end result felt so worth it!
In my first year, I was an absolute party animal. Naturally, this helped me make an absolute ton of friends. As I calmed down over the years, some of the friends fizzled away but the ones that really counted stuck around. They know I’m a boring stick in the mud nowadays, so any time they find out I’m planning a night out; it ends up being a massive event. I’ve got a wonderful friend called Arthur, who always gives me a good snog whenever we’re drunk together, and a bunch of other members of the Digital Media crew that never fail to make every night out a great one. They just happen far less often now, because at twenty-two, I’m getting far too old for this hangover malarkey. But as for my favourite night out of the whole journey, I’m going to be super cringey again! My favourite night out was the Snowball Christmas party at Penryn Campus. My girlfriend and I lost all of our friends early on, so we just decided to get absolutely hammered by ourselves for a few hours. Countless flavoured shots and pints of cider later, we were having an awesome time dancing at the front of the crowd right by the DJ setup. It was just one of those nights, that was so much fun because we did it together.
With graduation looming, I’m quite relieved that this is all coming to an end really. I’m really looking forward to living together with my girlfriend, and just generally being a grown up. I’ve definitely had enough of education now. So my future plans are to just stay here for another year, get some more website development experience under my belt before travelling off into the unknown. I’m not that good at planning overly far ahead, so right now the only thing I’m planning is to put my dinner in the oven once I’ve finished writing this.
My advice for students going into their final years: be super boring and make a routine! Allow yourself time for a hobby and a way to de-stress. For me, that’s exercise and playing competitive Smash Bros. For you that could be anything, going to a bar and playing pool once a week, or allowing yourself an evening to watch your favourite YouTube series! My system works like this, I get up early and exercise so that I’m ready for the day. I then go to the studio and get about four to five hours worth of work done every day so that I can relax in the evenings knowing I’ve done enough and that keeping up this pace will prevent me from falling behind. Consistency is key; do not leave anything to the last minute. A twelve-week module should be easily chipped away at over twelve weeks, not rushed in three.
If you’re still here, thank you for reading what I have to say. If you’re heading into that dreaded final year, stay determined. Everyone around you is in the same boat so you’re not alone! ☺
*All photos are courtesy of James