The next post is from my older brother, Bill. He did a foundation degree in Media Advertising at Truro University, completing his final year at Plymouth University, and graduated four years ago with a degree in Media Arts.
So I met my brother when I was born, unsurprisingly. Well, I guess he met me first and he's a pretty cool guy, despite how much he used to beat me up when we were children. Isn't that what big brothers are for? I've always promised to be honest on my blog, and my brother is as honest as they come, which I truly appreciate.
|Here's a less than sober looking me on a night out with Bill!|
How does it feel to be a graduate?
Like many things in life it's underwhelming. Being the first person in our family to go to and graduate from University I felt a small amount of pride, but I don't feel like it was life changing.
What was the biggest challenge you faced at university?
The biggest challenge for me was staying motivated with the work. A lot of people go to university because they have a passion for a subject, a long term career goal or those foolish ones that just want the experience. I had contemplated not attending university for some time while I was in my second year of college as I found I had become tired with education. The main reason for going was because my friend, Jake, suggested that I do an FdA like he was. It seemed like a good idea and the course I picked was fun. In my last year while doing the BA I found my motivation slumped massively, I enjoyed the creative work still but I hated that everything we did was surrounded by a mountain of bullsh*t. Not every piece of art or photograph means something, some of it just looks nice and some of it is just terrible. I felt like an outsider because I didn't like to participate in the emotional dissection of photographs of the seaside. It's hard to want to be somewhere when you don't really fit in.
What’s your current living situation?
I rent a room in a house with three others. Initially I was still in my parent's house where I had stayed throughout uni as it was cheaper and they're cool. Then I moved into a flat with my friends and then I left the county altogether for no particular reason other than I was presented with the opportunity to do so.
What's rather telling is that all four of us are graduates but only one of us works in a field relating to their degree. Two of us work in retail and the other in IT. I think I could afford to live by myself but this is cheaper, I like the people I live with and I also read that spending too much time alone removes any social buffers that would prevent your weirder habbits from getting out of control. I'm a strange enough guy anyway so I don't think there's a good enough reason to risk getting stranger just yet.
What are the best and worst things about graduate life?
After I graduated I was unemployed for about 6 months, work was hard to come by in Cornwall aside from seasonal jobs really. Of those that actually got back to me, they either told me I was overqualified or too inexperienced for the job. For a while I had thought that university and attaining that precious 2:1 that makes a degree worth putting on your CV were a complete waste of time until I finally got an interview and a job. The only good thing about being a graduate is that in my current job they seem to be desperate to have educated people working for them, this has allowed for me to progress more quickly.
What’s been your biggest achievement since you graduated?
I haven't washed my hair with shampoo or used any hair products in 9 months. This may not seem like a big deal but given how disgusted people are with this knowledge and their lack of understanding about the human scalp I think it's commendable that I have resisted the peer pressure and have allowed my hair to bask in its own natural oils.
Do you have any plans/goals for the coming months or years?
Right now my job is going through restructuring so my immediate goal is to keep my job. There's no real point in planning beyond that.
Is graduate life as you expected?
It's so much worse.
What did people tell you about graduate life - and has any of it proved to be true?
No one really told me anything, being the first one to go in the family I had to be somewhat of a trailblazer. People did tell me a lot that I would regret it if I didn't go. You'll find people are much more eager to tell you how shit your life will be if you don't go to university. From secondary school onwards teachers and pretty much everyone will try and make you feel like you'll grow up to be a waste of human life if you don't pursue the life of a graduate.
If you had the opportunity, would you do university all over again?
At the prices they charge now? Jesus Christ no. I feel bad for a lot of young people now who will have their dreams crushed by the soaring tax on learning.
What’s your social life been like as a graduate in comparison to what it was like at university?
Well when I was at university I had a girlfriend and saw three of my best friends everyday and had a wide circle of other friends. Now I work at night and even though I still live with two of my best friends I can go literally days without seeing them or in fact anyone that I don't work with. I should add that the people I work with are great but due to the aforementioned restructuring they can understandably be somewhat up and down.
What would you say are the biggest differences between the first year of university life, and the first year of graduate life?
When you start university you have hope for the future, during your first year of graduate life the crushing reality of adult life will finally sink in and the light of hope will slowly burn out and leave your soul swimming in darkness.
Do you feel you’ve changed much since you graduated?
I probably have but I it won't be anything interesting.
Have you seen your university friends much since you graduated?
Those that were my friends before, I have. Those I actually studied with I have not seen since I finished my degree, I didn't attend the ceremony for my BA either so I haven't seen any of them since I turned in my last assignment.
How does it feel to be considered an adult?
Unremarkable. While I don't shirk my responsibilities as an adult I often feel that the life of a child or a dog is much more enjoyable. I also look fairly young so I still got asked for ID all the time until last year. All being an "adult" means is your free ride is over.
Do you feel that going to university was worthwhile?
That's debatable, I did use my student loan to by a sweet computer so that was worth it and I did get to make a short film and some adverts with my friends which was cool. It was worth it for me I guess because it only cost me £15k in total but if you're going now then I'd say it's probably not worth it.
What advice would you give to those soon to be graduates?
Start looking for work before you leave, be practical in what you're looking for to make sure you have an income to pay off your crippling debt but on the side, look for jobs doing things you enjoy.
And a final bit of advice...
Don't go to university unless you have a passion or a clear goal that you're working towards, it really isn't worth what it's going to cost you long term.
Also if you do go, don't be a f*cking idiot and leave all your work to the last minute. I saw a lot of people do it and maybe you'll get lucky and do well, but if you get a 3rd you've basically wasted over £40k.