Where Have I Been?!



So you may have noticed the radio silence over the past two weeks and wondered where I've been. On Thursday I handed in my final EVER project at my current university and walked out the doors for the last time... straight into the pub next door. 

In an attempt to make it up to you, I thought I'd talk a bit more about my uni experience. Now, if you're a pro-uni cheerleader you may want to click off. Otherwise, I'll go ahead. I want to be honest but due to what I have to say, I've chosen to keep everything anonymous (sorry if you came looking for a burn book).

I was not the smartest bean at my sixth form, and because of this I missed out on getting my required grades by a few marks. My options were to either do a foundation degree which would mean I could start my degree in a year, or do a two year FdA (foundation degree) and a top up year. I'm impatient and was starting to get pretty sick of education so I chose that one. That means I've done two years of Photography, and will do another year to get a full degree, so by this time next year I will have both an FdA in Photography and a BA (Hons) in Photojournalism. However, with doing my degree this way comes one caveat- I have to study for two years at a college. Not a big deal you would think, but studying this way means you're not surrounded by the lecturers you need, the recourses, or people of a similar mind set, as there are also GCSEs and A-levels taking place on other floors. It also means that when you're stress-typing that paper you left to the last minute, you're about ready to slaughter the giggling 16-year-olds that couldn't give a toss about education, sat in the other corner of the room.



As well as the more general setting, I found that the college I went to was less than professional. It wasn't uncommon for the lecturer to make personal remarks, minor threats or to grade unfairly (I was once told by my lecturer that they refused to mark part of my work because - quote- they "didn't like it"). It wasn't unusual for a student to walk out of class crying, or to not turn up because of the hell they were expecting to face. As well as the absolute unprofessionalism and repeated opportunities for a defamation-of- character case, it wasn't just the rudeness that contributed to me having such a bad experience. Our lecturer was repeatedly unprepared and would waste much of our lecture time trying to work out how something functioned so they could show us, or saying " I don't have this" or "it's not working", yet made more personal remarks if we forgot something or weren't absolutely ready for our lectures.

When faced with someone so difficult to have a conversation with, it was no wonder that a lot of us didn't book tutorials - then found ourselves penalised for the lack of them. But it wasn't just that we lost marks, it was that for most of my studies I wasn't getting the marks I deserved because I couldn't seek the guidance I needed to improve. Despite this, on Thursday I finished with a huge mark of 70% meaning that if I continue to work hard I will be able to graduate my degree with a first class honours next year. 


I wanted to touch on something else in this post - do you need a degree? I decided to go to uni to buy me some time. I didn't know what I wanted to do other than photograph, and I knew that I needed a degree to work in London. In the end, I met someone who helped me to make my name in London, so I never needed the degree and certainly didn't enjoy it. I did learn, but not enough to consider the last two years of my life well spent. Really, if you know what you want to do then research to see what qualifications you need but if you don't then don't use uni as a way to stall the onset of adulthood - you'll be £40,000 in debt and not much better off.

So what am I doing now? The Owlet is still going strong and will continue this way - I love what I do, and over the time of my hellish college experience, I have been lucky to have an outlet with such supportive readers. Despite my experience being the reason I no longer enjoy photography like I used to, I am determined to finish my degree. I will be going to a different uni next year, to study a more specialised course in a great location with a proper creative/university environment to work in. Despite what I've gone through, I look forward to the next year, both with uni and with The Owlet and I can't wait to see where life takes me next. 

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 

You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, Facebook & Pinterest

12 comments:

  1. I've never heard of a foundation degree before. I'm sorry you haven't enjoyed the experience so far and hope the next year is much better.

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    1. It's a good way of doing it, and I did like the way I got two years of a more general education then a third of something more specialised, but I think not enjoying the year was more down to the staff and the way the college was run. I'm excited to see what the future holds!

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  2. This is such a good read, I never went to uni or even looked into it, which I now wish I had. Those lecturers sound useless and rude too. I am so glad you got a good mark and I also hope that you love for photography will regrow xx

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    1. Thank you :) I've had a great few weeks since publishing this - having got my first class honours, I won Best in Show at the graduation exhibition and got invited to Royal Ascot (post going up soon) so it's been great! Still not feeling good with my photography at the moment, but my blog is really helping me to escape that xx

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  3. Oh gosh, it sounds awful! I hope your final year makes up for the last two, good luck for getting your First! <3

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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    1. Thank you Jess :) I managed to finish these two years with a first class honours and this week was awarded Best in Show at my Graduation Exhibition so I'm really pleased- roll on final year xx

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  4. There are people who dont enjoy/like university. I went to uni with people who were not mature enough to understand the university. Often they were there to meet people and have the ''parties'' when it came to actuall study and assigments they were facing reality and moaning at everything they could, very pathetic and immature. its okey to be not sure of what you want when you still young, but blaming tutors for that was just a joke. I wrote my own post about it, in how to graduate with first class degree if you want to have a little read. it may help your gols for next year.

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    1. I completely agree with you about students going to uni to meet people and not thinking about the work. However, with the exception of two evenings during Fresher's Week in first year, haven't been out partying once throughout my whole education. I don't drink, and I graduated two weeks ago with a first class honours, and on Thursday I won Best in Show at my graduation exhibition. I appreciate your point of view, but if you read my post properly you would see that I am NOT "blaming my tutors" for anything other than their complete lack of unprofessionalism.

      Please, don't tar me with the same brush as everyone else- I worked hard.

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  5. Good luck with the final year. I think you should complain about the treatment and the lecturers. It's not right.

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    1. Thank you - I was originally going to, and it feels like I'm letting him get away with it (especially as the unprofessional emails have continued even though I've graduated now!) but I've never found anyone in the college who seems to care what's going on, so it's only going to drag out the stress for me to no avail. I survived the two years, and despite the hell they put me through I still left with a first class honours, so I just want to get on with my life and forget the last two years xx

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  6. Good luck with your final year and hopefully the different surroundings will make a huge difference. :) xx

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    1. Thank you :) I really believe it will - if I can achieve such a high mark in such awful circumstances, then I feel like I'll thrive finally being in the right place. I'm really excited to start! :) xx

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