While my time at QUT has all but ended, I know that there are many people out there who are so close to beginning their lives at university. And I’m sure that there are many others who, like me, would love to study Creative and Professional Writing or other Creative Industries courses. But let’s be honest though. The thought of studying at university is daunting. It’s a big change from high school, and it’s likely that you don’t know what to expect. Although every course is different, I’ve compiled a list that will help you get the best out of your time studying Creative Industries at QUT.
- Talk to your tutors and lecturers. I remember in high school, I was told that our teachers at university wouldn’t be there to metaphorically hold our hands, and that university would require you to be really independent. The fact is, you can talk to your tutors. You can ask them questions about your university work. If you’re having trouble with an assessment, then by all means let them know, and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Earlier this year, I was really struggling with an assessment. I set up a meeting with my tutor in our spare time, and she helped to calm me down and to figure out what I could do with my assessment. The tutors are your friends.
- Stay on top of your assessment while you’re at university. Okay, I’ll admit. Even I know how hard this one is. I’ve done the obligatory leave-an-assessment-to-the-last-minute thing, and the stress was overwhelming, and the assignments weren’t great. I got out of that habit partway through my second year, and my grades improved so much for it. Start your assessment as soon as possible, and finish it as soon as possible too. It doesn’t matter if your first draft isn’t great, because then your subsequent drafts will only get better and better, and you can work towards getting the marks that you really want.
- Consider getting a casual job in your area of interest while you study. I know that might not be possible for every course out there, but if you find a casual job that relates to your degree, the experience will look great. You might even be able to complete work experience while you study, which I highly recommend. One of my biggest regrets is that I never thought to apply for work experience during my studies. And while this doesn’t mean that I won’t ever get a job, it just means that I have to work just that little bit harder to get there. Don’t make the same mistake that I did. If the opportunity is out there for you to get experience while you’re studying, then take it!
- Know that doing a course at university doesn’t automatically mean you will get your dream job straight out of university. Regardless of what Creative Industries course you’re studying, you have to keep in mind that there are countless people out there with the same career goals as you. But this why being passionate is so important! Study a course that you genuinely enjoy, and work towards a career that you know you will love, something that you are willing to put in as much effort as it takes to get there. I want to work as an editor in a publishing house, and I know it will take some time to get there, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes for however long it takes to get there.
There’s so, so much more advice that I could give to all of you future university students out there. But you know what? Studying at university turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, and this is coming from someone who didn’t enjoy high school and didn’t even really want to go to university in the first place.