Sunday, 9 June 2013

20 things I would tell my Fresher Self...

As many of you may know I have recently finished my first year, and oh my gosh it went so quick. Where did the year go? I have had the best time ever - I have been the most busy, stressed, tired, drunk and happy since I've been here. I cannot tell you how many times my sides have hurt from laughing so much. And how many times Ive gone into university with about 3 hours sleep... trust me, you'll do it :P.
Now I know I was practically the only one of my friends to go to uni and not take a gap year, not to mention the first in my family, so I was inspired to do this blog, as I don't want them all to panic as much as I did.
I was practically gripping on to the banister, crying, while I was being dragged into the car to drive to Conventry. To say the least..i was really scared, and worried.
It took me just a couple days to realise I had absolutely nothing to worry about. So here we go...

*Warning...this will not be sugar coated. Its the whole truth and nothing but the truth. To be freshers... Enjoy :)*

1) Relax. Breathe. And think of all the pretty things you can buy for your room..
2) Be organised!!
I know for my university we had an email through to enrole over the internet, also to get my scholarship I had to apply through a lot of emails. So, as soon as you get them through, do what needs to be done. Do not leave it till the last minute or you'll learn your lesson the hard way.
3) Dont buy things without knowing...
For my first year I was in university halls. So if you're in the same boat as me you'll be living with about 5 other people. And do you know what happens.. everyone turns up with a kettle and a toaster... wait until you get there to buy. Its also a bit of bonding going to buy the things you need together and you wont waste any money. Also there are rules to what you can put in your room, so check the guidelines before buying canvases, posters and candles.
4) Don't miss any freshers events!
Ok.. so this is your first week of uni and you want to look nice and be all fresh for lectures! WRONG. Do not miss a single fresher event, as these are always major highlights of uni. Why do you think all the second and third years...even graduates - come back for freshers? Because it is awesome. Paint parties, foam parties, the bar crawl... I'm already excited for the next freshers. Also, like me, you'll probably also have your first experience of falling asleep in a lecture. Luckily it was just a guy in about the media loan shop so my actual lecturers didn't see. Phewww...
5) It is inevitable you will make friends...
With this also comes, don't expect to be friends with everybody. At uni, you make some of the closest friends you will ever have, but if you havent already learnt the lesson - "a tight group of close friends is better than being the most popular" you will learn it here. Be careful who you get involved with... not everyone is your friend. and not everyone is to be trusted. I indeed learnt this the hard way.
6) Do not get a name for yourself...
People say all the time that uni is just about getting laid.. If you come across a guy like this send him to me and I will argue him out. He could not be more wrong.. and more of an arrogant arsehole. Uni is about making friends for life, and earning a future. Not seeing how many times you can show up to a clinic and get the all clear. Be humble, and pure. Don't let university ruin your morals. And if you're in a relationship... people who say it won't last, just don't know you and your relationship. Yes, I did break up with my boyfriend when I got here but we weren't happy before I left. You will know if it will last, don't worry about what other people are saying. Stay true to you. Only let uni change you for the better.
7) Join a Society
This for me is a must. Most of my friends are not from my course, but from my society, and your social life just explodes with events. Also, if your like me and join a dance society, it is also a form of exercise, and you get to do performances which is just a bonus. It also comes with things like hoodies, t-shirts - which are things you can keep for life.
8) Don't feel like you need to be-friend your lecturers 
Ugh my biggest pet hate is people who try to make chatty conversation with the lecturers about how much they chundered the other night. It is not needed. Your lecturers are not there to be your friends, they are there to educate and to lead you... and if you start going off track, my god they will let you know. I'm talking - hearing the shouting out in the corridor when your in the room 5 meters away, or that horrible face where you just know they are disappointed. Seriously.. I have been so close to giving my lecturer a hug, I hate seeing that face. Luckily it wasn't me who caused these problems but just a message - Your lecturer will respect you more for your hard work, punctuality and commitment. Not how many vodka and red bulls you chucked down your throat the other night. And as for adding your lecturers on facebook.. we had one girl who put up a status saying how bored she was in a lecture... she was called out to the front of the class the next day to be asked why the hell she was paying £9000 to be bored... good move huh?
9) Get invovled in everything you possibly can
If you are doing a theatre course like me, don't let any opportunity pass you by. I'm talking lighting other productions, getting involved with media and dance, seeing how you can help the second and third years, third year plays, extra curricular activities like fabularium and going to see as much theatre as you can! Yes, I did all this, and handed my work in on time, and was in a society - so it is possible. The best way to learn the techniques and skills is by seeing them.
10) Do the reading!
You will get a book bundle. Now you don't have to read these books cover to cover, but it's good practice to start getting interested in them. They are the key to your essays. At university, you must read books. And most of it is independent learning through research. No websites are expected for research in essays, only books. Make the university library your new best friend. On a theatre course you will also be expected to read plays for theatre histories. Learn to enjoy them. This is your passion.. and your paying £9000, may as well make the most of it.So if you don't like reading, I suggest you learn to.
11) Be prepared to struggle. Seriously.
This is not to scare.. I promise. In the first couple of weeks, I really thought I was the dumb one of the class. I hadn't fully come out of my shell so no one had really seen me act, and the big words that were being thrown around made me feel confused and stupid. My first university essay - I had to research three different ways on how to reference to then finally call my Step Dad for help.  I was sat there with about 10 different books around me thinking what the f*** do I write? I really thought I would fail... Then I came out with the highest mark in the class. 
In the first couple of weeks on a theatre course you will have to unlearn everything you learnt before. Yes this is frustrating and annoying! To learn that everything we learnt in college for two years in wrong...but its the way it is. But by the time the first year finishes everything will begin to make sense. So relax and enjoy the struggle - because at that moment in time, it's exactly where you should be. And everyone around you is feeling the same, even though it may not appear that way... they are actors after all.
12) Take Responsibility
If you're hungover... drag yourself up and get into uni. You are paying £9000, so if your pain is self inflicted, force yourself in. Everything that is taught is important and not repeated. So don't miss it without a serious illness related reason.
13) Don't expect to keep in touch with everyone. It won't happen.
Unfortunately you will drift from people, but that's a lesson you learn about life - people come and people go. Just remember the good memories, and move on. And the people that stick around, appreciate them. They're worth it.
14) Your best friends are your family. Stay in touch.
Support and a shoulder to cry on. The people who don't mind how many times you call them up crying because you think you've given yourself food poisoning as your a crap cook, and are always there when you need to rant, and have someone on your side. They will tell you when your wrong, and give you the praise you need when your right. I really don't know what I'd do without my family. 
15) If your a home sicky like me, try to avoid going home. It makes it worse. 
This is the truth, the only way to beat home sickness is to wait it out. And socialise. Take your mind of it. You're gunna be fine. By the end of first year, you won't want to leave uni :p.  Believe me.
16) Priorities, You need them!
Whether its the new iron man movie, vs doing your essay. Or buying that last bottle of wine rather than eating for a week, you need to start saying no to yourself. Yes it sucks but remember your decisions effect your future. Don't be the hungry fool, asking for an extension. It doesn't look good. 
17) Learn to cook, and bags for life are a must.
I don't really need to explain the cook thing.. but the bags for life. You don't drive, and weekly shops are an absolute killer. Made even worse by the stupid plastic bags breaking and things smashing. Believe me they are worth the ten pence. Bag for life it up.
18) We all tell ourselves we'll keep on top of things...
Be prepared to pull all the nighters a couple of days before a deadline. Its the first year, and you don't learn your lesson until the end of it. Maybe not even till the third year...maybe not even till you graduate. (Your first year doesn't count towards your final grade but its a good idea to get known by your lecturers for being a good student.) Believe me, you'll be up until four am the day before stressing just like everyone else. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as you meet the deadline. Snacks help - marshmallows, grapes, and chocolate biscuits are my favorites. Also a comforting thought: It is proven that people who do their essays last minute get higher grades because they waffle less. BUT this does not mean leave it! As you will stress...but its just something to keep you calm when you do. Please don't believe it is always the case though.
19) We all say...I'm gunna dress nice for uni.
Hahahaha. That's what my lecturers do if you turn up in a skirt. Laugh at you. And God forbid you wear jeans. Your on a theatre course. Extremely physical. Wear jogging bottoms, trainers and covering tops please. The first thing they said to us was "No Cs. Cleavage or Cracks." Also, always carry deodorant.The smelly one is never a good nickname. Also it is sometimes required to go bare foot - so ladies - pay attention to your feet. Its an excuse for pamper evenings.
My first year has been one of the best years of my life, and it went too quickly. Enjoy it while you can, because before you know it you'll be wearing that cap and those robes. Scary right? Don't let this amazing expeirence pass you by :). Ever wonder why people say the education years are the best of your life - because they really really are.

Hope this blog helped and sorry its so long. I'm actually excited for all of you as you have no idea how much fun you are going to have. Think your happy now? Wait till you get to uni. Now go spend time with your friends and family :) and don't leave packing too late! 
And of course... Enjoy moving out and moving into uni :) its not as scary as it seems and the freedom is pretty damn awesome.
Oh and enjoy freshers week! :D I know I will! 

I just realised I am now know as a second year *shocked face* ohhh myyy dayysss. I am going to miss the nickname "fresher"....
It all  starts counting now... Yay -.-

Monday, 3 June 2013

Fabularium :D Day 1...

So today guys I had such an awesome day that I just had to blog! If you read my last blog you would know that I am taking part in a summer activity ran by my tutor Glenn called Fabularium and just OH MY GOD. It is sooo much fun!
Today we began with a few folk songs that are always performed when it comes to this time of year, and we basically worked on harmonies and splitting the group up to sing at different times, all at the same time, if that makes sense. Now I'm not much of singer, but the tune, melodies and atmosphere it creates just gets you moving and having a good time :)!
Then..The mats came out, which meant one thing! Acrobatics. We obviously started with a warm up so we didn't get injured. Which also included planking and a balance exercise where I have never felt such a burn in my core - six pack is coming on :p. We then explored balancing with different parts of our body like a hand stand but on the shoulder or the elbow. Going to explore handstands was where it got incredibly interesting. Now the exercise was to handstand and lean against another person's back to support you. Easy right? But this was just setting up for a much bigger exercise. Before I knew what was happening my tutor had called my name and got me to the centre of the room. He laid down on the floor with his knees up and you know.. He only wanted me to hold his knees... and do a handstand on to them!... Huh?
For those of you who know me, you know I'd be like "Ok" and do it... which I did :p. This actual stunt is called a candlestick and will be one of the moves performed by the wagon in the town centre. Now the first time I tried it I gave a little to much power and ended up going over and scaring the crap out of everyone watching. However this was the next part to the stunt - a walkover. Yeah.. I totally knew that was what I was meant to do :p.
We then tried several over stunts - one where I start on the floor then get thrown up into the air and land on my feet. Another, where you handstand behind someone and they flip you over their head on to your feet.  We also did the simpler things like cartwheels and roundoffs. We also rolled over someones back as they stood up - a lot of fun but the floor does come as a little bit of a shock :p.

After lunch we then came back to the thing I have been desperately wanting to learn since September - stilt walking!!! I waited patiently for my turn, and helped my friend Lauren around the space making sure she didn't fall as we had a few who ended up wither on their face or bum !! Then it was finally my turn :D and you know what at first I was like oh my, and my heart was beating and it was sooo wobbly. But by the end of it I walking like you would down the street...well maybe not quite. But it was sooo much fun. Obviously you have to learn the technique first and it will take a lot of practice to take it out into performance. But if your willing to put in the time and effort why not? I'm even thinking about buying some stilts of my own - do you know they fall under the category of painters equipment? You learn something new everyday eh ;).

Ahhh today was soooo good :) - sneaky peek of me on stilts --->
The guy on my left is my tutor Glenn and the other is a second year called Nick who was kind enough to help me round and grab me whenever I was heading floor bound :P. 

I'm not trying to say I'm tough and nothing scares me, because believe me some things scare me more than you can imagine. But if there is one thing I have learnt over the past year, it's to not let fear stand in the way of anything. If your scared just throw yourself into it and try not to think about it. And I can bet you, you'll come out on the other side happier and proud.
So go out there people and do something that makes your heart beat that little bit faster.
Have fun adrenaline seekers...

People say they are jealous because I'm having so much fun, but that's only because I'm taking every opportunity that is thrown at me. Especially in your first year - never let anything pass you by, and you won't regret it. You may be exhausted and have a major breakout on your face due to stress. But who really cares? I don't - I'm loving life. Sleep is just something you have to give up when your a student and phsstt you can sleep when your old.  And you'll look back on your first year and think dayumm I've done and learnt so much. You'll also be respected for your hard work and enthusiasm which is never a bad thing.

AND if you are around Coventry and a performing arts lover like myself... come down on either the 13th, 14th or 15th June (or all three) to the town centre to see me and my colleges running around, flipping, stunting and laughing our heads off. And of course give me a shout out :)..hopefully see you there.

More Fabularium updates to come...