What to do if you hate University & want to leave!

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We are now only 1 week away from Christmas, hands up if you are still shopping for Christmas Gifts (here’s to hoping it’s not just mine)!!

In a pre-amble before we get cracking- next week there will not be any new posts, because it’s the Christmas holidays, and in that fashion, I have decided to take some time off. It also means that I have a bit of time to concentrate on what will be happening in 2015 for both ‘I’m a Damn Student’ and the #EventStudents Project!

So in the meantime, if you need something to-do whilst the Xmas dinner is cooking and the re-runs of Home Alone is not quite cutting it, feel free to read all the fantastic posts from the past 12 months & check back here on Tuesday 30th as we close off 2014 with a Bang!

Moving on to the serious topic for this Thursday’s post, one of the biggest question that university brings forward is have I made the right decision?

What if 2 years into your degree you decide that it is not what you want to do? The career path that you are studying for no-longer interests of excites you, or maybe you’ve learnt your skills lie elsewhere.

You are now half way, or over half way, to obtaining that valued piece of paper that says HEY YOU’RE REAL CLEVER*, but you are not enjoying it & now you have to answer the big question – what do you do now?

*no lie that’s basically what the degree says!

Sadly there is no universal answer. The situation is unique for each individual because everyone’s circumstances are different. The reasons behind why you are feeling this way will be different to mine, whilst it could be the university that you don’t like – it might be the actual career path that’s wrong from someone else. I’m not going to pretend that this post will answer that question of what you should do, because to do that I would need to know all the facts & how you ‘really’ feel.

However from personal experience there are a few things that MIGHT help you come to a decision.

Write a Pros and Cons list: In the past I have found it reassuring to write the positives and negatives of the situation. Being able to see all the reasons to either stay or go helped me put into perspective the long-term implications. When I was considering leaving after 3 months into my first year, it was the fact I didn’t have any time to find a new university before the cut-off deadline that pushed me to stay.

A list like this might help you in building a clearer picture on what the options are, more importantly it should help you pin point the things that are most important to you!

Think about your future: A lot of jobs now ask that people have a degree – not necessarily in a specific area but rather that applicants have gone onto study further education. There are a lot of skills that students learn over the 3 years just from being at University, such as time management & being able to work independently.

If there is another career path that you want to take in another industry, then it is worth looking at what current job specs are looking for. Do they ask for a degree in that field? Knowing things like this will help in gaining an understanding of what you will be able to do once you leave.

Talk to people you trust: Friends, Family, lecturers or even the student advice centre, the important thing is that you talk through your options with people who can support you and help you in making the right decision for you.

It can sometimes feel like the most overwhelming situation, the decision to leave or change courses at any point is no small feat – and sadly there will be a lot of people who will give you advice (even when you don’t want it). The number one thing you can do is make the decision that is right for you, not one that you think will make others happy but the one that will make YOU happy!

Have you ever been in this situation? What advice do you have? 

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Why you need LinkedIn!

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We are very lucky to live in the society we do, working and studying an industry that is built on leisure and wants. Yes, events can change the world, help people, build communities that make a difference BUT the industry was originally a development from the popularity of the leisure and hospitality industry.

Last week I had a moment of frustration with how we use social media and the internet. An existential crisis of modern communication tools! This happens from time-to-time because we’re the generation that’s been bought up on the internet. We do everything online & obviously that can become overwhelming!

However there are obviously many pro’s to being able to connect with people across the global at a click of the button. We’ve gone from needing to connect with people face-to-face to building strong relationships online, meaning networking can be done on the go, at home, in the office – anywhere with an internet connection.

One tool that is indispensable for building connections is LinkedIn; a business-oriented social networking platform.

Or as many students/graduates refer to it – an online CV.

You might only be in your first year at university, with 2/3 years of studying ahead of you & maybe the idea of having a ‘professional’ profile won’t seem important BUT it should be.

It doesn’t matter if you experience is only in a part-time retail job or from a small volunteer role, LinkedIn is about building and retaining your list of connections & being able to stay in contact with people you have met and worked with.

The difference with other social networking sites is that LinkedIn is geared to only connecting with people who you know or have previously worked with. It is a business tool that can be invaluable both personally, in remember who you met at an event, and professionally by gaining new clients.

One of my previous jobs they used LinkedIn to find connections for a new business venture, it allowed them to sign up a large client because they had previously worked with someone who was now in a senior member of staff within that organisation. The crazy thing was they hadn’t worked together in 8 years, but because of LinkedIn they were able to reconnect.

You are going to meet so many people throughout your time at university including other students who will become peers and colleges in the future, and whilst it may not be important now these connections could lead to so many opportunities when you enter the industry.

LinkedIn is like an online address book that keeps everyone in the loop on where you’re working & what you’re doing. It’s also a fantastically easy way to update your CV & even more nowadays – companies are preferring to see online profiles of your work.

There are a few key points that you should remember when using LinkedIn;

  • Use a professional picture – nothing of you on a night out or with other people in the picture.
  • Update regularly – If you have done some experience, or are working at a new job then update your profile.
  • Participate – join relevant groups, engage and participate in conversations. #EventStudents even has its own group!
  • & finally remember this is a profile used by professionals!

Have you used LinkedIn whilst at University? Has it made it easier to retain connections & communicate with people?

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Also I want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU because of you this blog is now shortlisted in the 2015 National Blog Awards. That’s right, we are through to the final 10 for the Best Individual Events Blog – which is the one I won back in April! Although there is a very slim chance that we will win again, the fact we made it through to the shortlist is really fantastic & I owe that to you, the wonderful reader! THANKS A BILLION! 

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Sometimes…

It’s not because there is nothing to say.

It’s because there is too much & sometimes it becomes hard to get those thoughts down on paper.

There has been a lot of news reports about, and on, issues that cannot be ignored & to write about anything else right now would not feel right. It would feel too much like ignoring the problems – maybe it is not happening right in front of your face, or be something that has a direct effect on your life but that doesn’t mean you have the right to feign ignorance.

Whilst I was at university the small bubble of my course and friends was all I engaged in, we discussed reality TV shows and how hard it is to be a poor student with no money. But then you look outside that bubble, at national issues, global struggles and you realise how fortunate you are – how writing a 10,000 word dissertation is small fry when girls in other countries are denied the right to attend school!

Social Media might have made us more aware of issue facing people in other countries but we use it to bring people down on issues that are so ridiculous. Maybe I am just frustrated to have seen more tweets about Zoella than Eric Garner.

That people are angrier about a ghost writer than the deaths caused by police officers is absurd.

I know that this blanket statement does not refer to everyone, I am not thoughtless enough to insinuate this.  And yes, maybe you can put the blame on me for following the wrong people on social media.

Hell, I am guilty for getting wound-up about ridiculous things that we are lucky to have. Sure it’s frustrating to be waiting 20 minutes for a delayed train but at least I am living in a country that allows me to travel on my own, and does not relegate me to only having the mentality to be someone’s wife.

Seeing the news & the issues people are facing puts into perspective how small my own issues are. It makes me question why I get so stressed about things that are so inconsequential. Whilst University may feel like the only thing that matters, one look outside and you are quickly reminded how big this world is – one browse of BBC News and you are faced with a multitude of things to be thankful for.

There is no point to this.

I just needed to take these emotions and give them words. Write my view. Rant.

We need to change.

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