Is University a chance to work hard or play hard?


Picture by Chiara Pinna (Via Unsplash)

As we move closer to the start of the academic year I bet there are a small handful of you who are about to be starting your first year as an Events Management University Student.

To you I say GOOD LUCK & why yes, this blog does cover a ton of topics that will help you navigate the next four years! In fact I’ve gone as far as to create a simple navigation system at the top which splits all the hundred and hundreds of blog posts into simple areas. For example as a first year student all you need to do it click the University header, and head down to Freshers & there you will find all the posts written specifically for you – such as today’s topic! It’s because I’m considerate like that (plus I’ve been in the same position as you – be it a few years ago now)

I’m looking to help answer a question that gets a fair amount of attention. It was a question that I remember asking when I started way back in 2010, and one I continue get asked for students year after year.

How much focus you should have on the academic side of your degree in first year?

Let’s clear up a very important point first – whilst first years doesn’t SPECIFICALLY count towards your overall degree classification it is a vital aspect of your degree. Hence why you are required to spend 3 years studying at Uni instead of just 2.

It is a building block opportunity. A time where you are able to experiment, learn and develop the skills needed to write the academic essays, understand the industry & explore your options!

The simple answer is that YES you should work hard in this first stage, but in saying that it also depends on what is important to you.

If you’re heading to university because you’re wanting to gain a high degree classification, go on to land your dream job & subsequently dominate the industry once you graduate – then you’re automatically going to be more work focused.

Alternatively if the social side of establishing friendships, adapting to living away from home and getting to experience the other perks of Uni is of high importance – then that’s where your focus is going to be.

However there might be a fair few of you who are a split of the two. Wanting to get a good grade but also enjoy the social side. If that’s you then we’ve got a tricky balancing act on our hands. Because the real question is can you really work and play hard? Or is one always going to have to take priority?

I have the great benefit of being able to look at this scenario knowing what I know now. Which is the experience of studying Events Management for four years, working in the Events Industry for the last 14 months & being slightly self-indulgent in thinking this makes me an semi-expert.

Yes you can definitely do both & I think it is important to value both sides of what university can offer in your first year. When we talk about ‘working’ hard at uni it doesn’t just mean focusing on the essays and academic side, but rather it encompasses the focus on gaining invaluable experience. Because the thing is – and this news shouldn’t really surprise is you’ve looked in to or spoken to anyone in the events industry – that experience is of equal importance to your academic development.

Whilst a lot of people might preach that the academic side holds the most value & concentrating on your studies should be your number 1 priority, my view-point is a tiny bit different.

While you are spending a tiny fortune on this part of your life, you need to understand and learn about what is important to you. You don’t just go to university to gain a degree, you also go there to grow and develop as a person. The skills you will learn are going to cover many different areas from research, time management through to taking criticism and working within teams. And that doesn’t just come from concentrating on what your lecturers give you, but also from everything your campus and uni has to offer. Becoming a member of a society or sports team, working at the student bar, meeting people with like-minded interests and experiencing the whole package of what University offers is going to teach you as much as the academic side!

So in answer to the question Is University a chance to Work hard or Play hard? it is a chance for BOTH.

Of course if you wanted me to recommend ONE THING that you should concentrate more on in first year, it would be – build you connections and experience through volunteering, internships and networking. Doesn’t matter how small; from stewarding at a festival right through to office administration for an events company. Each thing you do will help build you own confidence, understanding and development within this exciting and vast industry!



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This post is part of the Bullish Blog Network