Well I'm back again after Christmas and let's just say, the work is piling up already! As soon as we returned we were given a project that lasted two weeks, which required us to create a family based around household objects. I settled on tomato ketchup, a household staple, and created a set of characters based around them. Unfortunately I was ill over the Christmas period, so was a bit late getting started, but once I got into it I really enjoyed the project and found it a really good way to get back into the flow of the course.
It was definitely hard coming back as living in Cornwall does mean a lot of time for travel, so leaving my family was sad. However coming back to the hustle and bustle of London, catching up with my course mates and settling back into the house was a nice way to cheer me up. Also the recent snow has been enjoyable! Apart from the fact it meant walking to university instead of cycling which unfortunately meant it took a lot longer. Although we still got to have fun in the snow on the way there and back! It was my birthday over the Christmas period so I also got to come back to some amazing gifts from my housemates! My other housemate's birthday was recently too so I created her a teddy bear, of which I have included a picture.
Now the character project is over, the tutors mean serious business! The animators have been introduced to a new project which includes us picking a piece of dialogue from some given clips to synch to characters and scenes we are making. It sounds a bit daunting and difficult, but we have been paired up for this project and everyone knows you can do more when there are more hands!
We have also been introduced to another project that will run alongside the lip synch project for a week. In this project we have been asked to collaborate with the Graphics course at Kingston University to create a campaign and raise money for Greenpeace. At the end of the week we have to head into central London with our campaign and go out onto the streets of central to make as much money as possible. There are three campaigns to choose from and we have been allocated into large groups. I've already been researching the campaigns and feel really excited for this project too!
As well as the campaign, the module (which the project is within) will also be teaching us about professional practice, such as ways of self-promoting, advertising, creating a better C.V. and much more.
I feel like this year has got off to a good start already, being thrown into the deep end when you get back is both good and bad. Bad because you have to finish the holiday, but good because it helps you get stuck right back into the projects and the course, making you feel motivated to get work done and have fun with it!
Today I did an ambassador job with a bunch of year 10's and one of the topics we had a discussion on was worries and concerns about university; which made me think back to my own concerns and worries before I started. Today I am going to highlight a few common ones and try to address them.
I'll start off with probably the biggest worry - Will I be able to afford to go to University? As most of you may probably be aware, the government has increased university tuition fees to up to £9000 per academic year. However you don't necessarily need super rich parents or all that money upfront, instead every UK resident is entitled to a government student loan that will cover tuition. You may also qualify for maintenance living loans, possible grants and there are a range of scholarships out there to seek. In short you only pay back your student loan once you've finished university and are earning at least £21,000 a year. Also if you don't manage to pay it all off within 30 years it gets wiped off completely, unlike a private loan that sticks with you forever.
Here is a link of a page off Martin Lewis website that explains this all in much greater depth: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes
On the topic of finance you may be asking yourself if you think that by going to university it will be worth it? Personally I can't judge whether this would be right for me as it would be impossible for me to give an honest and impartial answer. However university has definitely been an investment for me not just in terms of the jobs that I hopefully can get but also how much it has helped me develop as a person.
The biggest social worry might be will I make new friends and fit in well? I admit when I first started I was very worried that I wouldn't make friends and fit in well, but I was wrong as you get to meet new interesting people from all around the world. By joining sport clubs and societies you're opening yourself up and are therefore are more likely to make friends by having similar interests to each other
Is University too hard and is there support for me if I have problems? University is a lot harder than school however the first year, especially for me, was a gentle step up from A Levels. You don't just jump right into super hard work; it's more of a gradual transition. Courses are taught in a great way here at Kingston and good teaching certainly helps and aids you well in understanding the work. If you ever do have problems you can easily arrange appointments with the lecturers who are really helpful. Also there are various different support departments that help with Maths, proof reading, English development and researching support amongst many others.
What course is right for me? For this one I would advise you not to go with what your friends are doing but instead do something that you enjoy, and also perhaps to take into consideration whether you are good at it. After all it's what you will be studying for at least the next three years. Believe me, when you have an upcoming deadline and you are working on an assignment all day or night you may lose that extra added motivation if you have no 'passion' for the course you are doing; hence it's essential that you pick what is right for you!
How will I achieve the required grades I need to go to university? Well for those that don't know yet, universities all have different set entry requirements that students have to meet; these usually can be from A levels, BTEC, IB and other relevant equivalent qualifications. It's important when applying via UCAS to be realistic about where you're applying to when you make your five course choices. Also almost every university course requires at least a C in GCSE English language and Maths.
All in all these are just a few concerns that I've thought of as well as some typical common ones. If any of you have any concerns or worries, no matter what they are or how silly they may sound, drop me a question and I will do my best to address it!
Since my last blog it's been Christmas and 2013 started. However this was overlooked by the looming 4 exams I had to sit in mid-January for 4 of my Business modules. I had exams in Operations, Marketing, Employee Relations and Management Accounting. So I had to split up my time wisely so I could get as much revision done as possible before returning to Kingston the day before my first exam, as well as working at my local Next branch over the Christmas sale.
It was difficult to concentrate on revision as a lot was going on at the time, but I feel that I managed to get enough done to get the marks I deserve in those modules. I felt that I did best in my Marketing and Accounting exams as I really enjoyed these modules throughout the last semester. Hopefully my results will reflect that when they are released on the 18th February (I'm already counting down!). Also, in the last couple of weeks, I received my grades back for my group coursework that was submitted at the beginning of December (that I referred to in my previous blog). I was really happy with my grades, especially my group's Operations mark, in which we obtained 80%. We struggled with this assignment as the requirements for it were very brief compared to those of the other assignments and therefore we didn't really know what to do! We were relieved to get such a good grade and hopefully this will help boost my exam grade, as I found this my hardest exam.
This week is the start of semester 2, and that means I start two new modules: HRM and Agency and Partnership Law. I'm looking forward to getting started on these topics, as well as continuing with my year-long Tort Law module. Hopefully I can continue with my good coursework marks in this semester too. Also my timetable is a lot friendlier this semester, as I only have Thursday's and Friday's in university for timetabled lectures and seminars. This means I can concentrate on starting my coursework early, and getting stuck into my reading so it's not all left to the end of the semester like before Christmas! I'm looking forward to starting this semester and I will be looking forward to receiving my grades for my recent exams.