There is no particular way to describe University, unless you think about the physical aspects, i.e the building campuses or the room layout. In my opinion, University can be categorized as a state of mind, because every student will see it differently and therefore impact on their lives in a unique manner. So, what would I say it’s so special about University?
Well, compared to college, your study becomes even more independent but at the same time it can be argued that people will tend to work more together because they aim to achieve the same grades as you are. One of the triggers to work harder is the financial aspect, which for some it’s a big chunk of the motivation to come out with a good degree.
My Marketing and Advertising degree so far has been 90% coursework, with some group work in the first and second years and complete individual work in the third year. The reason behind that is, I would assume that we all need to get used to working together with people you like or dislike, which will replicate the actual world of work. A lot of learning lessons will come out of it, although you might think you work well with people, everyone has a different style of work and you might not bond together as colleagues but you might remain best friends outside University.
Analyzing the three years of my course so far, I would say the 10 Things I love about University would be:
- Academia – For me, the learning outcomes were the most important thing when coming to University. The most interesting thing about becoming a Marketeer or building business acumen is that in order to practice you need a deeper understanding of the consumer psychology, you need essentially to be shown the basics. University is a journey and only going through it you can see how marvellous it is!
- Building contacts – This involves both lecturers and colleagues or friends. Your lecturers will become solid references and they will help you even after graduating. There’s always help available at University of Derby, be it your past teachers or in terms of employment we have the Careers and Employment Service. Your colleagues will probably take different routes in life but regardless they will be useful to talk to when you are advancing into other jobs. My advice is keep in touch because they might know some tips or they might know people who you’ll want to connect with for positions in the future. Don’t forget Linkedin – a great tool to expose your skills and capability openly for employers!
- Environment – I have been based throughout my degree at the Kedleston Road Campus which I personally love! At breakfast and lunchtime the Atrium is filled with really nice smells from the food counters and there’s a Starbucks and Subway available to grab a drink and something to eat as well as other stalls selling pastries and sweets occasionally. You can always find somewhere to sit and chill in between lessons and it’s impossible not to bump into someone for a chat!
- Student Discount – You normal Student ID Card gets you discount in most places, i.e Topshop and New Look but if you get the NUS Extra Card that will give a lot more discount for more stores both online and on the high-street. Either way, you have the privilege of the discount so don’t forget about it. When you go out do ask if they do student discount because you can’t say no to paying less for your bill. Tip: Chiquitos in Pride Park offer 25% discount to students and the food is Mexican so why not give it a try! #Don’tmissthedeal
- Transport – The buses are quite regular, going in between the campuses in Derby, we have the No. 5 which goes towards the Hospital and the Number 6 which goes into town. One trip is approximately 2 pounds but you can get a pass with 10 journeys for less than 10 pounds from the Keddies Kiosk.
- Freshers’ and Refreshers’ Week – When I started University 4 years ago I wasn’t aware of the Freshers’ Week and so funnily enough I bumped straight into it on my way to the lecture. There’s a lot of free stuff going round, a lot of discounts and deals for the clubs in the City Centre. Freshers’ Week takes place in the first week of study in September and the Refreshers’ Week same time but in January. Tip: watch out for Domino’s Pizza!
- Events – There will be the great nights out you will reminisce in your final year about and there will be the academic events in the University where you will attend to document yourself and network. Similar sessions and workshops will be available, Careers appointments for CV checks and interview practice, they’re all part of the academic life.
- Independence – Being able to schedule your shopping trips, making food lists, working and staying late in the library is all part of being independent. Making decisions that affect you in a good or bad way teaches you big lessons in life but most importantly shows you how real life as a graduate will be.
- Sharing – This is valid for a lot of categories, it can be sharing knowledge which you will do at some point or another or working in groups will kind of oblige you to show and use your skills. Sharing can also mean living with other students so sharing food or toilet paper. It’s interesting to go through this process because you will learn a lot about yourself and others plus observing what you don’t want to be like.
- Social Life- is also quite important in University life because every student needs to keep a balance. For example some students will be away from home and enjoy it but all of us at one point will find it challenging. So make sure you have friends around, try to read a book from time to time, go on excursions, eat out or go to the Cinema. Do whatever you enjoy most, because when you go back to studying, you will feel refreshed and more motivated. Also don’t forget to rest because a tired mind will not give the best of results!