Tips for University Students

Posted on Sunday, 30 March 2014

I'm a fashion student … Really, it's not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. I am now officially in my third year of University, and it kind of scares me how soon I will be shoved into the real world. I guess since I've been at University for a while now I am able to share some valuable experiences and thoughts on what it's like to be a fashion student.

1. The Degree - When I say I am a fashion student, most people get the image of me doing frivolous tasks or instantly want to know if I judge everyones outfits. Yeah that's really not what a career in fashion is about. I've always been interested in fashion and wanted to do something creative, but didn't see myself as a designer. I discovered that through a degree of Creative Industries, with a major in Fashion and a second major in business (public relations for me) I could enjoy the creative side but still had some structure with the business major.

If you are interested in a career in fashion but are unsure of what you want to do exactly, I'd suggest just starting somewhere and seeing where it takes you. I didn't even know what public relations (PR) was when I enrolled, but turns out I really love it and can't wait to make a career out of it.

2. The Expectations - You know in those American movies where everyone in College/University parties 24/7 and makes a heap of friends and oh studying is just so fun.. University is not like that (not here in Australia anyway). In my first year of University, many people I know were really disappointed with their University experience. Don't go to Uni thinking it's going to be this awesome party where you're going to make friends for life, I'm not saying it can't be like that, but if you go to Uni with the simple expectation of learning and coming out with a degree you won't be disappointed. For me, Uni definitely didn't turn out to be a social thing. I drive into Uni for my classes only and can never get out of there fast enough afterwards. My degree is very flexible, so if I make friends in my classes I only really know them for three months and rarely see them again.

3. Should I go to University? - I grew up in South Africa, where University was pretty much a right of passage into the 'grown up' world. So after completing school in Australia, I never gave it much thought, I simply went to University. I've learnt that University isn't for everyone, I know a few people who want to, or have dropped out. And that's okay, because in this century you really don't have to have a bachelor to make a good life for yourself. I'm not saying don't go to University, even though I find going to class dreadful and never look forward to being at Uni, I'm sticking to it because I know what I want to achieve in the end. Really it's all about your personality and what you want to do with your life.

4. I'm at Uni, what now? - My main tip for University would be organisation! The majority of full time students complete four units per semester. And for each unit you would have anywhere between two and four pieces of assessment. All of this within roughly just over three months can get quite intense. I like to go through the assessment for each of my units in the beginning of the semester and keep note in my diary for when everything is due. I would say always go to class, but honestly I've skipped classes many times. I just always make sure that I catch up on what I skip, always watch a lecture online if you've missed it. Once you start falling behind, the whole semester becomes very stressful. It is especially important to stay organised and on track if you are working while at Uni.

Last but not least I just want to state the importance of work experience if you are wanting to go into a creative industry. It is hard to find an entry level job that does not ask for some sort of experience in the field. This is totally unfair but it's just the harsh reality we live in. I'd suggest doing internships and work experience during the holidays. Last year I wrote a post on my interning experience that you can read here.

I hope that my experiences can be valuable to someone out there, if I missed out on something or you have a specific question don't hesitate to ask in the comment section!
  1. Thanks for your article :) J'aime bien. Would you recommend to study in Australia for someone who can't speak the language that well ?

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment :)
      I would say it would be challenging, as would going to any country where you don't speak the language well. However I know at my University there are so many International students and they are catered for really well. They get a lot of help and extra advantages when it comes to assessment. I think Australia would love to have you :)