Guest Writers: Daniel Taylor-Brown / Bits & Bobs!

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Daniel is about to go into his second year at Bishop Grosseteste University studying Drama in The Community. Please welcome his first article.

Bits & Bobs!

Hello! Just a little pre-warning for you, this is going to be a very general article for you lovely people to [hopefully] enjoy! I’m just going to share some basic advice which hopefully you wonderful students will take. So, let’s start this off by introducing myself a little… My name is Daniel (but you can call me Dan!), I’m a second year Drama in the Community student at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, UK. I’m originally from North Lincolnshire and I was once stuck in a lift with 12 other people after dropping multiple floors. There, I think you know a bit more about me, don’t you? Good. Let’s begin.

  1. DON’T PANIC – So, you’re about to start your first year of university and you’re having a little internal meltdown. It’s completely natural. To be honest, if you weren’t having a little stress, you’d probably be the minority here. Whether it’s about how scary adult life is, moving out, studying a real life, grown up Degree (aaaaah!), or whether it’s over having to do your own laundry. Just know that you’re 100% not alone in this. If it’s any consolation, the day before I left for university, I looked out the window at my cul-de-sac and had a full blown, actual emotional breakdown. Over a cul-de-sac. Don’t judge me.
  2. STAY IN TOUCH WITH HOME – So, you get to the city where you will spend the next few years studying. You’ve got over the initial emotions of your parents leaving. Now you’re excited, you’re independent, you’re excited to be alive and you’re FREE. You’re going out with your new housemates and you’re getting positively blathered. Meanwhile, you’re parents are at home feeling extremely emotional. I cannot stress how important it is to find time to call your parents. Not only during the first week of moving to your uni city, throughout the year. At the very least, every other day. And aim to go visit home at least three times a semester. If you don’t, you’re only going to end up getting home sick and that won’t do you any favours. It’s easier and nice for everyone involved, also you can take your laundry home to your mum (I didn’t tell you that!)
  3. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PARTY PERSON – Now, I’m one of those people who people would call ‘a boring bookworm’. Whilst everyone is out dancing to the latest Rihanna, Beyoncé or Lady Gaga (love them all), I’d much prefer to sit in with a cup of tea, reading a book or watching Corrie. And it was a bit of a worry for me that I wouldn’t fit in at uni or that I would be pressured to going out. But I can guarantee that’s not at all what happened. My first time going to a club was the first night I lived in Lincoln, and I vowed to myself that I would do it. I thought I would give it a try. And I actually had a great time, I still prefer watching The X Factor or a bit of Strictly but when I do go out I have a wonderful time. And I found myself brilliant friends who understand my idea of a perfect night isn’t dancing in the middle of a dancefloor surrounded by teenagers who don’t know their own name, and therefore understand if I want to give it a miss. But at the same time, are totally supportive if I fancy it one Saturday. So, what I’m trying to say, if you’re like me, don’t worry! You do not need to be a club person to survive university and you certainly don’t need to be one to make friends. But if your friends are pushing you to go out and you don’t want to, maybe it’s time to consider who your friends are. Good friends do not pressure you into doing things that you’re uncomfortable with. Nobody can make you do something that you don’t want to do. Remember that.
  4. HAVE A LIFE – You’ve moved to the big city, you’ve worked your butt off to get here, you’re studying at a wonderful university. Make the most of it. The chances are, your city has an amazing tourist system and cultural quarter. Take advantage! Here in Lincoln, we have the famous Lincoln Castle, along with the Cathedral, Steep Hill (the bane of my existence) and loads more of beautiful buildings. Go and see what your uni city has to offer. Of course you should save time for your studies, but you’re not going to enjoy your time at university if you don’t have little adventures every once in a while. So, enjoy the city that you’ve decided to spend the next few years in.
  5. DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF – Don’t let the fact that you’re a student limit what you can achieve. If an opportunity comes along that complements the Degree you’re reading, then grab it with both hands and never let it go. As you guys know, I’m a Drama in the Community student. Before I came to university I acted professionally for a number of years and I continue to audition and take work when I can. Also, in a few weeks one of the plays I have written is going to be and published and be a real book (shameless plug!) So, what I’m trying to say is, why wait until after you graduate? Everything that you do now is going to fuel and assist you when you finish university, so you might as well do what you can now. Of course, your studies should come first but jam as much as you can on the side of your studies, to help your future career.
  6. ENJOY IT – Last but not least, enjoy yourself. Please! You’re paying £9,000 a year to be here and do this Degree, you might as well get everything you can out of it and enjoy it. You’re going to meet such amazing people, you’re going to be taught by some of the country’s finest teaching staff and you’re going to leave being fully qualified and ready to start the career that you’ve been dreaming of doing since you was a foetus. Have fun!

So that’s it, my little cherubs. We’ve come to the end, I feel like a bigger person, don’t you? Now it’s your turn to go out into the big wide world and start your little adventure. So, off you go! Go go go!

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