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With September (aka Fresher's season) approaching, I thought I'd reminisce about my very own uni experience. It actually makes me feel a liiiittle bit sick that I graduated four years ago now (WHERE 👏 DOES 👏 LIFE 👏 GO 👏). So as a Sociology graduate from the University of Nottingham, here are a few things I learnt... and surprise, surprise, there's very little academic content in here...

My course was scarily comparable to my Netflix binge list

As mentioned, I ended up studying Sociology. If you've heard of it, you might think it's the 'I don't know what to do, but guess I need to go to uni' degree. And you'd be correct about that (in my case). If you don't know what the hell it is, the content of my course was kind of like scrolling through the documentaries section on Netflix. Prisons, feminism, crime, politics, cults, sexuality - yep, a bit of Making a Murderer, Louis Theroux (FAVE) and Paris is Burning crammed into 3 years and hundred of books. I quite enjoyed it really.

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Your degree ≠ your career

Choosing a degree was seriously hard for me. I was completely split between photography and sociology, but chose the latter. Now, looking back, I'm not sure it really mattered! I'm working in marketing and I rarely use anything I learnt at uni anyway. Aside from time management, prioritisation and occasionally how to down a jagerbomb without vomming 🙃 no one needs that half-page-long quote from the Communist Manifesto in their end of year appraisal (unless you're working for the Institute of Marxist Studies. I Googled it, and it's a thing).

I totally get that some courses are precisely the job you're going to go into, but when you're a comittment-phobe like me, it's fine to choose something generic, or just something you know you'll enjoy. Because you're gonna be the one footing that revolting bill for those letters after your name anyway!

Some people are just really fucking clever

I studied my tush off at uni. The result of all my book-worming and caffeinated evenings spent referencing was a 2:1. Don't get me wrong, I was really happy with that. But some of my fellow classmates would get top, TOP marks after 2 hours sleep, alcohol induced pre-exam chunders and a semester of zilch work whatsoever. It did make me feel a bit shit. But I kind of got used to these lucky individuals, being at a university where there were plenty of people wayyy more intelligent than I was!

And of course, I still meet these people today in post-uni life too!

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Create your own 'work experience' whilst studying

As I didn't do a course that required any kind of placements, I had no proper industry experience in what I've done since graduating - marketing. Instead, a hobby I'd started to keep me sane from all the academic writing (typing et al. every other minute in a 10,000 word essay. Blergh) helped me out in getting hired.

I'd started blogging in my second year of uni, as I'd always enjoyed writing and started to play around a bit more with fashion. Working with marketing and PR agencies genuinely enabled me to understand how marketing worked. And looking after my own websites SEO, photography, content and design was great experience. This gave me a bit of an edge in an interview with a local marketing agency, where I landed my first job out of uni.

From there, I went on to work in marketing departments for a supermarket fashion brand, then a student app and now a financial services brand. Alas, blogging isn't as unusual now as it used to be. But it's with considering how you could create an opportunity for yourself, rather than stressing over internships.

So, despite that Sociology degree, sadly I have not become the Karl Marx of our times. But I did learn some pretty valuable things over my three years of university. Namely that sociology is great if you're a documentary addict... and that learning good time management and prioritisation is a zillion times more important than learning a quote word-for-word from an 19th century book. Ain't nobody got time for that. Hopefully some of my fellow millennials can relate to the unlikely learnings from the university experience!

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