Screen and Film School Brighton’s Student Blogger Lauren Louise shares her top tips for first year success.
So, this is your first year at university and you have no idea how to ‘adult’… don’t worry we’ve all been there! To stop you from making the same rookie mistakes, I’ve compiled a list of top tips to help you get the most out of your first year, and to make adulting just that little bit easier.
Get out and about
Moving to a new place can be incredibly daunting. That’s why the best thing you can do when you move to a new place is get out and about. Go on a walk alone (or with your new housemates!) and just go exploring. Spend a whole day familiarising yourself with your new surroundings- after all, this is going to be your new home for the next three years.
Sleep is your best friend
It’s so easy to fall into bad habits of partying and staying up into all the hours of the night – even if it’s to binge watch a new Netflix show. The last thing you need is to fall behind on your studies early on in the year- especially at film school where we spend most of our time working as a team. So maybe swap the beer at the pub with breakfast at the coffee shop. You’ll thank me later, the last thing you need is freshers flu during a pandemic.
Eating healthy is extremely important. Plus being hungry is THE WORST. Learning how to cook will be one of the best things you can do during your first year at university. Learn six simple meals (such as pasta, burritos, jacket potatoes etc.) and incorporate two of your five a day into them; this will help keep your energy levels up on those early mornings and late nights. Living in a filmmakers city means you have an abundance of different foods at your fingertips, so don’t feel bad about ordering take out once a week if you haven’t quite mastered the cooking and want a night off. There are some brilliantly tasty and healthy options if you feel like ordering in. Plus UNiDAYS always have decent discount codes if it gets a little too pricey!
Managing them coins
The worst part about being an adult is that you’re responsible for managing your own money…ugh I know. Having a maintenance loan feels amazing at first, but going too hard at freshers or treating yourself too often without getting a job means that pot of gold runs out quickly.
Luckily I have a very simple solution to what can become a big problem. Open a second bank account (one with high tax free interest). This is where you can store your maintenance loan so you don’t spend it all at once. This account will also be where you pay your rent from. Once you’ve subtracted your rent from the equation, you’re going to want to divide the leftover money by the amount of weeks until your next loan instalment comes through. This should leave you with a nice two digit number and that’s what you should spend in a week. Then set up a standing payment from one account to the other weekly. This method means you only have to budget once every 4 months. You know what you have to spend in a week and there’s still emergency money if you need it.
Start your assignments early
I cannot stress enough how important it is to start your assignments early. During your first year you will be doing a lot of portfolio based work. This means you have to track and monitor everything you do in regards to your production, and rather than memorising it all and typing it all up at the end of the semester, it’s best to record it as you go. I suggest adding a little bit once a week, even if it’s only for half an hour. Something is better than nothing.
My final piece of advice to you is to try every role during your film production lessons and push your limits on what you can do. This will mean that when the time comes to choose your specialism in your second year you’ll know what brings you joy and what doesn’t. After all your career in film starts here.
Your journey at Screen and Film School has only just begun! Try and embrace the craziness of everything going on right now. I hope these top tips help you to navigate your first year.