Tuesday, 23 September 2014

University Q & A

vivatramp university q and a lifestyle book blogger studying a creative course going to university with an illness

Hello fellow planet dwellers! Believe it or not, I am all moved in and ready for my third year of university. Crazy! A few weeks ago, I asked you guys whether or not you had any questions about my university experience and I got a handful of interesting ones so, now that I'm settled in, I thought I would get round to answering them for you! If you've got anything else to ask, feel free to do so in the comments below! 



ON my course

I'D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR COURSE IN GENERAL...I LOVE HEARING ABOUT OTHER COURSES! 
I'm about to begin my third and final year of an English with Creative Writing undergrad course. Annoyingly, it's not a joint honours - boo! My course is really flexible and the modules are diverse and challenging in different ways which is both exciting and terrifying. The English half of my course allows me to study and contextualise literary movements whilst the Creative Writing part of my course allows me to write down the things that pop into my brain. I'm studying the following modules this year: Modernism, Mixed Media Writing, The Short Story, Contemporary Poetry and Creative Dissertation.

TARONGELA asks
WHAT LEAD YOU TO STUDY A CREATIVE COURSE? WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER'S BLOCK? 
I've always been interested in reading and writing and talking about creative things so I guess it was always something I was going to do. Although, that being said, I'm quite academic in my creativity. I can't produce beautiful works of art, a la Lyzi, but I can write things and mash things together to create something relatively beautiful and / or thought provoking. Creativity comes in many different forms though and that's why it is so great.

With regards to writer's block, I do some little writing exercises, like the ones I've featured or I tell myself to embrace the shitty first draft or I do something completely different until inspiration strikes! 

ON illness

tumblr ANON
I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD ELABORATE ON YOUR ILLNESS AND HOW YOU DEAL WITH THAT IN RELATION TO STUDYING? 
Of course! I have Crohns Disease which is an inflammatory bowel disease that comes with a billion different symptoms that make life a little bit of a pain in the arse at times. As it makes life more difficult, it naturally makes studying that little bit harder but I'm lucky in that I attend a very understanding and helpful university so there are lots of things in place to make it easier for me. 

In relation to studying, I try not to put too much pressure on myself by making sure I start projects sooner rather than later and by keeping lots of lists and notes to ensure I'm on track. I also communicate with my tutors and the disability assist guys to ensure that I'm ticking along okay and not having too many problems. I  also take lots of lengthy breaks whilst studying because I get incredibly fatigued and mentally drained and I try not to beat myself up about it. Don't be afraid to take a step back every once in a while if you need to.



HOW DO YOU PUT YOUR HEALTH FIRST? HOW DOES THIS AFFECT NOT JUST YOUR UNI WORK BUT YOUR LIFE AT UNI? 
I guess I've kind of explained how I put my health first but another thing that I would stress is that you should always remember that nothing is worth making yourself ill over. Crohns affects my uni life greatly in that I have to prioritise things better. I try to balance my time wisely, handing out my spoons to university work and important errands first and foremost but also saving a couple for socialising. I also surround busier uni life days with quieter ones where I don't leave the house to help me out a bit.

ON organisation

alicebea asks 'how do you stay on top of all the reading?'
& isa asks 'how do you balance uni, work and creative projects?'
Honestly, sometimes I don't stay on top of everything. Everyone gets a little snowed under at some point and I'll be the first to hold up my hands and say that I have gone to multiple seminars without reading all of the texts beforehand. However, sometimes I manage my time a little better and stay on top of it all. In order to stay on top, I designate specific time in my schedule for everything. If you can, I would also suggest you start reading as soon as you get the texts set. It pays to read ahead. 

jennie asks

how are you so amazing? do you manage to balance reading for pleasure alongside reading for uni?
Firstly, I think it's in my blood or something. Secondly, I don't manage to balance my reading when I'm at university. We get set so many texts per month that I just find it impossible to pick up books that I want to read. I'm going to try and balance the two this year but I'm not sure how well it'll go...I'll keep you updated!

what stationery should i take for an english course? 
I usually allocate one notepad per module to keep my notes organised and easy to refer to. Folders and binders will always be useful to keep loose notes in check too. I also use a diary to document my goings on and I keep a separate little notebook for my to do and to buy lists. Wall planners and desk pads are also extremely useful but not particularly essential, unlike coloured pens for note taking. You don't need anything fancy when it comes to English so don't sweat it too much!

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.


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7 comments

  1. Good luck with third year! I'm sure you'll do amazing x x

    Lauren x x

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  2. Embrace the shitty first draft. Yes, this. Good luck in your third year Bee - totes need a Whatsapp catch-up with you when you're more settled back in!

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  3. Definitely think you have amazingness running through your veins! xx

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  4. Go Bee! Hope that this year goes exceedingly well for you. You're amazing to stick with your university course when you've been through so much. xx

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  5. Coloured pens for english class are essentials for me too! ;)

    Every Day In Grace

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  6. loved this!

    check out my blog, if you have time?
    http://georgianicolaou.co.uk

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  7. Oh, your modules sound really interesting! Loved reading your answers to these questions... Last year I struggled to read when I was at my busiest. Hoping I find more time this year! Good luck with year 3!

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