Are u(ni) ready?

Olivia , Former Editor

“Hello my name is Olivia, I am a student journalist and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions.”
“I am sorry but we don’t have time for students, and we don’t care about helping the press.”

Olivia, Former Spirit of St Louis Editor

One lesson I have learnt from being a student journalist is that people do not want to make time for you. Rejection becomes a part of your everyday routine, and sometimes it can force you into a seemingly bottomless state of devastation. And there is no warning of this treatment, no safety-net to catch you; because university is not like high school, students are catapulted into the real world and lecturers are simply there to make sure we are launched effectively enough.

Finding interviews can be an intense process, but assignments aren’t everything at University, and after three months of living abroad I have found that balance is the key to being the happiest version of you. Upon arrival, in fact for the entire first month, your mind and your body will find everything completely overwhelming.

Those who have experienced change before may find it easy to handle, others will not. I, on the other hand, discovered that independence is only as great as you make it. No parents to watch your every move, no siblings to have to share things with, and best of all, a whole new city outside just waiting to be explored. Within days, I was no longer a prisoner of time, as I realised that I could take control – and lose a bit of control.

Partying is inevitable at University, especially as a fresher. With parties, come new people, new friendships, new relationships, and a whole world of new experiences. In London, my network of people became extremely wide, and it came to a point where even socialising exhausted me. Here, taking a step back was vital, because Journalism is all about connecting with other human beings, but we are not machines, we must remember to take breaks. Submerging myself
in nothing but my own thoughts helped even-out the time spent handling the rest of society’s thoughts.

Life at university comes easily after that. Doing the laundry, keeping on top of your dishes, maintaining your bank account and remembering to eat three times a day should be the core to your routine; not something we fit in around our educational and social schedules. Health comes first: the rest follows. That is perhaps the most significant concept I learnt after my first three months of living alone.

3 pieces of advice I wish someone had given me before I started:
1. Lecturers will not learn your names in the first week, or sometimes ever, do not take it personally and do not let it affect your performance in their class.

2. Book your appointments with the bank and health centres before you move, otherwise you’ll be living off of Euros for two months, getting poorer 10 times faster and may have no one to turn to when Fresher’s flu hits.
3. Make time for breakfast in the morning. It’s tempting to sleep in, with no nagging parents, and with campus just around the corner, but if you make time for yourself and a nice piece of toast – or bowl of oatmeal – you don’t have to worry about an embarrassing rumbling stomach during that 9am lecture. Sometimes our busy days mean we forget about lunch, or don’t
have time to eat, so getting a good breakfast is important to avoid complete starvation.

*Extra tip for aspiring journalists:
People are more likely to say yes to an interview if you find them in person and say; “Can I have your opinion on…” Human beings are self-centred creatures and adore being able to voice their own thoughts publicly.

If you want any more advice, don’t hesitate to contact me – I am always available to talk to anyone and am more than eager to give tips on moving abroad, living alone, studying journalism or even choosing a University.

Olivia is a former Editor of The Spirit of St Louis.