University | First Semester Update

I cannot believe how quickly my time in London since September has gone and now 3 months later, i’m back in the New Forest for Christmas with my family…

University so far has been everything I expected and more, I’ve loved it and I’m already looking forward to getting back to the city. I’ve been studying journalism now for 12 weeks and have had my eyes open to the world of opportunity the Media industry in London has to offer. Semester 1 consisted of 2 modules; Journalism Foundations and Digital Journalism. Journalism Foundations has been taught by three experts from different Journalistic backgrounds from producing BBC News segments, producing online content for The Guardian and my favourite tutor who works as a freelancer. In comparison, my Digital Journalism tutor is basically a WordPress genius. He’s in his 20’s and runs his own successful tech business when he’s not teaching us. I’ve really enjoyed this half of the course so far as I’m interested in producing content for an online platform as a career after my degree. I’ve learnt a lot about the digital world from using social media professionally to coding and building a website for my university work to be published on. I have another Digital Journalism module to complete next semester, and I’m looking forward to developing my knowledge further.

A key difference between Sixth Form and University is that the tutors respect us as adult colleagues as opposed to students and rely on us as much as we rely on them. A great advantage of having expert tutors is listening to their anecdotes, some being cringe-worthy but most being either interesting, inspiring or plain hilarious. I think this has given myself and my course mates a real life glimpse into working as a journalist in such a competitive industry.

In terms of uni work itself, I feel we’ve been eased in gently. I’ve had around 10 hours of contact time, which compared to my flatmates who study different degrees – isn’t much at all. Despite this, my free time consisted of travelling to my ‘patch’ which is Bermondsey. During this time, I’d have to research and explore in order to produce stories and content for my website – a key factor in assessment for this year. For this semester I’ve had to complete a portfolio of Journalistic output for the Journalism Foundations module which included a review, a profile interview and a news story. Inspiration for these had to be found within our individual patches. For Digital Journalism we had to pitch and present our websites to the class, our tutor and the course director and also complete a short test online regarding the technicalities of building your own website. Apart from this I’ve been doing standard uni work such as reading and preparing notes and write-ups for seminars which we do in small groups.

Socially, living in halls has been great. I’m so lucky to be living in such a fantastic location, a 5 minute walk from the tube, Waterloo station, the South Bank and a 2 minute walk from the Studios where I got to uni. My flat mates are all great as are my course mates and i’ve developed good friendships and relationships already. I’ve been in my element living my own life and have felt the happiest i’ve ever been. My best friends is a 1/2 hour train journey away in Guildford and my family are 1 1/2 hours away in the New Forest. My mum’s come to see me once a month with one of 4 siblings from back home each time. Seeing as I spent the 4 months prior to moving to London working full-time, I spent the first month a half treating myself to lots of dinners, drinks and outings as an excuse to explore the city that’s now home. In doing this I found that London has a lot to offer for students on a restricted budget, this is something that I hope to explore further in the new year – so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,

A x

📸 | @kyleradson #London

A photo posted by Alice Heather (@alicevheather) on Dec 14, 2016 at 8:44am PST

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