WHY AM I ON THIS COURSE?

As you probably know, I'm in my first year at Bournemouth University studying Media Production. I never had dreams of going to university, it was never something I was overly excited about or leaning towards, until I started sixth form. And we were bombarded with university fairs and prospectuses and the "so which uni do you want to go to?" question 24/7. I suppose I got sucked into the encouragement to go to uni when I'd finished my A Levels and, although I had no idea what I wanted to study, I decided to go on the south coast university trip with my sixth form at the end of year 12.

As one of my A Levels was media studies, and I had always been interested in media and making media for as long as I can remember, I was encouraged by the media teachers to look at Bournemouth University on one of the days of the trip (most went to look at Brighton and Sussex, but the media teachers took a group of us media students to Bournemouth instead). It looked nice, it was supposedly "the place to be" if you were wanting to study Media but I remember looking through the courses and not particularly liking the sound of any of them enough to study them.

To cut a long story short, I ended up re-visiting a few months later with my parents and had a one-on-one chat with the head of the Media Production course. He went through in a fair amount of detail about what the course entailed and most probably persuaded me to study there by saying how "the BBC directly recruit students from here" and how they "have great links with the industry". After hearing this, and being fully informed about the details of the course, I decided that it was actually my top choice university and course.

Media Studies A Level was okay. We only produced two or three things in 2 years and a lot of it was theory which I didn't mind, but the exams were ridiculous. Honestly, it was never my favourite subject because of that, and I actually preferred biology. However, could I see myself doing a biology degree? Far from it. And what job could I get with a biology degree that wasn't a doctor, a teacher or a lab researcher? Not much. Media was much more my thing and I could see myself working in an exciting, ever-changing, creative industry which really is very much a dominating one, and increasingly so, in the current world.

So I did my A Levels, got the grades for my first choice and got accepted. I was so happy, and so excited to start. I felt ready to leave school and to move on to learn more advanced media production and be challenged and have fun making things. 

Unfortunately, 6 months in, that's not really happened. I've become more independent, stronger, happier, found myself a lot more it seems. It's been a positive experience moving away from Guernsey, making some new friends, living in a busy town etc. However, have I learned anything at uni that I didn't know how to do before? No. Have I been challenged? Not in the slightest. Have I had fun on my course? Not that I can remember. 

I've written two essays, a 6 page script and made one 3-minute film which was terrible because my group didn't pull their weight and I was left to edit footage that was really hard to work with, and then I got a low mark because it was a "group mark". That's IT. In 6 months. I came here expecting to learn new camera techniques and new editing techniques and to be pushed and challenged and become more advanced at making media. But it's not happened at all. I feel like I'm barely even in uni, except for the 2 hour lectures in which I nearly fall asleep in because they're so boring and irrelevant and the lecturers just aren't engaging at all. I've learned nothing new. I'm just going with it, day in, day out, feeling like I'm wasting time and money on a course that is not providing me with anything other than frustration. And I know I'm not the only one on my course feeling this way.

I want to do something about it. I want to learn. I want to become better. I want to be taught new skills. It's not happened yet.
But here's the issue... Do I stick it out? Wait and see if it picks up a bit in second year and if I do get taught more? Or do I change university? Or go out and get an apprenticeship or a job? 

Here's another thing.. when I applied for BU, I was told time and time again that it was the number 1 uni in the UK for media. The top dog. Number 2 in Europe. So of course I wanted to study here. But looking at the league tables yesterday, I was shocked to see that it is now not even in the top 40 for media studies in the UK. And actually number 62 overall in the list of the best universities in the UK. So why on earth should I study here for 3 years to come out with a degree from a university which isn't even in the top 40 for media or the top 60 overall?
It's embarrassing.

So I'm re-thinking some things. I don't know where to start. I'm not worried about it yet, just more frustrated. It's too slow, too basic, too boring. I'm a learner, I throw myself into things. I want create, create, create. And right now, that's only happening outside of university work, on this blog and on my YouTube channel.

I know none of you can really help me or anything, but I needed to let this out of my mind because it's driving me nuts. And maybe it's a word of warning to anyone wanting to start uni, or who's finding it disappointing.

Anyway, rant over, I'll go back to eating my sweet potato chips and trying to find some work to do...

7 comments

  1. Hi Steph! :) Wow what an honest post! You always take up good subjects, and this is definitely an important one. It is so strong of you too rethink what you are doing it it isn't working for you. You have time!! Just listen to your self! :)

    I really like your blog, so I actually just nominated you for
    Infinity Dreams Award.

    Read all about it on here:
    http://noshandchat.blogspot.dk/2015/02/get-to-know-me-through-infinity-dreams.html

    XO
    Cylia

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    1. Hi Cylia, thanks so much for reading and leaving such a lovely and supportive comment. And thanks for the nomination too! Lots of love x

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  2. I know we've had a bit of a discussion on this face to face, but I feel like I should comment on here too so it's public for others to see.

    I don't think it’s just your course that is feeling the same way. I had a look at how students have rated various aspects of BU and it turns out that in the 2015 league tables BU came 112th out of 123 Universities for student satisfaction with teaching. Honestly I think that's horrendous.

    To say we are each spending £9000 a year I would've thought that our satisfaction, especially with teaching standards, should be the most important thing. Instead they're spending our money building a new block of SU offices and a new Starbucks.

    I think that they need to get their priorities straight or there will be an awful lot of unhappy students out there.

    As for your course specifically, hopefully it will get better. I'm starting to regret my choices too, but I don't want to have to go through the first year again from the start. Especially considering the amount of money I have put into this so far too. Tough decisions, hey?

    Joe x

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    1. It's ridiculous isn't it?! I totally agree about where our money's going as well. It's so frustrating!! And I'm the same, I don't want to have to start again. I feel for you especially though being a few years older! You must be fed up of that by now.

      Thanks for chatting to me about it in person and commenting on here though Joe, really appreciate it x

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  3. Hiya :)
    This was me from the moment I started my degree in Drama. I felt like I very rarely learnt new things only with one lecturer who put a lot of time and effort into us. Turns out those were the modules I got the best results in. I decided I wanted nothing to do with Drama halfway through my degree even though it was all I ever wanted to do! I looked at becoming a midwife because it's something i had always thought about; to do that it meant back to college. So it was back to square one hating every second and forever hating lectures. I started gaining work experience as a drama teacher - hated it!! Worst thing ever. Something I always thought I would love. I re-discovered my love of English through reading endless plays and looking at language. This lead to me working voluntary in a secondary school in the English Department. Best decision I ever made. Throughout my 3rd year I continued this twice a week and was offered a job after a few months.
    I now teach English and I'm starting my teacher training in September. I don't feel like university helped me get the job or helped towards my choices, however it made me realise what I wanted. That English was always my passion it was the words I loved that little bit more.

    You're not the only one that felt like this at uni. They were the worst 3 years of my life and I was only 40 minutes from home and lived with my boyfriend. Don't give up after 6 months. I nearly walked away after a day, but through the lows I always found highs. First year doesn't count for anything you just have to pass it - maybe that's why it isn't great?! I carried on and it got better and my Uni which was Worcester is/was nicknamed the University of Butlins! I graduated with a 2:1 ended up engaged and becoming a teacher. Keep going for a while you never know what could happen in the next 6 months. I hope you learn to enjoy it more. I honestly feel your pain 😊

    Sorry for the rant but this was me 3 years ago.

    Laura x

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    1. Hey Laura! Wow that was quite a story! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It's reassured me a lot actually. I don't want to give up, I don't think that's the way forward and you seem to have proved that! Just go to stick at it!

      Sounds like you've been on a tough journey to get to where you are but I'm so pleased that everything is looking so great for you now! I hope teacher training goes well - I admire you just for that! I don't think I'd have the patience to be a teacher!!

      I really hope everything continues to be brilliant for you and I really appreciate everything you've said and for your understanding and I have been inspired by the struggles you faced to get to where you are now! x

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    2. You're welcome. Much better for you to understand that SO many people face these struggles. :) Thank you very much. It's odd because even though I've graduated I still have that little sinking feeling of the pain it caused. Although seeing where I've got too always helps.

      I hope it all begins to pick up and you find that one lecturer or module that inspires you again. Don't be afraid to speak up either - be honest on feedback sheets of you do those for each module.

      I'll keep an eye out for any future posts regarding your journey :)
      Keep going girl. You can do it!!
      x

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