On July 7th this year, I finally graduated at the University of Kent with a 2:1 BSc in Music Technology. I worked my arse off to achieve that grade, but it was actually my experience at uni that has taught me a lot about adult life. I wouldn’t say I’m fully there yet, but living with different sets of friends over three years has definitely paved the way to living like a sensible person. How much of this can you relate to in the real world?
1. Collaboration is key
I’m a musician and have been for 11 years. It’s my passion. I love to write music and I love to write it with other people, regardless of genre. However, I am absolutely no singer, so I love recording songs and asking vocalists to include some input.
The results are unpredictable but extremely productive and bond-strengthening. During my third year, one of my projects was to write and produce a 25 minute pop album. The best thing I ever did was have a friend help me with the recording and mixing of my songs because, in turn, I did the same for him.
Not only did it help us both achieve fantastic marks for our work, we became strong friends from it. Once you’ve spent around 24 hours a week for nine months with one person telling you; “Play that again, you can do it better”, a stupendous amount of times and you’re still friends with them, well then you have a friend for life and your future collaborations will be just as great.
2. Help clean your house
Don’t be a dick. If you’ve made a mess, left food on your plate in the kitchen, not brushed down the loo or have made your house smell obscure, it is your duty to clean it up and make the living arrangements for your household as good as possible.
I took living with my parents for granted before living in student housing. Since moving back, I think I’ve improved in cleanliness and it’s probably a bug that will now stick with me. So my mum hopes anyway.
3. Home cooking for the win
I discovered during my three years away that cooking isn’t such a chore. In fact, one of my third year housemates was so engrossed in cooking at times, I became envious. So I cooked a lot more than I had been with ingredients from scratch and realised that it’s firstly therapeutic, and it’s such a progressive social activity. I miss cooking with one particular housemate most days. He taught me loads, and I admire his passion for it.
4. I need something to focus on
Unemployment from full time work SUCKS. Since graduating, I’ve hated not focusing on projects, despite how stressful they were. So I spend a lot of my time picking up overtime from my part time job and teaching instruments as many times as I can in the weeks. I love keeping busy but I feel I need a long term project to keep my brain running and my determination on fire.
During a semi-serious conversation with a uni friend at the end of our third year, we came to realise: there are a hell of a lot of people we’ll probably never see again. It’s a sad thing, but when leaving primary and secondary school, there were people that I swore I’d stay in touch with daily that I haven’t heard from in months or years. We figure it’ll be the same leaving uni. My end to student life has made me determined to stay in touch with my friends as much as I can.
These are but a handful of things I learnt about adult life at uni. What did you learn?
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