This is for anyone at university.
You’ve probably got a really big essay at the moment.
Or a project.
Or a presentation.
You’re shitting yourself.
Are you going to be in the word count?
Over the word count?
Are your references right?
Have you quoted the right people?
Are you doing what everyone else is doing?
What’s your friend written for that bit?
Maybe you should look at their answer.
See if what you’re doing is right.
You are at university.
You don’t have clients.
You’re not spending anyone else’s money.
There’s no quarterly targets to meet.
You don’t have a boss.
You don’t have some knob head trying to steal your job.
You don’t have co-workers relying on you.
You don’t have a family to put food on the table for.
You don’t have kids to look after.
Right now, you have fewer responsibilities than you will ever have.
So, why are you all acting like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders?
Every piece of work you write, you stress over it like your child wont eat that night if your references are out.
Fuck your references.
You don’t realise this yet.
And some people reading this will disagree.
But you are wasting your time at university if you carry on doing what you’re doing.
Your lecturers will tell you otherwise.
So will your parents.
But this time shouldn’t be for passing and impressing anyone.
Who are you trying to impress?
You came to uni to learn.
And you don’t learn by being right all the time.
You learn by fucking up.
Start fucking up.
And start failing.
Ignore mark schemes.
Ignore what everyone else is doing.
Ignore what they’re all telling you will get you a good grade.
Stop looking to pass a test and start learning.
Next time you have an essay, write something outrageous.
Next time you have a presentation, present it in the craziest way you can think of.
Just have fun.
Try everything you can while you can.
Too many people go to uni and fail to learn anything.
They haven’t learned how to deal with failure.
They haven’t learned how to be different.
They haven’t learned how to deal with everyone saying to you, you’re wrong.
They learnt how to pass that last test.
At uni, there is no such thing as risk.
The only risk is your grade.
On a piece of paper.
A number on a piece of paper that doesn’t change you in any way.
You have to decide, whether you want to pass or whether you want to learn.
Save the glory and a pat on the back for when it matters.
Written by Jack Smith.
Jack is currently studying the famed advertising course at Watford.
How to keep a journal
Saadia Osman, a student at Royal Holloway, gives her top tips for people wanting to keep a journal.
Interview tips you need to know
A step-by-step guide for first-time interviewees, or regular job hunters who need to sharpen their interview skills.
Big and bold: Graphic designer creates CV with a twist
This graphic designer's reinvented CV and portfolio will make you rethink your own.
Donut trickery lands guy 10 job interviews
Lukas Yla set out to bag his dream tech job a little differently to how most of us would do it by sending tech giants a box of donuts.
Five quick job application tips to remember
Abed Lame, a sixth form college student at St. Charles, writes about his five top tips for students looking to get on the job ladder or looking to apply for apprenticeships.
When I’m A Dad
Tom Anders, an ex advertising student from the University of Lincoln won himself a D&AD Black Pencil in 2015, thanks to his heart warming entry 'When I'm A Dad'.