No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is, you still have to get out of it. – Grace Slick
No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is, you still have to get out of it. – Grace Slick
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. – Mark Twain
“I believe I was put on earth to cause a ruckus.” ~ Lady GaGa
Advice from a college grad on how to spend your university years:
Post by Kieran Slobodin, Vice-President (University Affairs) at Queen’s University, Kingston.
April has always been a month of renewal. The bright rays of the April sun are the first glimmer of hope after the doldrums of a dreary winter and turn our minds to rejuvenation. April is when our parks fill up and our porches become occupied full time. Yes, April is like a Star Wars sequel: A New Hope.
Unless you’re in fourth year, in which case it blows.
On the last day of classes my house threw a party. Thursday, April 5, last day of classes. Last day of undergrad. Perhaps the last day of classes for all time (screw you, Grad School!). All that week facebook statuses were popping up with ‘last class!’ or ‘last seminar’ or ‘last Alfie’s night of my undergrad!’ Everyone was ecstatic and some people invested more time creating Facebook groups than they actually spent in class those final four days. Like freed prisoners we celebrated that night.
Like four exams. And two final papers. And a film project. Literally no one was done anything and the extended weekend of Easter only helped perpetuate that lie. Like a dark hangover cloud fourth year students are starting to realize that they still have to buckle down one last time and study hard. Unless you were blessed with a shortened semester you are still resigned to one last study blitz. Perhaps you only wish to pass the course and only need 8% on that 40% weight final to get your pass. But most likely you’re going to be faced with the same dilemma you were your other seven exam periods: you didn’t go to class and you have no idea what the course is about.
When the hell did I sign for Ayn Rand and Postmodern Epistomology: A Comparative Review?! Photo credit: QuickMeme.
Bucket lists as a concept were first perpetuated by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as a way to cheat death. Or make the most out of life. One of those. A bucket list as portrayed in the movie is essentially just a macabre wish list. However, ever since the Bucket List, arguably Morgan Freeman’s worst movie after Evan Almighty, there has not been a more tired cliché for graduating students.
Groosfrabas. Photo credit: Blogspot.
Bucket lists symbolize a last push by panicking students to capture every memory they can of university. The thought is that with a year of dedicated effort you can achieve in your final year what you failed to do in your first three.
There’s a reason you never did any of your bucket list in the first 75% of your undergraduate career. Whether it’s because your list is too challenging or too much work, you quickly realize that trying to capture stave off your inevitable nostalgia is sadder than Madonna trying to stay relevant.
The problem is when you try and cram in three years of missed opportunity you forget what makes the stuff you DID do fun. The point of the university experiences that typically wind up on bucket lists is the story behind the accomplishment. When you reduce those stories down to a checklist they tend to lose all meaning.
Apologies for the radio silence! Been much busier than expected with conferences, gigs and flying back home for a few weeks, and I have to admit I did forget to write last week. I am ashamed.
So while I was busy finishing assignments and then fulfilling the rock’n’roll part of my personal blurb on this blog (actually ran into one of the speakers from the Unconventional Women conference in a rock bar in London!), I also went to another conference. This time it was Business 2012, and I have to say it was quite an experience. And not all good.
Getting past the absolutely and unforgivably poor organisation of the event – we didn’t get to see Sir Richard Branson speak because they “couldn’t disclose the information” about which speakers were on & when! Srsly, what the eff? – the seminars and workshops we attended were quite surprising. In fact, my friend and I came to the conclusion that, with the exception of the seminars on trademarks and mobile internet, we could’ve gotten up on the spot and taught the seminars better than the speakers.
Now you might be thinking I’m crawling up my own rear end here, but it was very shocking how unprepared and unprofessional some of the speakers were. I did not come to sit through a seminar on the commercial use of twitter being taught by some middle aged guy who gets up and starts off with “Well I’m actually really bad with social media and some kid I have working for me actually does it all.” Why are you here giving your “advice” then?
This conference was really an example of making it too broad and in turn making a big mess of an event. To top it off the seminars were overbooked so we had to sit on the floor, and The O2, where the conference was being held, was freezing cold.
But perhaps most notably,
The best and most informative seminar was the one given by one of the youngest speakers there.
Just something to think about. And comment on below.
P.S. The saving grace for the last day was the British Music Experience museum of popular music which is in the same building, and which I HIGHLY recommend you visit if you can!
By Arush Chandna
The Airbus-Fly Your Ideas Challenge was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Thanks to this competition, I got to work on a really cool idea, with two very intellectual peers under the guidance of a really inspirational and experienced mentor.
Since a very young age, I have possessed a penchant for aviation. One day, as I was browsing through StudentEvents, I saw that Airbus was organizing an event for students. I was elated. I knew I had to do this.I got in touch with two of my friends, both aviation enthusiasts like me and we decided to start-off.
We were working together on such a project for the first time and I believe that the instant cohesion of our team was one of the main reasons we made it to the semi-finals of the event. This was also the first time that I got to work under a senior employee from the industry for a competition.Our team’s mentor, a highly experienced Airbus employee not only came across as an excellent and inspirational guide, but also as a model professional.
We were absolutely amazed by his ability of pinpointing the loopholes of our 5000-word report and presenting them in a very precise, yet articulate and convincing manner. By the end of the 9 and half months over which the competition spanned, I gained memories that would last a lifetime. What had actually started out as a task to build my resume actually turned into something much more than just that.
From our initial brainstorming sessions to eagerly awaiting our mentors feedback every time we sent him a draft of our proposal, I believe that the lessons that I have learnt from each phase of this competition will go a long way with helping me in my professional life.
The deadline looms nearer and nearer and here I am, sitting in front of the computer, staring at my screen with an expression that could be described as void with a subtle hint of desperation. Indeed, this has been a ritual for a number of days now as I attempt to offer a work of my great knowledge of intellectual property law to the scrutiny of the panel of professors and external markers, but cannot produce said work in the required physical form.
In other words, I’ve got an essay due and I just can’t squeeze the words out of my brain. Your faithful blogger, my friends, is suffering from writer’s block.
In fact, I’m suffering such writer’s block I decided to write about it because I couldn’t think of anything else to write about this week.
My usual remedy is to go do something completely unrelated for a few hours and come back with a fresher mind, in the hope that I’ll see things from a better (more writable) perspective. This time it turned into spending hours on Facebook, YouTube, 9GAG and BBC iPlayer. And driving my friends nuts with floods of posts.
Other times I try brainstorming ideas, concepts or characteristics of/around the issues I’m supposed to discuss. Usually this gives me at least a couple of ideas I can begin expanding on. This time, nothing. I can only hope to get out of this funk and actually write something before the deadline.
So now I ask you, my darling readers. What do you do when you have writer’s block? Post your suggestions in the comments below!
Networking is finding the right people with the right resources and having them help you get the word out.
Right people + Right resources = Success
By yourself, you are nowhere near as effective as when you have a network of contacts and friends working together to help promote you or your new venture. Networking is as easy as making new friends. If you can make new friends, then you can network. But making new friends does take work. It’s not magic.
How do we do this? Let’s break it down into 3 important sections:
Make it a point to provide helpful information / advice / support to at least one person each day. This is a major stumbling block for people because of the personal investment it requires, but once you realize the multiplier effect that’s attached to each of your efforts, you will be surprised at why more people aren’t doing this.
Just help others. Quite often you’ll hear people voicing their concerns in public forums or even on twitter. If it takes a few minutes of your time to point them in the right direction, do it right there and then.
Summary: You have to prove your value to people who are vastly more influential than you – this translates into building your own worth by playing with the smaller fish first. It’s a step-by-step process. Continue reading