Wednesday, 17 October 2012

How to Survive a Fashion Degree

Hi everyone, sorry again for going a long time without a post, I've had another run of bad luck! The first being the house has been burgled, so much has been taken - mostly sentimental, I wont go into it any further otherwise I'll just get grumpy again. The second lot was I've been in hospital; I'm all fine now though :).

Anyway on to what I was actually posting about...

A Guide to Surviving a Fashion Degree

First off as much as you may not like this some of it will be the usual things that your tutors will constantly drum into you all year, sorry but unfortunately quite a bit of it is true!

1.) Plan your work out in advance - Yes you may do what I used to and go into a sulky teenager insisting that you can't predict the future or you don't know when you'll be ready or "inspired" to make something, but its tough you've got to do it and it actually works! So plan what you want to have achieved by the end of each week, trust me it helps.

2.) Research, research and more research - It may be a word you are probably sick of hearing now but unfortunately its an important one, you may think you've researched something to the max, but the fact is there's usually more you don't know, think outside the box (I know I hate that phrase to), compare your research to other areas of your research, see where it crosses over the most, look at whats already out there but becareful not to subconsciously copy it! Visit as many places to do with your topic as possible, primary research it key however it must be backed up by secondary! 

3.) This one links to above... as much as you need lots of research don't overload yourself with thousands of starting points, start off with one and see where it leads.

4.) Know when your ideas are bad. You must always feel inspired to be able to continue to the next step, trying to carry on with an idea that is driving you mad because it either doesn't work or its just a bit dull is useless, move on to something your excited about and you know you can work with, it'll save you hours. HOWEVER be cautious with how much time you have left, how much you have to do because after several weeks some ideas can drive you mad, it doesn't mean they're bad, it just means you've got a little fed up, and trust me we all get like that sometimes, just keep your head down, stick it out and find new ways to make it new and exciting!

5.) Remember to take a break! Not taking a break could be the reason you have a block, it doesn't always mean that the subject is rubbish. It's important to get a break from your work once in a while, have a cheeky glass a wine, a giant hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows, a box of biscuits, a nice cup of tea or even a night out, being stuck in your room working for hours on end everyday is not always the answer, treating yourself will help spur you on and keep you motivated.

6.) SLEEP! Living off Redbull or Pro Plus is not just bad for your work but is bad for your health, so not only will you not be able to concentrate on your work you are also at risk of making yourself ill, which definitely will not be good for your work.

7.) Stick to your action plan. It'll help you avoid those dreaded all nighters, however if your anything like me you'll always find something to do with your work on that last night anyway, but its best to avoid this. Plus if you avoid the all nighter before hand in the more energy you'll have to go and celebrate, and get rid of those several weeks of pure stress after hand in! 

8.) Trust your instincts! They'll help you work out the good from the bad and you never know where they might lead you.

9.) Experiment! Doing the same thing as usual is boring. Try knitting with strips of plastic bags, melting bubble wrap, or playing around with glass and ceramics, there's thousands of things you can do outside of the sewing and print room that you can still bring back to work, and you'll be surprised how inspiring they can be!

10.) BUDGET YOURSELF. You may think this has nothing to do with your work but trust me it does, if you don't budget yourself you'll end up worrying about money, which will distract you from work. Also if you don't budget yourself correctly you could run out of money before you need to buy fabric, and that's not good! One way you could save is by making or revamping your own clothes, you've got the skills so why not? Have some confidence! 

11.) Don't forget your friends. Don't get so caught up in work you forget your friends, you'll need them over the years you're at University, if you stick to your action plan it'll help you juggle everything properly, or if you're still finding it difficult add it all into your action plan. (I bought a Filofax and it definitely helped me) 

12.) Always talk to your tutors. Failure to keep your tutors in the loop with your work or other outside issues isn't good, its important they know whats happening because they need to understand, and chances are they can help you or know someone that can.

13.) Read Fashion and Textiles blogs - They can help inspire you, in fact you'll find inspiration hiding in more than just fashion blogs so have a look around search the web, you'll always be able to find something you can relate to or find inspiring!

14.) Lastly make use of all your university has to offer, you're at university for at least three years at some point you're bound to need help for different things. Remember most university's can offer you financial help, counselling, loans/grants, landlord help, a library with very helpful assistants, extra help with maths, structuring essays or other academic help, some also include computer repair. So read up online or enquire with your tutors, students' union, library and other university places where you'll be able to find out whats available to you while you're there, you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

So there you go, if you stick to them, keep your head down and work hard you'll find it easier to get through your degree, miss out one or two of them and you could find yourself lagging behind. Apologises it is a bit of big post but hopefully it'll help :).

PS. One more tip... always carry a chocolate bar in your hand bag, you never know when you might need it! Hehe.


  1. Great post! I've also found all those thing helpful while attending school!
    <3 GypSoul

    1. Thanks for you comment, I'm glad you found them helpful :)


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