It is the 25th of August, not long until I return to my third year of university. Perhaps maybe the last year of university, the option of staying on for another year or two still lingers however.
How would I describe my university experience? It’s been educational. Educational in the sense of academia? No not necessarily. So far it’s been a three year course in the subject of life itself. I’ve experienced loss, gain, heartbreak, prosperity and adulthood, all during my tenure as a Swansea University graduate. If you’re reading this, you are either somebody who just managed to stumble onto my blog through the wonders of social media sharing, or maybe this is my future self making sure my portfolio is up to scratch for a career in publishing. By the way, if you are reading this future Jordan, I hope you have covered up the floorboards in your room, placing carpet squares over it does not ‘magically’ make an improvement.
I suppose we should go back to the first year I set foot onto Swansea University’s campus, in which I was about to embark on the SS Bachelors Science Degree of Computer Science. Little did I know it was a treacherous expedition through the seas of programming, predicate logic and worst of all, the pep8 canal. If there was one bit of advice I would give to somebody prior to starting university, is to check your modules before the course. Otherwise you will end up like me, on a friday afternoon trying to decipher what my
Asian programming lecturer was trying to say. After jumping ship and rummaging for a door to lie on, several thoughts were floating around my head for what steps I should do next. Leaving university was one of my most favoured options at the time, the thought of going into an apprenticeship or perhaps getting a full time job were the only choices I had left. I applied for two separate apprenticeship schemes, one being General Dynamics UK ( a company that makes missiles and shit) and another company called AB Connectors (a company that kind of makes missiles and shit). Needless to say, I passed the interview and assessment stages with flying colours, and things were most certainly looking up; Cue the shitstorm. Alongside applying for jobs and successfully achieving possible apprenticeship schemes, I was communicating with my Computer Science head of year at the time. For some reason, Swansea University desperately wanted me to stay. There were ongoing talks about transferring to another course; Media and Communication. An arts degree. A degree with the stigma of ‘mickey mouse degree’ attached to it like a tick on a dog’s bollock. This didn’t rest well with my dad at all. He assumed that this degree would be nothing but a waste of time, similar to his reaction when I wanted to study architecture post comprehensive school. This led to a hefty argument in which I left the house for a few days, and for the life of me, I cannot remember what caused things to go back to normal. Perhaps it is best to forget. What made me persevere was sound advice I received from one of my Computer Science tutors. “Fuck your parents.” His words not mine. I will never forget that meeting I had with him in his office. It was the first time I realised that I should fulfilling goals for myself, not anybody else. I learnt more things in that thirty minute timespan, than the hours and hours of draining seminar talk from the previous semester. I thank you Dr Archambault, from the bottom of my heart, you inspired me to stay at university, and I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t for you.
Months passed, it was time to start over again. A fresh clean slate with all my examination and coursework failures scraped away as if they were crumbs of stilton. The same notepad, different textbook. The same ID card, different hairstyle. It was fair to say that I was a ‘re-fresher’. Transitioning from a science degree to an arts degree was a very problematic change. Back in computer science, everything was set in stone. Two plus two equals four, and typing System.out.println(“Hello, World”); would make the words ‘Hello, World’ pop out on screen. This wasn’t the case for my degree, especially in the case of my English Literature classes.
It was at this point I learned about the word ‘subjectivity’ as well as the reason why the word ‘art’ is included in the fucking degree title. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to art, and in its entirety, stories, poetry and scripts are all artforms that can only be appreciated by those that understand them. Of course only I would get it wrong at first. My English grades were not up to the standard of other grades that I was achieving in other core modules. It was easy to read a textbook and cite various different sources from intelligent blokes, but writing satire and non-fiction? That was a difficult situation. More difficult than any logic problem. On the subject of difficult situations, my two year relationship came crashing to an abrupt end. Super segue, I know I must admit! Without getting into too much specifics, I felt completely empty. My confidence level was at rock bottom and I felt useless. And being the empty-headed gorm I was back then, I was prepared to fix things and thought that my broken heart could be repaired with half-assed apologies and continuous chances. A word of advice to those preparing to give that person who constantly deceives you multiple chances. Don’t be oblivious. You are far better than that and deserve much more. They say that the grass is greenest most where you water it, but if he/she is constantly pissing on the turf, then of course nothing will grow. Only weeds. That was a pee joke, hehe. From this point I would like to thank my parents and friends for slapping me out of the nightmare that was a toxic relationship, because if it wasn’t for them, I would still be in that quagmire of self loathing and denial, and most importantly, I would not have met the love of my life right now. I’ve picked up on the fact that shit tends to stick with shit, and that surrounding yourself with successful people, in turn brings you success. Which is why I also want to thank you of course Jodie getting my proverbial shit together. If it wasn’t for you, my grades wouldn’t be at the level they are now. Your incredible hard work has inspired me to in-turn work twice as hard, so we can have that dream en-suite and butchers chopping block when we get eventually get a place of our own.
Second year. Blimey that was quick. I would say second year was my most productive year to date. I gained some valuable experience working for The Ospreys as part of the university’s work experience programme, I successfully designed a revision guide that didn’t fail on me, and most importantly I learned how to hand roll cigarettes thus saving me an absolute fortune. Jodie, you’re the bomb again. The second year was really the
year when I started narrowing down paths for a potential career. Publishing and writing was on the cards, and for the most part it still currently is. I was lucky enough to meet some talented individuals at a Channel 4 pop up event in Cardiff that showcased various different sectors in the field of media. Things like broadcasting, journalism, television, they were all there. The only thing missing there was Krishnan Guru Murthy. Thank christ. At university meanwhile, I began to see huge changes in terms of grades. The revision guide that I mentioned earlier was covered from back to front for over a month prior to my January exam. And that month certainly paid off as I received one of my highest ever assessed score of 74. Soon after grades started to rise even more in other modules. 72. 75. 70. Fucking 80? No surely not. By the time second year had finished, I achieved three modules with a 1st classification, and three remaining modules with a 2:1 classification. I wouldn’t say I was proud of myself on grade results alone, but the looking back to how useless I was in my first ever year, and overcoming the problems that occurred the year after that, I am proud that I managed to find my niche so to speak.
So here we are now. The 25th of August, and not long until I return to my third year of university. Are there things that I wish I could have improved upon? Of course, absolutely. I missed out on the whole fresher, ‘living in halls’ experience due to my gullible nature of ingesting my psycho of an ex-girlfriend’s bullshit. But hey ho, just a part of life’s rich tapestry I suppose. Do I know for certain what the future holds for me once this final year is over? Of course not, and frankly I shouldn’t really be fixated on the idea of finding out. Sometimes when we think about the future too much, we seem to forget about the present. I will knuckle down as hard as I can, and I hope to reap the rewards. Perhaps this placement module will guide me in the right direction. Perhaps Future Publishing will magically knock on my doorstep. Perhaps the concept of teaching may be another option, who knows? All I know is that at this moment in time, I am currently on the road to nowhere. Driving at a steady fifty , a cigarette in the one hand, steering wheel in the other, enjoying the ride, and trying not to worry too much where i’ll eventually end up.