Yes, I did it.
For the past 3 years I have been studying Interior & Spatial Design at Buckinghamshire New University and I’m happy to say that I made it.
My first 2 years were where I was more strongly motivated with the projects, but towards the end of the 2nd year and going into the 3rd year I could feel a break up happening. I found myself losing the passion for the course that I once had because of constantly battling tutors for what I wanted for my projects, and while this was going on I was also starting to gain work and experience with photography for different clients, and being encouraged for that. I hope that gives an idea of why my mind was where it was.
In the last year there are 3 big projects, the 1st worth 25%, the Dissertation worth 25% and the Final Major worth the remaining 50%. Unlike most others, my favourite was the dissertation by far. It allowed me to make use of my video skills that I had picked up along the way through self taught techniques and be able to explain my point of view on a subject through a mean of communication that I felt comfortable in. I was able to make a video rather than typing/writing out 8000 words as there is now an “alternative format dissertation” being brought in that is meant to allow people to express themselves in a way that they can best.
This is one that I had been planning and collecting footage for 2 years prior and even made use of older footage that I had. About 60-70% of the footage used was my own and it was blended in such a way that 2 of my tutors said that most of the time they couldn’t tell what was and wasn’t shot by me. Apologies for going on about this one, I just really enjoyed it, and got my best mark for any project.
Although the FMP was based around something that I chose, I felt that it was still being dragged away from what I wanted it to be by critical feedback and taking me further from the enjoyment that I once had. This led to me taking a massive time off as I just did not want to do it or to see the tutors. In this time I got more into doing work photographing events, even going into London for a couple and getting results out. I was also more involved than ever in the Students Union, creating content for their YouTube, Sports teams & Campaigns, this line of work was going up.
By this point there was only a few weeks left in that project and my progress wasn’t quick enough. My last push for the line came when a flatmate moved out and left their room open which I just turned into an office-type room to just work in for a week. Managed to be able to smash out my project in that time, I don’t know how, and produce a video that explained it. That week I had an average of 1-2 hours sleep a day, and worked for the majority of each day on that project. I wouldn’t recommend structuring it like this, but if you are desperate then it can sort of work.
Yes, I know, my final year wasn’t as smooth and I know that my work produced wasn’t as good on the whole as my previous 2 years, but I am satisfied that I made it through – despite being told that I wouldn’t.
Graduation itself was about as expected, lots of proud families, happy students and general positive vibes. In the ceremony, a few long speeches, only standing up to walk across the stage. I think the biggest thing for me is that it’s a relief that it’s over (especially after the last year) and I’m able to spend more time on what I now want to do.
Something else – Quite a few people have questioned why I chose an Interior Design course or why I even went to Uni to start with considering I’m working in a different job line. The reason is that it was what I felt to be the right decision at the time, I actually bought my first camera while at Uni in my first year to be able to photograph models better which is where that started off from. So I could argue that if I didn’t go to Uni, If I didn’t go to Bucks New Uni, I might not have found what I love doing.