5 Ways to Rock at Being an Arts Student
We get an awful lot of flack, particularly from science types, but over the years, I like to think I’ve learnt how to rock at being an Arts student. We are underfunded, undervalued and constantly under government review, but despite what people say, you are not wasting your money on a degree that will get you nowhere. Let me tell you, when it comes to getting a job after university, no-one writes a better application than an unemployed Arts student with a First in English with Creative Writing. That being said, it’s important to make the most of your degree, so here are 5 tips for being an awesome Arts student (and an excellent graduate too).
1. Actually love being an Arts Student – This seems like an obvious thing, but you’d be surprised by the number of students I’ve met who were doing English because they thought it would be easy. BIG MISTAKE. Getting a 1st in an Arts subject is the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life to date. I retain information like a computer, but knowledge is not enough to take you over the 1st line in a subjective subject. You have to do the work, you have to be willing to go the extra mile to make your case, and you have to be able to do it in a succinct style.
2. Don’t contrast, compare – Should you be approached by someone from a different college/faculty, don’t let them contrast your work with theirs. Compare it. They may have more hours than you, but they also have less reading. You may have fewer exams, but your essays will be longer than anything they’ll have to write in their entire degree, and you will have more of them. Also, if you haven’t already, learn the difference between compare and contrast; trust me it’ll be handy.
3. Learn how to “debate” – If there’s one thing you should come away from an Arts degree with, it’s the ability to put together an argument and pitch it with confidence. It’s an invaluable resource, and it’s what makes Arts students priceless in Marketing, Sales, Politics and many other communication heavy industries. Not to mention, if you get really good at it, you’ll be able to argue about physics with a physics student, and win.
4. Use your time wisely – While you’re studying, you’re essentially being paid to learn more about a subject you love. At the same time, you’ve got that little bit of a cushion to gain important experiences that you’ll need when university ends; get a job, even if it’s just during the summer holiday; make full use of the library whenever you can; volunteer, join clubs and make a ton of connections. Your course is unlikely to lead straight into a vocation, so networking and building up a portfolio while you still have a financial buffer is vital. Plus, you’ll be able to say you’ve mastered time management on your CV.
5. Do your thing – One of the pleasures of being an Arts student, is that you get to do your own thing and no-one will judge you for it. Or rather they will, but their judgement will only stretch as far as shrugging and calling you an Arts student, so take advantage; dye your hair pink, spend all day in Starbucks, ride a penny farthing onto campus. Go nuts! The world could do with a few more people who know who they are and love it!
I’m interested to know how other Arts students make/made the most of their degree? And how non-arts students do? I want to know how much our degrees differ in reality. Can you rock at being a scientist/business person, in the same way that you rock at being an arts student?
On a final note: there are just two days left to enter my giveaway folks! Click below for more info!