First year as an Arts student

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First year Arts student? Read about Victoria Hogan’s first year experience in her Arts degree here.

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I never really had a back-up plan in case I didn’t get into UniMelb. I mean, sure I’d applied for all the semi-acceptable VIC and NSW unis, but there weren’t any I wanted to go to. So this time last year I was kind of anxious about getting my acceptance. This was ridiculous since, thanks to Access Melbourne, I’d already known for around a month that I had a guaranteed offer on the way.

The weirdest thing in the lead up to uni was the realisation that in less than two months I will have whole new friends I don’t even know yet. Making friends at uni didn’t really turn out the way I thought. There were people I met at Destination Melbourne who I thought yeah these people could be my friends. Then there were people in O-week I thought the same about. I kept thinking back to Plugga, a friend’s sister who always told us how she met her best friend in her first lecture. But no, those people faded into obscurity. Sure I’ve made friends, but that was a slower process of hours of watching shitty reality TV with randoms in my building.

Overall I adjusted to uni fairly easily. I thought, given my history as one of those students who could get away with doing as little as little as possible and still doing well, that university would be a great wake-up call. But I’ve always been a really independent student. The one criticism my maths teacher always gave was that I never asked questions. This kind of independence has really helped adjust to a degree in which a whole lot of the work is done (if ever) outside of contact hours. It’s recommended that we spend around 8-10 hours a week dedicated to each subject (inc. contact hours) only three of which are actually spent in class. And I only really work beyond contact hours when I have essays due tomorrow.

What I love about the BA is the variety. I spent my first year doing things that I know and love and things that I’d never had a chance to do before and plan on never doing again. I had a shortlist of subjects ready before I even got my offer, changed it around after AAD and switched everything again for second semester. One subject I was super excited for was Criminology. I studied crime writing at uni and loved it. I loved trying to figure out how the crazies think. Well, I love the Sherlock/Hannibal method of learning how crazies work. Turns out statistics and regular grade criminals are dull as anything. So my interest in the subject waned. Once I’d found myself watching youtube for two entire lectures I decided to skip them altogether.

But by far the biggest waste of time in B-Arts is the workshops required by Arts Foundations. The subjects themselves are alright. They’re like an introduction to certain ways of thinking and learning, based in areas like philosophy or literature or politics. But those freaking workshops. The whole point of Foundations is to teach us how to be an arts student, so I expected to learn how to research, how to write a uni essay, editing tips and tricks. Nope. I felt entirely condescended to by a woman* who was so far removed from the subject and expected me to know what she was there to freaking teach me.

But I mean, there was only that one time I actually cried (I think), and I don’t think anyone noticed so how bad could it have been?

*Don’t worry I’ve heard positive reviews of other tutors…

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More about Victoria:

Victoria Hogan is about to start her second year Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Creative Writing and English & Theatre Studies. She can currently be found blogging about everything from feminism to napping over at http://ataudreys.wordpress.com/ and reblogging all of the fandom over at http://toongen.tumblr.com/.

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