So You Want To Study… Film and Television!

Hello all! This week’s “So You Want To Study” post, in fact, comes from yours truly.  I spent four glorious years studying Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, and I had an absolute ball.  So today I thought I’d tell you all about it, in case you are considering taking the leap and studying it yourself!

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I like to think the incredible television show 24 is responsible for my decision to study Film and TV.  Sure, I’d loved films and television all my life, but it wasn’t until I watched that first series, seeing Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer for the first time, experiencing the revolutionary style of the show, and becoming consumed not only by the storyline, but by the entire process of the show, that I realised I was more than just your regular TV fan.  I was fascinated, watching the behind the scenes features on the DVDs time and time again, reading interviews with the producers and writers online, and writing my own little reviews (which the world never saw – I didn’t have a blog back then!).  I just thought it was incredible, and I remember thinking – I could keep watching and talking about this forever, and never run out of things to say.

The first thing I’ll say about making the decision to study film and TV, is that you have to figure out whether or not you are interested in the technical side of things.  This will decide which sort of course you should apply for, and will therefore affect which university you attend.

I, however, wanted to write about films and television, learn about the history of these two mediums we take so much for granted nowadays, and explore the ways in which they interact with and influence our society.  I wanted to study different genres, and talk about different writers.  Basically, I wanted to do an English Literature degree, but studying the big and small screens instead of books.

So if you decide that sounds like the kind of course for you, keep reading! It was one of the best experiences of my life, and while I might have gone on to study a Masters in something different, I wouldn’t change those four years for the world.

False Perceptions…

One thing to expect from a film and television studies course is that, despite the fact it is a widely respected subject now, you will still meet the odd person who, when you tell them what you’re studying, will say: “Is that even a thing?!”, or “Yeah, because sitting watching films all day counts as studying.” Ignore them.  Films and television shows have a huge impact on our society, from the traditional notion of “Water Cooler” conversation pieces, to the way news is reported (which is particularly interesting in terms of politics at the moment).  Today, social media allows us to share in global television experiences, and even things like the certification process of movies is inextricably tied to our ideas of what is age appropriate – something which, I can tell you, has changed a lot over the years. The types of films and shows made in different countries can tell us so much about different cultures, and don’t even get me started on the gender and sexuality implications of what we see on screen (trust me, the Gender and Sexuality module, which was part of my second year course, was one of my favourites – we could be here all day!).

Don’t Study Film and Television if…

1) … you don’t like the idea of the way you view films and TV changing.  It sounds obvious, but once you study something, it becomes very difficult to view it in the way you did before.  Once you’ve broken down film conventions, TV trends, audience engagement, and all of the other things you will look into over the three or four years of your studies, it inevitably changes your relationship with it.  I’ve had people say to me countless time “But surely you can’t enjoy it if you’re analysing it all the time? Can’t you just sit and watch a film?”  The answer to that is, I don’t know.  In some ways, I don’t think I can just watch a film any more, but truthfully, I wouldn’t change that.  I LOVE talking about and analysing television (if you’ve seen my original YouTube channel, you’ll be only too aware of this fact!).  I still get completely caught up in the story of whatever I’m watching, but I do always notice the writing and the camera work, and I always question why certain decisions were made behind the camera. And nine times out of ten, I will go online afterwards and start reading up more about whatever I’ve just watched.

2) … you don’t like watching subtitled films.  This is one I’ve heard a lot – people saying they “just can’t concentrate on watching the film and reading the subtitles at the same time”.  If you choose to study film and television, you will be viewing subtitles on a very regular basis, sometimes doing entire units worth of foreign cinema.

3) This leads me on to point three – don’t study film and television studies if you only like Hollywood blockbuster movies.  They will make up a very small portion of what you watch over the years. You will watch a lot of incredible indie movies, as well as some very strange, often very disturbing films. Eventually you will become somewhat immune to these, but prepare to be slightly mentally scarred to begin with. Ever heard of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Weekend”? Yeah. That was an experience.

4) … if you think it’s going to be easy. I once did an entire module on Children’s Television and spent five hours at a time watching and analysing In the Night Garden and Lazy Town  – in theory, that sounds like a breeze, but (aside from the fact that after an hour of Lazy Town you’re already close to losing your marbles), the critical theories involved are far more complex than you might imagine.  There are a lot of essays, even more reading, and, quite possibly because there are still some people out there who question the subject, your lecturers will be sure to really challenge you, so you have to be prepared to really put in the work. It so worth it though!!

What might you study?

Every course will be different, but the following list makes up the modules I studied over the course of my four years of uni:

In first year, we studied two large modules titled “Reading the Screen: Cinema”, and “Reading the Screen: Television”.  In second year, our modules were titled “History, Aesthetics and Genre”, and “Spectatorship, Audiences and Identities”.  Then, in our Honours years (3rd and 4th year), we were free to select  individual modules from a long list.  I chose: Film Analysis, Television Analysis, Contemporary Television Drama, Media and Cultural Policy, Asian Cinema, Screen Audiences, Screen Performance, Animation, Scotland: Film and Television, Children’s Television and, my compulsory Dissertation.

My dissertation was 12,500 words long, and examined the representation of familial relationships in teen television.  I studied Veronica Mars and Gossip Girl, examining the trend of complicated parent/child relationships on television aimed at a young audience.  I can say, hand on heart, I loved researching and writing my dissertation, and it makes me sad that I don’t hear more people say that.

I should also mention at this point that on my particular course, by third year there were a couple of more practical modules to choose, which involved some behind the camera work for the more practical-work-orientated students!

The best things about it?

One of my favourite things about my course was the passion everyone felt for what they were studying. In my experience, film and television students are an incredibly passionate bunch.  Yes, you will meet a few pretentious people along the way – but I’m willing to bet that’s the case with every creative subject. The love we all had for films and television led to fascinating conversations, lively debates, and some brilliant essays. Secondly, I got to write about such a wide variety of film and televisual texts, and discovered films and genres I would never have found, or given a chance otherwise.  But most importantly, it completely widened my horizons, gave me much more cultural awareness (not only of our own media and culture, but of cultures at an international level), and taught me so much about how interconnected our society is with what we’re watching on screen.  It also opened my eyes more than ever to issues of gender inequality and feminism, thanks to some of my absolutely incredible lecturers.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, and I was genuinely heartbroken when we graduated and it was all over. Aside from the course itself, I met some of my best friends during those four years , and it was our love for what we were studying that brought us all together *cue sentimental music*…

So, to any of you out there considering studying Film and Television Studies, I hope this post was helpful! Let me know in the comments if you are on a similar course at the moment, or if you’re heading off to study it after the summer!

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

Lynsey x

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So You Want To Study: Interior Design!

Hi everyone! It’s another Friday, which means it’s time for another “So You Want To Study” post! I’m really loving this series – I find reading through these posts when they appear in my inbox so interesting, so I hope you are finding them useful!

This week’s post comes from the lovely Abigail from Abigail’s World! Abigail is studying Interior Design, and so I hope this post inspires any of you budding interior designers out there to go after your dream career!

So take it away, Abigail!

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I’m currently a third year interior design student on a four year ‘sandwich’ course – which basically means that in your third year you can do a year long work placement (which is optional), but I really wanted to do it. I’ve always been into art & design from a young age and when I was doing my art and design ‘diploma’ in years 10 and 11, I went to look around some new houses that were being built in my home town with my parents, as we were thinking of moving house. As soon as I stepped into them I was just like ‘WOW’ these look amazing, and from that point I knew that I wanted to be an interior designer. Although it was houses that originally got me into interior design, and I’ve always loved interior accessories for the home (even now I’m still doing homeware wish lists over on my blog), I knew that at university and in work afterwards, to get really into it, it would be commercial interiors that I would be designing. I then went on to college where I studied fine art, textiles, history of art and English for my A-Levels (along with a night course of life drawing) which I ended up taking to university interviews, architecture being one of the subjects I studied in my fine art class.

I applied to 5 different universities, some closer to home than others, and after going to 4 out of the 5 interviews, I knew which ones I wanted as my first and second choices – I placed these two, which were the University of Huddersfield as my firm choice, and the Cambridge School of Art within the Anglia Ruskin University as my second choice on my UCAS.  After a lot of coursework and exams, and a lot of waiting, I finally found out that I’d got into my first choice of Huddersfield University *yay*!

So in September 2012 I moved away from home (just two hours drive away) to Huddersfield after only being away from my family a week at the most before. I’ve met so many people at uni both in halls (who I’ve lived with for up to 3 years now) and through my course, some who I know are friends for life, and that’s part of the reason why I know coming to uni has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I was quite nervous that within the first year I would have to learn so many different computer softwares, but as I got talking to people that were going to be on my course I knew that we were all in the same boat. And when it did come around to our one two hour lesson of the softwares a week I actually really enjoyed it and I have learnt so much – and even more now I am on my work placement as they use most of the same softwares!

During the first year, which is pretty laid back compared to the rest, we first started by doing a group project, which really gets you to know the people you’re most likely to stick with for the rest of your time there. At the start of first year, quite a lot of people did drop out of the course because they either couldn’t handle the work load and/or the university life or decided it just wasn’t for them. Personally, in my first year I did projects on designing toilets, a hotel, bar and restaurant and a few other things as well as having an exam on the technical side of the course and creating sample boards.

Second year got a lot harder and everyone got a lot more serious with their work. The nights out partying soon got less often for the majority of us! Instead, our nights were mostly spent in the library until the early hours of the morning – which although it sounds quite scary, and at the time I guess it was with the stress we all go through when a deadline is soon approaching, I’m glad I did them as I got to see the outcome of my work, and my final grade of that year which I was really happy with. Along with the stress of the deadlines, most of us also decided we wanted to take a year out to do the sandwich course by doing a placement in an interior design office. After a lot of phone calls, emails and one or two interviews, I finally got a place where I would be designing work places. I have absolutely loved my placement year so far and I have learnt so so much, I would really recommend it. I now have another year left of the course from September which I am incredibly nervous about as I’ve heard how hard and stressful it has been for others, but I am also looking forward to it, and designing something all on my own again.

Let me know if you have any questions either about the course I’m studying or the university itself as I’d be happy to help. Abigail x

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Thanks so much to Abigail for taking the time to write this post! If you’d like to know more, you can tweet her at @AbigailsWorld94, or you can find her blogging away over at Abigail’s World!

Be sure to check back in next week for another instalment of this series, and there will be a new video live on my channel on Monday. This week’s video was an important one – I’d love your feedback on what type of videos you’d like to see, so pop over and leave me a comment if you get the chance, it would really help me out! :)

Have a lovely weekend everyone, and thanks for reading!

Lynsey x

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So You Want To Study: English Literature!

Afternoon everyone! It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another post in the So You Want To Study series! This week’s post comes from the lovely Lilith, who is here to share her experience of studying English Literature at university. I hope any of you who are considering studying English Lit find this helpful!

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When I joined first year English Literature at the University of Glasgow in September 2010, my course had well over a hundred students. So many, lectures were given twice in succession to accommodate us all. There’s no doubt about it —English Literature is one of the most popular of the arts and humanities courses.

But, it’s not a subject choice to be taken lightly. It’s not an easy option and certainly not one to take if you “can’t think of what else I’d do.” What the study of English Literature is, however, is mentally challenging and rewarding. It’s a discipline that will make you see yourself, others and the world around you in a whole new way. No, seriously.

What made you want to study English Literature?

I’m one of those incredibly annoying people who always knew what they wanted to study. As soon as I learned what university was and what English Literature was I put the two together and I knew that was the path for me. By my sixth year, I had no other plan B in mind. I loved writing, reading, books, thinking critically, argumentation, research and analysis. Sound like you? Read on. Chances are you’ll make a fab English Literature student.

Expectations vs. Reality

I had many many fears before leaving home to go to university (they would be a whole other blog post). A key one was that I really wasn’t qualified to be there. I was terrified everyone would be streaks ahead of me and I’d never catch up. Everyone would have read Camus in the original French and be quoting from Ulysses. Why did I feel this way? It was totally irrational.

Let’s be honest, there will always be people who have read more than you, this is true. There are people who will have read less. And people who have read the same. And also, of course, there are people who will just have read, written, experienced different things. The study of English Literature isn’t really about quantity. Don’t think of others as your competition. Engage with each other, Learn from each other, teach each other. You will develop confidence in your own abilities and you’ll find your footing very quickly.

What is the workload/assessment process like?

English Literature at university is not like English at school. The main difference is quantity of work and the pace at which you’re expect to work. Remember at Higher when you spent six months studying Sunset Song and knew more about Chris Guthrie than you did your own best friend? Not so at university.

You study a text (novel, poet, a play) a week. You are expected to have read it (shock), understand its key themes and be able to talk about it in a tutorial. You may return to it later for an essay, a short verbal presentation or an exam or you may not.

In first and second year you’re given primary texts to read and won’t need to deviate much from this list. A lot of first year is learning the basic skills required for your degree: Close reading, understanding literary themes and contexts and having an overview of literary periods.

Later on, you’ll be encouraged to think more widely, engage with texts more critically and they’ll be much more of an emphasis on original essay ideas. Thinking outside the box and approaching things just that little bit differently (as long as you can evidence your claims) will always serve you well.

You’ll still probably have a core reading list but as long as a text falls within the general time period you’re studying, it’s probably okay to study. Just always check with your tutor.

On average I had one or two essays per semester per module. The first usually around 2000- 2500 words and then a final one of up to 4000 words. Although in the first couple of years the word count was a bit less. At the end of the semester (either December or May) I had a two-three hour exam where usually I had to write two essays in that time.

What’s my advice for handling the pressure?

The work load is fast paced and it can be tough. For that reason forward planning is essential. Get ahead, try and be at least a week ahead with your reading – a necessity particularly if you have a Monday tutorial. That said, there will be times where you might need to skip a week and you just don’t have time or the inclination to read the novel for that module’s weekly tutorial. This is okay. Just don’t let yourself fall behind massively. Also, go to the tutorial that covers that text anyway. You might pick up something useful for another text, essay or even module. Also, never underestimate the power of the to do list.

What was my favourite bit?

I absolutely loved my degree so it’s actually very hard for me to choose this. I would say it was research and writing essays. I loved finding original ways to look at texts, feeling ideas click into place to form my argument, saying the unsaid, finding new territory. This all came to a head in my fourth year when I did my dissertation. I felt I’d finally found my niche and it was so so good.

What was tough?

I faced a strong feeling of impostor syndrome. There were simply weeks where I would sit in tutorials and not feel clever enough to be at university. Everyone else’s ideas seemed more mature, more fully formed, more exciting, more original. Most of the time these feelings are completely in your head. Secure yourself with the feeling that almost everybody gets them.

What am I doing now?

I graduated from Glasgow University with a First Class Degree (proudest moment ever, not going to lie). I applied for a Masters in Modern Scottish Writing at the University of Stirling in July and deferred for the year.

I’ve spent the first part of this year out September-January working in an art gallery and theatre which had been my student job. In January, I was lucky enough to land myself a role as junior copywriter for a small content agency here in Glasgow which has turned out to be the perfect job for me in so many ways.

After my Masters I’d like to do a pHD and I’m passionate about pursuing academia as a career. It combines my two passions – teaching and writing. So here’s for the next chapter…

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Thank you so much to Lilith for a brilliant post! English Literature is a subject I know a lot of people are interested in, so I’m sure this post will be a great help to a lot of readers! If you have any other questions for Lilith about her experience, you can tweet her over at @lisforlilith

As for The Student Switchboard, I’ll be back again on Monday with another video, and there will be another “So you want to study…” post this time next week!

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely weekend!

Lynsey x

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3 Differences Between Undergraduate and Masters Study!

Hello all! Today I thought I’d talk a bit about what I found to be the main differences between studying my undergraduate degree, and studying a Masters.  I’ve mentioned enough times before that I had an absolute ball on both of my courses, but jumping into my Masters was certainly a learning curve, and so I thought I’d share my experience of that with you! This post, then, contains the three biggest difference I found, and how they impacted on my experience.

As a quick side-note – don’t be put off by points one and two.  It sounds intense, and it is, but it is so, so worth it!!3-differences-between-undergraduate-and-masters

1. The Workload

This is an incredibly obvious one, but the workload at Masters level is definitely a step up from undergrad! This will differ from course to course, but generally the amount of work you have to do will increase during postgraduate study.  In my case, I had seven modules, all done over the course of nine months (September to May), each with an equally intense workload. That meant assessments and/or exams for each in December/January, and the same again in April/May.  The April/May period was the most intense, with over 25,000 words worth of assessments, several group projects and an exam within the space of three weeks! This was followed by a 12,000 word dissertation between June and September.

What this taught me:

Time management, organisation and self motivation.

2. The Amount of Class Time

This is obviously connected closely to the first point, but I noticed a massive increase in the number of hours I spent in class between undergraduate and Masters! I was in class five days a week, pretty much 9-5, with the odd hour here or there free, which was a shock to the system after the relaxed timetable I’d had before! Again, this will vary depending on the course, but expect to spend a bit more time in the classroom again!

What this taught me:

Prioritising – the time outside of class becomes precious, and it’s important to use it effectively, both for studying and unwinding.  It also taught me that balancing a part time job with a Masters can be tricky!

3. The Dedication

One really positive thing about postgraduate study, which I mentioned in a recent video, is the fact that at this point, pretty much everyone who is on the course really wants to be there! Something I have a post planned on for some point over the next few weeks is how difficult it is to figure out what you want to do with your life, at any time never mind when you’re just seventeen or eighteen! A lot of people end up going to uni because they think it’s what they should do, or they aren’t really sure what else to do, and that can land them on a course that isn’t right for them. That lack of passion comes across, and can affect things like group work and even class morale.  At Masters level, however, people have already been through their first degree, so actively making the choice to come back and study some more suggests that this is something they are genuinely interested in, and means people will really work hard.

What this taught me:

That collective positive energy is great for keeping you going at some of the more stressful times of the year! When the whole group is striving to do well, it pushes you to do your best, and focus on the end goal (even when you’ve been in the library for what feels like a year of your life!).

I hope you enjoyed that post – I felt inspired to write it after filming my “My Masters Experience” video a couple of weeks ago. If you’ve gone through the undergrad to post-grad transition, what were the biggest changes you experienced?

Thanks for reading!

Lynsey x

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So You Want To Study: Creative Writing!

Hello everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week.

This week’s “So you want to study?” post comes from the lovely Beth from Toasty Writes. She wrote about a subject which has a special place in my heart, and her post gave me one of those “I wish I could go back and do that too!” moments – she’s studying creative writing! So, if this is a subject you’re considering studying, this is the post for you!

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For me, the decision to go to university happened very quickly. I had abandoned any plans for a career in dance after realising that I just didn’t have the heart for it, and had no idea what to do next. ‘I know,’ I thought one day, ‘I’ll do a writing course!’ and set about applying for a Creative and Professional Writing degree.

Some people go to university with a set career path in mind. Others want to focus on a particular area and see where it takes them, and I definitely fall into the latter category. I have always enjoyed writing, ever since I could hold a pen, and I have always written, whether it was stories for school, an angst-filled teenage diary, or, eventually, my blog. Studying Creative Writing seemed like the next logical step.

What happens in a Creative Writing class?

Instead of the traditional lecture/seminar set up, classes take the form of workshops. People bring in their writing, read it aloud, and then everyone is invited to comment on it: What worked? What didn’t? What did you love? What could be improved? It’s as terrifying as it sounds, although it does get better (I still have to jiggle my foot under the table when I’m reading, to let out the nervous energy, but it scares me less than it used to!) You then go away and re-work your writing, taking constructive criticism on board.

As well as honing our own writing skills, we also spend a great deal of time reading. You cannot be a writer without being a reader, and we’re encouraged to read as widely and as often as possible. Breaking out of your comfort zone helps enormously — I try and choose books I might normally overlook — and we’re also given plenty of material to read together in class. Often, a piece of writing might be inspired by what you’ve read: it could be a technique a writer has used, or the way they’ve structured the narrative, or the setting, that grabs your attention.

Expectations versus reality

I should note: the contact hours are minimal. I’m just coming to the end of my second year, and in the first term I had eight contact hours a week. In the second term, I had six. It’ll vary from university to university, but at mine you take four modules a year, and these are taught in weekly two-hour classes. Some of them end in January/February (hence why I only had six hours a week this term).

The danger is thinking that this means a Creative Writing course is easy. It’s not. Sure, you have a lot of free time, and can work around your own schedule for most of it, but during that time you need to be writing (or reading) if you want to get anywhere. The best work comes about through trial and error, through trying something out, submitting it for workshop, and then smoothing out the bumps, and that doesn’t happen if you go to the classes and then spend the rest of your time relaxing. It is important to take a break every now and then (the best cure for writer’s block, I’ve found, is to step away from the notebook/laptop) but you need to allow yourself the time to experiment and get better. If you have the passion for it then it’s definitely worth putting the effort in.

Workload/assessments

Examples of modules I’ve studied so far include: Starting to Write, Writing Media, Writing Fiction, Writing Non-Fiction, and Writing For Children. My university also offers a Writing Poetry module. Creative Writing is coursework based, and we usually submit portfolios of our writing for assessment. The word counts vary according to how many credits each module has. The word count for the 20 credit module I took this year was 4000 words, whereas the word count for the 40 credit modules I’m taking is 10,000 for each portfolio.

This sounds intimidating, but we were eased into it in first year, with portfolios of 3000-4000 words. It’s still a big jump to 10,0000, but there’s no reason why it can’t be achieved if you keep working at it. And by the time the dreaded dissertation comes around, you’ll be used to it, which should relieve some of the stress (I’m hoping!).

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Thanks so much to Beth for taking the time to write this post – I hope it inspired some of you as much as it inspired me!

You can find Beth blogging over on Toasty Writes, and follow her on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram at the highlighted links :) If you’d like to write a post for this series, drop me an email at thestudentswitchboard@gmail.com

Be sure to check back in next week for Wednesday’s post, and another edition of So You Want to Study next Friday! And, as always, there will be a new video over on my YouTube channel on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Lynsey x

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Study Tips: Backing Up Your Files!

Backing up your files, whether it’s a short essay plan, or your entire dissertation, is one of the most important things you can get into the habit of doing during your time at university.  We’re all so used to our computers doing exactly what we ask of them, but sometimes they decide not to play ball, and that can lead to disaster on hand in day if your saved file has inexplicably disappeared!

A student’s worst nightmare – you’ve finally finished that essay which has been weighing you down for weeks, and you head to the library to print it out, or send it via the uni’s electronic system, ready to have it out of your life for good.  You open the folder you could have sworn you saved it in, and it’s nowhere to be seen.  You have an hour till hand in and the assignment you’ve spent the past two weeks working on has vanished from your hard drive.

I don’t know about you, but the mere thought of that situation has me breaking out in a sweat! I was always particularly paranoid about making sure I had double, usually triple backed up my files as a student, so I thought I’d share with you a few different options you have to keep your assignments safely saved and ready to hand in at the deadline!

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Copy on to a USB Stick

This first one is probably the most common way students back up their files.  After saving your essay to whatever file you’re keeping it in on your computer, copying it on to a USB stick is not only a super easy way to take your documents home from the library to work on it from the comfort of your bedroom, but it means you instantly have a second copy of your file which you can upload to a computer and print if you need to!

Upload to Dropbox

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Ahh Dropbox.  I’m a fan of Dropbox.  Backing up your files on websites like this is brilliant because it doesn’t rely on you remembering to put your USB stick in your bag – there’s nothing more frustrating than getting to the library and realising your USB is sitting on your laptop at home! You can log on to any computer and get access to your files through Dropbox.  From word documents, PDFs and PowerPoint Presentations to photos and videos, you can store anything on here.  All you have to do is type in your log in details and BOOM, instant access to your file!

This system is also ideal for group work, as you can create shared folders (via email address) to upload your files to!

Email it to Yourself

A personal favourite of mine, I got into the habit early on in my university career of emailing my documents to myself as an extra way of backing them up.  Again, this is a useful way of doing it because it doesn’t rely on you bringing a disk or USB stick with you, and is easily accessible from any location, even your phone! It’s such a quick and easy way of ensuring you have an extra copy.

Upload to Google Drive

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Most of us have a Google account these days, but even if you currently don’t, it takes just a couple of minutes to set one up! I think the drive is a really handy aspect of the whole Gmail/Google system.  If you go into your Google Drive, which you can access by clicking on the little Apps box at the top of the screen (pictured above!), you can upload as many documents as you like.

Use an External Hard Drive

If you have a particularly huge piece of work to back up, it might be an idea to invest in a larger external hard drive.  Not only does this mean you have extra storage for life, but it means that if you run out of space on your USB stick, you have somewhere to save your work! This might be a pricier way of going about it, but it’s always something to consider!

Print a Copy in Advance

And finally we have the old fashioned way! Try to be environmentally friendly, and don’t print a new copy of your essay or report every time you make a change to it, but once you’re fairly sure it doesn’t require further editing, you can always print out one copy, just in case! This was something I tried not to do too often (thinking of the trees!), but if your internet is particularly temperamental, or you’ve had a bad experience with a USB stick in the past, this might make you feel a bit more secure!

So there you have it – six ways to back up your documents to ensure no essays go missing before the deadline!

What way do you usually back up your files?

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow along on the various social media sites below!

Lynsey x

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The Student Switchboard on YouTube!

Hi everyone! Hope you’ve been having a lovely Monday so far, and are feeling refreshed after the weekend.
I realise that I started this blog as an add on to the original platform I was going to be using for this student advice project, which was (and is!) YouTube.  However, I haven’t dedicated any time here on the blog to filling you in on how that YouTube channel is going to work, and why I chose to start the project on that platform!

student-switchboard-on-youtube-1

My love affair with YouTube began back in about 2010, when I started watching beauty vloggers like Pixiwoo, Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter, Fleur de Force and Kandee Johnson.  I loved the relationships that could be cultivated through these videos – it was like a whole new world opened up.  These ordinary people were able to make videos discussing anything they liked, and then talk to people in the comments below, sharing tips and advice and ideas.  I got such a thrill from clicking on my subscription box and finding that one of my favourites had uploaded a new video, and over time I discovered that YouTube was a hub for more than just beauty fanatics.  There were communities for books and gaming and films, and vloggers recording their daily lives for the world to see.  I loved it.
I started my own channel in 2012 and uploaded fairly sporadically until I headed off to Australia in 2013 – I made a point of vlogging my whole trip, and got addicted to the process of filming and editing.  I’m naturally a very chatty person, so YouTube proved to be the perfect platform for me to ramble away on!
So when I decided to start The Student Switchboard, there was no doubt in my mind that YouTube was going to be a huge part of it! As a social platform, YouTube has seen a lot of massive changes in the past two years or so – some vloggers have grown to incredible heights of six and seven million subscribers, releasing books, appearing on television and at red carpet events, and becoming a brand new type of celebrity.  The way things are run behind the scenes has changed, with companies managing YouTubers in a way that they didn’t used to, and the awareness of their existence has seeped out from the YouTube community and into the mainstream (to a certain extent!). Despite all of these changes,  I still love it for the same reasons I invested in YouTube in the earliest days!
I still love the way it can connect people, and the feeling I get when I hit the publish button on a new video.  I love the fact that you can leave and reply to comments (which, of course, can have a downside when it comes to some not so nice internet users), and start to generate a real community feel with your subscribers. I also know that a huge portion of the people who regularly watch YouTube videos are at high school and making decisions about their future and continuing with their education.  For all of those reasons, I’m thrilled to have The Student Switchboard channel up and running!
Today, the fourth video, which deals with the challenges Group Work can present, will go live on the channel, and I would be so pleased if you checked it out! I’ll link the first three below, and I’d love your feedback :) You can click here if you’d like to subscribe to the channel, where a new video will appear every Monday at 6pm!
Thanks so much for reading and following along with this project everyone, and I’ll be back again on Wednesday!
Let me know in the comments, if you’re a YouTuber (or YouTube fan!) yourself – what do you like most about the YouTube community?
Introduction Video!

Avoiding Procrastination!

Creating a Study Plan!

Lynsey x
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