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Author Topic: Advice please  (Read 2275 times)  Share 

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Offline Sia

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Advice please
« on: 04 Sep 14 / 04:52 PM »
I am 30 (& BF is 37) and about to start my 2nd year of a Fine Art degree at Chelsea college of Art, i feel very lucky to be studying here, although i put some real hard work in to achieve it (so not really luck, more proud)

In 2012 i was working for a bank i'd been in for 8 years, i'd worked my way up from cashier to a private banking manager when the whole department was relocated to Birmingham, we all got made redundant and i decided to go back to education (i didn't get on well the first time around) because, despite spending 3 years at college after i left school, i left without further qualifications which is how i fell into my bank role and given my lack of qualifications i always felt very lucky that i'd been able to to get to that level, however i also realised that there were lots of graduates who were being posted straight into roles above mine & that i may not be able to compete & may have reached my ceiling.

I didn't really enjoy my job (but who does) so with the support of my BF we agreed that i would do an access course which i absolutely loved, the teachers were inspiring and interested and encouraging, i couldn't fault it. I was fortunate to get offers from both Goldsmiths and Chelsea (both top london art uni's) and decided on Chelsea.

After a year studying at Chelsea i feel completely uninspired, confused and lost, i have no idea what i am doing. I don't like anything i have made and i have absolutely no idea what to do. my course is very independent, you don't get taught as such, but left to work things out yourself. I passed the year (i achieved b-, b-, b-, b) which is the equivalent of a 2:1 i know i could have done better but i just didnt get on very well with it all. Because i am a mature student and have only done a 1 year very quick run through of art education (access course) i feel as though i need to take a step back and go back to basics so i can discover my practice a bit more. My aim for doing this course is so, hopefully i can identify an interest which i can pursue to generate income alongside being a mum and some adult education teaching.

In 2011 BF & I decided we wanted to buy a house, so we moved in with PIL so we could let our flat out for 6months while we saved a deposit, during that time BF was made redundant (2nd time since be bought our flat in 2007) He started working again in January 2012 but i found out about my imminent redundancy in March 2012, so we never got that chance to save for a deposit and have been living with PIL ever since. We recently decided to sell our flat as the prices have gone up considerably. We have a buyer and that it going through, we are hoping to complete in 6 weeks, which will allow us to start looking for a house to buy. I have found it quite difficult living here and i think it affected my studies.

BF became fiancÚ a couple of weeks ago after he proposed on the night of our 10 year anniversary.

We want a baby, before getting engaged we were thinking of starting trying before i actually graduate, but now we are getting married, i don't know what will happen when as i don't want to be pregnant on wedding day.

I really don't know what to do know what to do, i feel like i have so many things to think about & i feel so confused about everything....

At the start of the summer i was thinking about changing courses but i was doing a project i wasn't enjoying so i wasn't sure if it was avoidance tactics so i prioritised the course work in order that i completed my course and as such i missed the deadline for applications on UCAS.

If i want to change course i'll have to start next year as i have already missed the deadline (jan) to start this year. I would benefit most from starting from year 1 but that will mean instead of finishing in 2016 i'll finish in 2018 & i feel i have a responsibility to my BF to finish ASAP so we can get our life back on track.

I also now have a wedding to think about which we i'd rather not do ASAP because i want to loose weight first (not because of the actual day so much, but so if i get pregnant i am fit and healthy for it) but i would like to still try for a baby ASAP, so i would actually be good if we could get married next year, but on the other hand i don't want it to interfere with my course.

So i have a flat to sell, a house to buy, course which i don't like to finish, a wedding and to start trying for a baby & i am confused because the sooner i finish my course the sooner i can marry and baby but really, i should change courses because i don't enjoy what i am currently doing but that will delay the things i want.

That probably doesn't make complete sense but it feels good to just get it all out & makes me realise that i really need to discuss with my BF and see what he thinks about it all as i have pretty much kept my thoughts to myself up until this point.

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Advice please
« Reply #1 on: 04 Sep 14 / 06:14 PM »
As I see it, a lot of that is already sorted.

Flat will be sorted soon.

House will be next.


Meanwhile you're doing your course for the year, apart from dropping out, that's all you can do for now, right? Talk to a tutor. There must be one? They should be understanding. If they're not, talk to a different one or another student. Just talking about it will help. I can guarantee you a good portion of the other students feel they don't know what they're doing! I spent 2 years of an HND in fashion with no idea and came out with top marks! It still baffles me!

As the next time to apply for courses comes around (or whatever it is you have to do) re look at it then.  Maybe you'll feel better about it.

As for babies and marriage... Only you and your partner can really decide on when. Being pregnant in college would be tough. I imagine having a baby would be tougher still.

Talk to people!
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Offline Sia

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #2 on: 04 Sep 14 / 06:36 PM »
Thanks for your reply janineb

You're right, flat & house sorted & actually in laws have been in aus for nearly 3 months and its been lovely having the house to ourselves!

I don't start my second year until October, so i'm really not sure whether to go back. But if i don't go back that'll put graduation back a year, if not 2 depending on whether i decide to do my first year again elsewhere.

Part of me is saying get on with it and make the most of a great uni but the other part knows i could get more out of it elsewhere (hypothetically- i haven't visited other uni's) but my personal plans would be delayed further.

I was thinking i could start trying for a baby a few months before graduation, so i wouldn't be full on pregnant while I'm there (& thats in the unlikely event that it happens quickly) and i defo couldn't deal with a baby and uni lol

Another option could be if i don't go to uni this year i can apply for next year which means i can work for a year, we can buy the house and start working on it (as we'll have my wages, whereas we couldn't if i was at uni) and get married (we are only going to have something relatively small and hopefully inexpensive) before i start next Sept, I'm not sure BF would agree as i think he is keen for me to continue, but i will need to speak to him about it all.

As i am not at uni and home all day alone, i think i am over thinking things and I've gotten so confused by everything!!
 

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #3 on: 04 Sep 14 / 06:54 PM »
The first year of courses always seem to be the worst! I would suggest go back and see how you get on. And talk to someone lol
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Mindi Kellaway

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #4 on: 04 Sep 14 / 08:07 PM »
Can I ask what it is you hope to do as a career off the back of your uni course?  I know it's within the Arts, but what exactly?  Are you hoping to become an artisan/craftsman of some sort, or a Fine Artist, or a painter?  Or is it something along the lines of photography?

I guess what I'm trying to get at is do you actually need a degree to do whatever it is you want to do?  If you're really not enjoying the course, it seems like an awful waste of money and time to carry on with it if it's not going to be necessary for the career you want anyway.  I studied a foundation diploma in fashion design, but didn't go on to do a degree because I didn't enjoy the tutor's insistence on documenting every step of the creative process (I don't work from drawings or plans, or keep sketchbooks or 'inspiration boards' or anything like that, I just come up with something I want to make, then make it), and because I'd already been making clothes for nearly 12 years by the time I got around to doing the course, and realized that they weren't teaching me anything I didn't already know anyway.  I didn't see the point of carrying on spending the money or the time to be taught things I already knew and to be criticized for not doing things exactly the way they wanted me to.  Now I run an online alternative clothing store, and have my own line of handmade clothing. 

So I guess the point is, if you don't actually need the degree, then is it worth carrying on?  Can you explore other ways of getting your 'creative fix' and starting off your career, that don't involve traditional study?
 

Offline Sia

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Re: Advice please
« Reply #5 on: 04 Sep 14 / 08:46 PM »
Thanks for your reply Mindi

I'm on a Fine Art course which is interdisciplinary, i really enjoy the creative process, discussing ideas, being introduced to new practitioners, going to galleries, experimentation, etc. My access course gave me all of this and i gained a real thrust for learning (& being taught?)

My current courses aim is for you to become an independent practicing artist, you wouldn't have anyone teaching you in that situation, so they get you used to it straight away, so you learn how to work things our yourself. I started this course thinking i was very independent but i think i need some guidance/input/reassurance.

There are no practical lessons, only help if you have a plan to use a specific material or make something specific.

because i only had 1 year of art education prior to this, i haven't discovered my practice medium yet (not that there is a requirement to or to stick to one), i have previously made things and taken them to different places to photograph (with the photograph being the final piece)

I know other uni's will have a programme of workshops in the first year which introduce you to different mediums, i am hoping to discover my strength is in a particular area so i can explore the business potential for me, not necessary as an artist though. However most London uni's operate in the same way as the one i am currently at, so i don't know what my options are. I also don't know where i will be living, that could open up other options to me re uni as we are not link to a specific area as such (our flat is in Kingston, we are currently in bromley, my family are in bognor)

I'd also like to teach art, so i would need a Fine art BA minimum....
 

 

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