Thursday, 18 January 2018

Publishing Masters: Semester 1 Reflection

Semester 1 is over and with Semester 2 just around the corner, I feel suitably distanced from it to write about how it was without rolling myself into a ball and rocking softly.

Right from the get-go, Semester 1 was tiring. The first week involved all of the socialising required when you meet new people you’re about to spend a year studying with, which isn’t something I’d factored in when I decided to do the Master’s. I genuinely just thought that I would turn up to uni and get on with my work, go home, and read until I slept. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but I did end up meeting some very lovely people who I now get to call my friends. The Brookes course is so international and everyone has incredibly interesting backstories about how they got to being on the course so actually it was really easy to talk to people.

It felt like we were chucked right in the deep end, with assignments being mentioned and prepared for pretty much from week 1. I naturally had a huge panic - how do you write a report? What on earth are ‘marcomms’? How much of my soul do I need to sacrifice to make InDesign do what I want? Design was the module I disliked the most to begin with; it turns out being told to create a book cover when you’ve never even opened PhotoShop before is quite the daunting task. All was well in the end though, and I managed not only to design a book cover and a publishing house logo, but I turned in all of my other assignments on time and (so far) I’ve been pleased with the marks! One of the most important things I learnt in semester 1 was that I really need to stop telling myself I can’t do something. I find things difficult sometimes, and sometimes they take longer than I would like, but I always manage it.

Semester 1 was also the first time in my academic life where I’ve had to have a part-time job on top studying and boy, was it hard. I only worked at weekends but it was really tough managing my time between working, socialising coursemates, spending enough time with my partner, assignments, and the all important me-time. I realised very quickly that I get extremely tetchy when I don’t have a chance to sit down in a room by myself and just binge Netflix/read/blog and started to build this time into my week.

Some good things from Semester 1:
  • Oxford became my home
  • I designed a book cover (I’m really proud of this one guys, it’s going to be a while before I let up telling you about it)
  • I attended my first publishing conferences (the SYP Autumn conference and Building Inclusivity in Publishing) and they were brilliant
  • I saw Jen Campbell at 2 events and confirmed that she is one of my favourite people
  • I went to the Harry Potter exhibition in London which is SO GOOD and if you get the chance you should definitely go!

In a nutshell, Semester 1 was a rollercoaster ride but it was one I’d take again and again for how much I learnt and did, and how many amazing people I met. I still very much believe that the MA is the best thing I could possibly be doing at the moment and I can’t wait to get started with Semester 2 and the new modules and experiences it will bring.