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I won't get into university

F

flowerflesh

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Mar 1, 2015
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I applied for Fine Art at 5 different unis (through UCAS). My teachers have always told me I'm good. When I wanted to take a gap year my teacher convinced me not to, she knew I was scared of being rejected. I applied for good unis too, I had really high hopes and I was working hard. Everyone around me was so hopeful for me, especially my family.
I first got rejected by my safe choice at Lancaster, probably due to my A-Level grades not being good enough. Then I got rejected by Chelsea. Then Goldsmiths. I have 2 choices left, UCL and Central St. Martins. Two EXTREMELY prestigious unis and I don't have any hope left at all.
My portfolio went wrong when my teacher put it together, so I don't trust my teachers to do anything for me, I don't trust them to help me anymore. But I'm so scared, and I'm so upset. My confidence has taken a huge hit, and it's a constant stream of rejection for me as many people in my class have offers and don't need to worry. I don't know what to do at all.
I know I will have to apply through clearing, but I'm so ashamed. Everyone wanted the best for me and I feel like it's my own fault for not getting in anywhere. I contemplated suicide for the first time in months. I feel like I've hit rock bottom and I won't recover. I need help. I need advice.
 
pepecat

pepecat

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I know it seems like it at the moment, but not getting into uni first time round is not the end of the world. There's always time to rectify things. I never did A level art at school (my parents talked me out of it) and always regretted it. I did it at evening class after my degree, and liked it so much I went back to uni and did graphics.
So things can be fixed.

If you don't get in to uni this year, you have two options. You could go through clearing, as you say, but you might end up at a uni you're not particularly happy with or wouldn't have been your first choice. You can either go to uni (anywhere) or wait a year, maybe work in the meantime, carry on doing artwork to please yourself during that year, and build up your portfolio in the way YOU want, and apply again and give it another go. That gap year might give you the chance to grow and mature and find your own 'voice' with your artwork. If you did take a gap year, you'd also have the advantage of having your grades when you apply, so the offers would be yes or no, not conditional ones, which can stress people out because the pressure is on to get the grades.
 
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F

flowerflesh

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Mar 1, 2015
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You're right, perhaps taking a gap year isn't so bad. I just don't want to stay at home. My mum's moving to Wales so I could stay with her.
I just hope that if it does come to that, I won't lose any friends. It would help me experience the world for the first time though.
Thank you for sharing your experience with me, it's helpful coming from someone who has been through something similar before, rather than just my friends :)
 
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Per Ardua Ad Astra

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I'm a great believer in gap years.

When I was getting ready for uni in the late 1980's, gap years weren't really promoted all that much. Teachers in the sixth-form tended to advocate going straight to uni after A-Levels, and that's pretty much what everyone did - including me.

I went to uni, didn't like it there, nor the course I was on. After seven weeks, and just before Christmas, I abandoned my course, and had a gap year. I applied to another uni, and spent three years there, completing my studies successfully.

Good luck with your applications and studies. I hope everything works out for you :)
 
Sparklypurplepaws

Sparklypurplepaws

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Oh flower,
I don't think you've let anyone down by trying. Although it might seem like you've made the wrong choice in going for it, chances are you'll always have regretted it in the long run. I can't say anything that hadn't been said here already, except that if I had my uni years again, I'd have taken a gap year x
 
F

flowerflesh

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Thank you everyone!
I've spoken to my teacher and I have the possibility of sorting things out at different unis, but if I don't feel right I'll definitely take a gap year.
I have had a lot of ups and downs this week due to this, emotionally, but reading your advice and kind words definitely gives me a boost of positivity :)
 
D

DragonflyDreams

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Mar 9, 2015
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Sweetie don't panic at all. I can help so please here me out. I did an art course at Uni and my tutors in college were no help either. I knew after finishing my foundation course at college that I didn't have a chance of getting into uni. Despite having a decent grade, I didn't feel like I learned a thing as our tutors weren't even present most of the time, I wasn't happy with my portfolio. So, I took a gap year. I bought lots of books on different art subjects and spent the year building up a portfolio based on what I learned from books, online, and by emailing freelance artists.

I eventually decided I wanted to do Illustration, and took a Visual Communication course. I would've had no chance of getting into any uni to do that course straight after college - it is the year which I taught myself, and seeked help from books and professionals, that I built up a proper portfolio. I then got accepted into 3 Universities.

However, after graduating I learnt the hard way that you do not need a degree at all to become an artist/illustrator. I set myself up freelance and started creating artwork and imagery for people and companies. I haven't once been asked for my grade, no one has even asked if I went to University or not. I hate to tell you this, but literally does not matter. A few of my friends went straight into creating art and photography after A level, and they are doing just as well as me.

That year I taught myself was more valuable than any of the years I spent being taught by teachers. Art teachers tend to be people who couldn't make a career out of their work, so they decided to teach it instead. If you do still want to go to University, then by all means do. I don't regret going, I loved every minute of Uni even though I found out my degree didn't matter at all in the end. It's still good to be surrounded by other artists and support each other. However, you could also do this by getting work experience in creative environments.

Good luck! If you have an online portfolio, I'd love to see it.
 
F

flowerflesh

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Mar 1, 2015
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It's so great to see some real experience. I spoke to my teacher and I wrote to Northampton University. They want to see a digital portfolio and they're looking forward to meeting me :)
I'd love to show you my portfolio when I've done it, I'd love some feedback.
I definitely think university would bring me constant creative inspiration and surround me with the right people, but I would find it beneficial to take a gap year if I have to
 
katya

katya

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Dec 4, 2013
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England
Sweetie don't panic at all. I can help so please here me out. I did an art course at Uni and my tutors in college were no help either. I knew after finishing my foundation course at college that I didn't have a chance of getting into uni. Despite having a decent grade, I didn't feel like I learned a thing as our tutors weren't even present most of the time, I wasn't happy with my portfolio. So, I took a gap year. I bought lots of books on different art subjects and spent the year building up a portfolio based on what I learned from books, online, and by emailing freelance artists.

I eventually decided I wanted to do Illustration, and took a Visual Communication course. I would've had no chance of getting into any uni to do that course straight after college - it is the year which I taught myself, and seeked help from books and professionals, that I built up a proper portfolio. I then got accepted into 3 Universities.

However, after graduating I learnt the hard way that you do not need a degree at all to become an artist/illustrator. I set myself up freelance and started creating artwork and imagery for people and companies. I haven't once been asked for my grade, no one has even asked if I went to University or not. I hate to tell you this, but literally does not matter. A few of my friends went straight into creating art and photography after A level, and they are doing just as well as me.

That year I taught myself was more valuable than any of the years I spent being taught by teachers. Art teachers tend to be people who couldn't make a career out of their work, so they decided to teach it instead. If you do still want to go to University, then by all means do. I don't regret going, I loved every minute of Uni even though I found out my degree didn't matter at all in the end. It's still good to be surrounded by other artists and support each other. However, you could also do this by getting work experience in creative environments.

Good luck! If you have an online portfolio, I'd love to see it.
This sounds like brilliant advice.

Please don't feel like you're letting anyone down; it's a classic sign of depression, and you need to remind yourself that it's not true. You have a talent others envy and you're a hard worker who will make something beautiful of yourself. There is no shame in taking a year out to improve your portfolio if need be.
 
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