Staying on that wavelength, looking back at my first post I read something (well, one thing) which I found interesting:
So, time to concentrate on the other main focus of my musical career... I've been doing extreme metal for 5 years now, and playing electric guitar for 7, so it's fairly in my comfort zone... Now it's time to get serious and take that step again for something very different... now is the time to get really very serious and learn by doing, trying to put out some pro work and not being afraid to learn from the mistakes made along the way.
All I can say is this; not much has changed. I've been doing metal for 7 years now, and music for 10. What I've discovered is that these two things aren't mutually exclusive. I still make mistakes and I am still learning.There was no beginning and this won't be the end of that. It's all relevant and it will remain so until I stop making mistakes.
Truth be told, I don't remember a huge amount of my first year. Not through drinking copious amounts of fermented beverages (not particularly, anyway). The problem is nothing much really happened, and that is my biggest regret. If I could do it over I would definitely slap myself in the pretense and yell 'make the most of this time!'. Not that it would help, but I could cynically say I tried.
It isn't that I'm really unhappy with my college / university experience. It's that 20ish years of being in the education system are coming to an end, and this really is it. The end of an era - my era in my self absorbed world.
Ravensbourne has been a mixed bag. Based on my time there, do I recommend it as a university experience? No. If you're looking to spend these years you won't get back eventfully with easy going and cheaply flowing social events, with a traditional infrastructure of lectures, surrounded by thousands of your peers in one big sleep over for several years, go somewhere else. That isn't a self important assumption or dismissal - it's a question of what is important to you and how you want to spend £25k. Personally, I'm of the opinion that if you're not too egotistical to enjoy it and you've got the opportunity to do that, you should take it. There are thousands of better places to spend these years of your life, both socially and academically. Outstanding universities are called that because they are that, and so will your experience be for 3 or 4 years of your life - it's definitely a good way. I can't call Ravensbourne 'outstanding' in that sense.
However, my time there has definitely been different to other university experiences, and in fact I think Ravensbourne is pretty unique. My course completely changed my life for sure. Just by being in an up to date environment with reasonably high expectations, I quickly absorbed a headstrong and confident attitude. This is what I want to do. That is why I am here. Get real about this and invest in yourself and your career. The question of how to practically apply the theory and skills I was learning really kicked me up the arse in a way that high school never did and I don't think really does for anyone.
The strange thing about my course is I didn't really learn it. The academia is minimal. I had one unit on musical theory which went up to grade VI, and that was my first unit. This was the most time I spent in lectures - after that it was 1 to 3 times a week, and I struggle to really pinpoint what I learnt from those lectures. The course I'm on (music production for media) is vocational, so I knew there was going to be a certain amount of self teaching involved and a fair bit of free time. There was no way I could have overestimated this though.
That isn't to say I didn't learn anything in the last 3 years and I haven't been worked to the bone. That's the really weird thing. The other day I did a 60 hour week ending with a 22 post production session for a record. Right now I'm jugging 4 projects with nearly impossible deadlines. I've learnt to be able to do these jobs, manage them and take pride in my work. I'm able to practically apply myself to do these crazy jobs, and I will definitely continue learning to do these things after I graduate. I am proud of what I've taken away from the course and my time spent at Ravensbourne. There is no way I'd be here as the person I am today, able to do the things I can, without having spent that time in that place, and that's a fact.
It's worth mentioning for the record that the course has changed dramatically since I first joined. All the lecturers are different, the course is run differently and I think in most cases it is for the better. When I joined the course was one of a kind. The only other thing I have to add to everything I've said is that the course and the university are definitely relevant to industry and 'going pro' (getting work in the industry, provided you're up for putting the effort in to be ready for that).
It's a weird place, without an easy social environment to get involved in, and without a proper campus. It has a fraction of the number of students any other university has and functions differently because of it. It doesn't excel in the areas you might typically associate with university, but it does treat you like an adult and give you the chance to develop as a creative professional. You might need that chance. I did, and it worked out for me because I left high school / sixth form in a different state from how most end that period of their life.
That all went a bit... more salesman that I had anticipated. It's just some closure for my love/hate of my higher education life. I'm told this isn't the end of my life either, so don't have to make my peace with anything else just yet. At the end of these 3 years, where am I? I'm still doing my band, along with several others. I'm still writing music. I'm still playing games. I'm still very career motivated, although a big part of me has grown to appreciate community much more.
It's true; not much has changed, but I think I was on the right track for me to begin with.