28 Things I Wish I’d Known @ Chitter Chatter

I’ve had something in the pipeline for a few months, and yesterday it was time. My University tutor, Barrie, and one of the current 3rd years, Jess, had asked me if I would go back to Lincoln to give a talk to students. Over the past year or so I have been posting things I have learnt/advice for students so I thought I would have something a bit different to offer and said yes. Somehow I didn’t realise that it would mean standing up in front of a crowd of people, which I find an absolutely petrifying thought. I may come across as quite confident on the outside, but let’s not forget that the last time I was in front of a large crowd (graduation) it didn’t go too well for me! ha

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I headed back to Lincoln on Tuesday night, checked into my hotel (The Rest on Steep Hill which was amazing) and met Jess (who is on the Chitter Chatter team) for a drink and bite to eat. It was lovely to catch up with her and as I had already sent her a draft of my talk earlier in the day, she tried to reassure me that the students would really like my talk. I was still unsure, and when I got back to my hotel I started to edit the presentation…. and fell asleep! I woke up in a panic at 5.30am thinking that my file had corrupted and that I would have to start again – I felt like a student again ha But I was just being paranoid!

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I was worried that nobody would turn up, but at the same time I was also worried that people would turn up – I was a mess! In the hope that some people might turn up, I had brought along a selection of goodies to giveaway in exchange for asking a question. Everyone loves a freebie, right? (especially students!) So Wednesday morning I headed to the ‘new’ Uni building on campus – I had been there a few times since it opened after I graduated but it was weird to be back. It’s like going back in time but everything is different (the surroundings, people etc) – do you get me? The current 3rd year students were 1st years when I was a 3rd year so they probably remember me being the scary/pushy/annoying girl that came into their studio to get them to part with their money for a night out (RGB) or to buy a postcard (Auction 13).

Luckily Jess was not put off by my pestering. I’ve kept in touch with her since I graduated and it’s been nice to see her journey on the course. She is incredibly hardworking, lovely and she looked after me well even though I was a complete nervous wreck! In true student fashion we went for a drink prior to my talk (to steady my nerves is the excuse that I’m sticking to!) and then it was time to head to the lecture theatre to set up for my talk!

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The lecture theatre MASSIVE – soooo many seats! It’s actually quite ironic that I was doing a talk in this particular lecture theatre as when I came for my Lincoln Open day back in 2010 it’s the same place that I saw a presentation about the course. And now I was doing my own talk ha I was still a nervous wreck so I blurted some swear words on the microphone – it did help a little bit actually ha The Chitter Chatter team opened the doors and I was really pleased that people had actually turned up!

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Barrie(tutor) came to watch/support me – at least someone would laugh at my jokes! So with everyone seated, Jess introduced me, I pressed on to my first slide and the next hour is a complete blur! Luckily Jess and Liam took some photos for the blog – thanks guys 🙂

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So what did I talk about? I began with a brief introduction about who I am, some of my University work and how I got to where I am now. I spoke about my blog, the Lincoln Alumni links and ‘the real world’. My presentation was based around 28 main points of advice with photos some interesting/funny stories from my time as a student/graduate/intern.

The audience were a good bunch – they laughed in all the right places, clapped at the end (phew) and even humoured me when I got my selfie stick out:

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(Yes I only had one face that day – #shitttttttttttttttttttt)

Phew, it was finished! Jess asked if there were any questions and after the mention of goodies (which I had displayed on a table to tempt them!) a flurry of hands went up. They even asked questions after the prizes had run out! Thank you to everyone who asked a question and I hope my answer helped. I hadn’t really thought about what students might ask (although they didn’t ask the expected ‘How much do you earn?’) as I had been so worried about the talk, so I hope that what I said made some sense?

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At the end a few students came to ask more questions which was really lovely as I had talked for over an hour and actually gone over my time slot – oops! Some students asked me if I remembered them from the open day (Emma & I used to help out) and it turns out that I persuaded quite a few to choose Lincoln – I felt a bit emotional at that point. It was lovely to see them again (Liam, Louise, Jerome and a few others – I remember you!) and they seemed quite happy so I’m hoping that means that I helped them make the right choice?! It was also lovely to see Jake who I have known/has been following me since my college days – never forget where you come from!

We headed back to the studio where I, of course, had to pose with my talk poster – it’s got my name on it!

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Back at the studio I spent some more time with the 3rd years, expanding on some of the points from my talk. Connor (who I’m talking to here) is such a worrier, but I know he will do really well in his career! Overall the 3rd years are a great bunch with a lot of talent, and I’m looking forward to going back to Lincoln in the summer to see Show 15 – no pressure guys! To follow their progress, check out the refreshed course blog.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Barrie, Jess & the Chitter Chatter team, Liam and everyone that listened to my waffling. I hope that you found my talk interesting and helpful, and that I didn’t come across as being really negative. I know some of it might have seemed a bit harsh but I genuinely just want to help. Everything that I said was 100% honest and some of it was actually really hard to talk about and admit. I am really glad (and proud of myself) that I did the talk because even though I might come across as being quite confident, I am a lot more comfortable writing than speaking. I don’t know if I will be doing another talk any time soon – it’s probably going to take me about 5 years to recover from this one! ha On the train back to London I was so happy to see so many lovely tweets and instagrams – thank you!

If anyone has any feedback, questions or is interested in flicking through my presentation/notes feel free to just drop me an email.

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2 Comments

  1. eeepimablogger@gmail.com'
    Suzy Marie
    11/02/2015 / 10:38 pm

    It’s so amazing that you got the chance to do this!! I’d have been so nervous too so I can completely understand your petrified face haha. Well done girl 🙂

    • 11/02/2015 / 11:45 pm

      Thanks Suzy <3 I'm really glad that I did it but boy was it scary! Despite being so nervous I think it's something I'd like to do more of - talking to students at different Unis etc I just want to help and prepare them because life after Uni is so tough and graduates are so alone 🙁

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