Having recently graduated, I increasingly find myself looking back at my three years spent at University and pondering over some of my biggest regrets. Of course, there are all the usual things – I regret various alcohol-related incidents, not paying attention in important lectures, extreme procrastination, preparing meals in questionable kitchen conditions, accidently setting my hair on fire etc. These moments aside, one of my greatest regrets is that I didn’t consistently document my University years and more specifically, that I didn’t hop on the blogging bandwagon. I know, these days so many people are creating blogs, many of which cover various subjects and may never reach an audience wider than a few of the authors mates and maybe their mum. However, I love reading blogs and having regretted not starting my own when I was a mere fresh-faced Fresher, I think it’s important to discuss why blogs – of all shapes and sizes and with whatever level of audience – can be beneficial to students and why now is the perfect time to get cracking and start typing…
My first and potentially strongest reason in support of student blogs: University life offers perfect blogging material! The downfall of so many online blogs is that they lack a clear subject or that the author eventually runs low on interesting material to share. However, starting University provides a great opportunity to document all the adventures and new experiences which are bound to be hurtling your way. Whether it’s the ups and downs of Freshers’ week, moving to a new city, sharing and discussing thought-provoking topics within your area of study or even just increasing the online presence of your new sports club or society – there is bound to be something you can write about! Find an aspect of your University life which you enjoy, which sparks your interest and ideas or which you find challenging and want to share with others. Your opinion matters and your student life will keep you busy – take advantage!
Secondly, starting a blog is not only quick and simple but can also be really enjoyable! Unlike the essays you’re likely to be required to write as part of your studies, blogging provides a certain freedom – you can write in whatever style or on whatever subject you like. It can be as personal (or impersonal) as you like – the choice is up to you whether your online persona is anonymous or maybe you promote your writings loudly and proudly via Facebook and Twitter. You can also incorporate your other talents within your blog posts – for instance, maybe you’re a budding photographer or musician looking for a platform to share your work? The blogs which make the best reading are the ones which not only provide thought-provoking material but also emit the personality of the author, capturing their particular style and point of view.
Lastly – think of the many benefits! Blogging regularly will not only improve your writing skills but can look great on your CV, especially if future employers want to see evidence of your writing style or your ability to think critically and provide commentary. If you update your blog regularly, it demonstrates commitment as well as an ability to attract and maintain an audience with your writing. Becoming a blogger is also rewarding on a more personal level – when University is long finished, it will be awesome to be able to look back on your adventures and reflect on your time and reminisce on exactly what you did, how you felt and the people you met. Blogs provide the means to remember both the good and difficult times and to realise how much you’ve changed over the years and what your time as a student has taught you. Also, remember that the utility of your blog posts doesn’t have to stop at you. Reading about the experiences of other students can be particularly beneficial to those considering going to University or who are looking for an insight into particular courses or Universities and want the honest opinion of current students. So, whatever adventures, dilemmas and new experiences your time at University brings – get blogging about them! Trust me; when your time is up and you’re a crusty old graduate, you may regret not doing it!