By Orla O’Connor
Things I wished I’d known first time around.
SCA is a bizarre place, and just like in life you can work your arse off but if luck isn’t on your side you still won’t get where you want to go. Unfortunately that’s what has happened to me. So I have taken the decision to come back next year and hope that my luck will change. But this year has taught me a lot and coming back I will have a massive advantage over new comers so I wanted to share what I have learnt to help level the playing field a little, and make everyone else’s journey slightly easier. As per usual at SCA this is only my opinion so feel free to take and ignore whatever you like.
The first term is easy
First term is like at school it’s learning the techniques. Don’t get me wrong it will feel hard but when you have been to the end trust me the first term is easy. You have so much more time. So don’t stress, see galleries, do projects, and most importantly build relationships with others in the intake. That is something Coup missed out on, we didn’t bond very well until the end and I know many people, including myself, wished we had slowed down taken the time and gone to the pub. If there is anything you want to do there is still time to do it in the first term, so just do it, before you realise just how busy, busy can be.
Being in a relationship is a blessing not a curse
I remember getting told on my interview day that everyone breaks up at SCA. I got into a relationship around christmas last year and I was so scared that we would break up from stress but we haven’t we are fine, better than fine, great. If you are in a relationship it is up to you if you break up not the school. Yes SCA does change you, and does take up a lot of your time, but it also massively helps to have a cheerleader that believes in you pushing you the whole way through. When times gets tough it is relationships, even with parents and friends if you don’t have a partner, that will help you get through it. So don’t listen to everyone else and don’t stress about it, it’s you that decides what happens to your relationship not SCA.
HAVE A LIFE
This for me is a big one. I spent too much time last year working for every possible moment. Advertising is talking to normal people so be a normal person, not a crazed SMP writing SCAMPing zombie. Do what normal people do, sleep, eat food and enjoy it not so you can just fuel yourself, go out. HAVE A LIFE. It will keep you sane. Don’t get me wrong there is a time and a place for working over time like D&AD but over time shouldn’t become regular hours.
Be open be honest
Partnerships are hard at the best of times so it helps if there is complete honesty between partners. Be open with one another about how you are feeling working together, even if it isn’t working, there is nothing worse than being strung along. You will have to crit each other as the relationship changes you need different things from one another and that ok don’t be afraid to ask for them, if they can’t offer them to you then someone else will be able to. Anything you produce and organise together has joint custody. You both have the right to use the work you produce together. Book crit organised together need to be discussed not bagsied. Partners should always be aware that their actions always have an impact on the other person. And although you need to look out for number one in this business, there is no need to be a dick.
Network like a mother******
We are incredibly spoilt at SCA. No other course on the planet has the network of mentors that SCA does, so use it. Ideas come from the most unlikely places, so potentially every mentor could say that one thing you need to unlock the perfect idea. Follow up with all mentors, people know people, and more importantly people buy people. Find out who you would buy, and who you would want to buy you (couldn’t think of a less dodgey way to write that). At the end of the day the contacts you leave with is possibly the most valuable thing you own. SCA does teach you a lot but you never stop learning, so use the network find the people you want to learn from next.
I hope this has been helpful. I’m sure I will make just as many mistakes this year as I did last year and learn entirely new lessons, but until then I will learn from last year and hope to move on to bigger and better things this year.