Student life at LCF: In conversation with Noah, Madeleine and Unique
At first, going to university may seem like a daunting experience. For some, this will mean moving away from family and friends for the first time or leaving the country you’ve grown up in. But moving to university, and more specifically London College of Fashion comes with great opportunities. Opportunities to meet people from all over the world, collaborate with established brands and to ultimately become an expert in the field you love.
So whilst there’s bound to be things you’ll worry about, there’s plenty to be excited for. But don’t just take our word for it! We caught up with 3 current students, to chat all about their experience of transitioning to university life; from their favourite experiences at LCF so far, to what they’d have done differently in their first year.
Hi guys! Should we start with brief introductions?
Noah: Sure, I study MSc Strategic Fashion Management, I've done the first 2 years and am currently in my placement year. I moved to London from Maastricht in the Netherlands in 2019.
Madeleine: I study BA (Hons) Fashion Public Relations and Communication. I’m in my 2nd year now. I moved to London from Sweden; I lived in Stockholm. I moved here for my last year of high school to study at The Swedish School in London and then I got stuck!
Unique: I’m a 3rd year BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear student and I’ve lived in London my whole life.
So, what’s your favourite about being a student at LCF?
Madeleine: Moving from Sweden to London, my mind was blown by all the different people and identities, it's just a completely different world here.
Noah: Moving to London was truly amazing. So many different communities, different ethnicities, different ideals all coming together. LCF really resonates that well as well. There’s an endless amount of possibilities. There are always new people to work with, collaborations that you can start, new stuff to learn about, subjects, people.
Unique: I stayed in London because London is known for fashion. I didn't feel the need to move anywhere else. I've always heard about UAL and London College of Fashion, so I knew it was the place for me.
Making new friends can seem daunting, do any of you have any tips to share?
Noah: For me, it was definitely a very good experience. I don't think I've ever made friends easier! Everyone is here by themselves, and everyone wants to make friends. My main tip is to go up to people and ask “hey what are you studying?” or “how are you doing?”. Everyone wants to engage in a conversation and find out who they like and who could be their friends. So, it's really an easy process with nothing to be scared about.
Unique: For me, I did have friends in London but a lot of them moved outside of London for university, so I was in a similar situation. My advice is to join a club or society. For example, I’m in the African Caribbean society. In my 2nd year I joined the dance society and then I attended events led by UAL student unions. Also join Art Temps, the university's internal recruitment agencies. I’ve met so many people and from different courses around the different colleges of UAL.
London has a reputation for being expensive for students, what’s your advice for saving money as a student in London?
Madeleine: I would say the main expense you’re going to have is living expenses. There’s really good websites to help you find a flat if you don’t want to live in student halls because that can be expensive sometimes. Other than that, try to walk or take the bus. It’s so cheap and they travel pretty much everywhere so if you're not pressed for time it’s great.
Did any of you live in halls during your first year, and if so, would you recommend it?
Noah: I lived in Emily Bowes halls which is in Tottenham Hale and I really loved it. You're constantly around people from UAL so it’s really easy to meet people. You can literally walk out your door, text some friends and be at a party and meet 10 and 20 new people, which is really lovely.
Have any of you utilised the university’s student support services?
Unique: I reached out to the disability team because I have dyslexia and they’ve been really supportive. There's financial help you can get but also support for things like writing essays. For example, I received a laptop that has programmes on it that help me like mind mapping and there’s one that helps with reading so I can read it line by line which is easier. That support from Student Services has been really great.
What's one thing you worried about before coming to university, which you wish you hadn’t?
Madeleine: I was a bit worried that I wouldn't fit in or feel at home - but that was ridiculous! You’ll meet your people and feel at home in no time. LCF is so open with so many different people. You’ll develop a friendship group full of people from all over the world. It’s scary at first to spread your wings but do it! It’s so worth it.
If you could do anything differently in your first year, what would that be?
Noah: I would say that I should have focused a bit more and tried a little bit harder in university. I was having a bit too much of a good time. Looking back I’m a little disappointed but at the same time, it was a very fun year for me.
Unique: I think mine is the opposite to Noah. In my first year, I could have had more fun but instead I was like “I need to get this work done or I need to get this grade”. I wish I’d attended more parties especially before COVID-19. I really regret that.
What advice do you wish you had received before your first year?
Madeleine: Just don't worry. Go for it. Everything you are thinking and worrying about, it's 99.999% not going to happen. LCF is such a supportive, loving environment. Everybody comes to university because they want to, there’s so many like-minded people and it’s great to be surrounded by like-minded but also polar opposite people.
Unique: I agree but also don't put so much pressure on yourself. There's so much that you feel like you need to do and you’re under so much pressure with deadlines but really just take your time. Things will always keep coming, just remember you're not the only one feeling stressed or overwhelmed at times.
Now let’s finish by finding out what three words you’d use to describe your LCF experience so far?
Unique: New, fun, challenging.
Noah: Definitely fun, exploring and discovering.
Madeleine: Wow those were really good! I think my would be huge personal development.