First year is often a whirlwind of meeting new people, acclimatising to a new city and discovering where your education will take you post-university. It can easy to get caught up in the excitement to the detriment of your work, or become overwhelmed by the new experiences. We asked our award winners, alumni and industry members what they would say to themselves in first year. From taking time for yourself to interning to gain that industry exposure, here are our top tips for excelling from the moment you arrive at university, from those that have been there!

“Believe in yourself and your ideas and don´t be afraid of not fitting in. Be bold, creative and challenge yourself with every project so that with time you´ll learn to love the problem solving that comes with thinking outside the box.”


“I would say believe in yourself and push yourself as hard as you possibly can as you only get one shot at it.  My advice to any first year now would be take advantage of every opportunity no matter how big or small and intern, intern, intern.”


Amy Bray, Designer and Graduate Fashion Week 2018 Alumni

“I would just say to always enjoy what I was doing and not let things stress me out. Always try your best and don't be afraid to push yourself and take a risk.”


“A piece of advice I would give to myself in first year- be confident in the decisions you're making. Try to adapt every brief into something enjoyable for myself. As these are the best projects when they are self-driven.”


Lucy Nolan, Winner of the Boux Avenue Swimwear Award at GFW18

“Some advice to my first year self would be it's okay to not know what the future holds and just enjoy the present.”


“I think it’s important to realise that fashion is very subjective.  One person may have a totally different take on an item or collection to the next person.  So I would advise anybody to be true to yourself and your style, take criticism with a pinch of salt and believe in yourself.”


What would your advice be for your first year self? Let us know in the comments!

Words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins