Back in September 2021, right after a global pandemic, a new cohort of fashion journalism students started their journey at the University of Sunderland. Whether it was social catwalk reports, compiling lookbooks or creating social media content, our Fashion North Writers refined their skills to become the fabulous fashion writers and stylists of the future.
Today marks their last fashion Newsday here in the University of Sunderland’s MediaHUB as they will now be focusing on their final projects.
No doubt you will see some stunning images of them all in their cap and gown at graduation 2024 in July at the Stadium of Light.
To mark this milestone, our third year Fashion North writers have written to their first year selves, reflecting on their journeys and the many moments that have shaped them as the next generation of writers.
If you want to be one of the third year students who are writing letters like these, check out our courses here at the University here.
Dear Fresher Me,
Beth babes, you will not believe where and who you are now. I am so proud of us. You don’t realise how much you’re going to accomplish, what you’ll experience and how you will grow as a person. I know you’ll be wondering if it was the right thing to go to the University of Sunderland and not move away from home but let me tell you it’s the best thing you’ve ever done.
Don’t worry you will doubt yourself a lot over these next three years but I’m here to tell you we smashed it. You picked the right course. I know sixth form was a struggle academically but within this course the lessons you’ll learn not only academically but personally will stay with us forever.
This course is something that is just perfect for us and what you will achieve will bring out a side to you we never knew we had.
I think the major blessing University has brought is your lifelong friendship with Holly and Poppy. Don’t worry the second you meet them you’ll instantly click, there is no awkwardness or anything – you won’t even realise you’ve just met them. We’ve always stuck together and that will even continue after uni honestly, we will never lose these girls. Friends that you’ve known for less than three years are now your best friends.
Not only will your love for social media grow but your newfound love for styling. This will give you so many opportunities in the upcoming years, you’ll do styling pods in the bridges and meet new stylists. You’ve grown so much, come out of your shell and become so confident.
Dear fresher me,
You’re probably sat wondering whether University is the right decision but don’t worry, it absolutely is! Even though you feel like you’re a year behind all of your school friends after changing courses in college, as I always say now, you’re not behind, you just have an extra year to figure everything out!
Over the next three years, you will develop so much, both academically and personally. Through this, you will experience amazing highs and not-so-nice lows but you will get through anything life throws at you (even law which you currently think you left in college!) with constant support from your family and Niall, always believing in you.
After immediately clicking with Beth and Poppy on your first day, the three of you stick together and they become friends you will hope to have around forever. You will be each other’s rocks throughout university and sharing these times together make your memories so much more special.
Your love for social media and styling will continue to grow, becoming a focus for jobs when you graduate. Although we’re not quite there yet, graduation is quickly approaching and the thought of you in a gown and cap is still as frightening as it seems for you now, yet also so, so exciting.
You still love shopping and spend far too much money on clothes but you have finally found a style you love; it took some time but you got there!
Lastly, some quick advice: Don’t be so hard on yourself! You will always doubt your abilities and compare yourself to others but you will do yourself so proud with the work you produce. You work so hard and need to learn to give yourself credit for it – but we’re still working on that part.
You have so much to look forward to and will be so thankful that you persevered through every obstacle, so just remember to try and chill out and enjoy every minute of it!
Lots of love,
Your future self x
Dear fresher me,
I know it’s daunting having to commute to a new place, being put together with people you don’t know and beginning a course that you’ve never had experience in before. But it will fly by. A new city will become familiar, new people will become your friends, and a new subject will turn into something that is second nature to you.
Of course, it won’t be without struggles. This isn’t just in the lectures – be prepared for cyber-attacks and roofs blowing off. Video journalism will be the bane of your life for a few months, but that’s okay. You won’t love interviewing people to begin with – you would rather run for the hills.
However, by third year you will be eager to go and speak to new people and hear all about their interesting jobs and lives, especially if they will sit and talk to you about fashion!
In case you haven’t already guessed, you’ll find that fashion is your true passion (not to sound cliché!) You’ll join in with the fashion modules and contribute to Fashion North so much that you might as well have picked Fashion Journalism for your degree. You’ll find people you can easily sit and talk to all day long – while doing work of course.
Make the most of your time writing for Fashion North and the opportunities that it brings. Make sure to give yourself time to breathe as well. Having fun and spending time with the people who bring out your best self is just as important. At the end of the day, it’s only three years of your life and trust me it’ll be worth it when you imagine yourself wearing your graduation gown!
Love Beth x
If you want to see some more of our fabulous Fashion North writers’ work follow @fashion_north on Instagram, Tiktok and X.