Term 1 Reflections from BOAT
Term 1 is almost done and dusted for BOAT intake, next January they’ll take to the seas to weather term 2 rapid briefs, D&AD and book inspections… In this SCABlog, we have each of our sailors tell us what they’ve thought of their term 1 journey so far and expectations for term 2 ahead.
SCA has been the best school experience I ever had, I have improved my skills and learned many things. Even if breakdowns have been around the corner it’s my drama side I guess. I will miss those lovely sailors.
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
Term 1 has been a relentless thrill ride.
And I’m hooked.
A common review of SCA’s first term is that it packs more in than a whole year of uni. Let’s look at what the numbers say for my experience:
Friends made: more
Laughter had: more
Work done: a lot more
Deadlines set: more
Deadlines met: more (though in fairness that bar was very low)
£ on food: more
Rubbish clubbing: less
Good clubbing: less (but covid innit)
Facial hair styles: more
Crushing isolation: less
Loan debt: less
Machetes spotted: more (gotta love Brixton)
Nerf battles: more
Beyblade battles: more
Work satisfaction: more
As we can see, it stacks up pretty well in SCA’s favour. All told though, I think the best thing about Term One is that there are still two more terms to come after it. Let’s see if we can fit a whole Bachelors’ into ten months…
It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Ups and downs. But I’ve learned a lot about my own ability to persevere. Balancing school and life outside has put me through the wringer but I’ve come out the other side able to hold my head up…knowing that I stuck it out and I’ve come out the other side stronger for it. I’ve seen the compassion and understanding of this school and its philosophy and I’m truly grateful for how much I’ve grown through this experience. I’m ready to set off to next term rejuvenated with a new approach. Each step building on what I’ve learned from one step before
“I’m on a boat motherfucker take a look at me
Straight floatin’ on a boat on the deep blue sea
Busting five knots, wind whipping out my coat
You can’t stop me motherfucker cause I’m on a boat”
– The Lonely Island
It’s like falling off a cliff in a flaming boat, into a pit of ravening vipers. It’s exhilarating but doom is never more than a six inch plank away. My fellow victims have been as fantastic and varied as London itself. Overall, despite the world being set to end again it’s been a ridiculous, mischievous, and wonderful time.
At the end of my interview day, way back when in March 2021, we had a Q&A session with a few current students at the time. We, the soon-to-be initiated, focused largely on questions about the workload and prospects for employment after the course. Very exciting stuff. While answering, one of the students blindsided me with a quiet reflection on how much fun the course was.
Term 1 has been maniacally stressful at times (maybe that’s been self-inflicted occasionally) but the overarching theme of season 1 is: *drum roll*… FUN. I don’t think I’ve ever been exposed to a group of people so willing to constructively mine a thought and expose the bizarre and unique in it. I’ve been through the trenches of idea-fare and come out of it smelling like Eau de Parfum Instant Noodles et Cold Coffee. Jack me back in for Term 2, Moneypenny.
A last-minute decision and a late join was one of the best I’ve made in a long time. I’m very grateful to be a part of an amazing cohort, as much as I enjoy the work they make every day so fun. I feel like I’ve found my tribe. I hope I find the same in the industry.
After a decade of October half terms, it was a vomit-inducing discovery to realise this was not the case in 2021, but here we are now, nearing the end of the first term. I have to admit, I’m quite tired and in need of a couple of weeks of downtime. Who knew doing all of your hobbies every day could be so exhausting?
A boat runs on its sailors and this is the best crew around. It’s so nice going insane in the company of the smartest, kindest and most-already-insane group of people I’ve ever met.
Other universities should be jealous of these vibes.
A term brimming with lovely people, lovely memories and lovely-ish briefs – more of the same please!
It’s a boot camp alright. I can actually feel my brain aching from the workout it’s been put through, but I feel slowly but surely that metaphorical muscle is beginning to form shape. No pain no gain right? No form of training has ever been so fun and inspiring and I owe that to the motivation, kindness and sheer brilliance of all my mentors and classmates alike.
Term 1.2. Groundhog day, but strangely very little sense of deja-vu. Having repeated a first term, it strikes me how different both terms feel. This makes me realise how different the SCA experience is depending on the people you do it with. I feel really happy to be embarking on this journey as a bigger group. You see a lot more of other people’s work, the achievements and the cock ups – so there’s more to learn from the mentor’s feedback (on both accounts).
As for next term, I really look forward to continuing to get to know my fellow shipmates, forging closer bonds and maybe even finding “the one”.
In a classic thriller, it takes one sharp eyed troubled detective to spot that thing that made the difference, from a pattern of things. The director would then usually give a big pause on the scene to the audience, as if challenging the viewers, now can you spot it?
As a rookie detective, I feel I’ve gotten a sharper sense at things, more creative in how I view and search for clues. Yet missing out the ability to lay out a whole wall of dots and evidence, and stick the chewing gum onto that right target. Not enough in-field investigation, definitely need more time spent in finding links between witnesses.
Some sense has led me so far to pin down one of two minor targets, no major arrest has been made, a few bottles of whisky down along the way, many partners who I know have got my back when whatever hits the fan. For now, get in the shotgun and we’ll keep driving.
Thinking back on the first term at SCA, I am beyond grateful for everything I’ve experienced. Getting to make things every week, come up with ideas, and having the opportunity to learn from industry legends, far surpassed my expectations of what an ad school could be. But the best thing by far about this term has been everyone else on the course. I love seeing the weird and wonderful ways people’s minds work and the concepts they come up with, and there’s no better place for that, than the SCA.
I’m so sorry we broke up three months ago… I want you back.
–We’ll meet again this friday.
Look at me
I will never pass for a copywriter
Or a perfect partner
Can it be
I’m not meant to play this part?
Now I see
That if I were truly to be myself
I would break my partner’s heart
Who is that girl I see
Staring straight back at me?
Why is my creative work someone I don’t know?
Somehow I cannot hide, who I am, though I’ve tried
When will my creative work show who I am inside?
When will my creative work show who I am inside
Term one is nearly over, honestly been some rough seas (but very enjoyable overall!) but can slowly see the light at the end of the storm and the doves ready to fly off, with a bit of more hard work over the holidays to catch up my craft with the other sailors. Hopefully, I’ll get to know my fellow sea-man and sea-women a little more.
As we sail into new territory, I am pleasantly surprised that instead of sinking we have learnt to steer a very bizarre boat. I have laughed a lot, liked giggled, and blurted out loud ideas I would usually bury like treasure. Learning from so many different people who are equally as weird as me has been a refreshingly worthwhile adventure. Hopefully, the next term comes with exciting new challenges, experiences and lessons.
I need to quit my job ASAP.
♫ ♫ All I want for Christmas is sleep.♫♫
When we first arrived as fresh-faced sailors, they told us that SCA would make us cry. But they never said how much it would make us laugh. I never thought I’d get to be silly every day. I also never thought I could get sillier, but it’s happening – the fog of insanity creeping further into my brain as the year goes on. Shoutout to my shipmates for consistently splitting my sides.
I blinked and the term is almost over. It’s been three months with a chronic lack of sleep, constant stress and endless frustrations. It’s hard. So, so hard. Any sane person would have noped out a long time ago. But that’s just the thing, SCA isn’t really for sane people, is it? It’s a bit of a madhouse, filled with people from all walks of life with big advertising dreams. And can you really blame us? There’s nothing more satisfying than that a-ha moment when you crack the brief, or the sense of accomplishment when the mentors or clients like your ideas. It’s like a high you keep chasing once you’ve experienced it – like an addict, willing to go through just about anything for the next fix. What a joy it’s been to chase it alongside all the amazingly talented sailors in BOAT. I can’t wait to see what term two brings, the kind of creatives we’ll become and how we’ll start rocking the boat that is the advertising world.
Now playing: Beyoncé – Déjà Vu (feat. Jay-Z)
End of term 1 again. However, this time it feels better. It’s not often in life that we get a chance to try things out again. I got to go over concepts that I didn’t quite get on my original term 1 and that was super helpful. I still don’t get everything right but I guess that’s part of the learning experience. I’m still waiting for my big “ah AH!” moment. Working to get it on term 2.
It has taken me some time to learn how to navigate this course. Water has been rough. The fact that I am an onliner really interferes with my ability to read people and perhaps the other way around. Once I met them at the Christmas party, it got better. Also, once my work has calmed down. Working for an agency in another time zone was very difficult, especially when the copywriter is someone who has given me work for over ten years. Hard to say no but now it is done and I am looking forward to catching up with the editing of my documentaries, my screenplay and just reading for pleasure, painting, and sleeping.
Christmas away from home is not Christmas for me but at least it is a break. Hopefully, my workaholism doesn’t get in the way. I am looking forward to learning more and more next year and being able to work with the cohort while being guided by the mentors.
None of what I’ve experienced so far is at all what I expected. I didn’t think I’d be made to have so much fun or meet such an abundance of incredible people. It sounds bizarre but all of that has taken me until now to get used to. I’ve had to put the girl who dressed up as a nurse-chicken on her last day of school away over the years, you see. So this has all been a massive unlearning process, if anything. And it’s still very curious to me that what we’re learning is an actual job.
Term 1, was trial and error. Trialing balancing work and school, trialing different techniques and approaches to briefs, trialing, catching up on Weekdays vs weekends, even trialing both doing art direction and copying writing. Not gonna lie, there was a loooot of failure! But I also had one victory, which means by George there is hope!
I don’t doubt that there is still much more to trial and error in term 2, but I am genuinely excited for it! For the new challenges that await in becoming better at the craft, and learning how to fall in love with the process to get to the result.
In conclusion, it was a very bumpy start with a lot of flops but…It shall be well!
Term one of my journey at the SCA has taught me an array of new skills and creative techniques, such as six hatting and scamping. But more so than anything it has taught me I have so much more to learn and with this, I’m excited to do so in term two.
Term 1 has been really good! Despite doing it again. Working with a number of people and connecting has been amazing. The work definitely doesn’t feel like work when you’re having fun and laughing with someone else.
I’m excited for term 2 and to see what it brings. Working with people on case studies for new blood is exciting and I’m sure we will learn a hell of a lot.
I look back at term one and I’m extremely proud of myself and still grateful to be on this journey. I’m learning every day even if it’s not at the pace I want it to be. I’m still here and still going. I look in the mirror every day and remember what life has thrown at me and remember how strong I truly am. I’m looking forward and only forward.
Weekends. They said there would be weekends.
I remember writing in my first ever SCAB that ‘sleep will be a luxury’ during my time at SCA. Turns out, so is exercise, sunlight and a regular eating habit. But it’s all worth it. The people, the briefs, the mentors, and that oh-so-sweet moment when you think you’ve cracked the brief.
And with term two comes D&AD New Blood. So more briefs, more networking, and more oh-so-sweet moments.
Each week of term has brought new challenges and learnings, which I detail in my daily diary. Fridays feel like they are arriving faster. Before September my weekdays and weekends didn’t have much distinction. Now, after Friday Reflections, I feel relieved to have completed another challenging week at SCA.
In November I found a process that works for communicating my ideas that doesn’t take hours. Sharpie sketch, transfer to Photoshop, colour correct and colour in Illustrator. I plan to elevate the level of my craft in second term. And also to push my executions out of the safe zone whilst still honoring the brief.
Each week is a roller coaster of excitement and curiosity followed by self-doubt and simple tiredness. Occasionally, even if I feel that I’m failing, at least I’m failing among other people that took their chance in challenging themselves and getting better at what they are passionate about.
It really is a personal battle. Going through SCA demands from us being analytical and reflective of not only the work we deliver but everything that happens in between. And that is perhaps where some of the most crucial lessons can be found.