The University of Life and other cliches, by @robinsanderson


By Robin Sanderson


The University of Life and other cliches


If you’ve graduated from uni, you may have encountered people that say “Universi-teh? Bollocks mate. I went to the University of Life”.


Twats, aren’t they?


Their belief is that there’s much more to be learned in the real world than academia.


Well, obviously they’re right.


Thankfully, SCA is not academia. It’s the closest thing you can get to the big bad real world of advertising.


So for future SCA’ers, here are some life lessons that you can learn at SCA that you might not at uni:

Pick your battles

SCA will throw many things at you. Instead of bitching and whining, learn to be proactive and to apply yourself judiciously.


Respect your elders

Marc, the staff, the mentors, and the amazing professionals that pour through the door are all mind-blowing. Learn to take on styles of thinking that are unfamiliar to you.


Disrespect your elders

Progress doesn’t come from blindly following the same path that others have carved out. Stand for something and interrogate what came before you.


When life gives you lemons

…then you’re quite possibly a lemon grove farmer in Greece. Consider emigrating, the economy’s fucked.


Bite the hand that feeds you

Know when to push back when it’s in your interests. You’re at the school for your benefit.


Dont bite the long arm of the law

Sure, give it a playful nibble. But don’t get banged up in Brixton Police Station by overzealous plod. So a friend told me.


If you dont fit in, dont try to

I believe Ran from two years ago said this in a SCAB. I can’t really say it better.


Creativity is a pre-occupation, not an occupation

The word “creative” as a noun always makes my bumhole pucker a bit. Be an interesting human being, not a bloody creative.


Embrace personal growth

Profound personal growth is maybe the greatest gift SCA can give you. Just trust that it’ll be the best year of your life.


Resist personal growth

I’ve put on about a stone at SCA through lack of exercise and a student diet of “anything”. Eat your greens, kids.


Mix business with pleasure

Creativity is fun. So have some bloody fun, for heaven’s sake.


Dont mix business with pleasure

Draw a line with your partner. Spending 25 consecutive 12 hour days together could lead to tears before bedtime. And there probably won’t be bedtime as you’ve both just pulled an all nighter for a portfolio brief.


Celebrate wins



Celebrate losses

For there will be many, with many lessons to be learned.


Dont chase love

There’s no use hoping a partner will complete you. Focus on loving yourself, and the partner thing will follow.


All that glitters is not gold

Awards don’t necessarily make you happy. Just look at Mikey and I, the double D&AD pencil winning team®.


Sell yourself 

See above.


Offence is taken, not given

If someone tears you or your work to shreds, you can choose whether or not it’s important to you.


Run your own race

Plenty of tortoises are heading towards portfolio day with their beaks in front.


Embrace your limitations

I’ve just realised that almost all of my SCABs have been extended metaphors. 


It aint over till the fat lady sings

There’s so, so, so much more I could add, but with portfolio day and placements still to come, this journey ain’t finished yet.


For now, hasta la vista.

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