In February I went to see Catfish and the Bottlemen at the SSE Arena Wembley in London and unfortunately because of the restrictions of having to travel using public transport, we had to stay in London for the night. In my article on dealing with anxiety at concerts and festivals I mention how often getting out of the venue after a concert is really stressful as the large crowds of people make the whole process slower and public transport is usually really busy. If you need to travel home the same night and you are not travelling by car then you will have to leave the gig early to make the last train – something which is not ideal as you will miss the end.
To overcome this, we decided to book a hotel. We ended up staying in a Novotel which is literally a less than 5-minute walk from Wembley Stadium and SSE Arena, as well as Wembley Park tube station, making it perfect. If you book in advance and use websites such as www.booking.com you can usually get cheaper deals. The hotel itself was beautiful and so conveniently placed near the venues, as well as near the London Designer Outlet and supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and the Co-op.
At the actual concert we arrived a little while before the doors were due to open because we had standing tickets. It is important that the cardholder that purchased the tickets brings photo ID that match the names on the ticket as many venues require this for security. Once inside they make you put your possessions into a tray for the security to check and you are also made to walk through a body scanner. It is helpful if you carry minimal items with you and just a small bag which makes the process a lot faster.
It is best if you can take a friend with you as it means that one of you can hold your space in the queue/ crowd if you need to leave at any point. It is also good as you can look out for each other during the concert and after when it is easy to get swept up in the crowd. Most importantly – have fun and create amazing memories!
Over time I grew in confidence and approached my part-time job (a local small business) and went over what I thought I could offer in a full-time position; boosting their social media presence and marketing activities. Thankfully they said “yes” and we met with a college to set up an apprenticeship course that lined up with what I’d be doing in my job. Just like that I’d cemented my plans for post-sixth form life.
I started my job the day after my last A-Level exam and haven’t looked back since.
It’s been a great place to grow my knowledge in business and marketing which has given me the skills I need to set up my own photography business outside of work hours. I established myself by offering photography for sports clubs, events and weddings at low prices to secure work. Once I had a history of clients and a portfolio to back me, I ended up having customers approach me; to the point that I began turning people away as I just didn’t have the time to balance putting 100% into working with them and my 9-5 job.
Your careers adviser is most likely well connected with local businesses; I went to mine and she organised a meeting with the director of a media agency. The most valuable experience you can get is from somebody who is already where you want to be.
The purpose of my story is to try and encourage you to explore some of the options available outside of University – as searching for an apprenticeship is often overlooked. There are some great resources out there to help you turn a hobby into some income, or even find a full-time job based around it, it’s just a case of using them.