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a n n u a l c r e at i v e s t u d e n t n e w s pa p e r







Top tips about university applications, exam stress and preparing for higher education.

Inspiring case-studies featuring various under/ over graduates and their educational journey.

Find ways to inspire and motivate yourself creatively with the help of Spire newspaper.


SPIRE Creator

Isabel Wong




Didot, Edmond Sans, Perpetua, Aqua Grotesque, Quicksand, Myra 4F.

aspire. verb.

to seek, to attain or accomplish a particular goal.

Special thanks

To all featuring individuals.

inspire. verb.


to exert an animating, enlivening or exalting influence on.

Isabel Wong Social


spirE STUDENt/ education

EXAMS Be prepared for exam season the Spire way.


2 sleep

Increasing water intake improves digestion, brain function and energy levels. Your body is composed of about sixty percent water, so as you can imagine- fluid is absolutely vital. Most drinks count, however, alcohol doesn’t count. In fact, it dehydrates you even more. Also, be careful of drinks which are high in added sugars.

Sleep can be the bane of your average student’s lifestyle. Try and get a good nights sleep of at least eight hours as often as you possibly can. Especially the night before an exam. You want to be alert and ready to face your exam. If you’re tired, you may not be able to concentrate and therefore, you won’t perform to the best of your ability.


catch your zzz’s.

3 5 A DAY

4 read. write.

Why are fruit and vegetables so good for you? Not only naturally low in calories and rich in vitamins/ minerals, but it keeps your digestive system happy, as well as lowering the risks of many diseases such as high blood pressure. Eating fruit can be a quick and healthy snack if you’re feeling peckish. What about a banana? Raise those energy levels.

Don’t just read your notes. It’s proven that writing down your notes whilst you revise will aid you in remembering whatever you need to remember/ take in much, much easier. Try post-it notes or perhaps invest in a mini white board. Also, create a time-table and try and be realistic about your goals.


be exam- savvy.

5 gym rates

6 balance

Make the most of uni student gym-rates; unbelieveably cheaper than your average local gym centre. Exercising has a lot of benefits, not just for short and long-term health benefits but it can help you relax, manage stress and boost self-confidence levels too. It releases endorphins and other hormones to stimulate the body and mind.

You may find the trouble juggling between your academic studies and social life; but it is important to be able to keep a balanced student lifestyle.Perhaps, get yourself into a routine of making yourself work very hard in the day time and perhaps relaxing on the work later in the evening. Remember, university is meant to be fun too!



O Ever note A l l yo u r n o t e s, i d e a s, i m age s a n d t a s k s i n o n e p l a c e . S t ay o rga n i s e d fo r f re e .



nowhere has anything else on london. there’s a scene for every genre here. //////////


spirE STUDENt/ aspire


I was in a band called the Cold Sweat, who did similar stuff but the bass-player left which was a god-send really because I really wanted my brother, Dom to be the bass-player anyway. The drummer decided not to be in touch for three months and we cancelled a lot of gigs/ rehearsals so he was out, so we got Louis, my cousin and we changed the name. It’s gone from strength to strength. We’ve been playing since they were twelve years old and I was fifteen, we’ve been playing together for years so we know what we’re doing but it’s slightly different to what we were brought up listening to, but it’s fun. DOES BEING IN A BAND WITH YOUR FAMILY MAKE YOU CLOSER?

Our family are quite close through music, really. Music is a special bond. If you meet someone that likes the same music as you and likes your music, you automatically have an appreciation for them. On the other hand, You get along on a certain level but it’s quite difficult sometimes; it gets quite argumentative. I write the material and I know what I want it to sound like. When people disagree, it can be frustrating but at the end of the day, it’s cool because it’s good to have different opinions and often it will improve the track. So... Flat five.

My brother, Dan runs Flat Five Records. My dad used to run it as a jazz label, but he kind have took a back seat as he had other businesses. Dan’s always been very business-minded and he also loves his music; he’s a decent trumpet player! Instead of going to university, he decided to run Flat Five instead. Now, the band ‘Osca’ (previously Kenworthy) are now getting a lot of attraction and label interest- their track has recently been featured on BBC Radio 1. I live with him and he keeps me in check. I keep churning out these demos because he’s my boss but I think he’s done really well. I’m his older brother and I’ve got to be proud of his ambitions; he’s an inspiration. WHY LONDON?

I didn’t want to be in the Midlands anymore. London is arguably the most vibrant city in the country. The truth is, nowhere else has anything on London. There’s a scene for every genre in London, which is what I love. I remember going down there when I was younger and thinking, I’d love to live here one day. I knew I’d come back after uni, it was just a matter of time, and now I’m back. It just feels right, I feel at home. I just love the city. •

faceb ook .co m/th ec r eam tan ger in es tw i m/c r eamtan ger in es youtu b m/th ec r eamtan ger in es


spirE STUDENt/ aspire

K ERRY, 22 C R I M I N O L O G Y S T U D E N T, E S S E X

spirE STUDENt/ aspire


What got you into Criminology?

what about the The negative aspects?

I’ve always been really fascinated by crime and how it affects society so I originally applied to study Law but after studying Psychology on the Access Course I became really interested in how the criminal mind works and what makes a criminal different to the average person.

The fact that my internship was unpaid was obviously a negative aspect but, in all honesty, the experience paid me more than money ever would have anyway. Would you recommend work experience? Why?

I would definitely recommend internships and work experience because, although they are often unpaid, they’re an excellent way to get experience in the work place and to decide if it’s the career you want to pursue. My internship undoubtedly helped me to get the job I have now and although it was unrelated to my University course, including it in my personal statement showed qualities such as dedication and the drive to work hard.

What made you decide to go to university?

I haven’t really had the best relationship with education; I really didn’t enjoy high school and left college on two separate occasions! It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy learning but mainly as a result of the influence of other people. I had a full time job during school and college which made it really hard to keep up with studies but after my internship with Cosmopolitan ended I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do and University seemed like the best option to learn more about crime and, hopefully, get a good job in that field at the end of it.

Why did you choose criminology and not something fashion based?

There were a few reasons that I steered away from fashion. One of the How are you finding the course? reasons was that it is very difficult to sustain a long term career in fashion The course is amazing. It’s Criminology and American Studies so I’ve as most of the women I worked with were under 30 years old. As well learnt so much about America already and I find the history, culture and as this, I was keen to gain some more qualifications and I felt like some politics so fascinating. It’s a lot of reading and the of my academic skills, would be wasted in a career research is more than I’ve ever done before but in fashion. But above all, I want to keep fashion as //////// it’s worth it because I feel like I’m learning so a hobby so that it remains a passion and something much about subjects that I love. that I love rather than just a job. you did an internship at a big-brand magazine company. what did that teach you?

i want to keep fashion as a hobby.

You’ve been accepted into an internship in America. What are you doing there?

It taught me that anything is achievable. I never I’m beginning my internship in Boston where I’ll thought to apply to University before because I be working among other students in the forensics //////// thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the department at Boston University. Then I’m flying intensity of work and would find it too difficult to Washington to intern at a law firm to gain some but getting the internship at the company showed experience in the law field. I’m finishing my inme that I can do whatever I put my mind to. The responsibilities showed ternship in Chicago where I’ll be in a court and will be able to learn how me that I can work under intense pressure and that I’m not as socially an American court works and be given responsibilities in the Criminal awkward as I thought I was! It was so beneficial to work with such a wide Justice Department. It’s all pretty surreal, I’ve dreamed about working range of people. Meeting new people almost everyday really improved in America for as long as I can remember. my confidence and has definitely helped me to go out of my way to make friends at University. Best experience at Uni. My best experience at University is the huge amount of knowledge that The best thing about the internship. I’ve gained in such a short space of time! I know more about crime and The best thing about the internship is the opportunities that it gave, America than I could have dreamed I’d know a year ago. and continues to give, me. I’ve worked at London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, movie premieres and met people I would never have had Worst experience at Uni. the chance to meet otherwise, including Jennifer Lawrence who told me The stress of essays and exams and the sheer volume of work is probably my hair looked funky. Did I keep my cool? Not at all. the worst experience but that’s mainly because I’m such a worrier. From


place of work/ in the heart of camden town

the moment I hand in an assignment until the moment I get it back, I’m in a sheer state of panic! You commute. Do you wish otherwise?

No, I was worried that I would regret living off campus but in my situation it’s been really beneficial. Not living on campus means that I have less financial outgoings than most students and, as a result, I’ve been able to go to New York with my boyfriend and am visiting Las Vegas this year. At this age, and in my situation, living off campus means that I can afford to do what I love and I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been able to make friends even though I live off campus. What do you do in your spare time?

I work part time at a vintage clothing brand, called Rokit, with stores situated in Camden, Brick Lane and Covent Garden which I absolutely love. I commute to University and to work so it can be tiring at times but it’s definitely worth it. Balancing my University work with my job can be challenging but after the experience of balancing a full time job with high school and college, it’s nothing! I do buying for Rokit which is perfect for me because it gives me an opportunity to put my love of fashion to good use. I choose materials and styles that will be featured in our stores and do the visual merchandising which gives me the chance to get creative and really enjoy what I do!

dat e / l o n d o n fa s h i o n w e e k

finally, what inspires you?

People in everyday life inspire me. The people that inspire me the most are those who are unafraid to break out from the norms and values of society and be who they want to be regardless of the opinion of others. Strong willed, opinionated women throughout history from Mary Wollstonecraft, Betty Friedan and Coco Chanel to Beyonce and Hilary Clinton are the people who inspire me to be successful in life. I think that it’s important to show gratitude to these women, who spent most of their lives campaigning for equal rights of the sexes, by showing that we, as females, can do whatever we want to do. •



‘I became really interested in how the criminal mind works and what makes a criminal different to the average person.’ //////////


‘I’m definitely a very conceptual thinker; design hippy if you will.’ ////////// HOW DO YOU KEEP INSPIRED?

My friends. Seeing their success, in whatever field they’ve chosen is something that truly inspires me. I have friends in the music industry and the design industry who I’ve seen try so hard to make it, and to see that they’re getting to that place where they want to be makes me feel proud, and very motivated. It makes me want to personally strive to become the best and do what I want to do in life. favourite artist.

JR Photographer. He is the reason I am doing what I do. His photography is truly incredible. It’s not only his work, it’s the concept behind them. I admire him. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN a years time?

I see myself as a Graphic Designer. I know many people graduate in their degress and steer away from their chosen pathway. I can understand; three years (typical degree length) is a very long time and it’s understandable to take a break. Ideally, I would like to find a job in the industry and be able to eventually be given the opportunity to work my way up. HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN ANYTHING OUT OF EDUCATION DESIGN-WISE?

Yes. A submission based publication, PLOG designed and curated by students. Dedicated and featuring students and graduates work both online and offline. The group consisted of myself and a few friends where we decided to create a magazine together whilst in college. During our two year run, the team managed to design and publish five issues. With a constant flow of international submission, the mag was distrubuted all through the UK, to stockist included: Selfridges, Magma Books. We decided to stop to concentrate on graduation. Perhaps one day, the team will get back together. LIFE MOTTO:

Good design is design that either helps people or delights. ‘ l o n d o n r a i n ’ c u r r e n t p r o j e c t t h at i s s t i l l i n p r o c e s s .

To see Ben’s work, go to •


meet amrit matharu, recent english graduate. join us on her journey so far.

How would you describe your university experience?

Who inspires you and why?

My university experience was a life lesson. I learnt how to define being my own person. The importance of my actions and time management is a huge key to achieving my degree. University was also the start of some of my strongest friendships and I will forever value those times. It wasn’t until second year that I realised who really were my true friends. Yes, it’s fun to make ‘friends’ with everybody during freshers week but the fun really begins once you’ve settled down and had a chance to see people’s true colours and of course, people can witness your own self.

You, the person next to you and the one next to them. Everyone has special qualities and I believe that you can see good in everyone in some way, and that is what inspires me. What inspires you and why?

We are all given a journey in life. The way we travel that journey is our choice. Obstacles along the way are our test. Life motto you live by.

I have too many mottos. The most important one is to remember God’s will. There’s also another ‘saying’ that I believe very strongly in:

Why did you choose English Literature?

It’s a part of me. Clichéd as it is, for as long as I can remember the way that a piece of writing impacts your life intrigues me. I feel as if I’m being immersed into another world when reading a book and the science of language fascinates me. I knew by choosing something that interests me with such passion was the right choice. You’ve done several journalism-related internships. What have you learnt from them?

My internships were the best way of putting my skills and knowledge into practice. I was able to finally adapt my education to the workplace. Leaving education is not easy: unfortunately, finding a graduate job is pretty tough and you find yourself wanting to gain more experience. I wasn’t ready for that full time committment just yet so, having gained an internship, I was very appreciative of them. Despite the challenges I faced, adapting to working life- there wasn’t a moment where I didn’t strive to be the best I am. Luckily for me, I am a morning person so that helps of course.

“Remember to focus on positive energy for a healthy mind, body and soul, even in the darkest of times.” whAt advice would you go to college students who are choosing their potential degree?

What’s your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is seeing my work printed in black and white. Knowing that my words are leaving an imprint on someone else’s life is more moving that words can describe. I have a collection of published material on my blog and I make sure I update it regularly. It’s important to me that I keep writing and engaging on social media.

Enjoy what you choose. Have an interest in what you choose. Like I said before, by being passionate you will feel when it’s right. Also, ask yourself: Is university for me? I knew students who didn’t particularly enjoy their course and they had to make the decision to stay or switch courses; it’s not nice but it happens. Find out exactly what your course is about so there’s no nasty surprises. Some courses may be more practical than others.

What’s the best thing about being an aspiring writer?

Becoming a writer is tough. Many people think anyone can become a writer, but to become a good writer you need drive, passion and commitment to show in your work. The best thing is when you’re appreciated for these qualities.

Also, think: Do I want to be thrown into the social aspect of university life? or What sort of university do I want to go to? I lived in halls in my first year of university and I witnessed people who didn’t really make the effort to get to know others and I felt that it was a bit of a shame. •

faceb ook .co m/amar etto swo r ld tw i m/amar etto swo r ld amar etto swo r ld. tumblr. c o m/


spirE STUDENt/ aspire

NATALIE, 2 2 T E X T I L E S S T U D E N T, D M U.


verb/ to exert an animating, enlivening or exalting influence on.

spirE STUDENt/ feature

HUMBLEHE/ Search and listen. That is all.

faceb ook .co m/h umbleh e tw i m/h umbleh e youtu b m/h umbleh e


travel spire

Jusqu’ ici. Up here. ‘Up here, everything is fine.’ Spire visits Paris’ streets and discover that beauty isn’t just within the Louvre.


the professional

spirE STUDENt/ aspire

MEET robert wong, the self- employed creative professional photographer. how did he get to where he is now? HOW DID YOU FIND EDUCATION?

I had moved to England when I was twelve years old and understandably, I had difficulties with the English language and adapting to a brand new culture. I didn’t do very well at school, failing my examinations badly. However, I really enjoyed the creative subjects such as art and it was definitely one my favourite subjects at the time. That’s when I started to discover further creative outlets. I discovered photography when I was seventeen. I joined the school’s camera club and was fascinated with the first black & white picture that I ever printed from the darkroom. It was just amazing to see an image appearing before my very eyes as it appeared from the developing tray. From that magical moment, I fell in love with photography. A year later, I decided that I would like to develop photography as my future career, so I went to college to study photography to further my horizons and get further experience. WHAT HAPPENED AFTER COLLEGE?

The plan was to find a job after leaving college, but this proved very difficult as no one was prepared to give me a chance. I was being rejected because I had no experience, which was frustrating. How would I gain that experience if nobody give me that chance in the first place?


spirE STUDENt/ aspire

‘ y e s t e r d ay ’ - ko d a k p h o t o g r a p h e r o f t h e y e a r



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