1. Know and be known.
Make a real effort to get to know your tutors and technicians, and more importantly, make sure they know you. These people are the key to your success at university; they will be advising you, debating with you, helping you make your furniture pieces, and at the end of the course they’ll be the ones deciding your degree classification! It’s fairly easy to go through the first year fairly autonomously, doing the work set and not being noticed too much. Now, with the additional freedom in project choices and how you manage your time in second year, this is the time to start standing out and building good relations with them.
A good way of being known to tutors is to voice your opinions and stick to them. Designer maker courses have smaller numbers of students compared to bigger academic courses, resulting in smaller and more intimate tutorial and seminar groups. Therefore there is no reason for you not to have your say, and for your tutor to be able to see and get to know you. Whether you and your tutors opinions clash (quiet common) is irrelevant. It’s important that they form an opinion on you regardless of what it is. You don’t want to be walking down the corridor and them not even recognise who you are (it really happens!).
Technicians are slightly easier to get to know. They tend to be more relaxed and up for talking about anything from your work to hobbies or common interests. You will probably find that out of all the staff, the technicians are the people you have most in common with. Spend a good deal of time talking with them while you work on your projects, and keep them in the loop about what you are doing. Towards the end of second year and throughout the whole of 3rd year, they will be your saviours when deadlines get tight and you need help!