I am currently in my first year of university, studying a Creative Writing degree. University is something that has always been what I wanted to do after school, even though I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to study.
Through school I had it in my head that I was going to study Dance or Drama at higher level but when I was in Sixth Form, I made the very wise choice of looking into doing something else. Dance and Drama was always something that I had loved and it will still remain a hobby of mine, but I came to the realisation that there are so many other people that have trained harder than me and who want to succeed in it so much more than me. I knew I didn’t really have much of a chance of making it against those people and I also found that I preferred actually just dancing and performing when I wasn’t being marked on it. So even though it was what I had always wanted to do, and always saw myself doing it, I learnt that it was okay to change my mind, so I looked into another hobby of mine; writing.
Choosing a university was horrible. There were so many that I liked and I was scared that I was going to make the wrong decision and that I might not even get in, but I did and I am so happy with where I am.
People can be very unsure about my degree and may kind of question it because they haven’t heard that you can actually study it at degree level, or they just think that I do English. The main thing anyone asks me is what I want to do afterwards, assuming that I just want to sit and write books all day. I don’t actually know what I want to do and part of the reason I wanted to do that course was so that I could find out what options I had and what jobs I could go into. It could be seen as a very expensive way of trying to ‘find myself’ but I see it more as learning what I can do.
So what is Creative Writing? I always describe it as backwards-English. In English, you study books and write about the authors intentions, the methods, the effects of the text, whereas in Creative Writing you write the same things about your own work in a self reflective way. You also study other texts to inspire your own work, to take their methods and effects and apply them to your writing. There is also a lot more to it than ‘writing stories’. Some of the modules I have studied so far are Creative Non-fiction, Publishing, Language Reading and Writing, Poetry and even Script-writing. I have learnt how many different aspects there are to writing and how many professions they could lead to.
So far my favourite modules have been Fictional Writing and Publishing. I have found the work-shopping process really helpful in bettering my writing. I also really enjoy learning about different ways to brand myself and get my work out there through manipulating different social media platforms in my publishing module. Those assignments might be appearing on here as part of the module!
As for university itself, I feel really settled and happy here. I really enjoy the independence and the social aspect of being in halls. I have made some amazing friends and I am part of the Dance Squad here, so I still get to do that, which I love! Everyone has made me feel at home and I wouldn’t be able to do this without them. At first it was a big change and I felt quite lonely and home sick, but everyone is in the same situation so we all bonded very quickly. It kind of feels like I have two lives, uni life and home life, and I love them both and that I can flit between the two. I try to visit home every month or so, in-between going to visit my boyfriend. Even though I do hate when I miss things at home, I definitely made the right decision. It is sometimes hard, and I struggle a lot with ideas and motivation but I usually get there in the end with all the support from my friends and family.
So to anyone thinking about University I fully recommend it, but you have to make sure that it is definitely the right decision for you and that you are happy with where you are and what you are doing. The most important thing to remember is that it is okay to change your mind. It’s your life, it’s your decision.