1. Briefly outline your journey from leaving school to where you are today
After receiving my A-level results, I began my gap year! The main aim of my gap year was to earn the money I was inevitably going to burn as a university student, and so I had a number of jobs. I worked part time at a local pub as well as in a retirement home, the local racecourse, and I even helped out at some local children’s dance parties (anyone who knows me would be well aware that I’ll happily dance to Frozen and S Club for an hour or two!). As well as this, I spent one day a week helping out in the drama department here at Sackville. I worked closely with BTEC performing arts, Dance and A Level drama students which was all good fun. During this year, I applied through UCAS for numerous theatre-based courses, went on many audition and interview days and received three offers, eventually ending up at Lancaster University with an academic scholarship to study Theatre, where I have just started my second term of first year!
2. One piece of advice you would give your 16 year old self
To treat every piece of work like it counts the most. There’s no point in producing a piece of coursework that isn’t to your best possible level just because ‘it doesn’t count as much as the exam’. Every little helps! Never produce a piece of work you’re not proud enough to stick on your fridge next to your Year 1 painting of a rainbow.
3. Any stand-out moments of your progression from school to now (interviews, moving away from home etc.)
Making my mother cry happy tears! She’s a very emotional woman (as I’m sure most mothers are over their children) but getting my A-Level results, getting my diploma, getting my place at university all proved to be tear-jerkers. It makes me feel proud to know I’ve achieved what she wanted me to, and she couldn’t be happier.
4. Best and Worst parts of the job or course you are doing now
Studying at Lancaster is a little different to a lot of UK unis in that in the first year, everyone has to take on a minor subject, which you can then choose to continue on in the second year, whether you keep it as a minor or boost it up to become a joint honours degree, or drop it, and so technically this year I am studying Theatre with a minor in Psychology. I love that the university give you the flexibility to explore throughout your first year, as it can be daunting to go from three subjects at A-level to just choosing one subject for the next 3+ years. The theatre course itself is quite theoretically driven in the first year, really delving into different styles of theatre, with practical explorations of these in the seminar sessions, so I like the theory/practice balance the course provides. The worst part? Honestly, it’s hard to choose! Obviously essays aren’t your best friend, and neither are 9am lectures, but it all comes in the package so you just deal with it!
5. Describe a normal day in your working or studying life
My typical Wednesday… Wake up around 7:30, have my exotic student breakfast of Weetabix, get ready and get to (usually by running) my 9am Modernism in the Arts lecture. I then have 10 minutes to cross the entire campus to my Theatre lecture, followed straight away by a Psychology lecture and then a psychology seminar. After a solid 4 hours, I’m pretty braindead and wondering how I managed a full timetable at GCSE and wandering back to my townhouse, which I share with 11 other students, to make some lunch. My afternoon is then normally taken up with a mixture of typing up lecture notes, preparing seminar work, looking over any essays I currently have and completing some practical work with my theatre group. As I’m in quite a few societies, I normally have a rehearsal for something every single night of the week! The days vary, but I currently have contemporary dance 6-8 and a Fame! rehearsal 8-10 on a Wednesday. It’s then back home to shove some food in my face, quickly make sure I’ve done everything I need to for tomorrow and then pulling out my glad rags for a (obviously highly sophisticated) night in the union!
6. Fondest memory from school
The teachers, the bistro banter and the break time ham and cheese panini.