- Creative Arts
Before undertaking my MA, I was a student at Queen Elizabeth’s High School in Gainsborough. I was attracted to the ethos of Loughborough – everyone I had spoken to had stressed the fact that it is one of the best universities in the country for student experience, something that I was drawn towards considering I preferred the campus university setup, as opposed to the city university setup. I was also massively attracted to the sporting opportunities presented by Loughborough, knowing that I would be able to train in facilities suited for international-level competitors, and that these facilities were on my doorstep – this inspired me because I train nearly every day, so having well-priced sporting facilities within walking distance massively swayed my favour towards Loughborough.
Now studying here, I enjoy working in an environment where everyone has a similar interest (in my case creative writing), but everyone is unique and working towards their own goals to suit their own interests (mine being experimenting in different styles of poetry and testing the boundaries of poetry).
As opposed to undergraduate studies, once you’re a postgraduate, the ball is in your court. You are essentially free to make your own way (obviously with guidance), but the emphasis is on you and the directions you want to take. You will not be given essay titles on a plate, like at undergraduate; you will instead be tailored by experts in the respective areas you are interested in, and these experts will help you to develop yourself in the fields you are interested in. I chose to undertake my MA as I wanted to take my interest in the subject to the next level. I was interested in and enjoyed studying the subject; there was no other incentive.
Admittedly, I am an exceptionally lazy student but, importantly, I am always engaged. The majority of my time is taken up by visiting places of interest and by reading works which intrigue me or could aid my own writing. If I see something of interest (an amusing scenario which could be made into a piece for example), I write brief notes which can then be built upon at a later date. As a creative writing student, this is something I am constantly engaged in; this by no means means that I am constantly working, I’d call it more remaining engaged with what is going on around me (as yes, that does mean I follow the news and keep myself up-to-date with what is happening in the world, as stories can, and are regularly, built from such events – look at most comedians).
Aside from my postgraduate studies, I chaired the Loughborough University Freestyle Kickboxing Team for the 2016-17 season, something I took a great deal of personal satisfaction from, having been a member since my first year. The club was a family away from home for the duration of my time at Loughborough (and many of my most memorable nights were spent with the club). I also joined the Shakespeare Society at the backend of my first year and have partaken in seven plays since then. Again, the Shakespeare Society was another family away from home and I met a lot of my university friends through both.
Realistically, I am unsure where I will be in five years' time. There are many opportunities to be taken and I would lie if I said I knew which one I will take. My main current considerations are doing a PhD (specialising in researching Celtic mythologies in either Scotland or Ireland); doing the PGCE and becoming a secondary school English teacher (because it was my secondary school English teacher who inspired my study of English at undergraduate); and searching for work within my local theatres (as I am interested in all aspects of the theatre, both onstage and backstage).
If you are considering studying a master’s, I would say it will seem that everyone and everything will inundate you with new information in your first few weeks of university. This is normal, and is something every student will have gone through; don’t let it dissuade you though, do your own thing; quoting a very cheesy motivational quote, ‘you are the master of your own fate’ – at the end of the day, it’s your university experience, and you should just enjoy it.