I chose to study philosophy at Essex for two main reasons: the first reason is that the Colchester Campus is the only campus I have ever been to which had a pull to it. What I mean by this is that other campuses I have been to have been nice, but that is all. The Colchester Campus was nice but, more than that, I felt a desire to return after I had left the open day. I cannot promise that everyone will feel the same but, for me, the atmosphere on campus was perfect. The campus is designed to be like a village where everything you need is in one place and you are always bumping into your friends and lecturers. The second reason is that the department has, what I believe to be, a fantastic approach to philosophy. At Essex, philosophy is so much more than just the history of ideas. At Essex, philosophy is the history of ideas, orientated towards the future. I have never had a module that did not consider how the ideas covered can be applied to shape the modern world. I do not see any value in a philosophy degree that does not have a focus on continuing the legacy of the tradition.
Regarding why I chose to study philosophy, it is hard to put into words. Every academic interest I have ever had has, in some way, been tied to philosophy. One of the reasons for this is that philosophy is such a broad subject and I believe anyone can find an interest within it. Personally, I do not enjoy logic or political philosophy, but I love learning about ancient philosophy and existentialism. Essex offers lots of modules in many areas and I believe that there is something for everyone. Furthermore, Essex is a duel-intensive university, which means that there is an equal focus on teaching and research. What this means for students is that you are being taught by experts in their field and this often results in being taught about new research that your lecturers are undertaking. It is impossible for me to understate the value that this brings to your education.
A typical day in my university life is something that changes every term, because every term I have something else going on. In the autumn term, it generally consists of walking to campus from my house, having a lecture, having a bite to eat, having another lecture, reading in the library, having a chat with my friends on the squares and attending a rehearsal for the annual pantomime. However, it is more realistic to say that every day is different for me and I’m always doing something fresh and engaging. Your university experience is yours to shape and there really is a limitless number of timetable combinations. There are hundreds of societies, events, and sports clubs and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
I have just finished my BA and the first chapter of my Essex experience. It has been full of ups and downs, but it has most certainly been the best part of my life so far, for so many reasons. My love for philosophy has grown, I was able to pursue acting through the University’s own theatre and last but most definitely not least, I found a fantastic partner and wonderful friends. If you are unsure about choosing Essex, I cannot recommend it enough and the evidence for that lies in the fact that I have chosen to pursue an MA in Philosophy here as well. On to chapter two of my Essex experience and good luck in chapter one of yours!