Choosing which University to go to was a bit of a challenge, as I had no chance of actually coming to Britain and having a look at them. But the opportunities at Essex, such as societies, sports clubs, a campus cat and the support that the University provided in the form of guaranteed accommodation, scholarships and continuous updates were very impressive. All these together made for a winning combo.
I've always been good at English. Reading and writing were prominent hobbies in my childhood. And with regards to the film aspect, I was always the inquisitive one, figuring out the structures and the hidden meanings by the way the actors interracted. Yet, I didn't know anything about filmmaking. It seemed like a good way of getting out of the comfort zone and exploring something I was curious about but had never truly experienced. It also seemed like the best way of approaching an arts degree - pick multiple for more chances once you've actually graduated. So Film and Writing it was.
I definitely enjoyed film production and film theory modules. But I feel like third year was the year where I got to delve into the areas which particularly intrigued me: independent film production, analysing the human psyche, learning about the development of mental illness, propaganda in the 1900s and now, and sci-fi writing. Quite the combination, yes. I think the freedom to work independently on topics or stories that I'd created, with professional supervision is something incredible and something that I will never take for granted.
I think Essex from day one drove the idea that "you need to think about the future now!". And I believe that with the amount of time you have, you can definitely fit in a job or volunteering or societies and clubs as well as additional study.
I was a Frontrunner in the summer following my first year and it landed me a job at the Lakeside Theatre! It also was my first real job and it definitely was the right choice as it allowed me to develop a lot of skills, which made job searching a little less scary.
I started my current job as Videographer and Editor at Ptolemy Capital one week after graduation. I believe I got incredibly lucky to get a job that soon and even in the right area that relates to my degree. I will definitely be able to develop the skills I've got and will be able to learn a lot more and it's absolutely incredible.
Be prepared for challenges. You are always able to take the lazy way out but unless you actually sit down and work your three years off, you won't be getting everything that Essex is to offer you. And trust me, film-making and writing are skills which someone can help you develop but if you're not going to develop the discipline of practising them religiously, then those skills are not going to be put to their intended use. Also, it's OK to try and fail as long as you try again and again and again.