University, Writing

Just Do It

Hello!

Well, look who it is. Yes, it’s me. The one who calls herself a blogger and never writes a blog post! Hilarious.

I’ve been doing my Masters degree at the University of Leeds for about 6 weeks now, and yesterday I submitted my first assignment. Scary stuff, right. I haven’t submitted an essay for critical marking and judgement for well over two years and getting back the results will prove whether my brain is actually good enough to be on this course.

Yesterday was a good day in that we had a guest lecturer in the form of a well-established writer come in to speak to us. I walked out of that session feeling totally inspired, and that’s why I have come back to the blog. I have a lot to say, but my biggest problem is actually sitting down to say it. It’s a bad habit of mine to just dream up millions of ideas and never get them down, so that they might drift off into the ether, never to return.

A main point that I took away from that session was that you just have to do it. An idea comes into your head, write it. You want to share some work, post it online. You just have to get on and do it. That’s something that I’ve struggled with, especially lately because I’ve been so distracted. Now though, it’s the time to get my arse in gear because my writing career isn’t going to happen by itself. Keep your eyes peeled for a more active blog. She says.

 

Education, Life Experience, University

Brains, Not Boys

When I graduated in 2014, I knew I wasn’t finished with learning. I always enjoyed schoolwork, and even when I didn’t I threw my all into it regardless. But to complete a Masters degree, like I wanted, I would have to fork out thousands of pounds that I just didn’t have.

And then came the wonderful news that a Postgraduate loan was going to be introduced, kindly provided by Student Finance England, that would add to any undergraduate loans already waiting to be paid off.

I almost didn’t apply for this year because I felt too busy and “there is always next year”. But we all know that tomorrow never comes. Luck would have it that I suddenly became single and was thrown into a pit of unknown. The only way out, I saw it, was to focus only on myself, to better myself and to achieve more.

I’m (hopefully if they love me) going to study at the University of Leeds, on a writing course because…well, as I’ve said many a time on this blog, I want to be a writer. Desperately, truly, it’s all I can think of to do.

If I get in, I’ll be the happiest girl in the world. I’m glad I have transformed into someone whose life is completed by education, rather than by a man*.

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*However, applications are still open, apply within.

 

Life Experience, University

The Talent Show of Life

When I was in school I used to feel like I didn’t have any talents. I felt like I had no skills that I could put to good use in the real world or that I would be recognised for. Then I went to uni. Studying Film and Television Production gave me something to strive towards and made me feel like I was worth something to the world – to the film world especially. My skills were fine tuned and I got the degree that I wanted when I graduated.

Almost a year after graduation, that feeling has gone and the old one has reared its ugly head. Not being a part of something like that anymore is difficult and I haven’t had the same creative opportunities that I did on the course. I’m back to where I started, feeling like I’m bursting with potential, but nowhere to take it, nowhere to implement it.

My new job as a marketing intern is showing me differently to an extent, however, because I’ve only been here for a week or so, I’m still learning viciously. I’m struggling with all three of my jobs in that I don’t like being at the bottom of the pile, imageslooking up at everyone else. I know that will take all of the hard work that I can muster and I believe that one day I will make it, but there is also a part of me that is scared of committing. What if the career that I commit to turns out to be something I hate? What if I fall out of love with it? It’s likely that some part of me will change, I just don’t know whether that will be for the positive or not.

My motive at the moment is to keep smiling through all the struggles and think about how I’m still young, free and capable
of anything. Getting bogged down in negative thoughts is something that I’m excellent at. Onwards and upwards.

Life Experience, University

A Guide for Freshers

I’ve just spent the last couple of days entertaining my baby sister who came to stay with me in York and it’s been great – we’ve done loads of shopping, eaten some quality food, watched a film or two and had some worthy discussions. Except, she’s not my baby sister anymore. She’s 19 and about to go to uni in two weeks in Liverpool. That’s far.. It got me thinking about how scared I was before I went to uni and how many emotional breakdowns I had before I even got there. It’s a really, really stressful and daunting experience and I’m afraid that there’s no one out there who can tell you what it’s going to be like. No one has the exact same experience at university and unfortunately there isn’t a rule book or a guide telling you what’s going to happen or what to do. What I have managed, however (and I’ll be passing this onto Mols) is a vague guide of what to generally expect and what opportunities to jump at. This is the director’s cut of the original list that I ended up writing:

  • Always carry an umbrella and some change
  • If you have a 3 hour class at 4pm, take a can of energy drink – you’ll really need it
  • Sometimes you’ll be in the library til it closes (or until the sun rises if it’s 24 hour) and that’s okay, you’ll feel great
  • Get to know at least one tutor well
  • Absolutely no one cares how you are dressed in lectures
  • Sometimes the syllabus says you need to buy a textbook and the tutor says you don’t – check before you buy! (also, it’s probz in the library)
  • Having a 2am – 11am sleep schedule is okay
  • Don’t take drinks from random people
  • Take notes by hand – it sinks in better
  • Always keep an emergency stash of loo roll in your room for your use only
  • Jump at every opportunity to do something fun – don’t leave yourself out, you deserve the fun
  • Go to every event with free food
  • Stay up talking til the sun rises
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Be yourself

I know there’s lots of people around the country, around the world at this moment still shopping for uni supplies, still stressing about making friends and I wish I could tell you exactly how it’s going to pan out, but you are the only person who can take this journey and you will be the only person who affects your university experience at first. When friends come along, things change and you’ll watch each other develop into functional adults (even though it doesn’t feel like it).

I sometimes wish I could start university all over again, but when I remember how much I was dreading it and how scared I was, I’m glad I’ve already done that. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, though. University has made me who I am and has given me the friends that I need. Best decision I ever made to go, hands down.

Life Experience, University

Dear ‘Ruth’

Vulnerable and eager in the early days of September, 2011, I was looking for someone to trust and to befriend, someone that I could shed all my secrets to, someone who could come with me to compare dresses out shopping, someone who was on the same wave length as me. And I found you; quickly and wholeheartedly you introduced yourself into the void in my life.

Dear Ruth,

Over the last year or so, I’ve really changed; I don’t think I’m even the same person that you used to know and you might not even recognise me. It’s been about three years since we last spoke and this message to you, whether you are aware of it or not, is about how you influenced my life. I want to say thank you, Ruth for everything you did, all you contributed in those delicate few months that we were friends. We did have a good run at the start of university but I had to learn the hard way how you could be so affected by a boy and in turn how you could affect the other people around you, people who I thought were also my friends.

I first questioned your personality when you, despite rummaging through my wardrobe on a daily basis, refused to lend me clothes because there would be no way they would fit me. Being a size 10/12 compared to your slight 6/8 obviously meant that I was too large for you and your designer clothes and I forget now how many times you told me I didn’t eat enough humus or lettuce. You were also keen to tell me that my then boyfriend was a bad idea and even though you thought it was funny to flirt with him and sit on his lap, you still found it appropriate to tell me how pathetic our relationship was. It was important to you to one-up everybody, to be worse off, or on occasion, better. Nobody could have anything without you having more or less. Even though I have a cracked bone in my foot, your size 3 feet are more painful because of your 4 inch size 2 heels. You used to take pleasure in telling me that my university course was not as good as yours and that your course mates were just the best, whereas I’m aware that you no longer speak to yours and I still live with mine. I remember going out with my course friends, and finding that before leaving the house you would lock yourself away with the other housemates, and I wouldn’t see you the next day because you’d all decided to take an early shopping trip together, despite knowing I was in the house and not in a lecture.

Ruth, I could have lived with all of this; everyone has flaws, mine aren’t great and I sometimes wonder why people stick with me, but you took it too far. Deciding that your ex boyfriend who you had dated for no more than two months was the be all and end all was not what I would have imagined you to do. Screaming at me in the middle of a nightclub about how my then boyfriend was talking to other women – oh no! – and then leaving with the other girls was something that I will never forget. Screaming at me in a different nightclub for a second time after we had moved into a house together and then leaving me alone in that nightclub is something that I can never forgive you for. You listened to your ex boyfriend who told you that I was interested in him and you abandoned me in the middle of the night, a thirty-five minute walk from a new home in a new neighbourhood that I’d been told was risky at night. You didn’t believe me when I told you that he was lying, but you had made up your mind. From then on you made the next three days in that house effectively hell. I heard you calling me names to the other girls, I saw you hiding and moving my stuff and I remember you leaving the house unlocked while I was sleeping so you could go on a night out. Part of me wishes I had dropped the deadbolt on the door, but what would have been the point in stooping to your level?

Normally, letters to people are full of forgiveness and sometimes blessings, but I can’t forgive you. What I can do is thank you. Thank you for forcing me to move out of the new house to then live with my real friends. Even though I began paying two rents on two houses in that year, I was happy. Thank you, Ruth, for all your malice because, without it, I may not have met my wonderful boyfriend. I would not have gained stronger relationships with people who are still my best friends. I don’t think I would be where I am today without your vindictive assistance and even though you make me shudder inside and make my heart turn cold when I see you, I thank you for all of that. I sincerely hope that you remember everything that happened, but I can imagine that you continue to have your rose-tinted side of things. Brittany, what a bitch who tried to steal your boyfriend and always left you to see her course friends, you must have felt so hard done by. But, in all honesty, thank you for indirectly bringing me to a better group of people, to a better university life because for the most part, my first year was dampened down by you.

You really showed me what some people can be capable of, and you really, really changed my life. So thank you, Ruth for everything. I don’t assume our paths will ever cross again but for the minuscule amount of time that you affected my life, thanks and I won’t ever, ever forget it. If you are reading this, I’m certain that you’ll know this is you even though Ruth isn’t your real name and I sincerely hope you read it with integrity, attention and with an open mind. This letter to you is my official goodbye, and I can safely say that after writing this, I feel a large weight and concern has been lifted from my shoulders and I can continue to stand tall and proud.

Love Brittany.

Education, Entertainment, Film, University

Never Stop Dreaming

If working in school has taught me one thing so far, it’s that I don’t want to be a teacher.

Bear with me.

Yet.

Working with kids here has made me realise that I’m not ready to teach yet, I’m not ready to pass on the knowledge that I have to the next generation. I’m 22 and I still want to learn myself. I feel like I should be the one sitting behind a desk, absorbing what somebody says and either agreeing or challenging it. I’m still selfish. I still want to progress my knowledge, not somebody else’s. I still want to learn about the world (of film) and find out everything that I can. I want to come out of education with more than just a degree.

Now, before you bite my head off some people are ready to teach by the time they pop out of uni. They’re raring to go, to enhance the teenagers and children of today. But not me. Yet, anyway. I don’t know. I’ll be honest here, because what is a blog without honesty? I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know if I want to be a teacher, or a filmmaker, or a writer, or in marketing or what. I just don’t know. I do know that I want to lead my learning even further and broaden my options even more because my plan, as it currently stands, is to try as much as possible and take every opportunity that I can.

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Woah there. What a turn this has taken. Here I am, in the midst of writing about what I want to do with my education and I have literally just received an email telling me that the course is being cancelled….um awkward…

Now what? That was going to be my one reason for staying in York, for progressing my knowledge and love for film. And it’s just been halted right within a few seconds. If that wasn’t a punch to the gut then I don’t know what is. Talk about being at a loss for what to do now…

I’ve run out of steam. I’m deflated. I suppose I’ll sign off now and find another way to resolve my career crisis. Um, yeah……

Maybe you should update your website or something so people don’t get their hopes up…

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University, World

Biggest Day of My Life So Far…

Tomorrow is looming, it’s getting ever closer and my knees are starting to knock ever so slightly. It’s time, after these three years studying and working my arse off, to finally receive the award that I have earned. A First Class Degree in Film and Television Production, from York St John University and I am crazy proud right now. Not just of myself though, of everyone on my course, all of my friends that I have met along the way who I have slaved with over assignments and productions. Tomorrow will start the rest of my life from now on as I will be able to officially say, “I have a degree to my name.”

Many people my age have already graduated, back in the summertime when the weather sort of promised to be pleasant. Mine is in November, in the cold and hopefully not the wet. But this is all for good reason; we, as York St John Graduands will be entering the York Minster as mere students and leaving as fully matured graduates. I say fully matured, that can be used loosely for a small number of people. Yes! York Minster of all places, the building that tourists from all over the world flock to gawk at and take thousands of photographs of the wonderful thing.

It would perhaps be an understatement to say that tomorrow is going to be grand because it is most certainly going to be of the utmost grandeur and amazement and I can’t bloody wait. I will (of course) upload photographs from the day onto here, even though I seem to have a habit of neglecting my writing.

Anyhow. Tomorrow is going to be a BIG day and I wish everyone else at York St John the best time this week x

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Entertainment, Film, University

A Murder of Crows is Coming Soon!

Remember A Murder of Crows? The steampunk webseries that I have the privilege of directing? Yes? No? Maybe? Anyway, regardless of Day 9 (7)whether you do know of it or not, we are almost finished with it! It’s been a long time coming, since the idea was born last summer in fact and now it’s almost a reality! We are just in the editing stages which means me and the editor spending hours in a tiny edit suite scrutinizing everything we did when we were filming. Fun times! No, but really. If you’re lucky you might get to see the finished product and wouldn’t that just be amazing?? Especially if you’re into steampunk (and who isn’t these days?) but also if you are partial to a good old detective mystery story. Bliss. Keep your eyes peeled for the first part of the episode to be uploaded, I’ll definitely be sure to tell you. Can’t wait!

Film, Life Experience, University, World

The End is Nigh!

Pretty certain I’ve used this as a blog post title before, in regards to the end of sixth form or the end of my terrible first year or something academicone-does-not-simply-write-a-dissertation
related, but the end is actually here. It’s looming fast, yes, my three years at uni are almost over! What is life, no seriously. I’m on the brink of submitting my dissertation; a 10,000 word document about The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve enjoyed it, sure, but as anyone can tell you, writing a lengthy essay is more boring than it is fun, even when you’re talking about the joys of the representation of women in films.

So there’s about three weeks left at uni: including two days to submit the dissertation, and a couple of weeks to edit the film and write one final essay about it. And then that’s it. Done. Can’t…quite…handle it. And then! After all this university lark is over, I’m off on a trip to Mexico. Probably the most exotic place I’ve ever been (Australia doesn’t count here – like you knew that anyway). And then, after all of that, I need to start real life. Need to get a job, pay some rent on a proper house with mah pals and start an adult sort of life. I mean come on. I’m scared! But no, it’ll be alright. My plans? To eventually achieve a PGCE and become an English and Media Studies teacher. That’s the dream! Well. There are other dreams, but that’s the realistic dream. We’ll see about the others when I’ve earned a bit of dollar.

Life after uni is scary. I mean, there are plenty of scary times in your life when you have to make crucial decisions and make something out of your life, like after sixth form and what options to take at school, things like that. But this, this is something. Uni life is so cushy, people talk about how poor you are and how difficult it is to deal with housemates and living independently, but let’s be honest, living as a student is a doddle. You live with friends (eventually if you’re me), you have ample amounts of free time in which you can watch Netflix, and you get the famous student loan with which you can buy clothes and shoes and anything you want (including food of course). Yes, being a student is easy, but the real world does not seem as great. So if you are a student with at least one more year to go, enjoy it, because it’s the best opportunity that you’re going to get for a long while (unless you’re super lucky in which case, go you!) This isn’t to say that uni is the best thing that anyone can do; uni isn’t for some people and there’s plenty out there who have amazing lives without it. But it was the right decision for me and it might be for you. So treasure it! Because it goes faster than you think. I never dreamed this day would come, but it has and I feel extremely old (at 21, phew). Just be good, kids. And get your assignments done early!

Dissertation-Year Fellowship Eligibility