My Moulton story is quite different from everyone else’s. Unlike most of my sixth form friends, I joined Moulton from a small all-girls school. The thought of joining another school and having to deal with a new challenge: the opposite sex, was pretty daunting. As soon as I walked through the doors however, I was welcomed, comfortable and I, completely unsarcastically, felt at home. I quickly found a wonderful and large friendship group, many of whom I am still close to. Genuinely, because of them, the two years spent at Moulton were the happiest years of my life, so far.
Not only did I feel welcome and happy at Moulton, but whilst studying Economics, Geography and Maths, I received so much support from staff, to get me to my goal of going to a Scottish University. Despite getting consistently top grades throughout my sixth form journey, my A level results were a shock. I missed all my grades, except my A in Maths. Luckily, I still did well enough to get into my second choice university, Glasgow; however, the disappointment I felt that day makes it one of the worst days ever. In reflection, missing those grades was actually one of the best things that has ever happened to me (other than deciding to go to Moulton in the first place).
Glasgow, where I study Geography and Politics MA, is the most incredible university, which could not have suited me more. I adore living in the city and I am privileged to be completely in love with my course. At the end of my second year, I still have 2 years to go and I am hopefully studying at Stockholm University from September on Erasmus Exchange. I currently have my sights set on a career in Urban Planning; using the university’s help to get an internship with Glasgow City Council, to manage a project in the regeneration department.
I can’t wait to see what my future holds and so much of my ambition, drive and belief in myself has come from the time I thrived and achieved at Moulton.
After finishing my A levels I was lucky enough to achieve the grades for my first choice university- Winchester School of Art. I knew from the first time I visited there that it was the sort of environment I wanted to study in; it’s a small campus tailored to creative study where everyone socialises between year groups and courses, giving it a nice community feel. Despite not going to a large campus university I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything or having a lesser university experience- it wasn’t the right choice for me, so I wouldn’t worry if it’s not the right one for you either.
As I’m studying Illustration I needed to be interviewed before they could consider offering me a place. Being someone who is not at all naturally confident, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this, and as my interview for WSA was my first one I was even more nervous and had no idea what to expect. To try and minimise my nerves, I did practise interviews with staff at school, made sure I knew my personal statement inside out, and found out as much about the degree course as I could to show how much I wanted to be on it. By no means did this entirely stop my anxiety getting to me on the day, but the process was a lot more chilled out than I thought it would be, and being prepared absolutely helped me through it.
However, getting the staff’s approval at the interview didn’t stop me worrying about how I’d compare with the other students on my course. I’ve always been very shy about showing anyone any work I’ve done in case it’s not as good as other people's work, but having to not only present my work to tutors and course mates every week but have it criticised and questioned too, I’ve been forced to become more confident in myself and take pride in the things I’ve created. This is definitely helped by being part of a cohort of incredibly talented and supportive people; the atmosphere is not in the slightest competitive because people are mature enough to value their own work, as well as that of others.
I’m surrounded by people of all ages and backgrounds on my course which is refreshing having come straight from school where you rarely interact willingly/ comfortably with anyone in the years above or below you. It’s surprising who you’ll end up being friends with (some of my friends are married with kids or almost twice my age), and they’ll become more like family, which sounds cliché but everyone definitely changes a lot while they’re living away from home and part of this is down to the people you share the experience with.
I’m so lucky that I love my degree (I know plenty of people who don’t) and want to work hard to achieve the best marks I can, but I’ve also realised the value of taking time out. Obviously you want to give everything your best shot but occasionally you have to take a step back- looking after yourself is just as important, if not more so, than getting top marks every time and it’s taken me until now to realise so. For me that meant not taking myself and my work so seriously all the time- I still managed to get a 1st and I dressed up as a biscuit for my final project this year…
My first year has definitely been a huge learning experience for me, and for anyone considering doing a creative degree, don’t let anyone tell you it’s an easy choice or isn’t worth as much as an ‘academic’ degree; they couldn’t be more wrong. Being self- motivated enough to work in a studio from 8:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night from Monday to Saturday is just as difficult as having a full compulsory timetabled week sitting in lectures and writing essays- but I wouldn’t rather anything else!