As some of you guys might know, I’m currently studying Journalism at University. As I said in my personal statement, I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I never had a particular plan, such as most of my friends did. So when it came to making this huge decision in my life, I felt quite overwhelmed. Going to University always seemed like the most obvious (and sometimes only) choice I had. So when the time came that I had to narrow down my choices, I always knew that I like working with people, as opposed to always working alone, so it had to be a course where I’d be interacting with others and not just studying on my own, and then I realised, I never felt more relaxed, or like I was doing something that was really meant for me, than when I was presenting the Sixth Form Entertainment. Sixth Form Entertainment was a ‘show’ that sixth formers that wished to, put together. It consists of sketches and parodies of famous events from the year, starring the students and our teachers. It was then that I realised that I’d love nothing more than presenting. It didn’t matter the style of show, I just really enjoy working and with other people in a creative setting. Therefore the most natural route for me to follow was either drama, or Journalism, and due to how much I enjoy writing, directing and producing pieces just as well as the ‘performing’ aspect, Journalism became more and more appealing.
Now when I joined University, I still felt very out of my depth. As if I was only ever visiting, and not like I belonged. Everyone seemed to have prior knowledge and experience in Journalism, and I had only just finished my academic subjects at Sixth Form. I realise now that most of my anxiety and stress stemmed from the fact that I had been living the same routine for 7 years, and this major life change, was the real cause.
With what I know now, I never would’ve imagined so much of what I’ve created and achieved coming. Naturally, I expected to be constantly writing, which I now realise might have lost it’s novelty very quickly. I never expected myself to know how to use a green screen, what the heck a tricaster even is, the fact that I’d have a conversation with my mum over a rifle mic, getting to give an entire presentation on psychics and the psychic industry, and that I’d actually get the opportunity to work with such creative and aspiring people. I absolutely adore what I’m doing now, and I couldn’t imagine my life taking any other direction. It all feels like every little detail, held things I never knew I was passionate about.
Just some of the things I’ve learnt, is that the news is now more in our hands than ever before. News can come from any source, and it’s instantaneous. You yourself could attend an event, hold up your camera phone, record footage and upload it to YouTube (with a good connection) with a brief write-up, within 10 minutes! It’s no longer a weekly newspaper, it’s a tweet. We don’t rely on the news at 6, it’s now produced as a 24 hour, live coverage.
Everyone I know has told me that they can see a big change in who I am, and the best part is, I didn’t even know how much I’d love spending time, doing all of these things that I’m learning, in my personal life too.
So my advice to anybody who is currently going through the stress of exams, or if you still don’t know what you’d like to pursue, is to stay true to yourself. Don’t do anything for anyone but YOU. And keep your passions in mind! As I said, I never expected to be doing what I’m doing, but I also know no other path would feel so right. Don’t abandon your dreams just because you need to choose a subject quickly, and you already take the subjects for it. University is NOT the only option you have, and there are endless sites that can give you advice as well as your teachers. Everyone has their own story to tell, their own path to forge. You do not have to follow in any one else’s footsteps.
More importantly, here are some cheesy quotes that will hopefully really help you to break away from the idea that you have to do what everyone else is doing, and hopefully inspire you to be different.
“Every day create your history
Every path you take you’re leaving your legacy”
“Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road”
My personal inspiration comes from Derren Brown (audience gasps, shocked, perhaps some faint?). As he has said before, it might not feel like it right now, but when you’re older, it’s always the popular, pretty girls, and popular athletic guys, who go on to have the most boring jobs, because they never had to forge their own identity when they were younger.
(I’ve transcribed Derren’s speech below because unfortunately Channel 4 have had it removed from YouTube)
“If you are a bit of a Dickbrain, or you’re just made to feel like one every day when you go in, can I just promise you that all of those really ‘cool kids’, the sporty cool guys, and the skinny pretty girls, all grow up to have the most boring adult lives and jobs, because they never had to forge their own path when they were younger, they never had to find their own way when they were little. And if you are having to do that now, it is tough, but I promise you, you grow up to have the most brilliant and creative adult life. Yeah, whoever heard of a musician or an artist who just fit in, really easily at school? Nobody.
So, Dickbrains unite, yes?”
Hopefully this post gave you a little bit more of an insight into who I am, and has made you more confident in the choices you have ahead of you. Let me know in the comments below if it did, and if you’d like to talk about anything, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org