Saturday, 25 May 2013

Creative Writing at the University of Winchester

Yesterday was the last day of term, but for me my course ended back in April. I can't believe how fast it has gone, I can still remember my enrolment and course talk perfectly, and how my tummy was knotting itself. When you start university everything feels so daunting and big, then you live through it and find it's not all that bad, in fact, it's really fun.

The Student Union -  Many fun times were had here!

Taking Creative Writing was the best choice I ever made. I actually enjoyed doing most of my assignments (not the rationales of course) which is a big deal at university. All the modules were interesting and fun, with only a few dull moments, primarily in Creative Voice, which was a compulsory module. At first the most appealing part of the course was no exams; I get super stressed and freaked out by exams. Whenever I tell someone I don't have exams they're surprised and a little bit jealous, and I secretly laugh at them in my head.
But now I realise that the creative freedom I had for my dissertation was amazing. Others talked of how hard their dissertations was, and how they had to force themselves to write it; but I really loved writing mine, I wanted to write it and I thought about it all the time. It was probably one of the best things I have written (though sometimes I think it was awful - all part of being a writer) and although it was stressful it wasn't nearly as stressful as writing 10,000 words on Shakespeare, Feminism or something as equally mind-numbing.

The Stripe Lecture hall

Creative Writing has, of course, had its highs and lows like anything else. Getting bad marks, not knowing anyone in lectures, having to do presentations, and worst of all 9am starts. Yet there have been many more highs; getting a First on something I worked really hard on, laughing with friends, reading new books I would never have thought of, writing things I would never have dreamt of, and finally getting a degree in something that I enjoy doing. How many people can say they have done that?

Even though I was terrified of workshops and reading my work aloud people were nice about it, will helpful comments and kind smiles. No horrible things were said, well, at least to my face! And, while I may still not be one of the 'popular kids' I made great friends none the less. At university everyone is there because they want to be there and they love the subject, and if they realise it's not for them they drop out pretty early. The people on your course are going through exactly the same things as you are; they find the same lecturers infuriating, the same modules uninspiring, and they probably hate reading Wolf Hall as much as you do. People are right when they say you make some of your best friends at university. For Creative Writing having a group of close friends is even better, because they are willing to read your work and give you constructive criticism  They know all about grammar and sentence structure; they know what your lecturers will like or absolutely hate; and they just love to read anything!

My friends back in first year -  how we've changed! 
Three years seem like a long time, but they're really not. I will remember every minute of my time at university and I'm so sad to leave. I now have to start to writing by myself with no deadlines and no briefs, and that scares me. I don't want to start an adult life where I work 9-5 and then come home too tired to write. I have so many stories in my head and I don't want them to stay there, I want to let them out. So I'm making a promise to myself here, that I shall write, always, and I will never forget my university years. 

1 comment:

  1. It's great to know that you have enjoyed working on your dissertation while others are struggling starting from selecting good thesis ideas until the writing process. This would surely inspire several students who are still in the midst of a challenge. Keep on writing.