Growing up and going to university was a journey that many members of my family took. One by one, each and every relative took themselves off to another city to start a new independent, chapter of their life. Being one of the youngest meant I had to wait. I was so inspired and ready to start university, and of course, throughout the years of waiting, my ambitions changed drastically. I’d dreamt of being an author, then a vet but by the time UCAS applications swung around, (and I discovered chemistry held no hope for me at all) I knew Textiles Design was going to be my thing.
One of the hardest things about choosing an arts degree is trying to convince others it is the best thing for you. The worry of not having a career by the end of it scares some, but is any course going to guarantee you a job? If anything art is only ever expanding.
Choosing a university
I have to admit, I should’ve researched more into universities and their courses. However, the best suggestion came from my then textiles teacher who was a previous student from Derby. She encouraged me to visit New Designers (a London event showcasing 3rd-year textiles work), and from then on I had my heart set on this degree. I visited only 3 universities that year but the University of Derby attracted me the most. I just knew I could see myself working happily there.
It was only a matter of weeks after I sent my UCAS application that I was invited for an interview. I was flustered and in panic as I had not even started my portfolio! However, I received reminders from my teachers/arty friends that my portfolio was just simply the work I had already produced. Within a short period of time; the car was packed with sketchbooks, my dad had cancelled work and I was googling every interview technique going on the journey.
Getting through the interview
The main thing I remember from that day was being surrounded by extremely keen art students. I could not believe the stacks of work they had bought in. Putting aside the fact that I just felt hugely intimidated, my interview was so relaxed and ran smoothly. I still have these lecturers today, giving me their never-ending advice and support.
It was only the next day that I was contacted to say I had got a place, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt happier. The university was the only choice on my UCAS. I put my faith into them and they put their faith into me.
Looking back, Textiles Design was always what I was going to do. The very first sign of it being in Year 2 when making Christmas stockings. Then it was a major giveaway when I became friends with my GCSE textiles teacher. I spent every lunchtime of my life in her classroom being creative!
I’m proud to say this is something I have followed through to today. And I’m pleased that it is what I’m going to continue with.
What is your university story?