2020 has been a challenging one. Not just on a personal level, but for every human being on earth who has been impacted by the chaos of the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s been months since I’ve written my last blog post. I think in the midst of it all I fell out of love with writing for enjoyment. I became self-conscious about what I was writing and forgot the reason I started a blog in the first place. I love reading about people’s personal experiences. I had become so concerned with what other people thought that I stopped writing all together. This year I’m determined to write more open, honest content on a regular basis. I thought I’d finish the year with a roundup of all the pivotal points in my life from the past few months so I’m up to date for the new year.
Graduating in the middle of a global pandemic:
Any student who graduated this year will understand how awful it was completing final assignments during a national lockdown. I have never felt stress like it. With no access to the library and little contact with tutors, I struggled through it. Losing out on my graduation was not fun either. I spent nearly every day of the initial lockdown sat in my room in Newcastle working at my desk. I have such nostalgia for lockdown in Newcastle, yet even in hindsight I cannot sugar-coat how difficult it was to finish my last assignments. Nevertheless, I graduated with marks I’m incredibly proud of. I was over the moon with my first-class dissertation mark as I was never one of those people who received firsts often. I genuinely could never understand how some people could get into the high 70s with complete ease. I felt amazing when I got my results and complete relief that I would never have to write another essay on English literature.
Applying for MAs:
I had always toyed with the idea of doing a masters since I started my undergraduate. I saved up money throughout my English Lit and Creative Writing degree at Newcastle Uni to give me the option to do an MA if I wanted to. By the time it got to March I resolved that I wanted to do an MA in script/screenwriting. I’ve always loved creative writing and I got into screenwriting in my second year. I had a series of incredible screenwriting tutors throughout my second and third year who were the best lecturers that I had throughout my entire degree. So, that had a massive impact on my enthusiasm to want to learn about the screen industry.
Overall, I applied for four script/screenwriting MAs at UEA, Uni of Manchester, UWE and the National Film and Television School (NFTS). The process for each differed greatly. The only uni which did not require an interview was UEA. I got through to interview for each of the other institutions. I was offered places at UEA, Manchester and UWE and a slot as a reserve candidate at NFTS. The courses which I wanted to do the most took less than fifteen people per cohort, so I’m incredibly chuffed with the outcome of my applications. I ended up choosing to go to the Uni of Manchester and I’m about a third of my way through the course at the moment. In the new year I might do a post going into more depth about the application process for each of the institutions I applied to and my experiences at interview. There’s so much that I wish I had known before applying so hopefully my experiences might come in useful to someone thinking of studying an MA.
Moving to Manchester:
Me and my boyfriend had less than a month to find a flat in Manchester before both of our courses began in the Autumn. Just as I had left my student house in Newcastle, my hometown Leicester went into lockdown again. Consequently, trying to find and visit possible flats in Manchester was really difficult. After hours on Rightmove, we found a small, modern flat close to the city. We moved in during September and not long after that restrictions were tightened in Manchester. I’m still getting used to living in Manchester. It feels huge in comparison to Newcastle. There is so much I still haven’t seen and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to explore the city more to find new, quirky businesses to visit. Fingers crossed the restrictions will eventually ease in 2021.
There’s been so many other events this year, however these are probably the biggest changes I’ve had during 2020. It’s been a tough year, although 2020 has taught me a sense of resilience. If I can get through a global pandemic followed by a series of national lockdowns, then there isn’t much I can’t face. I’ve learnt that I need to prioritise happiness. I genuinely believe that if something or someone does not bring happiness into your life, then you should not entertain it. You don’t have to feel guilty for removing people from your social media or declining invitations for events that you know you will not enjoy. 2020 has also taught me the importance of self-care. I even created my own self-care box this year which has been a life saver. I’m grateful for all the life lessons that 2020 has bought me but I am glad to see the back of it. I’m excited to see what 2021 brings…