My UEA Story: Kathryn
Who are you and where are you from?
Hi, I’m Kathryn, I’m from Hertfordshire and I’m a third year English Literature and Creative Writing student at UEA.
Why did you choose to study at UEA?
I knew UEA was famous for its creative writing course. When I came for my open day and applicant day everyone was so friendly and welcoming. It really felt like somewhere I could make my home.
What's the best thing about your course?
The flexibility. You’re really trusted to tailor the course to your own interests – no two students study the exact same modules. In my case, this meant I studied a huge range of modules without worrying that they didn’t ‘go together’ – I’ve studied a huge breadth of literature and other media, from Sappho’s ancient poetry to Missy Elliot, and written projects on Proust, necromancy and drag culture in 21st century London. The customisable nature of the course means I have been able to pursue all my interests, as diverse as they are, and bring all my different disciplines together.
What's been your favourite module?
I’ve loved a lot of modules I’ve studied at UEA, but I think my favourite was probably 'Urban Visions: The City in Literature and Visual Culture'. We looked at a lot of different media – manifestoes, soundscapes, documentary film, novels, poetry, short stories, essays both creative and theoretical, visual art – and applied a lot of different theoretical lenses to it. In the end, we were allowed to create any kind of project we liked, drawing together everything we had learned across the module, and that freedom meant everyone in the seminar created totally different projects. It was really fun seeing what people came up with, and our discussions were very lively!
What's the extra-curricular activity you've enjoyed the most?
In first year, some friends and I started up a creative magazine called Octarine. None of us knew what we were doing, but we got it off the ground and recently made it to our 7th issue! I’ve also been a member of the UEA chamber choir since my first year, and that’s been really fun; my singing has definitely improved! I feel like there are so many talented people at UEA doing so many different things, there’s really something for everyone. If you’d asked me at the beginning of first year whether I imagined I’d end up playing a witch in an Opera, I wouldn’t have said yes….and yet I did!
What's the best thing about UEA's campus?
The campus is small and compact, and in first year it’s great to be so close to all your friends and classes. Town is really accessible from campus – if you manage to drag yourself away from the beautiful lake and the LCR (which is one of the best on-campus music venues in the country).
What do you want to do in the future?
I would love to make a living from writing – scripts or prose, I’m not sure. But I’ve also come to realise that there are a lot of things I would enjoy doing. I can see myself working in the charity sector, or in education. I know I want to continue to write and perform; whether that will be my full-time job or my part-time passion remains to be seen!