A Fork in the Road

“TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
…”

-Robert Frost

Despite what the title of this blog may lead you to believe, I am in fact not just a Literature student, but also a Drama undergrad. Drama is something I picked up at GCSE and sort of forgot to ever put down again.

Drama classes are the strangest classes you could ever hope to take part in; one week might have you pretending to be a tree, the next you might have a lengthy debate about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. No other subject is quite so diverse or exciting.

It is in drama that I have made some of my dearest friends, fallen a little bit in love (and out again), laughed until I’ve cried, wept in frustration, and on numerous occasions made a right prat of myself.

It was with this in mind that two years ago I applied to universities for places on their English and Drama BA’s, I just couldn’t choose between my two favourite subjects, and it was because of this that I came to UEA – in my opinion they have the best English and Drama joint honours course in the country (I may be a little bias). Had I been applying just for English, I don’t know if I would have looked at UEA, not that they don’t have a good reputation for Literature, but so many uni’s offer it that you would have to be a bit more ruthless when cutting down the list, and East Anglia wasn’t somewhere I would have immediately chosen to be (when I was younger I had often fancied going to university in London). But here I am.

In the interim between A-levels and starting uni, I took a year out and trained with a theatre company in London. We were all trainee actors but our directors and creative teams were all professionals, some of whom are renowned in their field. This was a wonderful opportunity to see what the life of an actor is really like, and the answer is that it is hard. You might have 9-5 rehearsals for ten days at a time, then have only a day off before you are called in again, you’re always short on money (I went for a month once living on £5 a week for groceries) what with the price of rent and travel, and at the end of all that you might not even like the play you’re working on – but that’s the life, and for some people it’s all worth it.

However, for me, it is not. I started uni no longer sure whether drama was what I should be doing, but I decided to stick it out for a while and see. I’ve made so many great friends on the course and I have really enjoyed some of the classes, but at the end of the day I just don’t think that this is what I should be doing. As I write this post, on my desk sits the form that I need to submit to request a move from English and Drama, to just English. Despite my conviction that this is the right step for me, I still find the form reproachful and feel that in some way I have failed already, after nearly four years of practical drama classes the notion of just stopping seems almost unthinkable. I feel in my heart that I shall always be a drama student even when I am no longer studying it, and will always hope to be considered in some way a part of that community, as strange as that might sound.

But there it is, and we shall see whether I live to regret it.

I hope that in writing this post I can show other students, or prospective ones, that you don’t have to fear making the wrong choice of subject at university, because there are always ways of changing your path, if you can find it in yourself to do so.

Until next week, adieu.

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2 thoughts on “A Fork in the Road

  1. Hi, I’m kind of stuck in the same situation as you were. I enrolled at UEA to study Law and I’m around five weeks into the course. I’ve recently discovered a course on Art History, Archaeology and Anthropology – that’s one combined course. I’ve always had a passion for these three topics and for them to be combined made me swoon. I want to change course but I don’t know if it’s too late. What should I do?

    Like

    • Hey,

      The first thing I would probably ask before you made any decisions is, why do you not want to do Law anymore? Is the course not quite what you expected? Are you finding the specialisation into one topic strange/difficult?

      I think before you change course you need to be really sure that whatever it is that is making you unhappy on your Law course won’t follow you onto a new degree. I also suppose that with a subject as vocational as Law you will also have to decide whether Law is no longer an area you would like to build a career in.

      If you think that the AAA degree is what you would prefer to be doing then I would contact the admissions director for that degree programme and perhaps organise to meet with them to discuss it. They will be able to give you a more in depth view of what changing courses would require. However, I would caution you that as we are now 6 weeks into term it is probably too late to change this academic year and you may need to re-enroll next September. Taking a year out can sound quite scary but what’s even scarier is spending thousands of pounds on a degree that you don’t want to be doing!

      In summary:
      Be really sure why you want to change your degree and make sure you speak to your academic advisor and the admissions director for the AAA degree.

      I hope that was helpful, let me know how it goes!

      Like

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