As we hurtle towards the end of the autumn semester I am reminded just how quickly my final year at UEA is passing. What particularly drove this home was a visit to another university this week to hear about their Medieval Studies MA.
I made the decision last year not to stay on at UEA for my MA partly because there isn’t a specialist in Norse literature here but also because I don’t think I would like to be here after all of my friends have graduated. However, looking around another university – even the University of York which is essentially UEA’s twin – felt a bit like a betrayal.
I travelled up to York last Wednesday (having to catch a train before 7 in the morning!) with a friend to attend an open day at the University of York. Walking around the city I was struck by its similarities to Norwich, the old alleys and wonderful independent shops, but it was when I reached the university campus that it began to feel uncanny. York and UEA were set up roughly around the same time and shared a taste for brutalist architecture. We both have lakes with iconic buildings on their banks and flying walk ways that create a feeling of having stepped out of the ordinary into something new and perhaps a little futuristic.
York and UEA do have many differences however, whilst UEA forged ahead determined to live up to its motto Do Different, York chose to mimic older institutions and became a collegiate university (I don’t mean this is a pejorative sense) . Walking through the campus felt rather like seeing someone’s doppelgänger – you could see the differences but the similarities were striking.
I had a wonderful day up north. I love York for all the same reasons I love Norwich and if I got onto the MA there it would feel like a natural progression. I come from a medieval city, I’ve studied in a medieval city for my BA, so it would be great to continue that tradition during post-grad.
(If you happen to find yourself in York, after checking out the Minster and all of the amazing museums, make sure you stop by the Fudge Kitchen – it’s expensive but it will blow your mind!)
Obviously, I’m in the middle of it all at the moment but I hope to talk about my MA application process on here in the future as it seems to me that there are far fewer resources for post grad applications than there are for undergraduate.
As always feel free to message me with any questions you may have and if you would like a glimpse of life at UEA then you can check out my Instagram hjp_armstrong.