My advice would be: don’t let fear stop you from taking all the opportunities you can. You’re probably more capable than you think you are.
When I was young, I used to have a toy typewriter that I absolutely loved. I played with it all the time, writing little stories and scripts for my toys. When it broke through overuse, I didn’t think I’d ever use a manual typewriter again, but last year I discovered one in the Creative Writing department, and used it to create some brilliant visual poetry. Being encouraged to explore and experiment and be playful is one of the things I love about studying at Edge Hill.
Since I started my degree, I’ve had so many amazing opportunities to develop and grow, as a student, as a writer and as a person. I did an internship with Edge Hill University Press, working with Arc Publications. Work experience in publishing is hard to come by so this was a unique opportunity to see how the industry works and make contacts for the future. I also read some of my work alongside writers Tessa Hadley and Ilya Kaminsky at an event at the Arts Centre. I didn’t think I’d ever meet them let alone share a stage with them.
The opportunity that I’m most grateful for, though, is the chance to work as a Campus Connector. I know what it’s like to feel homesick and lonely when you first get here – you might not speak to another person all day. My role is to talk to students in Halls, help them settle in and encourage them to get involved in activities or events on campus. Sometimes, just connecting with other people can be the difference between dropping out and staying.
I was so timid when I first came to Edge Hill; I didn’t even want to show anyone what I’d written because I was scared of being rejected. I’ve got so much confidence now, I’m like a different person.