• Emma-Jane

Finally flying 'First Class'

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

If you'd have asked me four years ago where I see myself once I graduate, I probably would've said something along the lines of "on stage dancing somewhere"... It's overwhelming to think how much has changed in the past 4 years, but change is good.

I've never been academically gifted. I grew up with just one focus; to perform and dance on stage. I never knew any different. Throughout my GCSE's and A-Levels, my chosen subjects were all focused around performing arts. I did everything I could to get away from Maths, English, History and anything else that wasn't fun for me. I'd spent my whole childhood and education doing as many co-curricular performing arts as I could, dodging any subjects that wouldn't make me better a better performer. I always assumed I'd continue it through until I got my dream job on stage.

All the hard work payed off and I was offered a place on the foundation course at Northern School of Contemporary Dance. It wasn't until a few months in that I realised the nature of professional dance training was a whole new world, something that I wasn't prepared for; physically and mentally. The love and passion I always had for dance had been dismissed and taken away from me, replaced with restrictions, regulations and rules. I've always had the tendency to answer back and stand up for myself to people in authority. I'd adopted my bad secondary school attitude and habits throughout the rest of my education, but that's what you get for going to Brockhill. I know that this approach didn't do me any favours, but I had worked so hard to get there, all I wanted was to dance and enjoy myself, not spend half the time taping up my ears or sitting out of classes because I wasn't their 'ideal contemporary dancer'. I guess some people just don't like piercings, or me. Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets. I met some amazing people throughout my year at NSCD and learnt a lot of things, but I soon knew that this wasn't something I was going to dedicate any more of my time to, never-mind the rest of my life or career.

So after the year was up I took a risk and applied for a Public Relations and Journalism degree at Leeds Beckett University. I had no previous knowledge or interest in PR and have never been good at English, let alone a journalistic style of writing. Near the end of my GCSE's my English teacher said to me "whoever is trying to make you go to a grammar school for A-Levels is mad"and I've carried this with me since. Well Mr.B, f**k you. Because here I am about to graduate with a First Class Honours degree in PR and Journalism, whilst also receiving the Forward Ladies award for 'Most Aspirational Student'. How? No idea. But I can't image doing anything else now and I'm bloody proud of myself for making it.

I always felt good dancing, but never felt good enough for the industry. Whatever you do, there's always someone that will be better than you. I will always want to dance but I finally found my place, my niche. I feel appreciated and acknowledged when I work, which gives me the confidence to carry on growing and developing. I'm no PR professional and by no means a Journalist or Blogger, but I'm more than metal in my ears. I'm excited to get into writing again and start documenting anything that stays with me long enough to write about.

University is hard, so a huge shoutout to anyone else who's made it, tried to make it, made it and failed or is just glad it's over. Follow your gut, trust your decisions and don't take any piercings out because someone asked you to. We're in 2019, come on.

Anyway, let's graduate bitches. x

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