Back in July this year I entered a student writing competition run by UCAS and The Times.
“We are looking for entries to remind us that higher education is good for the brain and the soul. The winning entries will help us develop a balanced narrative about the benefits of higher education that goes beyond the financial and career paybacks to help inspire future generations of students to enjoy learning at degree level.
This isn’t about finding out boring stuff like describing a typical day at university, we want to hear inspiring thoughts from students about the joys of learning, about studying at degree level in a subject they are passionate about, and about how university can expand the mind and broaden your horizons.
There are four categories to enter under, Arts & Humanities; Business & Vocational; Social Sciences and STEM. Each category winner will receive £3k, a day at The Times newspaper, six month digital subscription to The Times and winning entries published on The Times online. The overall winner will receive an additional £2k taking the total up to £5k.
The entries were to be between 400 and 500 words long and sent in an email (no attachments), by the closing date.”
I busily put pen to paper, well actually I typed it, and then sent off my entry. Then with fingers crossed I waited 🙂
Yesterday the winner was announced ………
🙁 It wasn’t me. But I would like to congratulate the winner Elena Chabo, 20, a second year student at the University of Edinburgh who is doing a degree in anthropology and archaeology.
There were 2,500 entries and you can read her winning essay and those of the runners up on the times online website ( Link )
I have added my entry below and if you have time to read through it I would love to hear your comments 🙂
I study Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; a new undergraduate curriculum was introduced in my first year which is why I chose this Conservatoire from my CUKAS offers. I loved the idea of interdisciplinary collaboration as I also love to dance and act in addition to my true passion singing. My parents didn’t attend university and had never heard of Conservatoires but persuading them that this was the route for me wasn’t difficult as they know how much passion I have for the performing arts.
The RCS Head of Vocal Performance gets to know the students by first name and is truly inspirational as are the other fabulous staff. I have just completed my first year and it simply flew by, I’ve been involved in the RCS choir and Les Sirenes, a female chamber choir that won BBC Choir Of the Year 2012, this year we have performed at many venues including The Gleneagles Hotel for the Scottish National. I have collaborated with the Film Studies department and in group work that has expanded my creative awareness and allowed me to work with talented individuals across different disciplines. I have fabulous vocal coaches that are both nurturing and demanding of my best, Kathleen McKellar-Ferguson encourages me to enter competitions and concerts and has spent lots of time on vocal technique expecting me to practise and learn lyrics in my own time to make the most of my lessons with her which is perfect for me. There is lots of emphasis on a true healthy voice and body. I also have classes in piano and piano accompaniment which was a new skill for me. I also had an opportunity to act in a student production called “Si l’enfant ne dort pas bien”. I have been developing new language skills in Italian and next year I will be studying German.
I am an advocate of the arts and use my new blog www.charlottehoatherblog to discuss my learning journey and arts education with a wide range of readers, I have 2,500 followers and 25,800 visits in three months. I log the fabulous opportunities I have experienced by being a part of the Conservatoire from creating the surtitles for two RCS Operas; a singing trip to Italy; a charity fundraiser for the Rotary Club. I also write opinion pieces for example; ‘Classical music is for all classes’, ‘arts funding’; poetry and how it’s good for your soul, Serendipity, Learning how to make a living out of music and many more as the conservatoire is widening my knowledge.
My course is for four years and I took on a full student loan for tuition and accommodation and I truly feel it is worth every penny. Spending 100% of my time doing exactly what I want to do to achieve my dream of being a world class artist is simply divine.