Comparing my second year to Queen’s celebrated anthem ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ may be stretching it slightly, but I have to admit it has been a brilliant year. Life at University always seems to pass so much faster than you can ever comprehend. One minute it’s Freshers, the next it’s Christmas, and then suddenly you’re all saying your goodbyes for summer wondering where all those days went. I have to confess my days were primarily spent this year running from one dramatic production to another rather than in the library. That’s not to say I didn’t work hard. Just that I forfeited any hope of ever having a good night’s sleep. Having spent first year heavily involved with comedy at Bristol it has been great to get really stuck in with Drama in my second year. I’ve met a whole new bunch of people and shared some great memories along the way.
A personal highlight of the year for me has to be directing my first ever student production, a play called ‘Hymns’. It was a daunting process that I would never have dreamed of undertaking if it wasn’t for the support of an incredible production team and some seriously talented actors. It taught me a lot about patience, retaining a positive outlook and most of all knowing that nothing ever goes to plan! The reason I’m actually at University my study of history also ran in parallel to this dramatic fever. Specifically, my study of the history of paganism in Britain was particularly fascinating. This allowed me to study a vast breadth of history, from the Romans to the modern day. Part of the course involved writing a research driven project that was five thousand words long. I chose to centre mine on the ancient druids. These mysterious figures were incredible rewarding to delve into and opened my eyes to the fundamental role spirituality plays in ancient and modern societies. I’m looking forward to my third year although honestly am slightly daunted by the task of writing my dissertation. My plan for the summer is to have a long think about what to focus on and how to frame my question, along with a whole host of other plans!
I cannot talk about my final few months at University without mentioning the General Election. As an active member of the Labour Party I campaigned in Bristol for our local candidate, Thangam Debbonaire. I honestly can’t praise her enough, her tireless commitment to the people of Bristol is a marvel to behold and I believe she really can help change Bristol and Britain for the better. Campaigning for her turned out to be a lot of fun, even when it was raining! Campaigning essentially involved knocking on doors and entering into conversations with voters about how they were planning to vote. The reactions I received varied but I can truly say people were very grateful for a chance to chat to you. Every view and opinion matters. It saddens me that my generation is portrayed as not caring when it comes to politics. Most of my fellow campaigners were in fact students who had a similar passion for change but it is true that more engagement from young people is needed. Without it, how democratic can we claim to be as a nation when a large section of it doesn’t have a say. My passion for drama I now feel is only rivalled or even surpassed even by my passion for politics. I am a strong believer in social and economic justice and do believe that Britain can be a fairer place. Of course election night was a disappointing one but the shining light was the election of Thangam to Bristol West by a five thousand majority. I only played a small part in making that happen but I am proud to say she is my MP.
For those of you still reading thanks for sticking with me. For those of you who gave up half way though, I don’t blame you. I do ramble on. Finally I can only wish you the best of luck with your University careers and I hope that you enjoy your experience wherever you go as much as I have. God Bless.