I remember my last year in Art High School, and how much I wanted to leave, to go somewhere and “start my life”. I came to England (Farnham to be precise) – to study. I chose an animation course at UCA (University for the Creative Arts) and I was proud of myself, of getting so far.
I was also very anxious… Like many many students from abroad (I can only speak for my fellow EU students as I only know what it feels like from that perspective) I was struggling to find myself in the new reality. How do I get the job, insurance number, flat? Why is everything so expensive why everyone was so hostile to students?
MY GRADUATION WORKS FROM HIGH SCHOOL
My first semester was rather difficult. I was living two towns away from the university and I was casually late for my classes almost everyday. I spent my whole weekends at work, in a small Polish coffee shop which was run by suspicious and a bit odd middle aged man, who called me naughty Agata and Monyca – mean monkey Monyca.
The classes were interesting, but I felt like there was not enough of them to be honest. I did have a lot of work to do, especially considering that I had a part time job as well and spent a lot of time commuting to and from university but I managed to pass to the next year with not so bad grades. I spend my free time meeting new friends and trying to improve my art and English.
I think the second year is worth skipping, because no one really remembers it. It’s sort of like a transition period. However, back then I started to read more about art history, doing first parts of the research for my dissertation and planning my last year film. I feel like the second year is the time of discovering what we are really interested in, to establish who our friends are and making small projects before the stress of third year creeps in.
At first I though I had everything under control. My dissertation was planned, I spent all summer preparing everything I could for my third year film, sketching, reading and resting. But that was a trap. It starts quiet, but then before you realize you wake up at 6am everyday, work in the library till your classes start, then go to work, and after your day job work on your project more because you are always behind on your schedule. It was stressful, but we’ve all managed to finish in time. The dissertation was done, and I was proud of it, especially that I found the topic that I’m really into now – surrealism and uncanny art.
I think it did put me on the right path in a way, after I’ve graduated (with a first, yay!) I’ve got to throw my hat, finish my film, talk with my friends about where the are heading and get to rest a bit before the next steps.
SOME OF THE STORYBOARDS FROM MY LAST FILM
After that I got lost for a bit. I focused on saving up and resting. I’ve focused on finding who I am as an artist (and I’m still very much looking), I’ve been painting, sawing, visiting galleries across England and going for small trips to find inspirations. I’ve got an internship for a bit and applied for entry level jobs. I’ve decided to continue studying and applied for Masters.
Overall, I think it was a good experience. I did grow a lot as a person and artist and I’m happy to start the new adventure – hopefully after this pandemic passes.
🌻🌻🌻Stay home and be safe 🌻🌻🌻 – Agata