Got a call when I was at University asking to be part of a secret BBC show that was being filmed at Kingston Hill campus. At first I was a bit hesitant thinking I would end up getting attacked with apple pies on a children's program, but then I agreed. Details were a bit scarce with no prior information given, I wasn't even told the name of the show. I really could not place what we would be filming!
I jumped on the University bus on way to the location with a bit of confusion as to what I would actually be doing. When I arrived there was a queue to sign in for attendance, with a lot of chatter of possible celebrity appearances.
I then got a bit more information that food will be served...........Awesome. A student and free food is like summer and skydiving, a match made in heaven. At the point where I'm thinking food will be a major factor... I see the two chefs from Masterchef walk in!
Ok I'll admit I'm not a big tv person, and especially not a Masterchef devotee but I did recognise them. We all got called up to get our food, and at this point the tv crew where in full swing filming. I chose the beef tortillas with salad with a bread and butter pudding. The main on the whole was great but the pudding I did not like and had to pass it off to a French girl nearby ;) She had already eaten two so another one was doable.
Whilst eating you would get a large camera shoved in your face by some cameraman which was interesting! It reminded me of that feeling you may get when you have to eat as if you were at the girlfriend's parents house for the first time. Then I got told it was Celebrity Masterchef! I didn't even know who the person was who served me but apparently he was a celebrity, maybe when aired on tv I will find out ;) After eating it was basically all done, with a few shots here and there, so I left. After the 15 minutes of fame people shared over a meal it was back to day to day activities, for me that's skydiving and my final year project.
Check out this video fellow student Adam did about the day!
Hey guys, doing great I hope. It's that time of the year again where exams are over, the sun's out and the Head Start Summer school is in full swing. For those of you who have never heard of Head Start, it is a 3 day event where incoming Compact students are invited to come to the university and get a head start on their university journey!
As a Compact student, a Head Start graduate and one of the few ambassadors who worked at the recent Head Start event I can say from experience that attending Head Start will be one of the most enlightening and enjoyable experiences in your life (so far). Don't be fooled this isn't just opportunity to be lectured by the university, there is so much you can learn from coming to Head Start, not just from the event staff and guest speakers and their many presentations but from ambassadors, fellow Head Start attendees or a good treasure hunt around Kingston town; in fact just attending is the first step in itself, you'll get an idea of the journey to uni if your commuting and what its like to stay in halls in you go for the accommodation option.
When you leave Head Start you'll be so much richer (not literally of course), you'll learn about things you probably thought were obvious or didn't think you needed to know, you'll get the low down and top tips from us students, you'll make some new friends to network with during your time at uni and most importantly you'll receive advice and information on what to do next so you don't end up busting your brains trying to figure out if you've missed anything, sorted! If that wasn't enough staff and students social nights and games nights in local venues around the Kingston/Surbiton so you get to make some memories with those new found friends you'll make.
So if you attended Head Start - hope you enjoyed it - if you missed out, then if you get your place - there's always Fast Forward!
Bye until next time.
Posted 12 Aug 2013 by Alice
Before the age of 19 I had never even heard of Kingston University and (as soppy as it sounds) now I couldn't imagine a life without it. It has brought me so many fantastic opportunities, and left me with boundless fond memories and life-long friends.
I remember in the summer after Art College before starting Kingston, filling out Student Finance and saying, "No, mum, I don't want to go!" Then come September the car was packed up and I was ready to go to Clayhill Halls of Residence, fuelled by adrenaline. I met some of my best friends there and had some really good times.
Living away from home at Clayhill was really the starting point for the love of the increased sense of independence that university gave me. Furthermore it showed me, through living with people I could never have imagined crossing paths with in my hometown of Lincoln, that I really could get on with pretty much anyone. And sometimes the people that you would think, in an ideological sense, are far from you; can actually have a lot in common with you. The experience taught me to be less judgemental generally in life and to realise that we can learn a lot from each other.
Halls also taught me to remind my friend Izzy never to leave an apple crumble in the grill and forget about it whilst talking! (Especially in the middle of winter on a snowy evening). This doesn't amuse other people in your block when the sound of the fire alarm beckons people outside into the cold grasps of winter, so that the firemen can deal with the burnt, crumbled pastry. Now I am not condoning this sort of behaviour, (people should be careful when hoping that the grill may add a bit of crispiness to your crumble topping), but it was highly amusing hearing people question why they were forced outside, when simultaneously a few of us giggled in a corner in knowledge that it was Izzy's burnt apple crumble that ignited such problems! Plus, an upside was that we got to stare at an array of fireman carrying out their call of duty; another lesson learnt at university, look for the potential in anything! But that's just one of many hilarious stories that university has given me, there are many more to offer. So much so that my friend and I considered writing a book or some sort of guide to university life, mainly for our own amusement I hasten to add!
As I have probably said before in my other blogs, when I was looking at universities I really had my heart set on London as a location. As a teenager I had been fortunate enough that my mum would take me to London on the train, usually shopping and looking at various art galleries, and I really grew a love for the place. But before my interview I had never been to Kingston Upon Thames, so wasn't really sure what to expect. I am definitely not the first to say it but, being a country girl chasing a city life, it really does give you the best of both worlds. At one moment you're a 20-minute train ride from central London and simultaneously a short walk away from beautiful, green spaces such as Bushey or Richmond Park. There is brilliant shopping, restaurants and nightlife, and in the summer time days are often spent chilling by the river.
The river is one of the great things about Knights Park Campus, where I was based. It is situated alongside the Hogsmill River, which flows into the River Thames. During the stress of my final semester at university, it was such a relief to end the day at the SU with a drink, sat by the river with my friends in the fading sunshine. I will always have fond memories of those times and know that many future Kingston University students also have them to come.
Up to the moment that I finished my degree in June of this year, I was quite apprehensive of returning to Lincoln in July. I loved my student life in Kingston, was very fond of the area and had some fantastic friends. Wanting a bit of a break though, and knowing that I didn't have a job immediately lined up, I knew I should probably come home for a bit.
On 17th July, with my friends opening their results at midnight, I nervously waited until the morning to discover the fate of my three years of studying at Kingston. With pride I can tell you that I achieved a First Class Honours Degree. Now what to do?! Towards the end of my BA, my desire to study further had certainly heightened; I didn't feel ready to stop and I had this feeling of wanting to learn more. However, hoping to gain more experience in a gallery environment I thought that I would have a few years out first before I properly considered this. Now I am not so sure.
In a time where we are constantly being reminded of the lack of graduate jobs and opportunities, not to mention governmental cuts in Arts funding, I believe that my degree has taught me to widen the parameters in the way that I work. For example Fine Art is something that requires a huge amount of self-determination, which makes it very difficult in a lot of ways in that you are constantly critiquing your own ideas and having to accept that one has moments in which their ideas are less abundant.
Simultaneously in Art History I have been able to work to a prescribed format in an academic way, and through studying both disciplines I have learnt to balance both ways of functioning.
Throughout my course, although not part of the curriculum, I have been encouraged to explore working opportunities within the art world and during my second year, undertook a gallery internship. I would advise anyone to do the same, as, often when applying for jobs, just having a degree isn't enough. For example, an internship is evidence that you can not only study alongside working, but also put that studying into practice (as it were) and make actual contacts of those you could work with further in the future. I could never have imagined doing this before university, but university life and the experience of living away from home has encouraged a growth of independence both to general life and my attitude towards the working world which I now face.
I now think that I will have more confidence in my applications to prospective employers and actively seek their advice to help with further posts, if I do not at that time meet the requirements for the specific post I applied for. My current plan is to continue working at the local swimming pool, teaching and lifeguarding, whilst simultaneously applying for gallery jobs and internships in London. I am also going to apply for some voluntary work in galleries in nearby Nottingham as I am aware that, being outside of London, I need to keep my head in the art world.
Ultimately I would like to go into research and critique within Fine Art/Art History and, as this will require further studying, if I have not found a gallery post by December, I will probably consider my applications for an MA next year. In the mean time I want to keep making work and writing.
I had a thought last night about how far from the art world my experiences at the pool were. I have worked there on and off for 5 years, since the age of 17 when I wanted to earn some money alongside my study. But what has working in a swimming pool got to do with Fine Art? How is that sporting experience going to look on my C.V. when I am applying for jobs in the Arts? Well, working there has taught me a lot about different types of people and the insightful habits that they have, not to mention the vast array of tattoos I see as a lifeguard! In search of an artistic outlet for my thoughts and observations, I think that I will start writing about my pool experiences and the people who frequent there. I shall call it ‘The Yarborough Diaries' perhaps! Hopefully they won't be too long however, and I'll soon be back in London!
The Kingston University Knights Park student union bar on a fundraiser night.
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
Sport at Kingston
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013
My Hobby - Photography
Uploaded 20 Dec 2013