Right from my first year, the staff members that I’ve met have been supportive and friendly. They have been a huge part of making my experience an enjoyable one at ARU. As a joint honours student, I’ve had the benefit of meeting different circles of staff from Drama and English Literature.
I could talk about so many members of staff that I’ve interacted with because I've had so much support in so many ways from them all. However, I know there are some lecturers that have had a tremendous impact on my university experience.
Sue Wilson, who was one of my very first lecturers, has been a great support- especially in the recent lockdown. She has been helpful not just with learning, but with other concerns too, like helping to sort out my timetable! At the beginning of lockdown, a lot of the people on my course (myself included) were very concerned about how a practical course like Drama would be continued through online learning. Sue was quite clear and communicated often with updates and answered my many emails. Knowing that I can rely on my lecturers to support me through all my concerns is something I’m seriously grateful for.
Of course, I am split between two subject departments, and on the English side of things my lectures have helped in so many other ways. I remember in my first semester, my first ever university seminar, I was so nervous that I just wanted to go home. (Thanks, anxiety.) I was on the verge of freaking out and then Cassie Gorman came into the room. She was so nice, and the way she talked about her passion for literature it was just something that I related to so much. She is one of the lecturers that I can go to for advice, she has given me feedback and support finding extra reading. Cassie made me realise that university wasn’t scary, and it was her class that made my passion for literature stronger.
As I write about lecturers who have supported me, there is one that I must NOT forget. I had taken a journalism class on a whim; and this is where I met another lecturer called Sue. She was the first teacher that I’ve ever had who I was able to talk openly with about my experiences with anxiety. I had never been secretive about these things before, but it didn’t mean that I was comfortable talking about them. She even used those experiences that I’d shared to help with how she interacted with me in class. That has been the starting point of me wanting to open up about these experiences with others too!
Finally, I also want to mention Andy in the Drama department, who is leaving ARU but has made such an impact on my learning and has been super supportive! His dedication to his students, and general openness, has easily made him one of my favourite members of staff. His willingness to go the extra mile to create new projects or workshops has given me beneficial, super-cool, new skills and experiences, like weapons-based stage combat! He has encouraged me to push past the introversion, and I’ve found myself sharing ideas and opinions a lot more - not just in his class. Now, I’m not afraid to speak my mind or share my ideas.
If you're interested in studying Drama and English Literature at ARU, why not come along to a virtual Open Day?