Students Staff

24 January 2018

Meet Chloe Atkinson

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 10.47 am

Chloe Atkinson came to Essex as a direct entry student in her second year and is now working as a Project Worker in Biological Sciences and Psychology. We spoke to her to find out more about her time at Essex.

Chloe Atkinson

Chloe Atkinson

What motivated you to come to university?

Ever since I started high school, I knew that I was going to go to University. I’ve always enjoyed being in education and learning new things, so it just seemed like a natural step. My love for drama only grew more and more as I studied it further, so when I found out I could do a degree in it I was straight on UCAS. I also wanted to be able to teach Literature as a backup, so a joint honours degree in both subjects suited me perfectly.

What did you expect university to be like when you started?

Very full-on. And it was! I did my first year at another institution, and I was expecting lots of partying, socialising and getting to know my flatmates and course mates. Although I became very close very quickly with my flatmates, unfortunately I didn’t quite fit in with those on my course, and the course itself wasn’t what I was expecting either. I felt like a fish out of water . I wanted an academic course that would challenge me academically as well as practically, but I was in a place where they focused far more on the practical side of theatre. Not that this is a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I wanted.

Did university life at Essex meet your expectations?

I moved to Essex as a direct entry student in my second year. Straight away I was stuck in; I felt far more at home, the course was much more academic with practical elements, and the societies system is so vast and well-supported that I quickly became a loyal member of Theatre Arts. After just ten months I was elected onto their executive committee.

What was the most challenging part of being a student at Essex?

Settling in all over again. I felt stuck between first and second year, I was trying too hard to make friends and putting a lot of pressure on myself, but after a short while I learned that relaxing and being myself was the best way to fit in. Essex is a community and everybody is very welcoming and open-minded, which is lovely.

What advice would you have for new students starting this year?

Join a society. It’s one of the best ways of making friends with like-minded people, and there is a society for everything. Also, don’t get yourself too worked up over your grades. Use first year as your chance to learn from mistakes and learn your writing/revising style, before second year begins and everything counts towards your final degree. Read feedback on assignments, it really does help.

What has been your main highlight of being a student at Essex?

I have two – is that cheating? My first would be winning Best Actress at the Theatre Arts Society awards. I had very little belief in myself when I started at Essex, and this was a huge confidence boost.

My second highlight was graduating with a First Class degree; I’m the first in my family to go to University, so Mum, Dad and I all felt a bit out of our depth at Graduation Day. Nonetheless, it was one of the best days of my life.

In one word, describe your experience at Essex. 

Home.

What are you planning to do next? 

I’m now a Project Worker for the Student Engagement Team, and I’m based in Psychology and Biological Sciences. I enjoy my job because it’s something a bit different every day, and I’m rarely bored or left with nothing to do. My long-term plan is to become an actress or playwright. I’m already working on the latter – I was runner-up in a student playwriting competition in June 2017, and I’ve written the latest Christmas pantomime for the Lakeside Theatre.

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