It has been quite some time since my Applicant Day, which makes me feel like a real old bean!
My Applicant Day was in 2012, I needed to bring my art portfolio down with me as for my degree I had to have an interview. So, with my nervous clammy little hands on my big plastic wallet full of prints and sketchbooks, I packed my bag and set my google maps destination for Plymouth.
I travelled down to Plymouth from Preston (Lancashire) with my boyfriend at the time, in his tiny little car (fondly called the Red Dragon, his 1993 Rover Metro had spirit but its 0-60mph time left much to be desired) all the way down the M6, M5 and A38 and it took us about 9 hours because we drove at around 50mph behind a lorry most of the way. For context: I have a tiny Suzuki alto now, and it only takes me 5-6 hours with a stop for a Greggs, a coffee and a quick scroll through IG.
I was not really much in the mood for anything when I arrived, but we went to the Jurys Inn, checked in, showered the day off and went out in the evening in search of food and some entertainment. We were pretty starving so went to Buffet City. It was a bad choice. The salty salty food gave us food hangovers (didn’t realise that was even a thing), but after re-hydrating we went to the cinema and walked to Vue via Sutton Harbour which on the other side of the well-known Barbican, this side of the water has brilliant views and stunning at night!
One sleep later and it was my Applicant Day- ahhhh! I finally stepped foot on to the campus I had been rigorously pouring over via Google Earth and peeking at via the website. The Roland Levinksy Building is tremendously cool; I still remember seeing it for the first time, with the posters on the pillars and all of the even cooler Student Ambassadors floating around in ‘cross points’ (the bottom floor where all kinds of events are held) and being so excited.
I hadn’t made it to an Open Day, so my first stop was a campus tour, where I saw Scott Building and all of the amazing print facilities for the first time (little did I know that just over a year later I would have a print exhibited in the same windows), the library and the SU. I had some time between registration and my interview which was in the afternoon, so I went for a walk around the city in the day time- I get quite nervous of getting lost in big cities, but Plymouth is quite easy to navigate which was nice!
I returned about one o’clock for my interview which was at two o’clock, and sat anxiously in the Roland Levinsky Café waiting to be taken into Room 101. The talented and wonderful Mike Lawson-Smith and Dr. Gemma Blackshaw came out and invited me into the beautiful studios. Then they sat down with me in one of the studio spaces to discuss my work, as I applied for Fine Art and Art History I had my written and visual work looked over (Fine Art single honours and other arts subjects just need an art portfolio).
The interview wasn’t scary at all - I spent the whole time blushing heavily regardless – and it was great to get some feedback and look at where I would be studying and have some more time to talk to the people who would be teaching me.
A little while after the interview we got taken to the Royal William Yard which is where the second and third year studio spaces are. That really knocked my socks off. It was fantastically beautiful there and it boggled my mind that I could get to work and study in such a place. If the deal hadn’t been sealed with my interview and the campus already, then it definitely was when I went there.
It was great. I came away from my Applicant Day so much surer of myself and of my choices, but most of all I came back just really super excited to get going and come to Plymouth! I waited anxiously for about two or three days for the result of my interview and my offer to come back. It was good news, and the rest is history. J
I really enjoyed my little Applicant Day adventure and would really recommend you to go to it if you can!
Until next time, G x