What can you expect from your first year of studying Drama at the University of Manchester?

We asked Sadie Stanton who is now going into her second year…

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What kind of things did you do in your first year?

I found the first-year course really engaging – we looked at the history of theatre, studying Greek theatre and then through to Shakespeare and Milton etc.  The film modules were especially great.  I feel like everyone loves watching movies so it was really cool to study them and see how films change as society changes.  Every Friday we had a full day of practical stuff where we learnt different theatre practices and practitioners came in to do workshops with us.  We also devised a short piece which we were examined on at the end of the course.

That’s all very academic stuff, what about outside the course?

The drama society put on lots of plays which are always really good.  There’s a freshers play which is just for first years and I would recommend getting involved in that.  It’s a great way to meet loads of new people!

What have been the highlights of first year?

I think the highlights of first year was just being in halls and meeting loads of nice people. It’s also great being on a course like Drama because it’s especially sociable.

Was there anything that was unexpected?

The most unexpected thing for me was realising that you don’t arrive at uni and meet your best friends straight away! I know that sounds stupid but I expected to meet my best mates in the first few days. Really it can take weeks or even months to find the people you love. Getting involved in as much as possible helps speed up this process and you do pick up and learn different things from all the people you meet.

What’s been the most important thing you’ve learnt?

I learnt never to compare myself to anyone else! (easier said than done). You’re surrounded by people your age, all doing the same thing as you, and it’s so easy to get caught up thinking they’re making more friends, or they’re finding the course so much easier than me. Also, slightly cheesy, but I think the most important thing I learnt was that being nice and friendly to every person you meet goes such a long way as often these people will come back into your life in one way or another.

What advice would you give to someone about to start studying drama at Manchester?

My advice would be balance! Focus on doing some studying because it becomes so much more interesting when you get involved.  But go out and meet people and don’t have any preconceptions about how university is supposed to be.  It took me so long to feel settled but once you do it’s so rewarding!

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