Jessica Wilson, Film and Television Studies
Published August 2014
How long have you been at Warwick?
I’ve just finished my second year at Warwick.
What’s it like to study at Warwick?
This year I took two film department modules – Hollywood Cinema and National Cinemas, which this term involved studying the film history of Japan. This included My Neighbour Totoro, one of my personal favourites, and two modules from the English department. I chose two American modules from the ridiculously long list of English department courses: 20th Century North American Literature, which included reading The Great Gatsby and On The Road, and States of Damage which was about post-9/11 American literature. This module, believe it or not, required us to watch series one of The Wire and read a zombie apocalypse novel!
What was it like going from studying at A-level to studying for a degree?
I got to read a zombie novel. I don't think that really needs further explanation if I'm honest.
Warwick was always my first choice. I know that isn't the case for many people, however, as there are so many universities to choose from and each has their pros and cons. There was always something about Warwick I liked the idea of; I knew it was very highly ranked nationally and I really wanted to go to a big, green campus uni as to me that was what my vision of university had to be like. When I finally decided on Film with English, I was told by various people that Warwick was the place to go as it was one of the first unis in the country to offer Film Studies (the department was established in 1978 by V.F. Perkins) so it has a great history and reputation for it.
I'd always kind of assumed I'd go on to study English as it was my strongest subject through most of school and I loved writing from a young age. Our attic is filled with nonsensical stories and amusing poems written when I was about 5. My essays since then are probably just as bad but at least I'm consistent!
I hadn't really considered studying film as I wasn't sure what it could lead to, but when I noticed that Warwick did a Film & Lit degree, a university I already liked the sound of, I warmed to the idea. I still wanted to study English but halving the amount of book-cramming seemed appealing and I loved media studies (I was a bit of a film nerd). The two subjects combined seemed ideal to me. When I announced it to my favourite teacher and she said "Yes! Perfect for you!" it was decided.
Warwick was always my first choice; I knew it was very highly ranked nationally and I wanted to go to a big, green campus uni. Film with English has a great history and reputation at Warwick, too.
What were your favourite memories of the past year?
It's important to take some time off to enjoy yourself during a term of tough work, and seeing my family always cheers me up! I went back home for my dad's birthday in May. I took the train to London on the Saturday, reading revision notes on the way. We went for Japanese afternoon tea and took a trip up the Shard for some spectacular views. I stayed at home that night and the following day we went out for an exciting Bombay curry at a cool place in Shoreditch; there wasn't a tikka masala in sight! Instead we chose a variety of smaller dishes, all with intense flavour and spice. I had a cheeky Pina colada with an Indian twist on the side!
How’s your year been?
I received my highest essay mark so far when I received my first-ever first for my States of Damage English Lit essay (about capitalist realism and literary realism). This was a huge surprise as it was the longest essay I've ever written, at 5,000 words, and it's such a challenging module that I really didn't know what to expect so I was completely elated with the result.
The cheerleading squad I am part of came first at Future Cheer in Bath. After months of hard work it was fantastic to hear it had paid off. We also performed at the University's annual dance extravaganza Pizazz at the Royal Spa Centre which was a great chance to practice performing in front of an audience; I got the chance to see all different dance styles from belly dance to street dance during the dress rehearsal.
What do you do when you’re not studying?
I’m lucky enough to say that two of my greatest passions, watching films and reading books, will hopefully lead me to a degree. As well as that, I love dancing, listening to music and wasting away hours of spare time on social media websites. I am also a member of Warwick Devils Cheerleading Squad. Alongside my studies, I work part-time at Curiositea and The Bread Oven, two of the students’ union’s food and drink outlets.
What’s the accommodation like?
I lived in Westwood (‘the Bestwood’) last year. Okay so no-one called it that; it's infamous for being right at the top of campus, almost on its own mini-campus. However, it's only a 15 minute walk from central campus and if it turns out you have lectures in Milburn House, like me, you can smugly leave your room at 8.57am and still make it in time for your 9am lecture whilst your friends have been walking for a good 15-20 minutes.
What are you doing over the summer?
I am completing a three month internship alongside having to start my dissertation, getting on with next term's reading list and maintaining some sort of social life! I'm interning with a small, luxury dating agency called The Picnic Project. As their digital marketing intern I will be taking over their social media channels, helping to create and upload content like videos and graphics and helping to run their website, newsletters and blog.