Joe's story
Student experience

I have found my voice

Creative Writing BA student Joe Longden has struggled with his mental health and after not getting the grades he expected when he left school at 18, he didn’t think university would be an option for him. After seeking help from a therapist he felt confident enough to apply for university and he has never looked back…

My best friend graduated from Coventry a few years before me which is why I looked into Coventry’s courses. The Creative Writing BA course looked fantastic and the university had a good reputation so I decided to study here. As a mature student I was worried about trying to apply for university the conventional way as I had been out of school for some time - I was worried they would judge me just on my grades. Thankfully, I was able to meet my lecturers face to face and show them who I really am, who I have become thanks to getting the help I needed. I seemingly made a good first impression as I was offered a space almost immediately.

It's been a long road to get to this point but it has been worth it and I would not go back to change a minute of it. It may have been difficult but it has all lead up to now where I am genuinely happy for the first time in years, confident in my future and my abilities and have made a group of, I would hope, lifelong friends, something I thought I would have difficulty doing. This course has given me so much already, I've found my voice through the work I produce but also engaging in lectures and seminars and even having the opportunity to represent my year group during the course review. I thought I would sit quietly and just take it all in but I actually join in - I want to make my voice heard because people seem to listen and respect my position and my ideas. There is room for real debate on Creative Writing BA. The Lecturers have been brilliant, they truly care about your wellbeing, taking the time to get to know you and understand your position so they know how best to help you.

If I can sum it up for you, something I would say to a student thinking about joining the university is - you don't need to hide your baggage or your past, embrace it, it makes you the person you are, it is your real self and you will find that actually a lot of people are in the same position as you. Lots of the people you meet have had similar experiences and there is camaraderie to be found in these shared experiences.

Joe Longden BA Creative Writing student

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