I was a 90’s Arts Student…

I’ve mentioned before my desire to re-frame past ‘failures’ as lessons learned. I’m discovering most ‘failures’ aren’t as bad as we think, given perspective. But sometimes the lesson learned isn’t the same as one they are trying to teach us. Take my Bachelor’s degree for example. I made some odd choices, I didn’t listen to my intuition. Instead of focusing in my final year I was diversifying and taking on new subjects (like Digital Arts!) For a long time I considered my degree a failure, but crucially I was missing something. Sometimes it’s not what you got right that teaches you the bigger lesson, but what you got wrong.

devised-performance-notes- BG1998

Click to embiggen

More than anything else I could show you, these notes (for my actions in a devised performance) best describe my time as an interdisciplinary arts student in the late 1990’s. Riddled with confusion, awkwardness, and a limited viewpoint, they compound my sense of not being in control. This badly typed fragment sums up my experience better than I could ever hope to. The final hand-written part reads:

It’s difficult to tell what’s going on in the rest of the performance since I can only see the ceiling. So I have to look for clues to know when it’s time to run out.

That kinda says it all. I have to look for the clues and insights that I missed first time around.  In future posts I may explore projects and memories, from my often bizarre creative arts education. I got so much wrong, especially about myself, but the clues were there all along. I was just looking in the wrong place.

Look for these future posts in category: I was a 90s Arts Student



  1. anonymous · · Reply

    I can relate. I made some really weird educational (and arguably life choices) where I ignored the things that I thought would be amazingly cool or decided to try something new when there was another option that made more sense. My best example of that is when during my A-level French exam, I decided not to answer the essay question on the topic that I had honed and practised but instead I decided I was bored and answered another random question with the obvious result…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never been quite that confident on a whim as to do an exam question I hadn’t studied for (unless you count not really studying for the exam in the first place). Also apologies, it took me a while to work out who you were. My bad. I’m flattered that you’ve followed me across so many blogging identities and are still here. I hope you are well!


  2. “Riddled with confusion, awkwardness, and a limited viewpoint, they compound my sense of not being in control.”

    I think that describes a lot of us on that course. I came out of it having learned to think analytically and at least formulate a path out of the confusion. Control still feels like a relative term…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Tom, thanks for the comment. I had not imagined anyone who was actually there would ever read this. I agonised whether I should ever go there at all, but it’s a part of my life I’d like to reclaim and understand better. Somethings take time. I’m glad you found a way to formulate a path out of chaos, I fear I did the opposite for a while. You now work in a completely different field from what you studied, is that right? How did that come about?


      1. Incidentally, ‘control still feels like a relative term…’ because it is only ever an illusion 😉


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