I swear all you do is cut and stick? – By @ellebellwood

By Elle Bellwood

I swear all you do is cut and stick?


Throughout GCSE’s, A-Levels and my degree I’ve always had to watch people’s faces try to pull an impressive smile as I tell them I have studied, photography, graphics, textiles and fashion. 


‘Oh, that’s sounds COOL!’ They always say, all smug, looking down at me. This is then followed by me trying to justify the fact that creative subjects aren’t that easy.


‘But, but the grade boundaries are really high.’


‘I’ve had a lot of coursework.’


‘It’s all subjective.’ As I plea for some acceptance and reassurance.


This did change (slightly) when I started my Fashion Communication and Promotion degree at Nottingham Trent University (and NO I didn’t make clothes, we looked into how to brand, market and communicate retail brands). The FCP course at Trent is one of the most well regarded Fashion degrees in the country with loads of industry links and specialised tutors, so I got the odd nod of approval. 


I was lucky, I loved my degree. However I always found myself on a night out rolling my eyes heavily at any Sports Science, rugby mad, 20 year old, NTU male student, asking if I could ‘style’ him and if all I do is ‘cut and stick’ for a degree.


This was the case so often that at the end of my third year, our final degree shows promotional work was based around the quote. ‘Don’t you just cut and stick?’


Being accepted into SCA it feels like the first time in my life that I don’t feel I have to justify myself anymore. I don’t have to prove to anyone that actually I do have half a brain.


On the other hand, after reading my cohort’s SCABS and meeting some of you at the End Of Term Party, I can’t help but feel I am totally out of my depth.


Firstly, I definitely feel I am a baby compared to most of you. I’m 21, and only fresh out of University. Only 2 months ago I was still going to my student union every Saturday night to dance to Sigala and Drake, after pulling my pennies together to afford two VKs and cheesy chips at the end of the night. 


Also, yes I have a creative background but am I academically clever enough? Is my cultural knowledge wide enough? Have I experienced enough? 


The answer to this is no. I haven’t experienced as much as someone 5 years old than me. I won’t have the same breadth of cultural knowledge as someone 7 years older than me. But am I willing to try and work hard at this? Yes.


So on reflection, I am now ready to be taken seriously. I am ready for people to raise their eyebrows in surprise at my work, rather than patronise me for its lack of academic strength. I am ready to learn, absorb, grow and be inspired.


I am a very realistic person. We all have fears coming into SCA. We are all from different backgrounds, with different experiences and knowledge but that almost makes me more excited. Each one of us is going to have things we are amazing at and other things that could use a little more work. I hope as a team we go through this journey supporting and guiding one another. 


Class of 2020, I am ready to meet you, learn from you and befriend you.


Bellwood x


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