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Welcome to the first post in our student blog series from current degree-level Prop Making student and HE Digital Leader, Sarah.  In this introductory blog post, Sarah shares her perspective on being a degree-level student at GB MET.

Who am I?

Hi! My name is Sarah. I am a first year on the Prop Making and Special Effects course here at Northbrook College.

[LEFT] An image of my real shoe (top) being used as a reference for my ‘prop shoe’ (bottom). [RIGHT] My final ‘prop shoe’ made during Unit 3 – Sculpture.

Where do you come from?

I am not a local to Sussex – I come from Wales. I found some accommodation, then came down at the start of the academic year with all my stuff.

Before this course, I had never been to Brighton – let alone know Worthing was a place! I really like Worthing, possibly because it reminds me of home. It is small, it’s not a busy city, but there is still a wide range of things to do, and it has great transport links to larger places such as Brighton, London, Southampton, and Portsmouth. Because Worthing is right on the coast, we do get strong winds and stormy weather every now and then, but a lot of it seems to just blow right over.

The college doesn’t have its own accommodation, so I had to go straight into private residence, rather than student halls. I spent some time searching around and researching different places the previous summer – I couldn’t actually visit any because of COVID and where I was coming from. Luckily, I found a small company designed specifically for students in the Worthing area, and booked a room with them. I joined a shared house of 5 (6 including myself), of other students already at Northbrook on different courses. If you’re looking for student accommodation, make sure you join our Housemate Finder Group on Facebook for support and to connect with other students.

Where do you study?

For most of the week, I am on-site in either the workshop or our studio (classroom). Each week we have study days where I might be working from my accommodation on my laptop, or come into the LRCs (Learning Resource Centres) to use the facilities there.

What did you do before this course?

Before coming to the college, I completed my A-levels, took a gap year, then spent a year studying General Engineering. All of my subjects up till now have been very mathematical and academic, and I hadn’t really been in a workshop before.

My story seems quite different to others on my course who have had more creative backgrounds than I! We all, however, have shown great skill and creativity in different areas. It doesn’t matter what your background is, so long as you can show potential for the course and be open to meeting others with different stories to you – you’ll be great!

What do you enjoy about the course?

I enjoy learning new skills and processes. Staff and technicians help everyone get onto the same page for the first couple of months; getting everyone inducted in different materials and pieces of equipment.

My classmates are great; there is a whole variety of different people! We all get along, and help each other out both in class, and outside of college too.

I also really enjoy having the freedom to “read my degree”; having the time and space to research different methods, processes, and case studies. Not every course gives you this time for yourself.

There are times when you might be working on three different projects all at once, and it’s down to you to manage your time appropriately. You’re never alone, however, there’s always someone to help and support you.

Anything else about student life?

The college has great support facilities for people in different stages of life.

Everyone around college is friendly and welcoming.

There are a range of opportunities and events to get involved in; both in and around college, and further afield too.