Studying Art and Design has allowed Tom to explore his passion hands-on and gain valuable experience for his next steps.
“I want to go into architecture, and I want to get into the design side of that. Since being here, art has opened up loads more things for me. Like, I do photography, use the dark room and we do different medias. All the workshops we do, it really opens up a lot more doors.”
While he enjoys exploring creatively, Tom certainly has his preferences and the independence afforded by a college environment allows him to put his own stamp on his work.
“They want you to be independent here, so we’re not babied like we were at secondary school. They set us a load of work, they let us choose our own path to reach our goals but yeah, we have our own little tasks to do and can put our own twist on it.
“Photography is my favourite subject at the moment. I am learning techniques that I’m like ‘urgh, I don’t want to do that’ but you’ve got to learn everything to know what you don’t like and what you do.”
Tom notes that while there is more independence at college than at school, there is still plenty of support from teachers.
“Obviously, I do coursework, so once or twice a month, the teachers will check all of our books to see how we’re doing and then give us feedback to make it stronger before we have to hand it in to get it marked.
“The teachers are constructive with feedback, they tell you to try different approaches, add a bit more detail and put more analysis into pieces, stuff like that. I do a lot of writing still.”
Tom was particularly impressed with the facilities when he started, saying “they are much better than I thought they would be. I came from a local school where the facilities were a bit run down but here it’s quite high tech, I really like it and everything works, so its’ really good.”
He comments that college has also allowed him to come into his own and make new friends: “When I was at secondary school, I always felt like I had to feel like what other people thought of me. Here, you can wear what you want, you can be who you want and it’s absolutely fine. I’ve made loads of friends since coming out of secondary school and I’m still friends with people I was friends with there. So, it’s a good mix, we all have the same interests.”