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NEWS > Careers > Tabatha Sherborne PGS 2019 - 2021

Tabatha Sherborne PGS 2019 - 2021

As a member of our Class of 2021, Tabatha is at the very start of her post-Pate's life. She's studying English & Film Studies at Exeter University and she tells us how university life is going so far.
18 Feb 2022
Written by Tabatha Sherborne
Tabatha Sherborne
Tabatha Sherborne

I joined Pate’s Sixth Form in September 2019 after achieving my GSCE grades at Cleeve School. Fair to say the two years at Pate's didn’t pan out exactly how I expected, but we all know what was to blame for that! Despite the turbulent circumstances, the school didn’t fail in making my time there as beneficial as possible and I left having gained three A grade ‘A’ levels and an offer to my first choice university, the University of Exeter. 

I knew I wanted to study a BA in English and Film Studies, as my passion lies in creativity and writing but I was completely ignorant as to where to go. Looking back on it now, I spent too much time thinking I was the only person that didn’t know and wish I could tell myself that not knowing is just as okay as having a five-year plan. It was actually my form tutor (and favourite English teacher) Mrs Reid who encouraged me to look into studying at Exeter. She said that knowing me as a student, I needed somewhere where the social side of uni was just as important as the academic (probably a subtle way of telling me I talk too much). I knew I wanted that community feel you can only get from a campus university and for that, Exeter was perfect. I visited with a friend in December 2020 and even though we didn’t get the traditional campus tour, just walking the grounds was enough for us to know this was where we were going to be for the next three years. It was her who told me to read “Everything I Know About Love” by Exeter alumni Dolly Alderton, who is not only an idol of mine in the industry I aspire for, but told the story of life at Exeter how I expected to experience it. As superficial as it sounds, that’s exactly how it turned out to be. 

Being a generally confident person, the concept of living away from home didn’t scare me. I was excited to decorate my dorm, cook my own meals and live with friends. That is until you’re stood in your 10m2 room with boxes of baked beans and tins of tuna knowing you now have to go into the kitchen and meet the people you’ll live with for the next year. My dad moved me in, saucepan and sewing kit in hand. I’m sure he was more nervous than me but that smell of ripped plastic and new bedding made me fear the fresh start. I eventually did go into the kitchen and now those strangers are some of the best people I know! 

The first term was certainly an adventure. I don’t think anything can mentally or physically prepare you for that first week and I’m not talking about the lectures! However, I knew from the first day that coming to university was the best decision for me; I embraced it all, from the eight bottles of fairy liquid next to the sink to the traffic cone wrapped in tinsel. The campus simply felt homely to me and not just because my friend was placed in the accommodation directly across from my bedroom window. 

I knew Exeter was a popular destination for Pate’s students, but it doesn’t quite hit you until you’re in the Asian store buying Thai curry ingredients and the person you sat behind in Psychology is doing the same thing. But this didn’t stop me from making connections from all around the world. In just my flat alone I’ve got friends from Singapore to Croydon, from Dubai to Belfast and it makes for a much more interesting viewing of the Six Nations in the Student Union bar!

I love my course! It combines two things I enjoy most, literature and cinema. It also gives me the opportunity to learn skills for the career I’d like to pursue - media production and journalism – for example writing ability, debates of theory and the interrogation of main-stream media. They threw us straight in at the deep end; the first ‘book’ I studied being the Bible, and I certainly didn’t expect the intensity of workload to begin in the very first module. My time management skills had definitely improved whilst at Pate’s which I mostly put down to the teachers who actually made me want to do my work. Mrs Burnett used to say, “Remember your homework… and doughnuts too please” which must have conditioned me to associate it with sweet, sugary goodness! So even though it was heavy to start with, the right balance never stopped me from enjoying myself either. 

I knew about societies as they were an option provided at Pate’s. They were always engaging and fun and as I was new to the school in Sixth Form I found they were the perfect way to make friends with common interests. The societies at uni are in a whole new league with the Freshers facing the worst of the socials - or the best depending on how you look at it. I’ve joined Dance, Tennis, Film and (perhaps regrettably) Cocktail society. It’s an eclectic mix but it’s warranted by the memorable experiences I’ve had because of them. A top tip -  If you’re getting ready to go to university, prepare to do a lot of dressing up - I’ve grown to love it!

If my first term at university has taught me anything, although I hope it’s more than this, it’s that any opportunity that presents itself can lead to a whole range of new ones and the only way to get the most out of your university experience is just to grab it all by the horns and just go along for the ride! I cannot wait for what the next two and a half years has in store for me; just more work I suppose…!

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