Stop acting like Drama isn’t a real degree

We work just as hard as you

national noad

At the beginning of the year my new flatmate told me my degree wasn’t a valid or academic option. According to them, doing a drama degree is a waste of time.

Shortly after, he told me to piss off and read the complete collection of Shakespeare. I don’t even like Shakespeare (I know what you’re thinking: “Woah you do drama and don’t like Shakespeare?”), it’s just common courtesy to own a copy if you have anything to do with the dramatic world.

Of course, the biggest criticism made of drama students is how our degree isn’t hard or academic. But this is exactly the same kind of simplification I could throw at plenty of other degrees. Geography is colouring in maps. English is book club.

To get into Royal Holloway, we almost all had to get similarly impressive A Level grades no matter what course we’re doing, so why do you have the right to judge mine as inferior?

We're great fun on a night out

We’re great fun on a night out

You can’t say we have it easier than everyone else. First year geography students were paid to go on a trip to sunny Spain this year. While there, they went out every night getting pissed on sangria while me and my classmates had to pay to go and see a play in London on Valentine’s, which was pretty miserable.

Its not all fun and games though

Its not all fun and games though

As for the misguided belief drama just involves acting out scenes from Macbeth, I’ve learned more from my degree than I ever learned before coming to uni. Studying drama has taught me about climate change, introduced me to important topics like fracking and carbon footprints, feminism, Karl Marx, and capitalism. A drama degree isn’t just about teaching you how to act: it’s an extremely academic and diverse course which gives you an insight to all kinds of topics. It also opens up your job possibilities to the worlds of journalism, TV, radio, general media and so many other versatile career paths.

Researching plato and shit

Researching Plato and shit

My degree has also given me the confidence and skills to hold a conversation with just about anyone and helped me to sustain really intelligent conversations about such complex topics as globalisation and neuroscience. It’s less a “drama” degree, and more a qualification in “liberal arts”.

Of course, at the core of everything I learn is the acting. It takes a lot of guts to stand up in front of a load of people and act. I know we make it look easy, especially the musical theatre kids who take up a whole corner in the SU with their weird and amazing dances. (Seriously next time you’re in the SU go over to the MTS corner…best night you’ll have).

We do really fun performances where we cover each other in jam

We do really fun performances where we cover each other in jam

Sometimes you get so nervous before you go on stage you actually feel like you’ll chunder everywhere which isn’t something I enjoy every time I have to perform. But I do it because the thrill of doing it is great and personally I don’t want to pay nine grand for a degree which gets me nothing better than a boring office job.