The Butterfly That Never Thought She Could Fly: Why I Chose Bath Spa
In spirit, we are one
When I attended an open day at Bath Spa University back in 2015, weirdly, I felt like I was home. Everything felt familiar; the landscape, the people, the wildlife, the atmosphere. It was a profound experience. One of the things that made Bath Spa stand out from other universities was the landscape.
Newton Park campus is a gorgeously vibrant place to learn, study and grow. When I first set foot here, I felt comforted by nature’s presence. The song of robins, blackbirds and swans was a delightful welcome and the covens of tree species that graced the campus made me breathe easier.
During that open day, I took a tour through the city and found myself enamoured by Bath’s history and architecture. I'd never seen anything like it before and it was exciting. Back on campus, I felt inspired by lecturers’ passion and enthusiasm for their craft, and the confidence in which they spoke about the quality of teaching in the Creative Writing department.
There was a strong feeling of unconventionality that piqued my interest. Bath Spa also caught my attention because of the extracurricular programmes, scholarships and bursaries they offer. There was something special about the atmosphere. A sense of community. Something I'd craved all my life. I felt like I belonged.
By the end of the open day, I knew I had to study here.
"Bath Spa gave me much more than just qualifications. It showed me what I was capable of as a professional and creative individual."
An admission of fate
A year later, I was enrolled as a student.
My student experience was better than I'd ever imagined. I’d expected to learn but never had I expected to transform. Bath Spa gave me much more than just qualifications. It showed me what I was capable of as a professional and creative individual.
I grabbed every opportunity with both hands and surrendered myself to what came next. I developed a strong interest in environmental justice and wildlife conservation, having seen how important nature is on a cultural, societal, political and spiritual level. I was elected Environment and Ethics Officer at the Students’ Union and became a student trustee. I grew in confidence and recognised my potential to make a positive difference to the Bath Spa community.
This led to presidential roles of the Vegan and Doctor Who societies. It was rewarding to host screenings, socials and vegan outreach stalls. I even had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Animal Equality and Bristol based vegan charity, Viva!. Other roles that pushed my potential further were wellbeing champion, peer mentor, pride committee member, student ambassador and green communicator.
Each role developed my organisation, communication, time management and professional skills. But being an introspective and insightful person, I knew I could do more. Bath Spa, being the institution that it is, supported my ambition to make a difference. So, I developed two community projects; Sowing Helping Hands and Go, Give, Experience. Both had a mission to engage students with the environment and provide more community volunteering opportunities.
If these opportunities weren’t enough, the Global Citizenship Programme broadened my understanding of different cultures, religious beliefs and societal systems. The programme is taught through a series of lectures that focus on global perspectives, issues, ideas and debate sessions, and offers students the chance to study and live in another country. The thought of getting on a plane, alone, and venturing to a country where I didn’t know anyone terrified me. Plus, the anxiety of studying under another country’s academic system didn’t help either.
But, I was daring to dream. I wanted to take a risk. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I knew I'd regret it if I didn’t try. I was allocated a place at Stockholm University in Sweden. I couldn’t believe this was going to be my reality. The only travelling I'd ever done before this was family holidays to Norfolk, the Lake District and a long weekend break to Edinburgh.
I was terrified before my flight. During my flight. After my flight.
I was terrified every single day during my first couple of weeks. However, over time, I became grounded, assured, inspired, wiser. Confident, even. Even though this was the scariest experience I've ever had, it was also one of the most transformative and inspired me to study for my Master's degree.
By this point, I no longer felt too shy or anxious to share my ideas, or afraid to live as an autistic / introverted / vegan / lesbian / witch / activist (yes, that is how I introduce myself to people - I wish!), or too apprehensive to meet and network with people.
"Without Bath Spa, I wouldn’t have realised my potential or recognised my ambition, wisdom, compassion, patience, strength and determination."
Since graduating, I’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible organisations. I’ve worked as a marketing assistant for a bamboo bicycle start-up based in Bristol and completed a Bath Spa internship as an alumni engagement intern. The placement helped me reflect on how far I’ve come as a professional and individual and reinvigorated my desire to keep learning.
In 2020, I created an online platform, Creative Being, which uses creativity to inspire positive change. The platform was granted funding to expand and we now have a community of over five hundred individuals. Currently, I’m a communications manager for Ideas Hub, which is a small, creative charity that serves the community. I’ve also been fortunate enough to sell my creative work in our gallery and shop.
Without Bath Spa, I wouldn’t have realised my potential or recognised my ambition, wisdom, compassion, patience, strength and determination. I no longer need the safety of my cocoon. I set off and now fly under starlight.
Indigo Moon is a Bath Spa University alum. In 2019, she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and an MA in Environmental Humanities in 2022. Indigo is a queer creative, activist, drummer, witch, vegan and minimalist. Her writing specialisms include nature writing, wildlife conservation, environmental justice, animal rights, mental wellbeing and LGBTQ+ rights.
In 2020, Indigo created an online platform, Creative Being, which uses creativity to inspire positive change and amplify marginalised voices. Indigo works as a communications manager for The Art Place, which is part of Ideas Hub; a small charity that gives local artists an opportunity to sell their work. They also host creative workshops and community socials, specifically for marginalised groups. Last year, she also completed a graduate placement at Bath Spa as an alumni engagement intern.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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