Meet the Arts Ambassadors: Nicole Wong

The final entry in our series of blogs introducing our new Arts Ambassadors is BA Georgraphy student Nicole Wong, where she discusses how she was torn between Geography and Fashion, and the journey that has led her on over the past couple of years.

First of all, where do we begin? I think it would be most suitable if I began using the characteristics of a Libra to describe who I am. I’m not sure if you believe in astrology but I certainly do; an astrological zodiac sign would say that people born under the sign Libra (a.k.a me) are kind, gentle, and lovers of beauty, harmony & peace. But let’s not forget the negative traits. One of the biggest weakness for Libra’s is being indecisive. Which makes me believe that there are no words other than indecisive that better describes who I am and what I have become today –  because being indecisive has opened so much more opportunities for me than I have ever expected.

Let me guide you into my story.

My first encounter with indecisiveness that truly made a big impact on my life dates back to when I was in upper sixth form. This was a time when I had to make a critical decision about what I want to do with my life in the ‘real world’, and accordingly choose a degree that will lead me into that pathway (because this was what we were told: “choose a degree and your life is set”. This is a lie, of course). At that moment in time, I was torn between choosing an academic degree or an arts one. My head was saying geography, because my parents wanted me to do an academic degree, but my heart on the other hand told me “No! Channel your inner fashionista spirit Nicole”. In the end, I chose Geography over the glam life of fashion.

Here I am three years later, a final year Geography undergraduate at University of Southampton. To this day I still have some doubt about whether or not I have made the right decision. I have been really down in the past years because of this decision as it seemed impossible for me to do anything creative being stuck doing geography! But never mind, I told myself, because if I hadn’t been ‘stuck’ studying Geography at Southampton I wouldn’t have this motivational drive to climb up the fashion ladder and push myself to develop a sustainable clothing platform for myself.

When the Arts Ambassador pilot scheme popped up on my email I jumped right into the application process without a second thought (this was an odd occasion for me). I was so determined to become an ambassador because I saw this as an opportunity to develop not only the creative side of me but also other students who are in similar position to me. This can be a great way to help students who produce art but not necessarily have an arts degree to be recognised in their University environment and vice versa. I want to make artists at University of Southampton more visible and provide them with help for the creative extracurricular things they do beyond their degree.

Then few weeks later: WOOHOO! An email came through delivering ‘Nicole Wong is an arts ambassador for University of Southampton’ message – and she doesn’t even have an arts degree! There is more to being creative than making and designing clothes. With this exciting experience, I hope to reach out to all the other dimensions of what constitute as being creative. This is a stepping stone in helping me to build a more creative self from exploring and developing skills. I can’t wait to begin!

Arts Ambassadors is a paid opportunity, supported by the Careers and Employability Service’s Excel Southampton Internship programme, University of Southampton.

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Arts at University of Southampton

Whether you’re a student, staff or from our wider community, there are plenty of exciting cultural opportunities for everyone through Arts at University of Southampton.

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