Finding Your Niche
Today I thought I’d talk to you about the concept of finding your niche. With many degrees, as you progress, you’ll have the opportunity to narrow your areas of study into fields that you are interested in. This is definitely true for Film and Television Studies degrees and I think it’s a great thing. It’s nearly time for us second years to decide whether we would like to apply for the dissertation or film production modules in the third year, so deciding where we want to take our studies is very important.
Over the course of first and second year so far, we have had opportunity to learn about a wide range of genres and theories. The ones that have peaked my interest so far are the musical, nostalgia, adaptation, Disney and stardom. I’ve enjoyed every session I’ve been to during my time in the department thus far but learning about these topics has been particularly interesting. I think this is because this is where my filmic interests have always stood, so learning to be more critical about them has been fascinating. I have begun to consider how I can incorporate these ideas into a dissertation topic and it’s all very exciting. I can’t wait to learn more about the notion of a dissertation in order to fine tune my thoughts.
I think that it’s really important to have a niche. Everyone has a unique writing style and individual interests. We all have something to bring to the debate and this is something to be proud of. You should also keep this in mind when writing essays. I can only speak from a Film and TV perspective, but in general there are no wrong answers. Independent thought is a good thing and not every person is going to find joy/interest in the same topics. This doesn’t mean that their thoughts are any less valid and having something that you specialise in makes your contribution to the field unique.
Contrary to everything I’ve said so far, it’s also ok if you don’t have a niche. Very contradictory, I know, but it may take some time for you decide what you want to focus on. I suggest that you speak to staff members within your department and talk through your likes and dislikes. Chances are, it took some of them years to decide where to take their studies. Also, just because you start your career studying one element of your degree doesn’t mean that this is what you always have to stick with. As they say, a change is as good as a rest!
I guess what I’m trying to say is, knowing where you want to take your studies is a good thing and it’s never to early to start thinking about it. I think that having a niche is a positive thing as it allows you to contribute fresh ideas to your field. This may allow you to make completely new discoveries!
Let me know in the comments which aspects of your degree you have enjoyed so far!