Neve Ricketts' story: "a different path is not a bad path"
Four years ago, Neve Ricketts’ plans changed last minute on results day, which led her to apply to the University of Worcester through Clearing. Now she is celebrating a First-Class Honours Master’s degree and praised the experience that led her to her current path.
“Looking back on the experience, it is honestly, hand on heart, the best thing that could ever have happened to me,” said the 22-year-old. “Since then, coming to Worcester, I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for here.”
Neve was accepted onto the Drama and Performance course, but auditioned and was transferred to the Integrated Masters in Touring Theatre degree after her first year.
She said the call she had on the day her results came out was crucial to putting her at ease with her future and knowing what to expect and do next. “The fact that I got to talk to an actual lecturer about the experience, about the modules I would be taking, was probably the most helpful thing for me,” said Neve. “She was able to outline the next three years of my life in a five-minute phone call. She was so lovely and reassuring. Getting that call from her, it just put me at ease rather than someone who didn’t really know that much about the actual modules and course I would be studying.” She said the lecturer’s experience and her tips and advice helped her to relax. “Worcester were just absolutely fantastic,” she added. “A soon as the phone call ended, I had emails and stuff through the post to start getting me excited about coming to Worcester and it just reassured me about everything that was going to be happening from now on.”
“My advice to anyone going through Clearing is just to take a breath,” she said. “This could end up being the best step you ever take and, just because you take a different path, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad path, it’s just an alternative one. As long as you put the effort in and you’re passionate about what you’re doing and your course and you love it then you can only blossom here.”
She advised prospective students in the lead up to results day to keep their options open. “Do a little bit of research into the Clearing process - at Worcester and at other universities as well,” she said. “Just have those numbers ready. Hope for the best and that you get the results you want, but sometimes life doesn’t always go the way we planned and just to have other options and other paths available to you can end up being the best thing you ever did.”
During her time at University Neve got heavily involved in student activities. She became a member of the Dance Society, of which she was social secretary for two years, and also founded a new society, the Worcester Arts Collective, which brought together various arts subjects. She was also a School Rep, representing the views of fellow students to leaders in the University’s School of Arts. Having just completed her Integrated Master’s, Neve is working as Worcester Students’ Union Vice President for Student Activities, after winning the election.
“I’m the first in my family on both sides to go to university and they’re proud of me, I’m proud of me,” she said. “I don’t think I would have got here if not for Worcester.”