When I joined University at the age of 19, I always thought that I would get a part-time job in a local shop or bar. Fast forward four years, and studying full-time whilst working as a drag queen 2/3 nights a week was not what I was expecting!
In this blog post, I’m going to discuss my experience as a University student in Leeds whilst also being a drag queen.
This blog is written by student and drag queen, Charra Tea, @charra_tea on Instagram.
A lot of people have asked me this year how have I balanced University whilst having a thriving drag career. I think the answer is: if you love something enough you will do it!
I absolutely love my degree, but I also love my creative outlet of drag, and I’ve still been able to keep up a social life as well. University is important, but if you have a hobby or a passion — whether that’s making clay earrings, crocheting or becoming Leeds’ next drag superstar (already taken) — then yep, it’s going to be a lot of work, but it is so worth it.
One of my biggest tips for managing your studies with your side hustle is getting out and about. I did a remote placement year in my bedroom, and it was rough. The University of Leeds has such an incredible campus. My friend Martha and I challenged ourselves to ﬁnd the best places on campus to study, we kept it fresh and because we kept ﬁnding nice study spaces, we wanted to come onto campus and work!
It also doesn’t stop there. There are places like Archive, Left Bank and the café in Leeds Art Gallery which are not only incredible workspaces but also do gorgeous iced coﬀees and are very aesthetic for Instagram stories (most important). Enjoying your degree and working in a space that you feel productive in is KEY.
Failing to prepare…
Another top tip is to plan! Whether you’re the type to get a physical planner from Paperchase or use your phone, planning is fundamental.
Monday is for modules 1 and 2 and Tuesday afternoons are for making your earrings. Having this plan will make everything less overwhelming.
Breathe and prioritise yourself
Whilst setting goals and planning is key, nobody is perfect. It’s okay to mess up your plan sometimes but please prioritise yourself. Looking after your physical and mental health is the most important, life is stressful enough! Take some time out and go for a walk, listen to a podcast or go to drag bingo at The Dry Dock (Every Thursday from 8pm).
Work hard and have fun because one day you’ll be stood with your degree in your hand and be celebrating 1000 sales on your clay earring Etsy store and think “Yep, I did that.”
Lots of love, Charra Tea x