Gogglebox Star Holly Dalton On What It’s Like Being In Uni After Spending Years On Reality TV
PEDESTRIAN.TV has teamed up with Swinburne University of Technology for its new open-world adventure, Swintopia.

Despite its curious concept, Gogglebox Australia has earnt four Logies and has developed a loyal fanbase, continuing to draw in over 700,000 viewers nationwide per episode.

The show invites Aussies into the lounge rooms of families as they share their unfiltered thoughts on movies and shows, which is a difficult synopsis to sell to sceptics who have never seen it (read: my brother). I, personally, can’t get enough.

There’s something reassuring about watching families you don’t know share similar opinions to your own. Premiering five years ago, it also means that we’ve watched those same families grow, with the Dalton family front and centre.

Holly Dalton, the youngest of the clan, has officially hit the big 2-1, so PEDESTRIAN.TV spoke to the Gogglebox mainstay to pick her brain on all things uni, jobs and life after reality TV.

P.TV: How much pressure did you put on yourself and the ATAR score you received when completing Year 12?

Holly Dalton: Most of this pressure came from my surrounding environment (e.g. parents, teachers etc) but I noticed I did put pressure on myself as well. Once I decided I wanted to do Media and Communications I had a rough ATAR goal to strive towards. This put pressure on me to achieve this benchmark in order to start uni straight out of school.

However, despite this, I knew it was just as important to have a healthy and balanced life in order to do my best. I managed my time to ensure that I could combine study with a social life and maintain friendships to stay sane.

P.TV: Did you have a plan in place for whatever your ATAR score was going to be?

HD: Not exactly. My plan A was to get straight into uni and do a media and communications course. I believed I could achieve this (and I did!) and would have dealt with a lower than expected score if that occurred.

P.TV: When did you start thinking about going to uni? What were the driving factors?

HD: My parents have always encouraged me to attend university. Attending uni can open doors and lead to opportunities, therefore, I wanted to give it a go. My school was also super supportive of attending university post VCE and provided careers counsellors to help us choose an appropriate course.

P.TV: How did you eventually land on Media & Communications?

HD: Being a cast member of Gogglebox gave me insight into the behind-the-scenes of television production. I was super curious as to the educational backgrounds of our producers and noticed most of them had done a media and communications course. With some further research and talking to people who currently study at Swinburne, I thought this would be a good fit for me.

P.TV: Did filming a reality TV show interfere with your studies? How did you manage people recognising you when you started?

HD: We filmed throughout my VCE which was challenging. This forced me to manage my time effectively and be more productive on nights off. When we started, the show was very small so there weren’t many people recognising us. But it was always nice to have people say hello in the street.

P.TV: Do you think being on a TV show affected job applications? Have you had any odd or unique experiences in that area?

HD: Being on Gogglebox allowed me to do my year 10 work experience at Foxtel in Sydney. This was amazing! I got to work in different departments and see the stages in production.

P.TV: What advice would you give to students who are deciding on a course to study in this current climate?

HD: Spend time finding what you enjoy and I’m sure there will be a course related to that. My year 12 coordinator provided us with some great advice that I will never forget. She said that even if you don’t get the ATAR that you want, there are always other pathways, and one mark is not the be-all and end-all and does not define you.

P.TV: What advice would you give to students stressing about their ATAR?

HD: I wouldn’t stress too much about your final marks – unis understand that the current situation has made Year 12 even more challenging. Some unis, including Swinburne, have even dropped the ATAR requirements to enter uni, so don’t put extra pressure on yourself.

P.TV: Do you have a five-year plan in place or are you just taking life as it comes? Do you think your time on TV has helped or hindered your current plans?

HD: I have a rough idea of where I want to be in five years, but no tangible goals at this stage. My first step is to complete my degree and hopefully land some interning experience as well.

P.TV: What drew you to Swinburne uni?

HD: I had heard good things from friends and graduates at Swinburne and liked the hands-on style of learning. I wanted to be in a progressive and sociable environment as I believe this is where I work best. The location of Swinburne also appealed to me as it is close to home, easily accessible by both car and public transport, and has plenty of food options for lunch given the proximity to Glenferrie Road.

If you’re deciding on uni or even a potential career path, Holly will be featured on Swinburne’s new open-world adventure platform, Swintopia, where she’ll be introducing players to the virtual campus.

Check Swintopia out here. Register and enter the comp below for your chance to win a $5K career starter pack.

Win Your Own Career Starter Pack Worth $5,000

Image: Instagram / @holly_dalton