Books

Books
Books

Geek

Geek
Geek

Beauty

Beauty
Beauty

A Guide to doing an English Literature Degree


2014 was a big year for me as it was the year in which I graduated from university. I now have an honours degree in English Literature which, if you'd have asked me four years ago, couldn't have been different to what I thought I'd end up doing.

I thought I'd write about what it is like to study for a degree in English. When I first embarked on the journey to get my degree, I had no idea on what my course would entail so it was a bit of a shock (good and bad) when I actually started my lectures...


It WILL challenge you
I'm not gonna lie, Eng Lit is HARD. The subject itself is so much more than reading and writing about books; it is the study of culture, history, psychology, language, metaphors, society, creativity, future imaginings, the list is endless! I ended up loving this aspect of my degree after getting over the initial shock of how much background reading every novel I read needed!

Keep in contact with your tutors constantly (or regret it)
Lecturers also suggest that there is no wrong answer however that isn't strictly true, making your life that little bit harder. Most lecturers abide by the rule and will mark you on your theory in your written work but occasionally you'll get one who disagrees with your train of thought and this can have disastrous consequences on your work. Remember to book (and attend) extra tutorials. They are 10 - 15 minute's of your life that will make a dramatic effect upon your work and grade. You will know then if you are on the same wave length as your lecturer which is almost guaranteeing a better grade. One of my lecturers used to make me a cup of tea too, so free hot drinks!

You have to read every book they tell you to
And this can mean reading four novels a week. Yep. Four a week. That's without the background research you need to do (which can't be obtained form Wikipedia, sorry!). To be honest you can reduce your reading by strategically picking modules and essay titles but it is likely that you'll be reading a novel a week and you do really get left behind if you don't complete your reading. I highly recommend starting your reading as soon as you get the reading list, even if it is months before you start your course.

You'll hate libraries
Yes. The sacred haven of books which we all know and love will become your enemy during your degree. Yes it holds all the answers. But it also forces you to stay there hours and hours upon end, staring at a word document on a computer screen and having to meet members of the public you'd rather avoid. People eat loudly next to you. People talk loudly next to you. People throw things around. And you will want to kill them all instead of writing up that last paragraph of why Shakespeare might have been a made up persona. That book you desperately need and have reserved? Oh it's not been brought back by the last person. It's due back in the day after your deadline. Need I say more?
PS - Good news is you will like libraries again once degree is completed. Phew!

Your student loan will be spent on books you don't need
I don't know what it is about doing an English degree but it turns you into some kind of crazy book hoarder who buys books for the sake of it. I've already said the reading is insane whilst studying yet you will find yourself purchasing endless amounts of books on Amazon, browsing the shelves of Waterstones for your latest book fix and you will be peering over the shoulders of book readers on public transport, trying to catch a glimpse of what they are reading. It is an obsession. Embrace it.

How many of you are looking to do an English-related degree in the future? If you need any advice, feel free to comment or tweet me! :)

1 comment

  1. I did journalism as a degree and i thought that was hard. I love this post xx

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.