Sam on studying English Literature

IMG_0170My name is Samantha, and I am a third year English Literature student here at Birmingham City University. My overall experience of studying here has been very positive, and has given me the transferable skills to go on to further study or employment. Within the School of English, I have learned to be articulate and a good communicator, whilst also studying a fascinating subject. From late night study sessions to early morning lectures, everything felt worthwhile.
The support from lecturers and staff within the School, as well as peers, made the experience a lot easier. I have gained a sense of community from the School and the University as a whole which I will greatly miss. The inter-connectedness of the Faculties within BCU means that I have not been limited to experiences within my own course. For example, I have been involved in collaborative projects within Arts, Design and Media where I have proofread work written by those whose native language is not English. This is a transferable skill that has even made me look at my own work more closely to ensure that I practice what I preach! Alongside this I am also a Student Ambassador and a Student Academic Mentor. The former involves interacting with prospective students and their guests, promoting all that the University has to offer. This is especially enjoyable as it means I get to share these highlights and show others how studying here has improved my life.

A personal high has been immersing myself in the world of literature, and I have been taught by incredible academics who are experts within their field. You can tell how passionate they are, and this has deepened my own passion for the subject. Right from my first semester here, I decided that I wanted a career in academia. Further, I have had opportunities that I would not have had outside of the University. I have met David Crystal, and got to hear him give an incredible lecture on the way Shakespeare – and thus those performing his plays at the time – would have spoken. Another highlight has been visiting literary locations, such as Strawberry Hill House, the home of Horace Walpole which greatly inspired his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. The School of English allows me to go after my passions, which include Twentieth-Century Literature and Gender Studies. Incredible modules like ‘Gender, Sex and Culture’ and ‘Literature 1880-Present’ have ensured I can study my interests in depth, and have kick-started my academic endeavour of studying these topics further.
Obtaining a degree can be extremely difficult for so many different reasons. The stress of wanting to do well is something we all carry with us, no matter what we choose to go on to after university. I have been immensely lucky in that, during my time at Birmingham City University, I have been supported by incredible people, including tutors, staff in the School of English, and staff within the wider University. I have been taught to turn any challenge into a positive, and I feel I am well-equipped to face life after graduation.

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