After my first two weeks of university life, I am back. And exhausted.
Starting a new chapter of your life is always daunting. I spent my secondary school life at an all-girls private school and decided to leave to attend college for my A-Level studies. I went from knowing everyone in my year (and in the years below) to attend a college of 3000 students so the leap was a big one for me; one thing I didn’t really register was that the people would be completely different too. I went to a school where the students came from well-off families, and I was there for about six years so the comfort was something I was unwilling to compromise with. Eventually, however, I came to terms with the fact that I would have to leave my school eventually and venture out into the big world where my teachers wouldn’t be there to hold my hand or give me pointers on how to improve my coursework. I needed a bit of independence and going to one of the biggest college’s in London was definitely a learning curve for me. The people I met were so different to those I grew up with, from different walks of life and different backgrounds, but it benefited me in more ways than one as it helped my transition from college to university.
Now onto my university life! I am currently studying English Literature at Roehampton University in London, and I have to say I am LOVING it. At first, I was hesitant with the course structure but I guess you can’t really judge a book by it’s cover until you’ve read it (oh the irony). I am doing a single honours degree which means it is solely literature and nothing less! Now, how am I finding it? Well, if I’m honest, it is quite challenging. Having to read a book a week is never going to be easy, and planning essays and completing assignments on top of that is going to be a struggle indeed, but if you know how to prioritise your work and stay organised, it becomes much more enjoyable.
The social aspects of the university are also part of the thrill of living the life of a student, however, I didn’t have the same experience as many of the other students. I am living at home whilst studying, meaning I have to commute; it does not take long, ranging from 20 minutes to 45 minutes, and I’m saving a lot of money by living at home! I don’t have to worry about bills, cooking for people or spending money on food and repairs. However, there are downsides to living at home: for example, the flat parties and the college balls are something I do miss out on, and the travelling can become a hassle, especially if I’m only on campus for an hour.
Nevertheless, I am making the most of this experience. There is more independence as a university student, and as surprising as it sounds, I’m only on campus for 8 hours a week meaning it is my responsibility to supplement my learning with extra reading and complete my assignments in my own time.
The subject, too, is fascinating. It forces you to expand your genres of choice and explore classics you would never normally read; I’ve found myself wanting to read all of Shakespeare’s works as well as venturing into the world of Gothic literature which surprises me as I initially fascinated with the genre of horror alone. Therefore, studying literature has opened my eyes to what’s out there; literary geniuses, classical literature and much more I have yet to discover!
All in all, studying English Literature for me is like having a hobby but being challenged by it. It can get stressful, but I’m 100% certain I love literature and as a result, I am loving every minute.