I’m now midway through my time in York as an English student, and I have actually been delighting in every minute of it. Here’s some things I want I ‘d known about the course before starting uni:
You discover that there is a whole wide world of literatures (Yes, with the plural’s’!).
One brilliant thing about the York English Lit structure is that it exposes trainees to English Literature across time periods and throughout continents, and enables you to discover writers you have actually never ever become aware of in the past. In your first year, you’ll start with a module that includes texts from the 15th century all the way to the modern day. In readings, lectures and workshops, discussion of these texts also necessarily involves discussions of the major historic occasions of that period, how life resembled in that age, and obviously, important philosophical and cultural readings of the text (something which I’ve grown to really take pleasure in reading).
In another module, York’s English program exposes us to worldwide literatures, centred around themes such as post-colonialism (the Literature of nations who were ex-British nests, for example). Personally, I found that to be an exceptionally enriching experience that widened my worldview and triggered me to think about the relationship between Literature and Politics, and to question the function of a literary text.
This may sound a little difficult, however it truly isn’t really so! You certainly can expect to find studying English at uni to be significantly different from the way we did it at A Levels, and while I did feel quite stressed out in the very first couple of weeks of term, I ultimately found my footing and grew to love the volume and speed of work we have at uni. It gives you a huge sense of accomplishment when you look back at the end of the term at all the poems, plays and books you have actually gone through in simply 10 weeks!
The wide exposure to several durations of literature makes you discover interests in subjects you never engaged with in the past. For me, post-colonialism was my newly found love.
Flexibility, versatility, versatility!
Something I didn’t anticipate was what does it cost? flexibility the English department offers us. Studying English at York is awesome due to the fact that the course provides you a great deal of independence to direct your research studies. The English course has relatively few contact hours (a.k.a. time invested in lectures and seminars) as compared with other topics. This indicates that a lot of time invested at university is committed to independent studying and taking the initiative to discover tutors in their office hours to engage them in conversations about a text/idea that you’re actually passionate about. The coolest feature of the English course would be that you get to choose exactly what you want to compose you essay on– there are no set concerns (save for the written exams in summertime term)! This means that from each module, you get to pick the texts that you were most interested in to compose your essay on, and you get to decide exactly what important readings you wish to check out for your essay, and how you want to structure your essay.
Having more versatility with your schedule also means that you can utilise the time to join more societies or perhaps take up a term-time internship, which was exactly what I did! Through the York Careers Portal, I obtained a term-time internship lasting for 12 weeks in Communications, and spent approximately 12 hours a week at the internship, which corresponds to about three days a week. This helped me gain work experience and employability skills, as well as some extra income on the side.
We have film screenings.
We enjoy movie adaptations of some of the texts in our reading lists (side note: I love how these sessions show up on our timetable as legitimate mandatory lectures to attend)! Who ‘d have thought that studying English at uni also includes being in a dark lecture theatre and seeing a motion picture projected on to the huge screen? Think about it as a Netflix motion picture date … however with an entire bunch of individuals.
In my first year, I remember seeing A Midsummer’s Night Dream and loving how the film represented the characters of the play so much that I composed one of my essays on the play! And simply last term, seeing Samuel Beckett’s Endgame during a film screening made me see the play in a whole various light, triggering me to obtain 3 various books from the library about Beckett and his works.
They’re not going to let you be confused and worried all on your own.
We’re assigned an individual manager at the start of university, and this supervisor will be an academic from your department– in our case, English– and you ‘d satisfy him/her routinely throughout your 3 years of research study to just chat about how you’re discovering the course and how you’re feeling, if you’re coping well or if you’re having a problem about module options, etc.