Today, I’ve got something a little different for you. And I’m certain that you know what it is because the title sort of gives it away! It’s a special guest post…by my sister.
You can find her here on twitter: @LouisaBroadhead
She has a real talent for writing, but she doesn’t believe it. However, I’m sure you’ll agree with me once you’ve read the following as to how awesome she is at writing.
As a Lit student, you’re certainly never short of reading; in fact, half the time it seems like you have more than you could ever reasonably expect to manage – which just sounds like a challenge to most of you, I’m sure. But it’s well worth it.
You’ll never get a degree with quite as much depth as that of an English Literature one (I know I speak with a horrible bias, and I totally don’t care). One minute you’re questioning the validity of a scientific idea in Victorian literature, and the next, you’re deep in the realms of fantasy, and pretending that the world of Tolkein is entirely feasible. You learn to apply theories from a complete spectrum of disciplines; sociology, psychology and law, to name but a few. The broad perspectives you gain from reading the accounts of so many lives, however fictional, cannot help but broaden your mind, and make you question everything around you.
I’ve just finished reading Richard Wright’s Native Son as part of a Law and Literature module, a book I don’t think I would ever have been inclined to read without the threat of an exam which it will be included in. But I’m so very glad that it is on the syllabus, because it is such a powerful book. By no means an easy read, not at all, but one which makes you question how others experience the world around them – and one which very much forces you to check your privilege, and realise just how far society has come in the last few decades.
Life as a Lit student is great – believe me, I wouldn’t be so sad about my impending graduation if it wasn’t. Being given the opportunity to meet people who love books as much as I do, and spending my taught hours discussing them in absolute minute detail has been nothing short of a pleasure (no matter how much I may have grumbled about my workload at times). If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend studying English Literature – although be warned; your leisure reading time may become strictly limited to holiday periods!!
(p.s: Unless you love Middle English, or have a particular penchant for suffering, approach Le Morte D’Arthur with great caution… The first complete collection of the Arthurian legend is a reason for a number of sleepless nights on my behalf in first year, and is one that I’ve sworn I will never touch again. Middle English is not now, nor will ever be, my friend.)