Struggles of a Literature Student

You start the year full of energy, expecting to read and enjoy a wide variety of texts in the coming months. As the first weeks begin, you get to work like any other university student. But soon enough, a few things become apparent…

1. Some people seem to think your life is like this:

giphy
Comments you hear upon the utterance of the words “English literature” are:

“What exactly do you do in your course?”
“So you just read books in your course?”
“I wish I could sit around and read all the time!”

Well, make sure to put aside your books on mythology, history, psychoanalysis and philosophy before you try and make them understand that no, you don’t sit around reading Harry Potter all day.

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Fresher Fears

I wish my university started on September 1st. Then I could at least pretend that I go to Hogwarts…

Look at all that food…

(Source)

This time last year, I was about to start my first year at university. I was excited but also nervous. Some of my fears were silly, others were realistic. At some point, I made a list of all of them, deciding to return to them in a year to see if they had been realised.

Right now, I know that another group of students is waiting to start their university careers. A lot of guides and articles tell you not to be nervous but people don’t always identify exactly what scared them, and how they dealt with it. If you’re about to go to university and you’re feeling anxious, I hope this helps you realise that most if not all anxieties are unnecessary. It’s true that people’s experiences differ, but some of what I felt as a fresher may resonate with you.

So, one year later, here are my findings.

Fear: I will not make any friends.
Realised: NO

There’s so much to do in university that this just isn’t possible. You will meet many people at events, at lectures, in your accommodation, in societies… Some you may never see again, but familiar faces will keep popping up (as well as new ones, of course), giving you plenty of opportunities to forge friendships.

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13 Things I Learnt in my First Week at University

I only started university last week, but already, I have learnt a lot. Here are some things I picked up during my first week…

  1. The first thing people ask you is not your name; it’s your course.
  2. Therefore, you will say the name of your course at least five times a day for at least the first week.
  3. When you meet people with whom you have neither your course nor accommodation in common, you may say “See you later,” but never spot them again.
  4. No matter how much you plan ahead, you will probably end up going to the grocery store at least two days in a row.
  5. And that loaf of bread you buy may end up being too big, and you may have to eat sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  6. A campus map, no matter how much it makes you feel like a tourist, is important. And you may end up walking around with your nose buried in it.
  7. And if you stay on a big campus, you may walk more than you ever have before (ow, my legs…).
  8. Getting laundry done right the first time feels like winning the lottery.
  9. Same with making an edible meal without setting the fire alarm off.
  10. Your email inbox will flood in the first few weeks. Societies, phone companies, accommodation, societies, departmental emails, bank accounts… and did I mention societies?
  11. On any given day, you may have a lecture and a meeting. And the next day, you have five meetings at the same time.
  12. And speaking of meetings, no one reminds you of anything. It’s like the first few weeks of university come with a side of paranoia, free! (Or that may just be me…)
  13. And finally… you have to do everything yourself, which allows you to understand the value of a home-cooked meal.