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:

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…


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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The Meaning of Life

I am what people call a “good student.” Despite exams and compulsory sports, I liked school (most of the time: early classes weren’t fun). I was certain this would carry over to university. Therefore, it was a bit of a shock when, after a term or two, I started thinking that perhaps university wasn’t for me.


My biggest goal in life is to be a successful published author. Accordingly, I decided to study English literature and creative writing at university. However, as I lived a hectic life of scribbling essays and attending seminars, reading books I didn’t like and scribbling some more essays, the whole effort seemed pointless. ‘I want to be an author,’ I thought. ‘University isn’t helping me achieve that goal.’ What was the point of doing a Bachelor’s degree, and eventually a Master’s degree, except for ensuring that I would have a “stable job” and “secure future” after graduation? It wouldn’t help me be an author. It was only preparing me for my back-up plan, in case I failed as a writer. This was what I grumbled about as I drowned in deadlines.


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