So, I am sick and bloody tired of the English degree stereotypes. I study an English degree, and I love it, so I thought I would write a post about what it’s REALLY like to study, and what the workload is like. Obviously, experience will differ university-to-university, but this is MY experience of being an English student.
First thing’s first, there’s a lot of essays and a lot of reading. Reading is a given, but some people seem to think this is all we do. It’s not, we have a lot of hard work too. And, if we’re studying linguistics (like me!) we also have scientific research to do. So, we have to master both formats (report and essay) which can be a little tricky.
And, it’s not all just essays and exams. We have online tests and presentations just like any other subject.
We don’t always enjoy the books that we’re reading. Sure, some of us are hugeeee book lovers, but we don’t always necessarily enjoy trying to read fiction from the 16th century which isn’t translated into Present Day English.
All of our work is subjective, which means are grades are too! I tend to be quite consistently middle ground, but I have course friends who yo-yo from top grades to scraping a pass. There’s no real right or wrong answer, but this can actually make life a lotttttt more difficult.
And no, not all of us want to be teachers. Some of us want to work in law, or media, or even something that has nothing to do with our actual degree. Most of us chose our degree out of sheer love for the subject, but we are well-aware of the many opportunities that it presents us with!
English is a degree that takes time and effort, like any other. It’s wrong to put it down or say it’s ‘easy’ because, unless you’ve done the degree, you don’t really know how much time and effort it takes. I mean, in first year, I had the most deadlines to meet out of anyone in my flat, as well as exams at the end of the term. I’m not saying that that makes my degree harder than anyone else’s, but it does show that it’s definitely not ‘easy’.
At the end of the day, if English degrees were so easy, wouldn’t everyone have one?