Uni Life

11 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re An English Literature Major

Loads of people choose Literature and English related studies to study at university. My personal reason was because I was good at it and I love literature and stories. And although I enjoyed my time at University, my course was not exactly what I thought it would be. But at least we can stay we stuck through it and we always have other fellow English literature students that can relate to our struggle. I may have graduated a year ago, but those three years still haunt me.

Here are 11 Things you’ll only understand if you’re an English literature student.

1.  Reading Is No Longer For Fun

Remember those days on holiday by the beach, or even at home on a cold winter’s evening wrapped up in a blanket being absorbed into your favourite book, being completely lost in an adventure. Well. you can forget about that, every book now has to be analysed in depth, and instead of lost now you’re just critical.

2. Spark Notes Are Now Your Best Friend

I love reading as much as the next person. BUT, having to read 3 or 4 books a week can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re spending most of your time drinking and hanging out with friends. Spark notes saved me a good few times in seminars and in coursework.


3.  You Can’t Pick Up a Book Without Sniffing It

I was truly shocked when i realised that this was exclusively an English literature student thing. But the smell of a book is only that could never be replicated. Its full of nostalgia, adventure and comfort. This has to be one of my favourite things of all time.

4. Everyone Assumes You Want To Teach

I actually wince when people ask me what i studied, because i know what will follow.. ‘OH, you want to be a teacher then’ Um no, i’m not super keen on children ‘OH, so what are you going to do then’. I mean firstly, there are teachers of literally EVERY subject, and secondly there are lots you can do with an English degree besides chasing after snot nose kids!

5.  You Cant Read Without Analysing Everything

I truly miss the days that i could pick up a book and read, thoughtlessly, without analysing every single thing. In fact i can barely pick up a box of cocoa pops without questioning life. ‘ hmmm, so what does Kellogg truly mean when he wrote “kuckoo for cocoa pop” hmmm’

6. When The Library Is Closed Your Life Ends

The library, like most of my department was an actual life saver. It had booked, associated books, references, extra author notes, background, analytical notes and working computers! I used to spend hours and hours in my library, because books are expensive! and I was a broke bitch. But boy did they like to strike, and do construction, but always during term time. I died every time.


7. The Film Adaptations Are Never As Good

I hate to be that person but i blame the world of literature. Almost every film adaptation is no where near as good as the book. And that’s a fact. So don’t bother even watching the film just read the book, and lecture anyone else who disagrees. OR watch the movie and just bitch about it the whole way.

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8. You Realise There is No Right Answer

The day you realise that the study of literature means you’re going to spend years and years just literally arguing with yourself about each sides there could possibly be. You can decide anything, and everything has to be vague. This could be argued, but also this can be argued, therefor it might be said that..

9. Bad Grammar Stresses You Out

I don’t know if i stand alone here BUT bad grammar is one of my largest pet peeves, peoples inability to understand the different between there, their and they’re or your and you’re is something that i will never make peace with.


10. Referencing Is A Bitch

If you’re a literature student everything that you think is completely irrelevant. No point you make can really be your own. You constantly have to back your opinion up, then argue against it, show both sides but also find more people to agree with you so by numbers you have to be right, right?

11. All Your Booked Are Covered In Notes

During my years of study i truly don’t think that there was a time i had a book that wasn’t completely filled with scribbles and post it notes and being highlighted to the max. I’m pretty sure that most of the time i would of ended up writing more words than the author themselves. Because there’s nothing anyone can say that cant be dissected to the death!!

Being an English literature student was a wild roller coaster of events and feelings, but in the end my love for literature could never fade! Tell us some of the struggles you faced during your studies in the comments below!

Feature Image Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/91972017376943885/
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Cherilyn Roberts

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