What It's REALLY Like To Study An English Degree!

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?
H x

7 thoughts on “What It's REALLY Like To Study An English Degree!

  1. I think people minimize other’s achievements to make themselves feel better… I took a few English courses when I was in university and it was not easy for sure! A lot of reading and essays…

  2. Studying any humanities subject is sometimes looked down upon as being the easy option but it really isnt! You’ve hit on such an important point when you talk about the subjectivity of grades, some tutors will love your work and give you a first, others might read the same piece of work, decide they don’t like your writing style, and you’ll scrape a pass! It’s impossible to know how each piece of work will be received which is really hard sometimes! Just because you’re not in lectures all day doesn’t mean you’re not working hard, it just means that you’re working independently and you have to be really self motivated, which is probably harder than attending lectures! Fantastic post, it’s great to see a real insight into your student experience!
    Abbey 💗

  3. I don’t know why any one would think studying English was easy, I nearly studied it and all of my research clearly demonstrated it was not the simple option. In fact I knew a lot of English students who struggled with chosen texts.

  4. I’m really wanting to start studying once things settle at my job. I gave up my degree (it was the first year they’d ran it and I wanted to get out and work!) and I do regret it now – I’ve got a real craving for learning. I find it fascinating what you say about the difference between studying the linguistic and the literature side is so interesting – I’d never really thought about that. And of course, the subjectivity of marks doesn’t make things easy for you either! I love reading about other people’s uni experiences, and this is no exception!
    Kate x

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