I’m now halfway through my time in York as an English trainee, and I have actually been taking pleasure in every minute of it. Here’s some things I want I ‘d learnt about the course before beginning uni:
You find out that there is a whole wide world of literatures (Yes, with the plural’s’!).
One brilliant feature of the York English Lit structure is that it exposes trainees to English Literature across time periods and throughout continents, and enables you to find writers you have actually never become aware of before. In your first year, you’ll begin with a module that includes texts from the 15th century all the way to the modern day. In readings, lectures and workshops, conversation of these texts also necessarily involves discussions of the major historical events of that duration, how life resembled in that age, and naturally, essential philosophical and cultural readings of the text (something which I’ve grown to truly delight in reading).
In another module, York’s English program exposes us to global literatures, centred around themes such as post-colonialism (the Literature of countries who were ex-British colonies, for instance). Personally, I found that to be an extremely improving experience that widened my worldview and triggered me to think of the relationship in between Literature and Politics, and to question the purpose of a literary text.
This may sound a little daunting, but it actually isn’t so! You certainly can expect to find studying English at uni to be vastly different from the method we did it at A Levels, and while I did feel quite stressed in the very first few weeks of term, I ultimately found my footing and grew to enjoy the volume and rate of work we have at uni. It gives you a substantial sense of achievement when you look back at the end of the term at all the poems, plays and novels you’ve gone through in simply 10 weeks!
The broad exposure to many different durations of literature makes you find interests in topics you never ever engaged with before. For me, post-colonialism was my newfound love.
Versatility, versatility, versatility!
Studying English at York is thrilling since the course provides you a lot of self-reliance to direct your studies. The English course has reasonably few contact hours (a.k.a. time invested in lectures and workshops) as compared to other subjects. The coolest thing about the English course would be that you get to choose exactly what you want to compose you essay on there are no set concerns (save for the written exams in summertime term)!
Having more flexibility with your timetable likewise indicates that you can utilise the time to sign up with more societies or even use up a term-time internship, which was exactly what I did! Through the York Careers Portal, I applied for a term-time internship lasting for 12 weeks in Communications, and spent approximately 12 hours a week at the internship, which corresponds to about 3 days a week. This helped me gain work experience and employability skills, as well as some extra income on the side.
We have film screenings.
We see film adjustments of some of the texts in our reading lists (side note: I enjoy how these sessions show up on our timetable as legit required lectures to participate in)! Who ‘d have thought that studying English at uni also includes sitting in a dark lecture theatre and watching a film projected on to the huge screen? Consider it as a Netflix movie date … but with an entire lot of people.
In my very first year, I keep in mind viewing A Midsummer’s Night Dream and loving how the movie represented the characters of the play a lot that I composed among my essays on the play! And simply last term, enjoying Samuel Beckett’s Endgame during a movie screening made me see the play in an entire various light, triggering me to borrow three different books from the library about Beckett and his works.
They’re not going to let you be puzzled and worried all on your own.
We’re appointed an individual manager at the start of university, and this supervisor will be an academic from your department in our case, English and you ‘d fulfil him/her routinely throughout your three years of research study to simply chat about how you’re finding the course and how you’re feeling, if you’re coping well or if you’re having a problem about module options, and so on.