Well, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the app I love and hate in equal measure – Timehop. It makes boring Friday nights depressing, when you know two/three/four years ago you were falling in the door at 4am. It makes me so happy that I am not stressing out about a dissertation, or a poetry assignment, or a Jane Eyre essay anymore. It also makes me realise that I have learnt a lot about foundation tone matching in the last few years. Honestly, my skin is pale, but why I thought it was THAT pale I will never know.
But I’m probably getting away from the point. I opened my little app a few days ago to find out that I graduated TWO YEARS ago. (Oh yes, its’ that time of year when I freak out about how old I am again)
So – apologies, I meant to post this yesterday in the interest of #TBT – but I thought I would put together a fun little list, partly in the interest of nostalgia, partly because once an English student, always an English student. So here are things you’ll know if you study English….
“So you want to be a teacher then?”
People seem to think that if you study English, you want to teach English. Don’t get me wrong, several people on my course wanted to be and are teachers not. But apparently, there is nothing else you can do with your life once you’ve completed that degree. You know because novelist/journalist/publisher/content writer aren’t viable options. And that is just a brief overview off the top of my head.
In fact, I got asked this question so many times after telling people that I studied English, the one time (out of about a billion) that someone asked if I wanted to be a journalist, I genuinely nearly fell out of my seat in shock that they hadn’t asked if I wanted to be a teacher.
Kindles and Ipad’s are the invention of (the tech) Gods
Yes, yes, we all go through first semester resenting Kindles because ‘they’re not the same as having a real book’ (and we’re not wrong). However, once back pain from having to carry round five (heavy) novels for your lectures each day kicks in, and you realise that you can download pretty much every single classic novel for free instead of paying £7 each for a book you’re probably never going to actually read, Kindles start to seem like a gift from heaven.
Sparknotes is (another) incredible gift.
I often wondered at University, if before the invention of Sparknotes students had to actually read all the books. Again, you’ll start the summer with the good intentions of actually reading all the books on your reading list, until you realise that firstly, there are a lot of them. And secondly, some of them just aren’t your cup of tea. And when you’re having a night before panic that you’re going to be asked a question about a book that you haven’t even pulled off the shelf yet – Sparknotes comes shining out of your laptop like a beacon of hope.
You have to speak/write perfectly at all times.
Seriously, make one typo in a text, or a slip of the tongue and at least one person will respond saying: “I thought you were meant to be good at English?”
But it will drive you insane when anyone else does it.
You can spot a typo or a grammar mistake from a mile off – except when it’s your own work of course.
You are a firm believer that the movie ruined the book.
Because you read it and fell in love with it, before the film was even a thing. Because they didn’t cast your favourite character right. Because they missed out your favourite quote. Because they changed the plot entirely. I could go on about this one for a long time.
Note: You’ll know this doesn’t count when you’re trying to use the movie to avoid reading the book.
You get a lot of experience in ‘winging it’.
Partly because you might not have read the book. Partly because the best conclusions come from just opening your mouth when you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to.
That and to be honest, bring it back to sex and/or gender and it’s probably the right answer anyway.
We’re not the book nerds everyone thinks we are.
Don’t get me wrong, we like to curl up with a good novel and a cuppa. But don’t forget, doing something fun and (sometimes) stupid, is where the best stories come from. And we’re relying on writing stories to get a degree.
What do you love or hate about doing an English degree? Is there anything I’ve missed off the list? Let me know what you think.