University Life


As an English student, there are a few things that have occurred to me in my 17 weeks of learning. By the way, I only have three weeks left of my first year which is the first issue. They clearly do not know how to count. How can they call it a year when only 20 weeks are spent in learning. Out of those twenty weeks, only 160 are spent in the lecture hall or classroom and how many hours are there in 20 weeks? 3360. When you look at it in this way, it is utterly despicable that they are charging students £9,000 a year. They can argue however much they want about the cost of a degree but I can say with utmost certainty that we English Degree students are not getting our money’s worth. If they want us to do independent learning, then surely the cost cannot be this high? IF it is then they need to restructure how they work for they are clearly being wasteful.

Sometimes when talking about university, you try to talk about things in a calm and logical manner but the arguments that come back at you are so ludicrous and those in charge simply do not want to listen. Money, money, money. Oh don’t worry, the degree will benefit you in the future. Yes we all know that but don’t try to dupe us into complying with high fees so that you can continue funding your own pockets and research at our expense.

I was not going to talk about the money issue because what concerns me more at the moment is that I am beginning to feel that I haven’t been stretched enough. Yes, some of the texts may be difficult and a terrible bore to read but the main factor is that so far, I have not been as inspired as I was hoping to be.

At University, they love to talk about many things but you often wonder whether many of their things are worth talking about. Everybody has their own interests, yet all students are required to study Medieval Literature and Early Modern Literature in their first year as well as their second. They told me that these things are important to learn as the modules will teach me about the roots and history of the English language but in all honesty, they haven’t. Maybe if they slowed down instead of whizzing through one book every week (in just an hour lecture) then we would have all learnt something. I know that I speak for my fellow students too when I say this as discussing before seminars have shown yet just like when the seminar leader enters and we all remain quiet, we do the same throughout our degree, thinking the university knows best.

I do not dislike university. They are trying to give us an education but I think they need to start thinking about revamping their ways of teaching. Many universities like to claim their ancient roots (oldest department in the galaxy) but what if this very veneration is preventing them from progress?

Criticising your degree can actually be quite difficult. We as students, and English students especially, tend to defend our degree choices vigorously because of the stick we have received for choosing it in the first place. (Oh what are you going to do with English?) I mean, I would never say such things to my dad as his response would simply be told you! However, I am not complaining about my degree choice, I am complaining about how it is taught and the way universities work which I am quite free to do, if those end of semester feedback forms are anything to go by. 

Speaking of the word semester, I was talking to my a-levels teacher the other day when I used the word semester and she went ooh! Proper university student now aren’t you?

Anyway, until next time peeps!

A Worried Student

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11 thoughts on “University Life

  1. It seems like you need to explore the world or seek a summer internship to seek what sparks your interest. Perhaps there’s a grant out there for something like this. I remember your travels to the Middle East last year. Perhaps you need another mental break?

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  2. I have applied for university to study English language and creative writing and quite a lot of people have asked me what I intend to do with that degree. Despite also defending the degree I have chosen, I am worried that the amount of time spent learning will be unsatisfactory. I hope that the rest of your degree is more enjoyable/ worthwhile. 🙂

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  3. I finished Chemistry back in my homeland and thought of pursuing it here in Germany, but it seems to be that the “spark” between Chemistry and me is no longer there, plus the unbelievable amount of time asked (8hours in the university for lectures and seminars, then tons of homeworks and reports), I felt stressed out and shifted to Germanistics, totally different from Chemistry but that’s where my interest is, since since grade school days I’ve been writing poetry and schoolplays. My laboratory professor gave me a surprised look when I told him I am no longer pursuing Chemistry and asked me what my next plan is. He never saw it coming that I would choose arts and literature over science, he thought I would change to Physics or Pharmacy. Choice of what to study doesn’t need to be always about the money in the future, it is also important that the interest is there.

    Monetarily, we are lucky that studying here is “free”, but still the semester fee that includes semester ticket and museum access costs us too much as well, esp.for science students who no longer have time to get a part time job ’cause of schedule I previously mentioned, and this fee increases every year! Hopefully that the student initiatives fighting against this yearly increase win, our university is known to have the most expensive semester fees in whole Germany.

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    • Wow that is a brave change and good on you for listening to your heart.
      I have always wanted to do English but I have realised I enjoy writing more than I enjoy discussing other writing.
      Hopefully it works out for all university students. Seems like with the global economy going downhill, university students were made to be the ones who had to bear many of the negative effects.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think our brains will start being used more as we advance in learning and work towards our masters degrees.I am also an English Major and I hate to hear people say that I can’t do anything with my degree. I wanted to be a dentist but I switched majors.In either case, it seems I had to do a lot of crap assignments and courses I didn’t need. However, I powered through them when I saw my dad work on his masters and PhD and only doing courses he enjoys. Better late than never.

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