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Monday 28 January 2019

English literature is a subject that requires a lot of reading, a lot of hard work, and a LOT of introspection. But don’t let the challenge that this subject provides deter you from pursuing it, for you'll soon find that English literature is a degree that opens so many doors to mental, professional, and cultural growth. It is through studying English literature at Solent that I have been challenged, enriched, and begun to truly find myself.

I never did very well in secondary school – socially or academically. I, like many other kids, found it hard to fit in and conform to traditional education. Due to a terrible memory I was useless in exams and, as a result, found my school experience unfulfilling. Even studying English at school was unenjoyable as I couldn’t relate to the assigned texts and wasn’t ready, as a person, to open my mind to a whole new world of thoughts and feelings.

After taking years out from school, I decided to come to Solent to study English – a course with no exams – after meeting my lecturers Devon and Carolyn at an open day. Instantly I could tell that studying English would change my life. I chose to do a joint honours in English and creative writing because I am a creative person and thought it would best suit me. What I then discovered was a hidden passion for humanity, finding meaning, and finding myself.

I found where my morals lie, what my ethics are, and learnt about what it means to be a human. I have met so many students from all over the world that I would never have met through studying a different subject. Students from different cultures with completely different world views that I’d never had experience with before. Through meeting them, I learnt to look outside of my own bubble and see the world as the larger picture that, in reality, it is.

I still remember in one of my first classes of first year when I was asked for my opinion on a piece of art. I told my lecturer: “I don’t have very strong opinions.” Friends laugh at this story now, as today it could not be further from the truth.

By reading literature, from the classics of the nineteenth century to the contemporaries of the twenty-first, I have learnt more in the space of three years about the world and its history then I had in my past twenty-three years of education. I have been challenged, not only to become a better student, but also to become a person with a strong sense of human integrity.

I could not thank my English lecturers enough for how they have helped shape me into becoming a better person. Their mentoring has easily been the most fulfilling part of my university experience and their dedication to teaching inspires everyone. If the whole world were to take part in their English lessons it would be a better place to live in. Truly, the people you meet and the things you learn are where the true values of studying English literature lies.