Wednesday, 15 March 2017

What I Wish I'd Known: English Literature at Kings College London

Hello, my name is Kristina and I study English Literature at King’s College London (KCL). I’m 19 and I am in my first ever year of university. KCL is one of the world’s top 25 universities and also part of The Russell Group (equivalent to Ivy League schools in America).

It was inevitable that I would study something book related at university. DUH...books are my entire life, reading is all I ever do! An English degree certainly opens a lot of doors and opportunities for me. So thus, the search for the perfect university began.

In the UK we have ‘Open Days’. This is when the university holds a day for applicants to explore the university campus and ask professors and current students questions about the course. Open Day is followed by Applicant Day once you have been accepted to the university. On both of these days I felt that KCL was the university for me. The vibe of the campus felt like home and not to mention how beautiful the building was. The professors seemed lovely and accommodating. The course also offered a wide range of modules to choose from. KCL was where I would be going to university, I was certain of it. One year later, no doubt, I am studying at KCL.

During the first year of English at KCL we do a total of eight modules - seven of which are compulsory and one is optional. My first semester consisted of four compulsory modules. I won’t lie and tell you that my first semester was a breeze, or full of sunshine and rainbows. It was HARD! Adjusting to university is a tough transition. New place… HUGE new place, new people, new teachers, new dynamic, new way of teaching… new way of EVERYTHING!!! The first week was intimidating. I mean, walking into a lecture theatre with 250 other students….. SEND HELP!!

Taking notes while the lecturer speaks a millions words a minute …. I WANT TO HIDE!! The feeling that you have no idea what is going on…. I DON’T BELONG HERE!!! Having a reading list of several 500 page books every week…. SAY WHAAAT?!?! However, the panic and anxiety of the first few weeks eventually passed. I began to fall into a routine and everything else began to fall into place. I chose to take advantage of all the help that the university offered. From ‘Essay Lab’ sessions to meeting my professors during their office hours. I accepted that asking for help at university doesn’t make me any less smarter or deserving of my place at KCL. The course actually started to make sense and I knew I had chosen the right degree. Of course, the modules still weren’t my ideal choice but the second semester offered that one optional module. Things were going to keep getting better.

I’m currently in my second semester at KCL and I have roughly five more weeks left of my first year. Despite the anxiety, I have really enjoyed my time at KCL. I can only imagine that this feeling will grow. The beginning of university is scary, tough and intimidating. It definitely takes time to adjust but I guarantee that you will begin to feel at home eventually. I still have a lot more opportunities to take advantage of like, societies, social events and university representative positions, but I’m saving those experiences for my second year. As a first year (at any university) I would recommend spending the first year adjusting to the dynamic, making friends and building a routine around your studies. Of course, joining societies would also be great but for someone dealing with anxiety, I think focusing on adjusting is most important.  

King’s College London really has become my second home. It has so much to offer students and is such a beautiful campus to study at. It’s location in central London is one of the best parts - being in close proximity to iconic sights like London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and countless theatres… oh, and our campus is part of Somerset House because we are awesome like that! There are also many international students (literally from all over the world) that study at KCL and it’s amazing to think that our love for books brings us all together in one place. When you are deciding on a university course make sure to do something that you are really passionate about, something that makes you want to wake up and go to each lecture with excitement, something that feels like home in your heart. For me, studying English Literature has only made me love the written word more. It has convinced me that I won’t be just another English Literature graduate, I am turning my love and passion for books into my way of life.

Kristina's Blog: The Pink Bibliophile
Kristina's Instagram


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