A life without Academia… | Student thoughts

Yesterday late evening I submitted my first assignment of my third, and final year, and it was kind of bittersweet. I mean, I should’ve felt relieved that it was done and dusted, and now I could focus on other things, and I did feel that sense of freedom that this assignment wasn’t tying me down anymore. But I also felt kind of sad because it’s one of the last assignments I’ll ever write because after I graduate I probably won’t need to write essays on the language and history of place names – I chose to do Winchester as my place name of choice by the way, and it was really interesting with all the history and stuff – but my point is that no will care about this kind of stuff. Unless I become a teacher or lecturer, or a researcher in that area no one will care about the assignments I’ve done, or want to hear what I’ve learnt. Every other employer will just think “Oh, she went to uni and did English Literature and English Language she’ll have good writing and speaking skills, she’ll be able to draw out information, she’ll be able to meet a deadline” that’s it. 

In one of our first seminars for Modernism this year, (a literature module), the lecturer said,

Make the most of this opportunity because there aren’t many jobs where you can just sit, talk and write about literature“.

And it really struck a chord. I really love learning, I love being absorbed in the novels, I love reading all the different critical perspective scholars try to read into the text, I love writing essays from a psychoanalytic perspective, and going to town with Freud. I enjoy sitting in lectures madly scribbling what the lecturer is saying, and walking out feeling like I’ve gained a whole new way of thinking about something, and how it relates to the world. Heck, I even don’t mind enduring English Language lectures because in actual fact they are so interesting like the history, and psychology, and biology that underpins language, and sometimes it is hard because they involve statistical analysis – who incorporated Spearmans rank correlation coefficient into an English degree?! – but eventually it all clicks and comes together and your like “Ahh!”.

And yes, assignments are stressful and they take up days, and hours, and mean you survive off caffeine, 4 hours sleep, but I’d rather do that then have a 9-5 job. Academia is all I know. I don’t want a job because my last job put me off for life. I just want to live in my escapist world of Literature, so I think I’m really going to savour every moment I have left, and put my all into it because it’ll come to an end, but I want to look back on it with fond memories.



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