Rosemary, English

English Rosemary

I looked around Oxford on an Open Day, but actually felt a bit overwhelmed by it all, so at home I picked three things that were important to me (central location, self-catering facilities, and traditional buildings) and chose a college based on this. I’m so glad I picked Trinity in the end!

It’s difficult to pin down exactly when I knew I wanted to apply to Oxford – I’ve always been quite ambitious academically, so I had a secret hope that I could to a really good university for a long time. I loved both English and History in Year 12, and for a while I thought I might do a joint degree in both. I decided to do just English when I spent a week doing English at the UNIQ summer school in Oxford. Trying out the course was really helpful.

I looked around Oxford on an Open Day, but actually felt a bit overwhelmed by it all, so at home I picked three things that were important to me (central location, self-catering facilities, and traditional buildings) and chose a college based on this. I’m so glad I picked Trinity in the end!

I think the best thing about being at Oxford as an English student is the libraries. I still get really excited every time I go into the Bodleian because of all the amazing old books. It’s great to have access to so much, so easily.

The best thing about Trinity is probably the porters. They’re just so lovely! They staff the lodge by the main entrance, and are always up for a chat or just to say hi as you go off to a lecture. Plus they’re incredibly helpful (even if you lock yourself out of your room twice in one day…).

You are very independent, studying English – so being able to motivate yourself and manage your time is a very useful skill. Obviously there’s a fair bit of reading, and the really interesting bit (I think, anyway) is then seeing how books treat a theme and all fit together. Being able to see links and spot patterns I find very useful too.

The course is divided up into time periods; I really liked the Renaissance literature we have studied. English is taught through central lectures for the whole year group, and classes (4-8 people) and tutorials (2 or 3 people) within college. There’ll be essays, and maybe class work each week, which it’s up to you when and how you do them, so there isn’t often a ‘typical day’.

I found the step up from A-Level tricky, I have to admit, because I was used to a slower pace and spending more time reflecting on work, not moving on after one tutorial. But my tutors were very understanding and helpful – they know everyone finds the step hard at first. They gave some specific guidance, so as long as I did my best to follow that, they were fine with my sometimes terrible efforts!

For my first term, I did rowing in my spare time! I’m now in the choir, which I love because it’s so friendly and inclusive. I tutor GCSE students for a charity on a Saturday morning, and I’m in the Christian Union (which I co-led for a year). I’m also now on the JCR committee (the college Student Union) as co-Environment&Ethics rep, so I keep pretty busy, but I really enjoy having a range of things to do which stop me getting in a rut.

When I finish my degree I’d like to go into teaching or classroom support, I think, although I haven’t worked it all out yet! I’ve just discovered there’s a load of useful information and opportunities on the Oxford University careers website, so I’m hoping I’ll have a clearer idea at some point!

 

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