Everything English Lit students are sick of hearing

Shakespeare is love, Shakespeare is life

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As degree subjects go, it’s safe to say English Lit doesn’t have the greatest reputation. Ok, so it’s still an ‘academic’ subject, but it’s often labelled as a degree for people ‘who just want to go to uni’. It’s viewed as an unoriginal, cop out choice that has few prospects when you graduate.

Lit students aren’t all angsty, misunderstood hipsters who read poetry in coffee shops and mumble things about Proust. Here’s some of the things we’re sick of hearing:

You’re doing English Lit…so you want to be a teacher?

You’re doing Marine Biology, so you want to be a salmon? If I had a pound for every time someone asked me if I want to be a teacher, I’d have enough to pay for my PGCE. Believe it or not, there are other routes you can take after an English Lit degree.

You’ve lived in England your whole life, surely you know English by now?

Alright, good one Dave.

Are you studying Lit because you want to write a book?

I’d love to be the next J K Rowling, but who wouldn’t? That’s not the reason I’m studying Lit. I’ve chosen it because I have a genuine interest in it and actually enjoy gaining new perspectives of the world through literature.  You don’t need a degree to write a novel, and having a degree doesn’t mean you can write one either.

How it feels taking all my books into uni.

How it feels taking all my books into uni

When you’re a famous author…

Whilst I appreciate the confidence you have in me, I’m almost certainly going to disappoint on that one.

How do you spell *insert word here* ?

Just because I do English doesn’t mean I don’t rely on the red squiggly line to remind me when I’m being thick.

To be, or not to be, that is the question

What response are you expecting? Praise for your astonishing knowledge of the works of Shakespeare? You just quoted arguably his most famous line ever.

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Love you Bill

Surely you must spend all your time reading?

While I do spend a large proportion of my time reading, I allow myself time for the occasional Netflix binge, time for the sesh, and most importantly, time for precious naps.

You only have like 4 contact hours a week.

We may have few contact hours, but this gives us time for the abundance of reading, researching and coursework we have.

I hate English, I’m more of a Maths person.

Oh I am sorry. It’s a good job it’s my degree then, isn’t it.

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Absolute bookworm heaven.

Can you proofread/write this for me?

Are you paying me? In all seriousness, if we’re friends or family and I have the time, I’d be more than happy to help. I also take alcohol and chocolate as currency.

What will you do for income?

Bewilderingly, the plan was to get a job. As well as teaching jobs, English can lead to jobs in the media, publishing, advertising and marketing and careers in the public sector.

Do you regret choosing English?

Sometimes I worry I should have chosen a subject with a more evident career path post-graduation, but then I remember just how much I love my subject . It’s definitely more fulfilling to do something you’re passionate about.