Monday, 15 April 2019


As I’m coming to the end of my first year of my English Literature degree, I thought I would document three expectations that I had before I started my degree, that turned out to be completely wrong.

There isn't as much reading as people believe there to be. 

The general stereotype of never having your head out of a book might put you off of applying for an English Literature degree, or if you’ve already firmed a place in September, it might be worrying you. In my first term at university, I was expected to read one text a week (whether that was a novel, play or a set of poems), for two modules, along with some critical reading for two other modules, which could range from a short article to between 5 and 30 pages of theory books or papers. It’s also important to try and read around especially any texts that you’re interested in while you’re studying them, as if you’re interested in writing about them for your end of module essays, doing some wider reading weeks in advance will help you a lot in the long run.

You aren’t expected to have read everything!

As an English Lit student, some people, whether that’s other students, family members or friends, expect you to have read a lot of classics, which therefore is the reason why you’re studying the subject at university. Never worry if you haven’t read books that people think you should have read as an English student, especially since you’ve just spent two years of your life studying multiple texts for your A level, making it difficult to read for pleasure. At university, you aren’t expected to have read the entire literary canon. Just ensure that you are open to widening your reading whilst you’re studying for your degree.

‘University level’ writing? 

There is a definite expectation, especially for an English degree, that when you start your degree you have to start writing in an elevated and complex style. You really don’t. A simple and coherent style is best, allowing your argument to be as clear as possible in your essays. I hope this helps for anyone who is going to study English Literature at university in September. Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


Paperless Post is an impressive online service, as well as an app, which allows you to create birthday cards, thank you notes and invitations seamlessly. Operating online means that you can also easily keep track of RSVP’s, making event planning easy.

With a plethora of beautiful designs to choose from, sorted into different categories, you are really spoilt for choice for every event. Paperless Post operates in digital coins that you will need to buy; there are both ‘free’ cards and cards that cost a certain number of coins. However, I was shocked at how the quality of the free and priced cards was the same. The app was extremely easy to navigate and I was impressed with the features when I was sending my housewarming invite out, such as a comment wall, RSVP question and photo gallery.

Have a look at some of my screenshots of designing my housewarming invite, where you can see how clean, clear and simple the app interface is. I highly recommend Paperless Post; especially for families, it is a must have app on your phone or tablet, or one website to keep in your favourites. Thanks to the lovely people at Anagram Interactive for sponsoring this post and subsidising my account with some digital coins to try out this great service.


Friday, 8 February 2019


This time last year I was struggling with anxiety, although I hadn’t admitted that to myself, wondering if the feeling of constant panic would ever leave me. Time to Talk Day yesterday made me contemplate how much can change in one year and how far I have come. I don’t think I ever thought I would get to a stage in my life where I was truly content; a move 250 miles away to the North after living in the South for the whole of my life was at first quite unsettling, but it’s what I needed. I’ve found that morning meditation has been key to helping control any anxious thoughts and make me think rationally. Being surrounded by empathetic people who make you feel comfortable around them, who lift you up and support you, helps too. My friend told me recently healing is a long process and it’s ok to not be 100% where you want to be, yet. I’ve realised that although I feel the best I’ve ever felt, it’s still important to take the time to work on myself. This is a message to say that if you aren’t feeling great or aren’t in a good place right now, don’t ever feel like you’re being selfish to take time out to work on yourself, because for a long time, I really did.

Friday, 25 January 2019


Thinking about the prospect of university whilst you’re going through the application process and when you finalise your chosen one on A Level Results Day is extremely daunting. Here are the three main things I wish I had known before starting my degree, for any one who is starting university in September.

It’s overwhelming 

You’re aloud to feel overwhelmed when you start university; it’s a huge change from A levels. I thought I was the only one that felt overwhelmed, but as always, after talking to other people I realised I certainly wasn’t. 

You aren’t thrown straight into the deep end 

I was anxious when I first started my English Literature degree that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the reading for multiple modules. However, soon after I started my degree I realised that there is communication between tutors; one week where I had to read a heavy text for one module, there would be a lighter text for another. 

You are supported

The concept of self-motivation at university and studying by yourself, especially for English degrees, which have less contact hours than other subjects, was extremely prevalent in talks and materials I was given whilst applying to university. However, when I started my course I was pleasantly surprised at how much support was available, whether that’s support for disabilities or illnesses or simply the plethora of resources available to allow you to develop as a student.  
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