The best ideas are planted in a discussion

A guest post by Charlotte Taylor

I remember reading my first text for university and thinking, ‘I’ve mastered the meaning of this’, and then going to my first seminar and realising there is never just one way of reading a book. Studying English Literature at Worcester University has benefitted me in so many ways, but most of all it has taught me that the best ideas are planted in a discussion, grow out of research and bloom in creative, critical but considered writing.

I applied to Worcester University with the purpose of continuing my studies to PhD level, before trying to grapple with the precarious career path of Academia. Now a graduate, that passion for literature, lecturing and learning is burning brighter than ever. The English faculty do not only teach you about specific literary periods or movements but invite you to think about the world of literature – from authors to academics. The taught precision to detail, the ability to tackle complex ideas in a concise and clear way combined with the learnt skills of patience, consideration and kindness I hope to take with me as I endeavour to pass on what my lecturers have taught me.

Advising others is a strange task because everyone’s experiences are different; however, I have learnt is that the harder a tutor is on your essay, the better they know it can be. I remember submitting the first draft of my dissertation thinking it was going to blow my tutor away. It did not. Or at least, not in the way I had hoped, and this leads me onto a second piece of advice I wish I could have given myself at the start of university. ‘What you’re saying is really good, but how you’re saying it is confusing’. That was pretty much the general comment written across all my essays. It took until my dissertation, until a project I loved and was passionate about, that this message clicked. Complicated theories and ideas do not need to be expressed in complex ways.

The support from your friendship groups and your own motivation and drive are obviously key to the success of your learning, but the rapport you build with your lecturers is invaluable. The English Literature tutors at Worcester have not only shaped the positive experience I have had at University, but have also further inspired my own career path.

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