A Week in the Life of an English Literature and Creative Writing Student
by Maria Clark
Hi, I’m Maria, and I’m a first year English Literature, Creative Writing and Practice student. Every university degree is different, so I thought I’d do a journal about my week at university.
Nobody likes Monday mornings, but I’m lucky that my first seminar isn’t until 10am! You can choose which seminars you can sign up to before starting the course, depending on your availability around the rest of your lectures, and I decided to start my week with my Creative Writing seminar.
Today, the seminar took the usual form of a workshop: half the group (around 5 people) submitted their work online, for the rest of us to read and comment. Although it wasn’t my week to submit, it’s always really interesting to read others’ work and to see what they’re working on.
I had a few hours before my next lecture, so spent the time in the library working on my own creative writing - with my customary hot chocolate, of course! After my English 100 lecture on Victorian Dramatic Monologues, I had a bit of time before my French grammar glass, so went to Costa and chatted with a friend.
In first year, most undergraduate degrees follow the Part I structure, where students have to take three subjects. Alongside my majors of English Literature and Creative Writing, I’m doing French for this year, and have a grammar class every week. I had netball training for Cartmel College straight afterwards, so had to run!
For some reason, I put myself through the torture of a 7:30am Zumba class. It was definitely a struggle to get up and walk there in the dark, but I always feel much better afterwards! I don’t have anything until 1pm on Tuesdays, so started to plan my essay, before heading off to my French Writing class, which generally consists of translation exercises and reading comprehension.
After my English Lit lecture, I met with my ALG group (Autonomous Learning Group) where we discussed Robert Browning and questions in preparation for our Wednesday seminar. Sometimes we remember to book a Pod in the library, but very often we find ourselves wandering about, trying to find a space! I had a French speaking seminar at 5pm, where we discuss contemporary issues and debates.
Wednesday is netball match day. I had an English seminar in the morning - where we discussed the topic in the lecture - and then went to the library before the match. I’m on the Cartmel C Team, and we play in a collegiate league. Our match today was against Fylde - we won 30-21! We had netball training from 4-5pm and then I was free to go home. Wednesday evenings are always fun - it’s the social night - and everybody was in a good mood. We’re halfway through the week, after all!
I spent my morning writing my English essay, before going to my French Context lecture. If you study a language, in the first year, you’ll do four context modules on different parts of history and culture. Our current French module is on newspapers and the growth of the press in the 19th century. My Creative Writing lecture was shortly after - these are on different genres, forms and styles every week. Today’s lecture was on scriptwriting, which is something I’ve never tried before. We’re very much encouraged to experiment with our work, so it could be something to try in the future. I went to the gym in the afternoon, and then to my Grease rehearsal in LICA, which is going to be a part of the Ballroom Dancing Society’s Charity Showcase next week.
I start Friday mornings with another Zumba class - though not as early this time! I only have one lecture on a Friday - Creative Writing 1-2pm - so can spend the day working, doing my washing or watching Netflix as I please. After dinner, we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - we’ve started from the beginning again!
Saturday is cleaning day for the whole flat - you can hear the hoover all the time! I’m also a RAID Ambassador, so led a campus tour this morning, and then spent the afternoon doing a bit of work. We went out for dinner at a local pub, which was very nice, and then (you’ve guessed it) watched the next Harry Potter!
I don’t tend to do much on Sundays. I went to the gym and then prepared for my lectures for next week. It’s a good day to catch up with my friends and family from back home, and hear about their week. In the evening, we have our Tesco food order delivered, which keeps us going for a while. There was a beautiful sunset this evening - what a lovely end to the week!