English Literature and Scottish Literature
Chloe Anne Banks talks about her experience of studying at Edinburgh and why she chose to study English literature with us.
Chloe Anne Banks
"I’ve always appreciated the power of literature, the way that it can inspire and shape the world around it, whilst painting a different picture in the mind of every reader, using only the same words of black and white.
My particular interest has always been in Shakespeare and the way that his words have retained their power and relevance over a period of hundreds of years. The combination of English Literature and History allows me to explore this in great depth.
The true meaning of literature is often missed without an understanding of the historical context in which it was written and at the same time, the literature of a period in history can offer us a unique insight into the attitudes of the time
I actually expected to find university a lot harder to manage in comparison to A-levels, little did I know that it would be so much easier! That’s not to say that university is easy, by anyone’s standards, but it is much easier when you only have to study subjects that you have a particular interest in – it’s a lot easier to motivate yourself!"
The University and city itself both have a rich history of literature and I was intrigued to experience life in the city that had inspired so many literary geniuses, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.K. Rowling.
"Being from Cornwall I didn’t want to live in a particularly big city but didn’t want the isolation of a campus university either. Edinburgh seemed to achieve a perfect mix of the two; you still have the city, but can also escape to Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill if you feel like it.
Having lived in the countryside almost all of my life I was incredibly nervous about city life but, knowing that I wanted to live all over the world in the future, I figured that this was the first step in a much bigger picture.
Hard as it may have been at the time, I knew that I would only ever be grateful that I had done it and I was right."
My student experience
"I was excited to discover all of the opportunities that studying at the University and living in a city would offer, from academics to my many interests outside of my studies. I was also excited to meet so many more people with the same interests as me.
The student accommodation that I was assigned was kept far away from the main University campus and initially I thought that would be a problem socially. However, all it meant was that we formed a really tight-knit group within our accommodation and now that I’m in third year we’re still inseparable!
I live in a rented flat now that I’m in third year because I have group of girls that I met in first year that I knew I definitely wanted to live with and living in rented accommodation just gives you that bit more independence.
My friend group at University is definitely more diverse! There were only 60 of us in my whole sixth form, so at university there was much more opportunity to find people that were more specifically my kind of people, especially when everyone else was looking to do exactly the same."
"My favourite lecturers on the English Literature degree have to be Simon Malpas and James Loxley, their lectures are always so funny and engaging – I don’t recommend ever skipping their lectures, hangover or no hangover! But all of the staff in the English Literature and History departments are so friendly and helpful.
I’m very lucky that I have three flatmates that I’m incredibly close to and wouldn’t change for the world! We were actually randomly put together in a flat in first year and very quickly became inseparable!"
"I have recently been working very closely with the Edinburgh University Shakespeare Company organising and running workshops which I really enjoy and it has allowed me to gain a lot of valuable experience and make many contacts in the entertainment industry, which I hope will be of help when I graduate.
I’ve used the Careers Service and they’re brilliant at pointing you in the direction of opportunities that might be of interest to you and helping you through the application process."
The University is known for having a huge global reputation. I have always wanted to work abroad after my degree, so attending a university that would be recognised all around the world was important to me.
My advice to new students
"Before I began my studies, I booked another trip to visit the city and found that I saw it differently knowing that I would be living there from September. I also made an appointment with the student accommodation I had been assigned, as I had not yet seen it. Seeing my room meant that I could then go on an extensive shopping spree to kit out my new home!
I also joined the Facebook group for my student accommodation so that I could start trying to find my flatmates and other people studying my subject in the same accommodation.
My top 3 tips:
- Don’t even consider not going!
- Everyone will be just as nervous as you are, if not more so.
- You’ll discover so many opportunities that you didn’t even know were out there."