Monday, 16 November 2015

Defending my degree...

I'm a proud American Studies student at the University of Winchester UK, and I absolutely love my degree.
 
However, If I had a pound for every time someone raised their eyebrows or gave me a funny look when I told them what my degree is, I'd be rich enough to pay off my student debts.
 
Usually this gesture is followed with the insincere concern of "What are you intending to do with that degree?", to which my reply is always, "Whatever I want." You see, I honestly don't know what my future holds for me, but I know that with my degree it's about the skill set I inherit and all the many doors this could open. I feel in no way limited to what I could do, my opportunities are vast and varied.  
 
 
American Studies is a multi-disciplinary subject, meaning I get to do a little bit of everything. I get to look at literature, films, culture, history, politics, you name it, I've probably studied a bit of it. One morning I could be in a lecture about American Conspiracy Theories, and then the next I could be learning about African American culture. I've looked at Americanisation through corporations such as McDonald's and Disney. I've learnt about the Black Atlantic and the Transatlantic slave trade. I've even looked at the portrayal of the American Gothic as well as adaptations between books and films. And that's only a small sample of some of the modules I've had in my three year adventure. It's so varied, I could never get bored.
 
 
I strongly argue that I will be leaving university with the same skill set as any other student, whether they're studying English, History, or whatever it may be. I can interpret data, source relevant material, think critically about work, and so much more. My degree hasn't restricted my learning in anyway, and I feel I'll be leaving university very much equal to my peers. Choosing my subject does not make me dumb, it's not 'easier' or 'simpler' than any other degree, there's still the same amount of work required. And it certainly does not make me any less able to achieve as well as any other student.
 
In essence, what I'm trying to say is that although my degree should not be valued above anyone else's, it should definitely not be valued as any less.
 
I could never regret choosing my degree. It's been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I've learnt so many fascinating things, met some incredible and inspirational people, and got to experience the trip of a lifetime travelling around Nevada, Arizona and Utah with some fabulous people.
 
 
So yes, I did take this subject because I "clearly love America", but I chose it for so much more. Therefore, please stop looking down on me thinking I'm an idiot, or even pity me for my choice, because taking this degree has proved to me that I am capable of doing well in higher education, and that my future will be bright because I'm determined to work hard doing something that I love.
 
 
Much love ♥ 

Monday, 9 November 2015

How to (not) write an essay....

It's that time of the semester again. The library is full of students having panic attacks. Much junk food is being consumed. You can never get hold of the book you need. And it's all because for many, essays are due. Ask any student, no matter how prepared you think you are, it's still one of the most stressful moments of the academic year.

 
 
So here are a few of the struggles I go through every single time I have to force myself to sit down and concentrate on writing an essay. It's never easy, and as a third year I should know so much better by now...
 
 
Leaving your essay to the last minute
 
 
Procrastinating to the max

 


Realising you have to psych yourself up to sit down and study
 
 
Skipping the plan stage completely
 
 
Having absolutely no idea what your essay is on
 
 
 
Throwing in fancy phrases just to sound intelligent
 
 
Having a little breakdown
 
 
Deciding to get drunk to cope
 
 
Not being anywhere near your word count
 
 
Finally finishing your essay and being all like..
 
 
 The struggle is so real.
 
Much love