How Can Literature Students Cope with Coursework PressureJanuary 24, 2020

You met an older student during a (campus) visit to your university of choice, and that student would graduate soon. You got lots of advice on how to maintain a social life, which amused you. Authors would be your companions, as you pursue a degree in Literature. The coursework pressure starts early, so it's a case of coping early or late. Is the study of literature more challenging than pursuing a law degree (or any university major)?

Your decision to pursue a degree in literature didn't happen in a whim, as you try reading for a few months before. You managed to read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series in a span of two weeks, but would make you feel proud. It didn't cross your mind that British humour is your cup of tea, and you haven't tried the classics. You felt that your bubble was burst when it took you a few days to read "The Island of Dr. Moreau". You learned that the liking of a literary genre, if not a particular author, would be a factor on how you fast you could read a book. In this regard, you won't expect the Harry Potter series to be included in the special courses. (You could suggest it, if not ask your coursemates to sign in a petition. Don't expect a favourable outcome, though.) This should prompt you to plan your reading in advance. (And you must not do it during Reading Week alone.) What else?

If you really love literature, you wouldn't mind the solitude most of the time. There would be some students who would notice it, even pull a leg. If you're too familiar with British humour, then you could put your own spin. You could make new friends afterward. Moreover, you must be open-minded as possible. This would mean showing receptiveness on others' opinion on reading habits, studying habits, and good hooks for essays. What else?

4 Tips to Get on Top of Everything

Be efficient. You may be capable of reading for long hours, such that you could read all the books in the list, as well as the other list (for secondary reading). It would be a waste of time if you didn't apply critical thinking. You must be attentive during lectures, where lecture notes should give you an idea on what to look out for (while reading). Professors would be impressed at the number of novels that you read before, where you could make frequent comparisons between authors or genres. You can't overuse this strategy, though. It's also not what professors sought for. Notes should give you a hint on what themes you could explore, and how you would assess the characters and their impact on the narrative. It should give you some narrative essay ideas, which you may use in your next assignments.

Embrace the struggles that writers experience during the (writing) process. You thought that writing an essay would be a walk in a park until your professor point out several items in your last essay. You become doubtful of your capabilities, and you wouldn't be the only one. Acknowledging the things that needs improvement would be the first step. Ask questions if you seem to be running on circles. And make sure that you could devote several hours, if not a few days, on proofreading.

What about social life? You have dedicated your few years to reading and writing, which would leave little time on errands and interests to indulge from time to time. How about social life? You can plan a study group, and then invite your coursemates. There's a high chance that your conversation would lead to authors, if not genres, that are not related to the coursework. Someone might ask about the off-beaten tracks in London after reading "Library of Souls" while another would swoon on Jacob Portman's comparison between Victorian romance and visceral feelings. If these talks could help you think of essay writing topics, don't forbid anyone from talking further.

Your career focus must motivate you (to study). You would be told to think of your career options during your first month in the university. It's not too early, as this would enable you to determine what modules to study on your second year, as well as your final year. It should also motivate you to read and write with interest and passion. You could suffer from burnout if you won't do such a thing. And don't think too much about an academic career (or journalism for that matter).

Start Talking to People

The best thing about the Literature program is the diversity, which your tutor would point out early on. You must study the classics first, which is fair enough. You would get the chance to study the genres that would pique your curious mind, if not appeal to your adventurous side. It's fine if you choose a module that you're hardly familiar with. All of these would help you engage in the program and prompt you to talk to people. Don't you want to have more friends?

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