English

Pixie is a 2nd year English student

Why did you pick Caius college?

First and foremost, Caius is a very beautiful college very handily situated right in the middle of Cambridge: it's actually the most central college, which is very useful for a huge number of reasons. Secondly, it has an incredible library which, as an English student, I can really appreciate!

 
 Pixie
Pixie dressed up for Caius May Ball

Why did you pick English?

I have always enjoyed my subject, from the very beginning when I learnt to read at a very young age. I knew that studying it at GCSE and A Level was not going to be enough for me as there has always been so much that I wanted to explore further. I knew studying English at Cambridge would allow me to explore all these avenues with world experts and people who loved my subject just as much as me. English supervisions in Cambridge are typically one on one which means that you have nowhere to hide but it's challenging in a very good way and you can really see your own improvement throughout the term.

Outline your typical day, what is your workload like?

English students are notorious for often choosing not to go to lectures. I am one of these students. This is not because I'm lazy but because they are not compulsory and I genuinely do not learn from them: I would much prefer to read a book on the same subject. This means that we have much less obvious contact time than other subjects: most of our time is spent reading alone. The workload is up to you and how much you love the book/subject you are writing an essay on but usually we have to write 1-3 essays a week (the shortest are 1,500 and the longest are about 2,500) and then we will have classes, translation classes (for medieval languages) and seminars that are either organised by college or the Faculty. For these classes you will usually have reading to do and possibly a presentation to write that you will then give in the next week's class. Essay topics change every week, which is great because you can never get complacent and you're always reading new material. Papers and supervisors change every term which means you're learning from and with new people all the time.

Perks of subject?

If you're organised then you can find yourself with one day where you might not have any 'set' work, which some people can view as a 'day off' although most of the time you will use it catch up with something or start on the work for next week. English is a very individual subject which means that you never feel pressured to be doing the same as anyone else.

Did you have any relevant Work experience?

Only experience of studying English at school and sixth form! English doesn't really have a very clear cut career path so I suppose you should just try and read as much poetry as possible!

Career prospects/desires?

I'd really love to stay and do a 4th year at least. I haven't really got a clue what I want to do at the moment. It's always in the back of my mind that English has very 'transferable skills' as a degree. I often toy with the idea of converting to a law degree but I'll have to see.!

Best and worst things about Caius?

Best bit: : Caius has kept a lot of traditions including dining all together in Hall every night which means that you can always get to see your friends. I've already mentioned the library but it's so great I'll say it again!

Worst bit: Three years is definitely not long enough to experience everything that Cambridge has to offer!