A Love Letter to A Level English Literature

By Flo Brockman

Initially, I only picked A Level English because it complimented my other subjects, Art and History. Despite doing well at GCSE, I secretly wasn’t sure I could cope with the jump to A Level. There was only going to be three other people in my class. Where was I going to hide if I didn’t know the answer?

From the first lesson however, those worries quickly melted away. Our class of 4 became so tight knit. Instead of praying not to be picked on, I was now the one starting the conversation. Studying the weird and wonderful Gothic genre and exploring the fin de siècle fears of Dracula and comparing Oscar Wilde to Kim Kardashian (they are more similar than you think), gave me such an adrenaline rush. I remember looking at the clock and longing for time to slow down, just to spend longer discussing love and madness in Twelfth Night. Even on days when I was stressed, deflated and tired, I would leave a lesson feeling a hundred times better than I did before.

On parents evening when my teachers asked if I had considered an English degree, I surprised myself by saying yes. Practically overnight, all my previous plans evaporated. The fact that I am starting an English degree at Cambridge still seems utterly surreal, even now.

Sadly, it seems like the number of students taking A Level English are dwindling, in favour of STEM subjects. If anyone is remotely considering taking English A Level: just do it. Although I didn’t end up taking any exams, English taught me so much more than what was on the set syllabus; I can’t possibly sum it up in one blog post. It has set a bar for university very, very, high.

Make sure to check out Flo on Instagram! @flobrockman