A Typical Day in the Life of an English Literature Student

Kirsten Murray


Before going to university, I had no idea what a typical day would look like! It is completely different from school, but it’s filled with much more independence and fun!

Here’s what I typically get up to in a day as an English Literature student at the University of York:

  • I would say at most you will have 3 (maybe 4) contact hours a day. Whilst this doesn’t sound like much, there is a lot of independent reading and work to fill the rest of your time with!

  • The morning might start with a lecture on that week’s text. This will provide information on the author, the text’s historical and cultural contexts as well as a general insight into topics within the text that will be explored deeper in seminars.

  • Between contact hours I tend to stay on campus and go to the library to get some work done. I use this time to do reading for other modules or doing extra prep for the afternoon’s seminar.

  • The seminar in the afternoon allows us to discuss the finer details and issues raised by the text in a smaller group with a tutor. This is my favourite part of the degree as you benefit from everyone’s ideas and explore different perspectives.

  • After this, I might head to the library again, or head home to do a bit more reading and sort out my notes from the seminar.

  • And then the evening is yours! I prefer to work in the day so I can relax at night with my housemates or go on a night out and unwind with a cheeky bev!

My top tip would be to establish a routine and figure out a schedule that suits you, whether you prefer to work in the mornings, or if you’re more of a night owl.

Above all don’t stress! The work is manageable, different from school, but in the best ways and I personally found first year 100 times easier than my A-Levels!

Kirsten has a blog called The K Word where she writes book reviews, opinion pieces and travel articles, which she would love for you to check out.