Choosing Linguistics

By Emma Rowley

Currently, I am a Linguistics student at the University of Cambridge. This does not mean I study languages like French or German, but language itself. I spend my days trying to understand how we put sentences together or understand meaning and studying the ways in which language evolves over time and why amongst many, many other things such as how we process sounds or understand grammatical rules. It’s the perfect course for me- as someone who took English Literature, French and Maths at A level, I could never quite settle and land on whether I wanted to be engrossed in a science or humanities degree, so in the end I chose a course that gave me both, satisfying both nerdy aspects of my brain.

The story by which I chose this unconventional degree is simple- I’d heard of it when I was flipping through prospectuses and landed on somebody who was detailing what it was like to study it. Then, I found myself in a taster session organised by HE+ whereby I was given an introduction to what the course would be like at Cambridge should I choose it, and slowly I found myself falling in love with an unconventional choice.

My course works well with how I work and what I enjoy, and leads to pathways I can find myself walking down. If you can’t find a course at the moment that you feel is right for you, then dig a little deeper into the hidden nooks and crannies of prospectuses, and don’t be afraid to look at what you haven’t studied in school (everyone is just like you at the beginning of the course; nobody has done an A level in Linguistics so don’t worry about lack of prior practice). Perhaps you’ll find what you’ve always been looking for; I certainly did.