I have always loved English. My earliest years were spent on a canal boat with only my mum and the couple of books we owned, making her read them to me over and over again. Since then, literature has always been my solace in times when I had nothing else. I started writing my own stories at around age four, and my fascination continued well into primary school, where brilliant teachers noticed and nurtured my love for books and writing, and beyond. I guess I was lucky in that sense, because I always knew that’s what I’d end up studying.
Studying English at university, for me, has been everything I’d hoped. Exploring important world issues, time periods, and conflicts through literature – in modules such as ‘Palestinian and Israeli Literature’, ‘US Slavery and the Literary Imagination’, and ‘World War I Literature’ – has felt important to me in a time of such palpable division. It was also nice to return to my roots in the module ‘The Grotesque: from Dickens to Dahl’ – Matilda was probably my first ever favourite book.
I hope that this degree takes me in the direction I’ve always felt myself drifting towards – working in publishing. I’ve been lucky enough to produce a couple of professional anthologies for the creative writing society at my university, and it’s only fuelled my love for the industry even more. I hope that, one day, I am part of the publication of a book that helps someone else to fall in love with stories.