- Second-year undergraduate, English Language and Literature
Hi! My name is Ben, and I am a second-year undergraduate reading English Language and Literature at Lincoln. I grew up in Cambridgeshire (boo-hiss) and attended a state school and sixth form. I first came across Lincoln by searching ‘Oxford colleges’ on Google Images and having my eye caught by the ivy of what I learned to be Front Quad, before researching the tutors for English which assured me this was the college to apply to.
Oxford has one of the best English departments in the world, and the course itself gives you a comprehensive look into the history not only of English literature but the development of the language. Although I thought my interests wouldn’t extend much further back from the modern period, the enthusiasm of my tutors and their keenness to help me explore different areas have opened up so many possibilities and introduced me to so many new favourite texts. You get so much freedom from week to week as to what you write on, and the opportunity to test your ideas with your peers and especially your tutors in tutorial settings is incredibly exciting – a highlight of the Oxford system. I’d advise anyone thinking of applying to read what interests you, not what you think you ought to have read; this is your course, and the tutors want you to get the most out of it!
Although academic work is obviously the central part of my time at Lincoln, what I didn’t expect was how rich and inspiring it is to be part of such a compassionate and dedicated group of people. The variety of activities and societies available in the city, from sports to amateur drama to student journalism, meant that by the end of the year there was rarely an empty hour – there’s just so much to do! The JCR (the undergraduate common room) in particular is a fantastic way to get involved with College life. This year, I’m taking the role of one of the JCR’s Welfare Officers. As well as being students’ first port of call for issues relating to their welfare, directing them to the right help and resources, we’re responsible for running events like Welfare teas and film nights, in addition to promoting mindfulness in College life.