Next Tuesday is the day when my 15,000 word English Literature dissertation is due in, which means finishing four years of studying at university! I studied English Literature with Creative Writing as an undergraduate and I have almost finished a Masters in English Studies. Where that time has gone, I do not know, but they have been four amazing years.
My Masters dissertation is called ”Fo(u)r Women’: British female poetry of the Second World War’. Interpret the first part of the title how you like, but my dissertation is certainly dedicated to four women who wrote poetry during World War II. These women are Vera Bax, Alice Coats, Wrenne Jarman and Sylvia Read. They are not that well-known for various reasons, the main one being that the British soldier poets of the First World War established the genre of war poetry, such as Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brookes.
I am still unsure about studying a PhD. It is a big commitment for at least three years and you need to be very passionate about the subject you are researching into. Once you have a PhD, then your career will certainly be in academia for the rest of your life. This is why I am not studying one straight after finishing my Masters. I need a break from studying, as much as I have enjoyed it, but I also want to explore careers that I am interested in which do not require a PhD, such as publishing, copywriting and editing.
My current plan for the following year is to go back to working as a note taker for undergraduate students, part-time if I find another job to work alongside or full-time if not. I really enjoyed the job during the past academic year, as I learnt a lot from subjects including Psychology, Pharmacology, Law and Business Studies. One interesting thing that I learnt from Psychology is that it takes at least three attempts to really change a habit for the better, such as smoking and dieting. I have found this to be true with dieting and changing my lifestyle.
I wrote a blog a few months back about the pressure that the younger generations face today concerning life plans and career choices. I am still not letting it bother me that I do not know what I want to do with my life. Like I’ve mentioned, I want to explore different careers, which means flexibility and not wanting to be tied down to one career/path. It could be the case that I will miss studying next year and I end up doing a PhD the following year; who knows what the future holds.
I do have an idea in mind for a PhD. One woman in my dissertation who has intrigued me the most is Wrenne Jarman, because she was a very prolific writer of her time, yet she is not known in contemporary literary studies. One of my favourite poems by her is called ‘Letter to Claudia’, which is a powerful feminist poem about a mother called Claudia who has lost her son in the Second World War. If I was to study a PhD, I would dedicate it to Wrenne Jarman, as she has a lot of fantastic poetry which is worthy of recognition.
If there is one thing that I know I will be doing in the future, it is blogging! I am enjoying the blogging experience so far and I’ve seen myself develop as a result. I enjoy reading other people’s blogs and quite often feel inspired. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support.
Happy reading and blogging!