Wednesday 16 July 2014

Why Studying English will Ruin Your Life...

You may have heard that being a literature grad is a sure fire way to win worldly success - just consider the resulting parental pride, transferable employment skills, and high esteem of Tory politicians. But sadly, you were wrong – take it from the Secret Victorianist. Studying English will in fact destroy your life one area at a time…

1. Greetings Cards: The sentimental poem in the birthday card from your nan, a token of affection from a friend overseas - every missive designed to bring a tear to the eye and warmth to your heart is officially ruined for you. Some say it’s the thought which counts, but the lack of scansion and the clichéd sentiments will make you want to run a mile.

2. Shop signs: Which English grad doesn’t know the horror of the misplaced apostrophe? This obsession may be becoming a problem…

3. Your own writing: Remember as a child how you used to ‘make books’ and write stories? Not anymore! You can’t write a line without suffering extreme anxiety, serious writer’s block, and an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. 

4. Alcohol: Three years at uni and suddenly you find that far too many of your heroes were depressive alcoholics with dysfunctional relationships. Still feeling hopeful about how that ‘quiet drink’ tonight is going to go? I thought not. 

5. Love: A mutually destructive but passionate love affair with a fellow writer may have its downsides as well as perks, but the truth is most lovers just won’t be able to measure up to historical examples or fictional flings. My advice? Head to bed with a book – here’s some brief suggestions if you’re after a quick rebound!

How has studying English destroyed YOUR life? Let me know – here, on Facebook or, as always, by tweeting @SVictorianist!


  1. Yes! And to think I believed I was the only one! I would add that the strange impulse to quote the lines of famous literary characters during a conversation is an oddity which will NOT increase one's circle of friends...Thanks for a post which made me laugh out loud (better to laugh than cry, I always say).

    1. Maybe not increase your circle of friends but could potentially improve it! Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  2. I really like it when I've fallen in love with Jane Eyre, or Catherine Morland, or Emily St. Aubert - and Tess, too - and then she's absolutely nowhere to be found in the good ol' USA. < sigh >