10 Things That a Second-Year Literature Student Must Know

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You're about to enter your second year in the English Department, and you learned some important lessons. You can't read all the titles in the reading list, so you resort to browsing. You're still trying, though. You become wary of certain perks. There's a catch, and you happen to be a generous soul. Your roommate would find it out, frequently borrowing something from you without returning. You're keeping a list, and would show it soon, yet your lessons don't end there.

You think you have mastered English literature after you get to know Jules Verne in depth. You're dead wrong after you discover a paperback in a local book store not far from where you live. It's a compilation of short stories and novellas by authors from different parts of the world, most of whom you hardly know. And they happen to be huge fans of Verne. These writers know more about him. It might be too late to think of a story similar to "Around the World in Eighty Days", but you can write a tale inspired by your not-so-recent holiday in the Mekong Delta. Your coursemates couldn't believe that you had a hot-air-balloon experience for less than a hundred dollars. And you bet that it was better than (a hot-air balloon experience in) Cappadocia. You must set aside that thought, as your second year would be more challenging than you think.

You should have known your first lesson before another term would begin. You can't do everything at the same time. You may have found out while reading the short stories of Guy de Maupassant between chores. Literary analysis demands your full attention, and you won't do it while dusting off your table and arranging your stuff on top of it. You won't do a decent job if you're studying a literary genre that you're unfamiliar of. You would encounter problems if you're the least interested (and you have no other choice but to do it). You will have another chance, which motivates you. Don't get restless, as there are other lessons you must know as well. Pay attention.

Come Back Here When You Have the Time

You must have a list of what you have achieved during your first year. Your professor may not have told you that you're the next great American novelist, but you have beaten the deadlines to your assignments. You didn't encounter lots of problems during the cold month of December and the spring semester. Both seem like yesterday whenever you think of it, and it's a good thing that you didn't forget it. You could brag about it, but keep it to yourself. Try to recall it whenever you're losing your motivation.

You must have realized that grammar rules aren't made to follow. You have lost count of the number of essays that you have written during your first year, but you should be aware of one thing. You know the rules in grammar, and there's no need to follow it. The great writers know how to bend those rules, if not break it. Don't do it unless you're confident about your writing capabilities. Then again, you wouldn't know if you didn't try it. You can proofread your paper before submitting it.

Set a timer on your computer (or cellphone). You have learned that it's best to do one thing at a time. You don't have the luxury of time, so you must set a time on your computer (or cellphone). You must do one task during this period. It's OK if you can't beat it, as you would have other attempts.

Look for other places to read (or study). You would get too familiar with your room sooner, which would make you more comfortable. And it won't be a good thing. Studying requires you to get out of your comfort zone, so a change of setting would be needed this time. If you don't fancy the library, you could try outdoors. You can't entertain other people during this time, though.

You should know what to do during rainfall. You can't daydream during this time, which you learn from a French thriller that your professor instructed you to see. The weather should induce you to read more. You must pick a particular time, where you must be wide awake. If you're having trouble in keeping your eyes open, get up and drink coffee.

Do you need a new headphone? This is an investment that you can’t pass up. You would be motivated to study after listening to your favorite tunes. A new headphone also blocks out the noise that your roommate is causing.

Do you have love handles? You've been craving for pizza and chips whenever you're struggling to concentrate on your studying. You're not engaged in too many cardiovascular activities, so you didn't notice those love handles. If you're too lazy to run every other morning, try long walks. You could go back to the gym whenever it's raining.

You must have fewer things in your room. You need space whenever you need to stand up and walk around. If you forget to bring it back home, you must have packed it and put it one corner.

Don't commit to everything. You're thinking about your resume at this time, and it's a good thing. You want to get ahead, but committing to everything is not the smartest thing to do. You would wear yourself sooner or later, and you might not be in the mood for reading. It would be worse if you must study more. Pick one, and manage your schedule accordingly.

Attend a networking event. This is not an event organized by a club (or society). It could be a career fair, if not a series of activities that your college does on a yearly basis. You may meet a person (or company) who has an internship opportunity. If you're running short of cash, you would accept it. Moreover, you would learn some skills that would help you do better. Don't think long and hard about it.

You Become What You Think You Are

What you read are life lessons that tell you one thing. If you want to achieve something, you must do it. And you must believe that you’re going to have it. An undergraduate degree if that is the case.


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