Sumaiyya Ravat

My story started from a young age. I’ve always been a bookworm, the Matilda of the family if you like. My love for English started when I was 11/12 years old;

I was waiting in the school library for my mom to pick me up, so I started to read a book ‘Home is a Place called Nowhere’ that I had randomly found on the shelves, with no intention of actually reading it, maybe just flicking through the pages to look busy.

Next thing you know, the pages of the book are soaked in my tears and I don’t even think I had gotten halfway yet! I don’t think it was a book I could relate to word for word per se, but something about the simplicity of language and emotion it conveyed, resonated within me at such a young age too. From there I picked up a habit of reading more, gaining different perspectives on life and culture, and developing a healthier mindset, all things I couldn’t seem to find anywhere else but in books.

It seemed like a no brainer to go on to study English at university. BCU in particular appealed to me due to my knowledge of how diverse and inclusive it is, as well as there being an interesting range of research written by the academics that taught within the English faculty specifically. I have enjoyed indulging in the wide range of literature material that has been thrown my way – there has been a lot of it! Secretly, the mass amount of reading is what I love most about English as a subject.

My degree has helped me achieve a more comprehensive insight of the literary world, in terms of both classical literature and how language continues to shape our world today, all of which I know will be valuable knowledge when applying it in future career paths. It has also been beneficial in terms of enhancing my understanding of a wide range of cultures and intellectual traditions.

I like to write poetry in my spare time as a way to purge my thoughts and feelings that I can't say aloud, which I find I do best with the traditional pen and paper, or even in the note app on my phone.

For anybody starting an English degree, I highly recommend that you read. Step out of your comfort zone to read books or poetry you wouldn’t normally give a second glance at. If there is a concept or author you find interesting, take it upon yourself to research further into them. Find articles that challenge or support your views and make note of it, even if you were to never read them again and it is simply just a fleeting interest, it all builds up for good practice!