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Thinking Outside the Box

Let’s face it, as much as you love your subject, reading about it for hours on end can sometimes get a bit much.

Find other ways to immerse yourself. Here are a few things I tried:

  • Talks – there are plenty of free talks by authors, theorists, lecturers readily available either to go to in person or download off the internet. Type into ‘YouTube’ your area of interest and see what comes up.

  • Societies – most academic areas have a trusted following in the form of a society. I joined both the Poetry Society and the Virginia Woolf Society for free. I signed up to their newsletter and was sent regular updates about new research and events.

  • Open Lectures – Oxford University hold open lectures which the public can attend. Look the relevant faculties up online.

  • Podcasts – when your eyes get tired of reading, start listening. There are thousands of podcasts online related to all subject areas.

  • Look ahead at the weekly radio schedule – see if there are any interviews which might be relevant to your subject.

  • Museums/galleries/ stately homes – surround yourself by your subject.

  • Look around – wherever you are in the world there will probably be something related to your subject on your doorstep.

  • Films – don’t rely on films as the likelihood is they won’t be totally accurate but if you’ve, for instance, read a Shakespeare play it may be useful to look at it from a particular director’s perspective.

  • Theatre – For English, seeing your texts come to life is a great way to remember them and often highlights specific themes.

  • Newspapers – look out for articles related to your subject matter. It’s always good to have current research up your sleeve.

  • Literary Festivals – often cover a diverse range of topics from politics, to science to history.

  • Libraries – Don’t forget about libraries. Visit your local library and ask the librarian what they can recommend you.

  • Journals - for subjects such as Economics, subscribing to the Economist is a useful way of immersing yourself in current issues relating to your subject.

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