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Reading List

I excitedly opened the envelope; another one from Jesus College.

What? This couldn't be right...forty five...forty one said there would be this many!

The reading list had arrived and the stress hit me immediately.It was my last summer before uni which was meant to be full of fun but now I had forty five books to read and a limited about of time to read them in.

There was everything from novels, to poetry, to plays, along with literary criticism and TWO ESSAYS to write. Oxford had clearly ignored the fact that I had a busy summer of socialising to fit in around all of these texts. This was far from ideal.

The list was split into Old English, Literary Theory, Victorian Literature and Modern Literature. The Old English looked like a foreign language, how was I ever going to get to grips with it?

The panic that I wouldn't be as well-read as everyone else was enough to make me work my way through every single book on the list. The joy of reading was immediately lost, it became a race; a race I was now envisioning myself running for the next three years.

Top Tips

  • Don't panic when the reading list arrives, I made the mistake of trying to read everything but there really is no point, you won't remember them all by the time term begins.

  • Pick a few texts from each list to read in more depth instead.

  • Try to make the most of your summer!

  • Not all tutors give out essays or reading lists prior to term starting, so some of you will be free all summer long!

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