I started at Ashbourne doing my GCSEs in 2013, and transitioning to A Levels from there seemed overwhelming at the time. I had no idea what I wanted to study in Uni or do with my life, and I sent myself briefly on the wrong path as a result. The one thing I did right from the start, though, was choose to study English Literature. From the beginning of AS, I found the material to be far more engaging than with any other subject I’d studied (including English at other schools). The classes were always filled with good discussion and the opportunity to ask questions, and they were usually the highlight of my day. English Literature, in my opinion, is a fascinating subject that covers more ground than many give it credit for, with the ability to lead into other subjects like critical theory, philosophy, and history. As I was taught at Ashbourne, the subject gives you the chance to work both analytically and creatively. I wouldn’t call it an easy A Level, but the challenge was rewarding in the end. I’ve even had the chance to use theorists, concepts, and books taught to me by my Ashbourne English Literature teachers throughout both of my degrees, something both time-saving and generally satisfying. Even apart from the lessons themselves, I have always had great admiration for the English teachers at Ashbourne, and I still do. It was James that helped me realise that I had both the opportunity and the potential to study literature at university, and now I’m nearly finished with my MA in Classical Reception from King’s College London, where I also studied Classical Studies with English at undergrad. Without my time at Ashbourne — my time with the English department in particular — I would’ve been doing something very different with my life, which is now very strange to think about. In short: I’m very grateful for the experience I had studying English Literature at Ashbourne, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.