Ben Kelly

BA English Language and Literature

Summary: Ben Kelly, a mature student about to complete his undergraduate studies in English, reflects on his time at Leeds.

From my first visit to the University I had my heart set on Leeds because I found it such an inspiring institution in the midst of a vibrant and excitingly progressive city.

As a mature student soon to complete my BA in English Literature and Language I can say that the course has far exceeded my expectations and hopes. With commitment to my studies, the bounds of my knowledge and understanding have expanded wider and wider until I now realise that there are no boundaries. I have obtained a far greater understanding of a broad range of literature, culture, politics, ideological theories and history than I had ever expected to gain in three short years. That is what is wonderful about English as a subject itself and about the structure of the modules at the University of Leeds.

Being a student at the University of Leeds has been an honour, a privilege and a pleasure. The English department is fantastic; the student support, admissions and administrative staff have enhanced my experience greatly. The teaching is of an extremely high quality and I found the lectures and seminars thoroughly engaging. Every core module has been fascinating; encompassing literary movements/eras and the cultural and historical context from which they were born. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed my optional modules. The enthusiasm of the tutors is infectious and a sincere interest in helping you improve emanates from each of them. The tutors here have high standards and high expectations but everything you need to meet and exceed them is offered to you. It is not just the modules, literature and resources that make this a great department; it is the people. They have left a lasting impression on me that I will not forget.

Unfortunately my time at the University must soon end; at least for the foreseeable future. When I reflect on my studies it is difficult to pick the highlights from the diverse and wonderful literature I have studied. I thoroughly enjoyed my modules on American Literature and it was fascinating to study 18th Century Literature alongside Romantic Literature, and Modernism alongside Contemporary Literature. I will leave Leeds a far more confident individual; I left school with big ambitions but before I came here I felt discouraged. Failure in my endeavours damaged my self-esteem. Now I feel like a new person; confident that I can achieve my ambitions. Even though I was 25 when I started my degree it is only during this experience that I truly became an adult. Now I have the commitment, work ethic and confidence to progress my life.