Here's What College is Actually Like For AB Literature Students

by Raisa de los Reyes   |  Jan 24, 2023
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A lot of people mistake literature as something as easy as reading and writing. Although students are certainly expected to do a lot of both, literature is a relevant field of knowledge that can be applicable to various professions like science, politics, and psychology. Just like other Humanities and Social Sciences courses, you will hear a lot of people say, “May pera ba diyan?” This influences a lot of people who may have a passion for the arts and humanities to study a course that is veered towards something they’re not passionate about at all.

But we’re here to convince you that literature is just as meaningful and essential! Below  is an overview of what AB Literature awaits you in college:

Humble and ~cringey~ beginnings.

For some people, their interest in literature started with fanfiction and Wattpad. Unfortunately, there are numerous individuals who do not believe that fanfiction can be considered as a serious genre of literature. However, it should be acknowledged that literature can be versatile and that there is no objective criteria as to what can be literature.  For example, the novel entitled After by Anna Todd began as a series of novels with Harry Styles as the male protagonist on Wattpad. Having been popularized by fans and readers, this series enabled Todd to penetrate the film industry and premier the After series in theaters and several online streaming platforms. 

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Instead of viewing these “embarrassing” beginnings as barriers, try to see it as a door to a new and unfamiliar world that is ready to accept and welcome you. Fanfiction has become one of the many doors to literature, enticing readers to branch out and discover other interesting genres like thriller, contemporary, romance, soyou will be introduced to various writings of foreign authors. It becomes a space that allows you to see more beyond your own eyes. This will help you compare and contrast the preferences and interests of the international audience.

Readings, readings, and more readings!

From the philosophy of literature to the development of the Western literary tradition, the readings your professors may assign to you can be overwhelming. With the amount of readings provided in your first few semesters, you begin to lose the passion and the contentment for it. Reading begins to feel like a requirement more than a hobby.

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But remember: The assigned texts that professors provide you with can be connected to society and the contribution to further improving it. This becomes essential in building your perception of the world as literature exposes you to various societal issues like racial discrimination, the strains of poverty, the dangers of substance abuse, and the like. Reading literature gives you the opportunity to “live” through the protagonist and “experience” their hardships. 

But don’t be discouraged if you won’t get to read a lot of novels at first! This is expected as you will need to have a deeper sense of what literature really is and the theories that establish its foundation. Eventually, you will be assigned to read masterpieces like Metamorphosis by Franz Khafka, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Hamlet by Shakespeare, and more. 

Write as much as you read.

Literature has numerous forms of content such as flash fiction, short stories, poems, feature articles, literary journalism, and so much more. As a literature major, you are expected to produce entertainment actualized through words. You will undergo a writing process that is personal to you, which will help you in fleshing out the plot of your story. As you add and iron out the details, you begin to further develop your narrative which could be based on a reality that is already being lived by someone in the world. Therefore, the literature that you make and publish can be relevant to a specific individual or community. Literature, then, becomes a medium for people of varying backgrounds to have some sort of common ground. You begin to create and reinforce a bridge for readers to cross as a way to practice empathy for others. So not only do you write for yourself, but you learn to write for the people as well. It is through this bridge, which connects people together, that your writing skills and language can be honed. 

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Your imagination is a key ingredient in writing literature. 

The boundaries to your imagination will be challenged and tested to its very limit. You must be able to always produce a new and refreshing concept that will immediately hook your readers into wanting to know what happens next. But as you read and write more, you’ll broaden your capacity to create something new out of nothing, or out of something unfamiliar to you. 

This is what is most special to many literature students. As a writer, you are able to translate yourself into the words that you utilize to create a story. Your characters could be a reflection of you, or they could embody certain mannerisms and personality traits that you have. The literature you create is a culmination of the brilliance of your mind and your essence as a person on display for the enjoyment of others and the betterment of society.

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