In today’s society, students are plagued with the question of what to study and are faced with a series of decisions that will bit by bit determine their academic future. From GCSE subject choices in year 8/9, A-Level choices in year 11 and then the decision to go on to sixth form or college and study A-Levels or vocational courses, become an apprentice or enter full time work. For those of us who chose to go down the sixth form and college route, the subjects we chose have a considerable impact on what we can do later on.

STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are often perceived as the ‘smart’ subjects and people often take them due to the fact that they lead to set career paths; medicine, veterinary work, engineering, accountancy etc but what about those interested in anything other than STEM?

On Wednesday 27th March 2019, Professor Robert Eagleton of Royal Holloway University and also the author of the recently published book ‘Literature: Why it Matters’ came into the Ursuline to deliver a talk on Literature. He discussed what makes the gothic and the key tropes that are reminiscent of it as well as his own experiences with a Literature degree and subsequent profession. He highlighted how literature teaches us so much from key skills that help us succeed in our careers to a good sense of vocabulary and communication and general enjoyment. Many may be skeptical to study subjects like English, History, Philosophy or even Art at A-Level or degree level due to the lack of clear direction towards a career that it give us yet this should be something we embrace. Subjects as such do not have a narrow route and the transferrable skills can lead us down so many paths. Laura Alfe, a sixth form student who studies a mixture of both STEM and Arts subjects at A-Level says ‘I love the variation of my subjects and I believe that people should chose subjects based on what they love despite what it may lead to because this ultimately will help you succeed.'

Whether a STEM subject, Arts or Literature, the love of a subject should be the priority as to why study it as there is a plethora of career choices out there and at this age we are only at the start of that journey. Explore and enjoy the learning whatever path you choose!