Student Profiles – Martha, English

Martha is a first-year English student from Norfolk. At A Level, she studied English Literature, Biology, and Geography.

Why did you choose Trinity Hall?
I chose Trinity Hall after visiting on an Open Day and falling in love with its beautiful buildings and gardens, as well as its river view. For a central college and one of the oldest in Cambridge, it also seemed less focused on tradition and therefore less intimidating!

How did you prepare for the application process and interviews? Was it what you expected?
For the application process, I tried to read widely and immerse myself in my A levels, finding specific things which excited me in each of them and exploring these further. I also listened to lots of podcasts leading up to my interview and found this really useful as it enabled me to listen to discussions about my subject which were similar to the interview experience.

Though the interviews were really challenging, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy them as much as I did, and they weren’t nearly as intimidating as the stories make it out to be!

Why did you choose your course?
To be honest, I was not entirely sure about what I wanted to study at university. I chose English because I really enjoyed it at A level and thought it would enable me to explore lots of options within it.

How does your course compare to your expectations?
The amount of freedom in my course is amazing and surpasses all of my expectations – in the first term alone, I was able to explore literature in connection to science, politics, history, Indigenous rights, and many other topics. The breadth of the course is so exciting!

What is your favourite part of your course?
I love the breadth of options in the period papers, meaning there are many options to choose from and get interested in. I also really enjoy my practical criticism supervisions, in which we go into depth analysing and talking about a poem or short text.

How do you manage your workload?
Each week I try and write a list of things I need to do and work out a task for each day, leaving one day free to recharge and catch up on anything which I did not get time to do. I try to make time to run or go for a walk each day to get some exercise and fresh air. I also go to a few societies (climbing and running) and hang out with my friends.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of your time here?
I am really looking forward to the optional papers in second and third year! On a less academic note, the June Event in the summer term is super exciting.