English Literature?

I went to my first lecture where there was a reading involved.

I sat in the middle of a row. The girl beside me had no idea there was a reading assigned. She hadn’t looked at the course outlines. She hadn’t read the emails. She hadn’t seen the essential readings which were posted LAST YEAR. She hadn’t bought the book, made an effort to find the book, or even read the book online.

Behind me was a guy who I overheard saying that short stories suck because you can’t skip parts, and that “Shakespeare is awful”.

I wonder why these people are taking a non-compulsory English course. I really do.

On the other hand, I am really confused. I went to the lecture, I took my notes, I read the text…now what? Do I analyse the text myself? Do I not take notes, just find relevant quotes?

Also, I have to say the prospect of the essays is freaking me out a LOT. How are they different from high school ones, and what is expected from you? I can’t find any exemplars on the university website…

Any advise out there for me?
Cheers,
Let’s call me Lily

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