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Becky Shercliff - ASNC

Becky Shercliff

'I am currently in my third year, studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (ASNC). I studied Medieval History, English Literature, French and Theology at A-level, and the ASNC course appealed to me because I couldn’t decide whether I preferred studying history, literature or languages, and ASNC lets you study all three. A love of The Lord of the Rings may also have had something to do with my choice of course! I have now discovered that my particular interest is in Celtic languages and literature, although I also enjoy the Beowulf paper which I am taking this year. The wide range of papers offered is one advantage of ASNC, since it enables you to tailor-make the course for what particularly interests you. I have loved studying this course, so much so that I am hoping to go on to study for an MPhil and PhD here.

In terms of choosing a College, I initially thought of St John’s simply because it’s such a beautiful and historic College, with huge gardens and gorgeous architecture. The fact that it is a large College was also a factor in my choice, since ASNC is a small subject so I thought it would provide a nice contrast (which it does), and I was also attracted by the wide range of resources it offers, such as the well-stocked library, the generous book and travel grants, and the College’s ability to provide accommodation in College for all three years of your course. I had heard that John’s had some of the best rooms in Cambridge and now I would have to agree, especially regarding my room this year!

Another advantage of a large College is the number of opportunities that are available for getting involved in societies and clubs; for example, I am a Chapel Warden and the secretary of the Punt Society, and I have rowed and played Ultimate Frisbee for the College, as well as taking part in a production of HMS Pinafore performed on punts (see photo). In spite of being large, it is a very friendly College and I felt welcome from the very beginning, something I had been nervous about since I came from a tiny Sixth Form. However, the supportiveness and friendliness of the staff and students here meant that I could immediately find my own niche and get on with enjoying life at Cambridge.'

- Becky Shercliff, 3rd Year ASNC, January 2013