Monthly Archives: August 2016

How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors (Part Two): Tools for Success


It’s the first week of classes and if you read our How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors: Part One, you are on your way to success. In addition to those tips, as English Majors you know that you need specific tools to survive this week. To help save you time, we have compiled a list of necessary items for any English Major to get through their first week!

Check out the BYU English Society’s Survival Guide for the First Week of School (Part Two)! And if you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here!

Sticky Notes


If they aren’t already, sticky notes will be your best friend throughout your journey as an English Major and are especially great to have the first week of class! Choose from a variety of sizes to make notes in textbooks, your planner, and everywhere else! If you haven’t gotten them yet, go now and pick some up! Hurry!


Depending on you and your professors’ preferences, you will either be taking notes electronically or old school with notebook paper and pen. Make sure to check with your professor that laptops and other electronics are allowed in their classroom. And don’t forget to bring a way to take notes, especially on the first day! If you are unsure, grab a small notebook and pen before heading out! And you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way!



What do English Majors love just as much or even more than sticky notes? Pens and highlighters! Especially since they are necessary for annotating, drafting, and writing papers- your favorite things of course! And I bet that you have even a favorite brand of pen, right? So grab one or two before heading out for the day!


Show off your personality with some rad accessories! Get out your glasses and cardigans to make a fashion statement. And even better add “I <3 English” and “I <3 Grammar” pins to your messenger bag and on your sweater! Guys this applies to you too! They will be great conversation starters and you’ll look great too!



This is the most important for your survival. Because as much as you hate to admit it, you have to take a moment away from reading to eat. So make sure to pack some healthy- and even some unhealthy- snacks! You can never go wrong with an apple… or dark chocolate. Both are great choices!


And finally you need a place to store all of your necessities! Just make sure that your backpack has enough room for all of your supplies. But don’t pack too much! As English majors, your backpack will get heavy and fast!


And you are ready to go!

Share with us what your necessities are for the first week of school and as an English Major!

Doubled Booked- Reviews from our Summer Reading Lists

If there’s one thing English Majors love more than reading, it’s summer reading! No worries, or other class assignments. Only you, a list of books you have been dying to dive into, and all the time in the world! With all of our summer reads fresh on our minds, it only makes sense to share your favorite! Check out BYU English Society’s Book Review Officer’s TOP PICKS from their summer reading list! Check back weekly to see more book reviews and submit to us suggestions for books you want review or share your own recommendations and have your review posted on this blog!

Wonder, by R.J Palacio

-Written by: Eliza Howard

Most of you have seen it: the baby blue cover with a black and white face almost filling the entire frame. Yet the shape can hardly be called a face, for the only feature to interrupt the vastness is a single eye on the left. Above it, the word Wonder rests like an eyebrow. 
Given a rare facial deformity from birth, August Pullman is used to the “looks” strangers pretend not to give him. “Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse,” is how he describes himself. With ears comparable to cauliflower, eyes too low on his face, and a mouth that doesn’t seem to work properly, Auggie’s ability to even breathe is the work of 27 surgeries. Yet, on the inside, he assures you he’s nothing special, just an average kid. 
In a demonstration of innate bravery, Auggie leaves the comfort of homeschooling and his beyond-perfect family to enter fifth grade. Just as cruelty and blatant honesty color Auggie’s school year, as do true friendship and loyalty. He is quickly made the target of a bully and is shunned school-wide for carrying the “Plague.” Yet at the cost of also becoming “infected,” true friends come to his aid, demonstrating a quality that makes everyone proud to be human: kindness. 
Wonder explores the basic traits that make us human: the desire to belong, the potential to love and protect family and friends, and the affinity to change. R. J. Palacio creates a story that is anything but cliche in moments such as the school system being challenged by anxious parents, opportunities to defend kindness in an overnight field trip, and the internal conflict between worry and resentment held by his older sister Via. Told from the perspectives of bold fifth graders, protective teenagers, and Auggie himself, the narrative has a raw feeling of truth. 
Wonder is a book I won’t forget. I would recommend it to both children and young adults. Beyond the characters that I swear are real somewhere in the universe and a storyline to match, Wonder pulls at my heart. Expect to laugh and cry with Auggie. I could not help but rediscover what kindness is, and how we as individuals can determine how humanity is defined. 

An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, by Pamela Aidan

-Written by: Marissa Brown


Have you ever wondered what Darcy was thinking during his varying interactions with Elizabeth? Maybe you want some insight as to why he acted the way he did? I know I did. Do you want an excuse to fall in love with him all over again? Do I even need to ask? In An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Pamela Aidan does a masterful job in recreating Jane Austen’s world of Pride and Prejudice but from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. Aidan helps readers relive those awful and beautiful moments from the classic but with a new perspective. She clarifies the structure of Regency England for readers to better understand the situations characters find themselves in. An Assembly Such as This is the first book in the trilogy and unlike a lot of other spinoffs, follows the original storyline instead of trying to create Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s future, and although its three books reinterpreting the one it still doesn’t seem like enough. Aidan intertwines conversations from the original novel and furthers their importance by adding what Darcy thought and felt. What I most respected Aidan for was being able to write in a style similar to Jane Austen yet maintain her own wit and personality throughout the novel. I have a hard enough time doing impersonations for five minutes, I can’t even imagine maintaining another person’s writing style for multiple novels. By far, this book was my favorite summer read, it had all the right parts: romance, intrigue, flowery language, and Mr. Darcy. I give it five stars and two definite thumbs up!

How to Survive the First Week of School for English Majors (Part One): Tips for Success


Back to School. The most exciting, nerve-wracking, and dreaded time of year for students of all ages. Whether you love school or are counting down the days until next summer break, there’s one thing that everyone has in common. You need to survive the next week filled with an exaggerated amount of syllabus pages, finding your way across campus without getting lost, and keeping your sanity.

Check out this: BYU English Society’s Survival Guide for the First Week of School (Part One) especially for You- Our English Majors!

Bed Times are A Real Thing


First things first. You need your rest! As tempted as you are to pull out a book for some late-night reading turned into reading all-nighters… Put the book down! Grogginess is not the way to start off a semester! Set aside a time during the day for reading your favorites to let yourself get a full night’s rest! You’ll be glad when you can wake up for your classes on time AND pay attention in them too!

Make Your Planner Your Best Friend!

Pair up your class syllabus with an awesome planner! Make sure that you schedule in your classes, study times, assignment due dates, and some free time for relaxation! Use sticky notes to allow for changes in scheduling and keep your planner up-to-date!

Find a Quiet Place


The best thing about the first week is being able to explore the campus a little more! Whether you have been at BYU for years or this is your first year, explore your surroundings and find a quiet place! Make this place your reading and studying go-to! Use it for meditation and some time away from the bustle of your crazy schedule! And don’t forget a notebook and pen to write down your thoughts!

Make Friends

Make a special effort in your classes to make friends. Many of your courses will consist of only 10-30 students! Get to know the people in your classes because they will be the ones that will keep you updated when you miss days, form study groups with you, and be there to talk with before and after class. You don’t have to make them your best  friend on the first day, but it’s always nice to walk into the room with a smiling face waiting for you!

Get Motivated

English Society

It’s easy to get discouraged when you see the lists and lists of reading assignments, midterms, and papers due. But don’t let that get you down! Check out the English Society’s Facebook Page every day this week for some inspiration from your favorite professors, authors, and characters! You can do this!


Good luck on your first week back to school!

And check back tomorrow for Part Two of BYU English Society’s Back to School Survival Series!