Literature lover finds niche in arts degree

Emily Smith
Bachelor of Arts student Emily Smith helps her peers with their studies.

As a Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) leader Emily Smith combines her love of literature with a desire to help others.

The second-year Bachelor of Arts student and Emily Bronte fan, whose middle name also happens to be ‘Bronte’ insists it’s a mere coincidence that she so admires the Wuthering Heights author.

“It wasn’t part of some grand plan by my parents,’’ she laughs. “I just really love Emily Bronte’s writing — she inspires me.”

In her role withPASS, Emily helps arts students with first-year courses in weekly one-hour group sessions.

Emily stresses that she isn’t a teacher as such but a facilitator.

“I guide the students to find the answers themselves,’’ she says.

“It’s a great position because it helps students become more confident to in their knowledge. It also helps me with strengthening my knowledge of the courses.

“All types of students attend the classes — some not doing so well, others who are and those who just want to come along for some interaction and fellowship.”

Emily came to study a Bachelor of Arts after a couple of false starts. A classically-trained trumpet player she started a music degree but found the theoretical content took away the passion she had for music.

Not quite sure what to do next and being ‘good’ at science at school, Emily enrolled in a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Griffith.

“But after I studied a semester I realised it wasn’t for me,’’ she said.

“So then I thought what do I really want to do? And I love literature so enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in literature and linguistics.

“It was the best decision. I’ve found my niche.”

If her role as a PASS leader and study wasn’t enough to fit into a busy schedule, Emily has also found time to establish the Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences Society which aims to create a community of like-minded students who can come together to discuss careers, study and university life. She is also an Academic Excellence Society Ambassador where she assists HLSS students with peer support.

When she graduates Emily wants to find work as an editor and writer. But first, she’s planning on completing her Honours degree followed by a PhD.

Watch this space for another ‘Bronte’ author.