What Being a Student of Linguistics Is Actually Like
This is not to put anyone off doing this course, I swear.
You would think that picking a language/linguistic degree would be the easier option, that it might be easier than Psychology or maybe less writing than a History degree. Not to put anyone off learning a new language at university, it is simply an eye opener to how much you have to be dedicated and the amount of work you must be prepared to do.
I have currently finished my first year at university, studying TESOL and Japanese. For those of you who do not know, TESOL is basically teaching English to speakers of other languages. When I first heard of this course I thought, "learning how to teach English? This can't be that bad. I already know the language so it will be easy for me." I was very wrong indeed. I found out pretty quickly how much work there actually was. Not only was I learning a new language that was completely different to my own, I had to relearn my own language in order to learn how to teach it. Believe me, English grammar is both to understand and explain. Why is a word an adjective? I don't know, it just is. We just talk that way. However, this is not correct; there are many reasons as to why we talk and write the way we do. Doing this course, you need to understand that. You also need to understand that in a different language too. But, before you start thinking about that History course, think about how rewarding it is when not only do you understand your language better, you can also communicate with people of a different language. (The year abroad is also another perk to this course.)
There are so many benefits to this course that you will come to enjoy, like the look on people's faces when you accidentally blurt out a sentence in a different language and, you don't even realise. That is one of my favourites, just in the middle of a conversation and I will use a Japanese word because it is much easier to explain the situation but the person I'm talking to is completely confused.
Once you manage to keep up with the work you will come to enjoy being a linguistics/language student. You will make great friends, even with people you never think you would talk to, but I guess that is just university life in general. Though be sure you prepare well for the oral exams if you do decide to pick up a language, even if the lecturer isn't scary they will find a way to really give you an anxiety attack. However, after the first exam, you will find it easier and easier. Your speaking will flow and it will become more natural to you. Besides it's only preparation for when you come to use the language in the real world. So don't be too afraid.
Overall, as long as you prepare for the massive amounts of work you will need to do, you will come to enjoy studying this course. Who knows, you might even find it easy :D. Either way, good luck! (頑張って！)