Before I started at Cambridge, I could only guess at how much a Classics degree would teach me – all I knew was that I was excited. The whirlwind of learning about everything from the surprisingly understandable struggles of prehistoric civilisations down to frankly scandalous Roman histories, and everything in between (with a generous helping of Latin and Greek), has been an unforgettable experience. The Faculty also offers so many extra opportunities to get involved, whether it is with hands-on archaeology, listening to leaders in the field presenting original research or exploring distant shores in the summer, it’s actually a wonder I got any work done!
I remember writing an essay for one of my Cambridge interviews, about why we should study Classics. Talking about its applicability to life in the real world seems clichéd but I can honestly say the degree prepared me for just that. Whether it is the omnipresent debates on political theory, democracy and identity, discussions about civilisation and society, or an analysis of rhetoric, there is always something the classical world can contribute.
Starting on my Law conversion course this year highlighted the various transferrable skills that Classics helped me to develop. The encouragement from supervisors to write originally, think critically and read widely is something that will stay with me forever. It’s a bonus to see Cicero and Aristotle mentioned so often in the reading and of course it’s a little bit (read: very) thrilling to be able to understand the Latin phrases here and there!
Looking back on the many equally terrifying and exciting moments I realise that I was right about how much fun I would have. I now hope to continue using my training in Classics in whatever I do next!
Meenakkhi Bhattacharyya, Law Conversion Course Student