Student of the month: Gem Stokes – BA (Hons) English

This is the first in the series where you can meet our students. First up is Gemma who describes herself as…

A 6 foot queer infatuated with gigs, films and literature.

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

My first year at Queen Mary has been a whirlwind. I wish my highlights were something cool like a crazy night out or a hilarious experience, but my fondest memories I’ve made are the times spent drinking tea, deep chats in the middle of the night or nerdy conversations about literature with the friends I’ve made here.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

Focusing on the study of English has made me fall back in love with literature and I’ve felt myself progress more into the literary sphere. In the last year I’ve invested more time in my journalism, writing articles (and finally being brave enough to actually share them). This will likely aid me in developing my future, as I aim to become a foreign news correspondent or music journalist.

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole?

Coming from a small town to a big city, I’m enjoying the huge LGBTQ+ community here and the inclusive environment that Queen Mary provides.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

In London, I work as a nanny and back in Kent, as a customer adviser in the food service industry. Although I do not aspire to continue these positions forever, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I’ve possessed an interest in journalism for as long as I remember, and currently write monthly articles for a local newsletter, but aspire to progress further in this field and search for new opportunities in this field.

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

I feel Queen Mary as a university is very active in aiding students’ issues, but I’ve been wanting to campaign about trigger warnings for a while: lectures often bring up triggering/upsetting subject material which I myself am often unprepared for. I wondered if it would be beneficial to other students, as well as myself, to release a general list of common triggers mentioned in each specific lecture to allow students to prepare more adequately whilst dealing with trauma.