Persevering through difficult times
Gaining a First Class Honours Degree in English and Related Literature is a major achievement by any standards. But for James Harle it is all the more remarkable as he has faced significant personal challenges during his time at York.
James, 21, from Lustleigh, Devon, explains: “My dad died of pancreatic cancer during my second Easter holiday at Uni. It was an absolutely harrowing disease which saw him reduced to a shadow of his former self. He was diagnosed during my summer holiday the year before, so it was less than a year between diagnosis and death.
“Although I spent a lot of time on the phone to my family, usually giving support, I didn’t let it affect my studies. I can't cure cancer, but I can write good essays - so that's exactly what I focussed on. It’s very challenging to achieve a First, but worth all the hard work.”
James says he is taking away happy memories from his time at York, many of these connected to being a pioneer at the University’s Goodricke College, part of the new Heslington East campus extension.
He plans to use his experience with the University’s student publications Nouse and York Vision to move into writing professionally and is hoping for success in The Guardian Student Media Awards, with entries in six categories.