The term that isn’t really a term, more of a black abyss of exam and essay related hell, is here already and the end of the academic year is nigh. During this time of despair, dreams of festivals, summer travel plans or just excitement to go home may be in the air for some of you. But for me, and a big shout out to those other final years suffering out there, this means only one thing. University, and student life as we know it, is over forever.
Let me take you on a little journey through time. For me, it seems like only yesterday I was cruising down the M4 for the first time, my face squished to a crack in the window in a desperate attempt to breathe after insisting that I bring everything I have ever owned in the entirety of my life to my new home. Fresh-faced and armed with a tin of Celebrations to bribe my Durdham Hall flatmates to like me (it worked), I had arrived.
First year went by in a vodka-fuelled blur of Bunker Mondays… and Wednesdays… and the odd Friday, with a sprinkling of crippling hangovers, a dash of daytime TV and a spoonful of awkward new friends. I lived in a world where naps occurred more frequently than lectures. Where the most stressful life choice was whether to live in Clifton or Redland the following year. Where 40% was the new A*. This world, my friends, was good.
“This world, my friends, was good”
As your fortnightly bearer of bad news (why stop now?), you need to know that the rumours are true. Third year is the worst year of your life. Everyone will tell you and no-one will quite grasp just how factual this is until their time comes. The debilitating fear that you will leave Uni thousands of pounds in debt, significantly more overweight than you started and with only a Desmond to your name is with you always. I’m unwillingly cheating on the relationship I once had with Lounge with the cruel mistress that is the ASS. I speak to my dissertation supervisor more than my flatmates and, more regular than the 16 (we called it the U6 in my day), there is a breakdown on the hour, every hour.
Yet, as I start to apply for real people jobs, a cruel realisation dawns upon me. This is not the worst year of my life. It’s the last of the best. Real life is a place where downing a Jagerbomb in under 30 seconds isn’t a valid achievement for the CV. In real life an example of working successfully in a team wasn’t that time I wing-manned my friend with that hot guy and good communication skills definitely aren’t how well you can drunk text. Which is a shame really as I have honed all these strengths to near enough perfection.
Non-student life sees the end of many things, namely happiness of any kind. Say goodbye to your student loan, being paid to literally do nothing, while student discounts are also a thing of the past. Midweek drinking becomes socially frowned upon, as is my much loved daily routine of This Morning, followed by a nap, lunch, followed by a nap, waking up for Jeremy Kyle before a couple of Real Housewives episodes come on and fatigue takes over me once again. I’m having to swap my vast array of onesies for restrictive office wear and come to terms with the fact 3 month summers off are no longer a thing. Just as I’m acquiring that unique Sainsbury’s Basics Table Wine taste, it is being cruelly ripped away from me. As you find yourself homeless, moving back in with your family is an unfortunate necessity and my parents have even mentioned ME paying THEM for this horrific ordeal. Rent, they called it. As if.
“Non-student life sees the end of many things, namely happiness of any kind”
So please, as you start to stress about upcoming exams or commence those all-nighters in the library, hating your course and questioning your life, take a step back; there is a very good reason why people say being a student are the best days of your life. I haven’t even started real life yet but I’m already 97% sure it is not for me. Not to fear though guys, I’ve done what any rational, real world adult would do in this scenario. Undertaken an extensive and exhaustive check over the UCAS website for my next degree. Travel and Tourism at Brighton? Say hello to your new fresher.
This article has been curated with the permission of Epigram who are the origin of this work. Laura Burridge is the original author and can be found on the Epigram website: http://www.epigram.org.uk/living/item/2649-room-101-life-after-uni
Picture credits: UGL_UIUC,