It’s official. First semester timetable is up, graduation date has been released and my Twitter timeline is getting emotional with the weight of our ‘last freshers’ tweets. Yes, folks, I’m officially a third year.
Gone are the carefree days of first and second year, daylong naps, nightlong drinking and the ‘it’s fine, they’ll be online anyway’ justification of missed lectures. Somewhere in the next 10 months, I have to grow up, handle early mornings and actually manage my finances (without relying on an interest-free overdraft), while at the same time attempting to achieve that unrealistic first and find a graduate job. Not much then, eh?
Although motivated, I have fallen prey to the affliction that blights the bulk of students; laziness. As soon as my parent’s car doors slammed, signalling the start of fresher’s week 2010 (which, depressingly, feels like six months ago), lay-ins and take-aways became a part of a pretty comfortable lifestyle. The dangerous decision by most universities across the country that first year shouldn’t count fed into the mind-set that these three years are the time for fun. I proudly boast that I go to (some) lectures, achieve solid 2:1s and have a part time job, but I’m nowhere near cut out for the real world.
The thought of only meeting up with my ‘university friends’ annually terrifies me – as does 9am starts and 5pm finishes, indefinitely. Most depressingly of all, though, is the realisation that this, right now, is my last summer holiday. Two decades have taught me that no matter how stressful the year, August is the time for sun, friends and sleep. Unless my career path heads towards teaching, never again will I enjoy six weeks off in summer. People in the real world actually work through August? Baffling.
So, instead of moping into my Co-op bottle of vodka and gorging on bacon sandwiches, I’m going to make the most of this time. I’m going to stop whinging about my £300 overdraft or not being able to go out for the third time this week, because compared to mortgages, bills and jobs, I’ve got it pretty easy.
Yes, you’ll rarely see me before 12pm, I am going to sponge off the Government like there’s no tomorrow and I will thrive off my remaining time using the ‘I’m a student excuse. Countless messy nights will be planned and then forgotten and I plan to spend a large part of this year hung over, but I will work hard. I will drag myself down to the library, attempt to save some money and get stuck in, because this is it. This is our last chance, fellow third years. At some point before Christmas, I will escape my ostrich-morph, pull my head out of the sand and plan what to do with my life. But, I’m going to enjoy the last chapter of the best three years of my life so far, because this time next year, instead of lazily watching Big Bang Theory, I could be in an office, having been up since 7 and not getting home until 7. Words escape me.